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2-in-1 Bag: Stroller Bag into a Messenger Bag

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Okay, stroller users.  
We need to talk about a few things.
Do you have one of these bag problems while strolling around with your little kiddo(s) in tow?
  • Your purse/bag handles aren’t long enough to fit over both stroller handles, making it difficult to find a place to hang your purse?
  • You decide to sling both straps over one of the stroller handles but it hangs too low and then wacks you in the leg each time you take a step?
  • Or maybe you skip the purse all together and just throw your wallet, some diapers, your keys and phone down into the storage basket below the stroller.  But then you arrive somewhere where you can’t take the stroller inside, so you have to grab your loose things from below, plus a squirmy child, and enter your destination.  Eek.
Can you relate?
Well, we are heading down to FL for a week getaway and my word, I’m tired of the bag/stroller dilemma.
So I needed a quick-acting conversion bag.  
So, here’s my solution.
This bag begins as a stroller bag with 2 snap on straps on each side, holding the bag up high and out of the way.  It also keeps the bag from slipping off the stroller handle(s).
The heavy duty snaps attach and release quickly, making the transformation speedy.
So when you’re ready to convert it into a messenger bag, just remove the permanently attached longer strap that is hidden inside of the bag while not in use…
Then un-snap the two side straps, removing the bag from the stroller.  
Next, sling the long strap over your shoulder and attach it to the short strap that was previously used as one of  the stroller straps.  
Then, just snap the two snaps, press the velcro into place (for added strength)………
………and you’re ready to go.  
The other short strap that is not in use, can be re-snapped into a loop and then used as a toddler handle if needed.  (Remember this post here?  Sometimes the little walkers just need something to hold onto.)
And then when you return back to the stroller, just quickly re-attach the side straps to the stroller, tuck the long strap back into the bag, and you’re on your way again.
And oh my, thanks to this sweet friend of mine for demonstrating her little guts out for me.  
Made it nice and easy for me.  
Thanks Lizzie.  You’re great.  And your spunk……..ahhh, it’s refreshing. 
Anyone in need of their own 2-in-1 Stroller/Messenger Bag?
Here’s how I made mine.
I started out with two outer pieces of fabric and two pieces of lining, all of which measured 12 x 22 inches.  (My outer pieces of fabric were very sturdy pieces of upholstery fabric.  The lining pieces are just plain ‘ol cotton.  Worked great for this project.)
Then I placed the two outer pieces of fabric together with right sides together and sewed along the short sides and along the bottom, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance……and left the top open.  Then I zig-zagged around those 3 sides as well.  I did the same thing with the 2 lining pieces.
Then, I grabbed one of the bottom corners, stuck my hand up inside the bag, and then opened up the fabric a bit so that I could fold the corner down like shown below.  Now the side seam of the bag is going up the front of this new point and the bottom seam of the bag is going directly down the back of this new point.  Make sense?
Then, keeping the folded corner exactly in place, I measured down two inches from the tip of the point, and placed a pin in place.
Then I sewed a straight line right across.  And then another line right above that, to secure it in place.  Repeat with the other corner and then both corners of the lining.
Then turn the outer fabric right side out and leave the lining inside out………and iron your seams flat as best you can.
Next cut out two pieces that are 17.5 x 14.5 inches, to be used for your bag flap.
 Place the two pieces together with right sides together, then sew along the sides (14.5 inches) and the bottom (one of the 17.5 inch sides).  Leave the top open.
Then clip the two bottom corners.  (Not sure why?  Take a look at why, here.)
Then turn the bag flap right side out, poke out the corner and then press flat.  Then top-stitch around the 3 sides, making a seam about an 1/8 of an inch from the outer edge.
 Onto the straps.
Cut out one outer piece of fabric and one piece of lining that is 43 x 3 1/4 inches.  And then cut 2 outer pieces of fabric and 2 pieces of lining that are 10 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches.
Then sew the two long pieces together along the sides and one end, with right sides together.  Then sew each shorter piece together with its matching piece of lining, with right sides together.  Again, sew along the sides and one end.  Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Then trim each corner on the one end of each strap piece, turn right side out, and press flat.  Then top-stitch around the 3 sides, making a seam about an 1/8 of an inch from the outer edge.
Now onto putting the bag together.
Take one of the short straps and place it face up on top of the long piece, which is also facing up. 
Match up their raw, un-sewed ends.
Then turn the two straps over and line up the exact middle of the 2 3/4 inch wide straps, right up with one of the side seams of your main bag piece.  See the two straps there, with the right side of the fabric facing the right side of the bag fabric?
And instead of lining up the upper edges of the bag opening and the raw edges of the two straps, raise the straps up about a half inch above the edge of the bag opening and then pin in place, making sure the center of the strap is still lined up with that center side seam of the bag.  (Doing this will allow you to have extra fabric to secure the straps to the bag, and provide you with more fabric to create seams to secure the bag strap in place.  You’ll understand better later on.)
Then attach the other short strap to the other side seam of the bag, raising the strap above the top edge of the bag by about a 1/2 inch.  Make sure to have right sides together and center the strap right along that side seam.
Next, grab your bag flap, turn it over, and attach it to the front of the bag with pins along the top……placing right sides together.  Make sure to match up the raw edges of the bag flap (the un-sewn edges) with the raw edge of the bag.  And also be sure to center the bag flap between the two side seams, along the front of the bag.
Once your straps and bag flap are all securely pinned into place, drop your bag down inside of the lining.  At this point, your bag is right side out and your lining is inside out……..making the two fabrics rights sides together after you drop it down inside.
Line up the side seams and the top raw edges, and pin it into place all the way around the bag.
Sew all the way around the top, securing the straps and bag flap into place but leave about a 10 inch opening along the front side, opposite the bag flap.  Use a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
Then turn the bag right side out, pulling it out through that hole that you left.  Then fold the raw edges of the opening down towards the inside of the opening hole, a 1/2 inch.  Pin into place.  Then iron flat all the way around the bag opening.
Then top-stitch around the top opening of the bag, making a seam about an 1/8 of an inch from the upper edge.  Even continue sewing all the way around to the back of the bag, keeping the back seam flat and in place.
Then, sew  a rectangle with an ‘X’ through it, adding extra strength to those side straps. 
**Remember that extra 1/2 inch that you added as you pinned the strap to the bag earlier on?  This allows the strap to hang down even lower so that you can create this rectangle with the ‘X’ in it.  There is no need to make the rectangle any lower than the strap ends that are inside of the bag……so feel for the ends of the strap and use that as a guide to sew your rectangle.
Lastly, adding the hardware.
I purchased these heavy duty snaps in a package of 8, at Walmart for a few dollars.  I added two snaps to the base of each of the short straps……and the back side of the snaps to the other end of the short straps.
So that I could snap the ends down to the base, creating a loop for both sides of the bag.
Then on the long piece, I added two snaps to the end.  Then on the short piece (that is on the opposite side of the long piece), I added the back sides of these snaps about 4 1/2 inches from the end.  Then I placed some wide velcro (also purchased at Walmart) along the underside of the long strap and then on the front side of the short strap.  This will give the strap extra strength when being used as a messenger bag.
And then when the long strap is connected to the short strap, it looks like this.
Lastly, add a bit of velcro to the under side of the bag flap and then along the front of the bag.  
You could add snaps or buttons instead.  Whatever you prefer.
There you have it.
All done.
And because life just got a little simpler, you may just find yourself completely excited to speed along your way with your new 2-in-1 bag.
Go on, get going.

