My brother has taken up walking during quarantine and requested an attention-grabbing fanny pack to take along on his adventures for Christmas. I searched far and wide and landed on the Proper Fit Clothing Fanny Pack Utility Bag Pattern, which has multiple pockets, adjustable straps, nylon webbing to secure carabiner hooks, and a water bottle holder. It satisfies the functionality request 100%.
To add a bold and fun vibe, I turned to my fabrics stash and picked out an outlandish tie-dye canvas for the exterior and a jungle animal print cotton for the lining, both of which were snatched up at the thrift store for pennies on the dollar. For the nylon webbing and plastic buckles, I turned to Quest Outfitters. The colorful zippers were purchased from the Zip It shop on Etsy. I used Gutermann 619 Parakeet and used an entire 110 yard spool for the project. The bias tape was also picked up at the thrift store for almost nothing, prior to the mask-making frenzy. The “made with love and swear words” labels is from Kylie and the Machine and was purchased from Bobbie Lou’s Fabric Factory.
I must say, being a hobby sewist in an area with a large number of retirees and seasonal snowbirds has it’s perks. While the drive to the thrift store behind a tiny, grey-haired woman going 20 miles under the speed limit can be frustrating, I can’t complain if she’s dropping off her bags of goodies for me to later discover.
The pattern can be downloaded for $2.99 (though they seem to consistently be running a buy-one-get-two-free promo). The printout does not come with instruction, but rather a link to a tutorial video. If I recall correctly, there was an item missing from the supply list and a few instances of unclear direction in the tutorial video. However, I was ultimately able to work out the details and was happy with the final product.
This was my first time working with nylon straps (though I have worked with canvas straps, which are similar), my first time assembling functional buckles, and my first successful attempt at using bias tape. The trickiest part was sewing through multiple layers, being sure to catch every layer while also smoothly navigating the corners. The bias tape step was also rough until I thought to hand baste stitch to hold the fabrics in place before approaching the task with my machine.
Please accept my apologies for my poor photography skills and mediocre photo quality. After years of casual and undocumented sewing, I am hoping to begin capturing the final products and–when I remember–the steps along the way and lessons learned. When the picture taking develops into a fun aspect, hopefully the quality will reflect that!
While the final product is not perfect–visible seams, restitching where the bias tape didn’t catch all layers of fabric, and a buckle strap landing a bit close to the zipper–I’m quite proud of the final product and looking forward to trying out the pattern again. I have already received requests from other family members that I made a similar bag, though in a subtler pattern.
This was one of the items as an add-on to my 2021 Make Nine Challenge. I have found I nearly always choose making gifts for others over making clothing and other items for myself, so we shall see how the rest of the year unfolds. I won’t be surprised if I complete all of my gift ideas before diving into some me-made clothing. I’ll keep you posted!