Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tutorial: Scrappy Roll-Up Changing Pad

A few weeks ago, I outfitted this already useful, pretty Thirty-One Utility Tote with a pocket divider liner to make a totally fabulous diaper bag for my girlfriend.  When I finished the liner project, I had lots of large bits left over from the fat quarters.  What better way to use up the scraps than make a matching accessory?  In this case, I thought a changing pad was in order.

For the first step, I gathered all my remaining scrap pieces from sewing the tote liner.  I started with a set of coordinating fat quarters, so the dimensions I cut from them yielded some nice-sized rectangles.  I placed those on the design wall and moved them around until I liked the look of the pieces together (above).  I stitched two relatively equal panels together and pinned a store-bought changing pad over my scrappy panels to get a rough idea of the right size.

My store-bought changing pad is about 25 in x 17 in.  Using my rotary cutter and acrylic ruler, I added about 3 inches to the length plus an extra 1/2 inch on either side for seam allowances.  I cut a rectangle measuring 28 in x 18 in from each scrappy panel, as well as from two layers of fusible fleece interfacing.

Just to make sure we've got that straight, you should have four pieces now, cut to 28 x 18 inches:

2 scrappy panels
2 pieces fusible fleece

After cutting my panels and fusible fleece to size, I fused one cut of fleece to the wrong side of each scrappy panel.  Learn more about working with fusibles here

Lay your scrappy panels right sides together and pin them along the edges.  

Stitch the panels together with a 1/2 in seam allowance and leaving a hole approximately 6 inches long unstitched.  You'll use this hole to turn the piece right side out.  It's very easy to get distracted as you stitch your piece together and accidentally close up the hole or make it too small.  (Ask me how I know...)  So pay attention!  :)

Clip the points at each corner, but be careful not to clip your stitches!

Time to turn the changing pad inside out and press it, paying special attention to the outer edges.  The fabric will want to tuck under along the seam lines, so gently straighten it out before you press it down.  You may also need a crochet hook or chopstick to help you push the points out before you press.

When you press along the edge of the hole, make sure the flaps of the hole turn under a complete 1/2 inch, just like the rest of the seam allowances.  In the next step, you'll close the hole by top-stitching 1/4 inch from the top edge.  If your pressing isn't correct, you may find yourself with a messy closure.

Time to top-stitch all the way around, 1/4 in from the outer edge of the changing pad.  I like to start right before the opening for the hole, so that I remember to pay special attention to closing it carefully.  Be sure to overlap the starting and stopping points by a few stitches...1/2 inch usually works fine.

The hardest part's done!

The last step is to add a pretty ribbon to keep it neatly rolled in the diaper bag when it's not in use.  Start by rolling the pad up just the way you want it, then tie a ribbon around it.  Pin the ribbon in place on one side, making sure to only pin through one layer of the changing pad. 

Unroll the changing pad with the ribbon pinned in place.  If you've never done this and you're not sure about it, you might want to use this opportunity to see if you can replicate your folding and tying job before you stitch the ribbon down.  (Don't remove the pin!)

Finally, when you're confident your ribbon is placed and pinned in the right spot, stitch a little square about the size of a postage stamp through the ribbon and the changing pad to hold the ribbon in place.

Fold, tie and you're done!  Ta-da!

Didn't it turn out pretty with the Thirty-One Utility Tote liner?!  Find that project here