Comments

  1. Christy, Home-Mom.com says:

    awww this is beautiful, I love your fabric and this is going to "the list" of projects I want to attempt. Thanks ;)

  2. bethanndodd says:

    My stroller days are pretty much over but I still LOVE it!!! Have fun (and get some much needed relaxation) in Florida!!!

  3. Nikki - Lilybug_Designs says:

    This is genius! I might just need to make myself one.

  4. Наталя says:

    THANK YOU!!! I just think about sewing stroller bag. Your tutorial is great!

  5. Kristi says:

    Brilliant! I SO need to make one of these! {Love your fabric choices too : )}

  6. Michelle says:

    I LOVE THIS!!! I'm due with baby #2 next week and have a 16 month old, so going out without a place to store diapers and money and such is not an option. I can't wait to whip this up and make my double stroller look less frumpy and more awesome! Thanks :)

  7. halifax loan says:

    Thank you for this post. great tutorial.

  8. cuppycakey says:

    Wow, that is a great invention! You are super creative! Also, I just had to comment on the stroller! We have the same one with the double attachment and we love it! I have never seen another one in use so it's cool to see it here! :)
    So, I love your tutorials, they are so easy to follow, so clear, and make everything seem so do-able! Awesome job!

  9. The Whitings in Philly says:

    Hi…I've been friends with Lizzie since our husbands both started dental school in Philly and she recently mentioned on her blog that she's friends with you. As soon as I saw that first picture, I wondered if it was Lizzie – I recognized her body! She's a great model, huh? Happy to see her on here. I agree about her spunk! And that is a great looking bag too. I love all your ideas.

  10. MNorman says:

    AWESOME!!! Is this something they actually make that you came up with your own "instructable" for??? or is this your idea? Its genius and you should totally sell these!!!! I can't sew that well — I would love to buy one! And I love the pattern of your bag.

