How to make a wet bag with a zipper closure (keeps smells in better!}

April 29, 2015

Cloth Diapers, DIY

Last week I posted about making an easy wet bag with a draw string closure. Many of you asked me how to make a wet bag with a zipper because it helps contain the mess and smell so much better. With Ellie’s permission I am re-sharing a post that was originally on the Babyville Blog. It’s full of great pictures to help you along as you make the wet bag yourself. If you are looking to save money or are just interested in DIY cloth diaper projects, be sure to check out our other DIY posts.

Thank you to Jessica (a 25 year old mama to 3 beautiful little girls currently ages 4, 2 1/2, and 6 months) for writing this post and for allowing me to share it here.

When you use cloth diapers, you’ll find it is necessary to have a place to store dirty diapers when you are out and about running errands or visiting friends. A PUL wet bag is a great option, and it is fast and simple to create. They are also great bags for transporting wet clothing like swimsuits. In this tutorial, I am making a wet bag that will finish approximately 12” x 12”, however; you can alter these instructions to make any size wet bag you want!

Supply List (for 12″ x 12″ bag). ‘Of course you can make this out of any print you choose. All supplies can be purchased at Joann Fabric and Craft Stores or on Amazon.’

Yellow PUL – 13″ x 22″
Monkey PUL – 13″ x 4″
Zipper – 12″
FOE (fold over elastic)– 12″
Monkey Applique
Snaps and Snap Pliers – optional

1. Place yellow PUL and monkey PUL fabric sides together, aligning one 13” edge and pin using ball point pins.

2. Stitch together using a 3/8” seam allowance then turn to fabric side, making sure the seam allowance underneath is folded toward yellow PUL. You can pin to secure seam allowance in place if needed.

3. Topstitch along yellow PUL, making sure the seam allowance is caught in the stitching. I find it easier if I line my presser foot with the seam line but move my needle over to the side where the topstitching will be stitched.

4. Next, attach any appliques or labels. I like to use my fabric glue stick to hold everything in place before stitching them.

5. Use a straight stitch or narrow zigzag around your applique or label to attach it. To prevent any leaking from the stitching holes, you can place another piece of PUL behind the applique. For more instructions on sewing appliques to PUL, refer to the Babyville Boutique book, Cloth Diapers Made Easy.

6. Next place your zipper on the fabric side of the top edge of the monkey PUL. Make sure the zipper teeth are facing down. Stitch the zipper to the PUL along the top edge. You can use a zipper foot if you have one for your machine. Also, it is optional whether or not to pin your zipper in place before stitching. I usually don’t but if you do, remember to remove the pins before stitching over them.

7 After stitching, fold the zipper back and topstitch along the monkey PUL to secure it in place. I find I can use my zipper foot along the zipper teeth as a guide for my topstitching but use whatever foot is best for you. On a regular foot, you can always adjust your needle position when you topstitch.

8.  Next, stitch the other side of the zipper to the opposite 13” end of the yellow PUL. It is usually easier if you stitch with the zipper on the top but make sure the PUL is facing with the fabric sides together.

9. Turn the wet bag to the fabric side and then topstitch the zipper as referred to in Step 8. TIP:  It is important to make sure you unzip the zipper from this point on. You do not want to figure out how to open it later.

10. At this point, your bag should look like this:

11. With the zipper unzipped, turn the bag to the wrong (laminate) side. Arrange the bag so there is about 1” of the yellow PUL above the zipper. You may have to put in a few pins along the seam allowance to hold it in place.

12. For the FOE handle, insert the FOE inside the bag along the top edge, just above the zipper. The edge of the FOE should align with the seam. I usually place the handle so it will be on the side of the bag opposite the opened end of the zipper. * For this bag, I am doing a snapping handle so I am only sewing the FOE on one end. If you want a looped handle, make sure to position the FOE so you will be stitching both ends in the seam.

13.  Pin the side seam of the bag together, making sure to secure the FOE in the seam.

14. Before pinning the opposite side together, make sure the top measurement is the same on both sides. Your cutting mat is great for checking the top measurement.

15. Continue pinning the side seam, checking to make sure bag is even on both sides.

16. Stitch the side seams together making sure to catch the FOE and zipper ends in the stitching. Backstitch at the beginning and end. Again, make sure your zipper is unzipped before stitching.

17. Trim the corners, then turn the bag right side out through the opened zipper. Now you can see why it is important to make sure it is left unzipped!

18. If you chose a looped handle, your bag is finished and you can skip to Step 22, but for a handle with a snap closure, you will need your pliers, awl, and a set of snaps (2 caps, a stud, and a socket).

19. Using the awl, poke a hole in the middle of the FOE about 1” from the seam.

20.  Apply the stud portion of the snaps following the Babyville pliers’ instructions.

21. Fold the raw end of the FOE over about an inch and again use the awl to make a hole and apply the socket portion of the snaps.

22. TADA!  Your wet bag is complete! Be sure to machine dry your bag on a hot temperature for about 20 minutes to make sure the stitching holes are sealed.

What kind of wet bags do you find hold the smell in best? Have you ever made one yourself?

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About Jennifer Reinhardt

Jenn is a WAHM to two beautiful little girls. Sophia (4.5 years old) and Norah (4 months). She closed her business, Curves, when she found out she was pregnant so she could stay home with her first daughter. Now Jenn spends her time spreading the love of fluff and sharing common sense answers that help to make cloth diapers easy for everyone.

View all posts by Jennifer Reinhardt

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