  11. jehan says:

    I. LOVE. YOU….right now. Perfect. My next project (I hope)

  12. Aubrey says:

    Hey Ashley.
    This is perfect!!!! I have another baby coming in January and this is exactly what I'm looking for!
    Have you ever thought of including a PDF file along with your tutorial so we can print these awesome instructions? I have a bit of a tough time getting my computer into my sewing room, that would help a ton!

  13. lorchick @ ON{thelaundry}LINE says:

    k, you have no idea how nuts-awesome the timing on this tutorial is. Literally last night I was googling diaper bag and messenger bag patterns because I want to make my own diaper bag and I want that style. Mine will be sporting some pockets on the inside and I'm going to make the outer fabric a nice wipeable oilcloth, but that is tiny little adjustments to the perfect design, plus a bonus Brilliant Idea. I love it. Thankyouthankyouthankyou!

  14. Goings on at the Glenn's says:

    perfect! My little sister mentioned that she wants a messenger bag on her last visit. I think this will be something I make for her for Christmas this year!

  15. Allison and Mason: says:

    This idea is genius. I think it's my all time favorite. You should get a patient on it and you'll be famous because once mom's start seeing these out there they will want one!! You should sell them at your shop!

    Well done!!

  16. WannaBcrafty says:

    This has to be the cutest thing EVER… Thanks so much for sharing :) Sooo super cute

  17. Laurel and Jeremy says:

    Yay! Thanks so much! And I love her shirt!!! where did she get it?

  18. Mormishmom says:

    This is awesome!

  19. Katie @ Not Just Decorating says:

    What a good idea. You are so creative. I've been reading your blog for a while and I'm always amazed at how many great ideas you come up with. You have inspired me to start my own and I just did. So I wanted to say thanks :)

  20. Antigone says:

    great idea! thanks a lot Ashley ;D

  21. Joseph's Grainery Recipes says:

    What a brilliant solution! My shins thank you!

  22. Aimee says:

    I am so impressed. How clever you are!

  23. anne says:

    O my gosh! That is BRILLIANT! Can't wait to make my own. :)

  24. Olga says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea!!! How clever! Might have to make me one of those now!

  25. Bnmspanier says:

    I so wish i could sew! You should make them and people can order them!!!

  26. Here I Am. says:

    LOVE this idea! I just ordered a new diaper bag for this reason alone and now I could have made this..oh well..still probably will :)Thanks for sharing!

  27. Porche' says:

    Awesome tutorial! It was so easy to follow, even for a novice sewer like myself. You are incredibly talented. Thanks!

  28. caryn says:

    Dear Ashley, stop being so cute. Love Caryn.

    That's genius, Ash – how the heck do you come up with all of this stuff and have time to do it?!??

  29. anhesty says:

    fabulous diy! thanks!

  30. hsbc loan says:

    that's very handy, its really wonderful

  31. Melissa says:

    You. Are. Brilliant. 'nough said.

  32. Melissa says:

    Maybe you should have patented this one! Sure Genius! It is so stylish and functional. Amazing!

  33. Lu says:

    Wow, LOVE! Combines two of my faves, strolling and messenger bags! Thanks for the tutorial. Can't wait to make one!

  34. inday_adin says:

    Genius!!! I love this idea. Thank you so much for sharing. This would be great as a baby shower gift, don't you think? Love, Love, Love it!

  35. Rebekah says:

    Absolutely BRILLIANT! This would make a great shower gift.

  36. Romberg Family says:

    That is the greatest idea!!! So simple and funny to think that no one has ever come up with something like that!!

  37. Amanda says:

    Oh man, I need to make one of those! I have been trying to figure out how to make one, but haven't put enough thought/energy into it…thanks for doing that for me! You always have awesome tutorials! Thank you SO MUCH!!!

  38. Heather says:

    That is a super cool idea! :)

  39. Valerie says:

    This is one of the greatest ideas…ever!

  40. Queen Bee says:

    OMG! I desperately LOVE this but, unfortunately, I can't sew a lick!! Maybe you will put them in your SHOP?? PA-LEEEEEEESE????

    Your wonderful tutorials leave me, once again, hate being sew-handicapped! Umph!

  41. Brandy @ Gluesticks says:

    That is fabulous! I love it! I made this bag for my umbrella stroller a few months ago. It works great, but would be nice to convert it to a purse too. As usual, you think of everything! :)

    https://brandyscrafts.blogspot.com/2010/05/stroller-makeover.html

  42. Mandy says:

    So I am leaving for a Florida getaway on Saturday, and now you've just convinced me that I need to made this bag before I leave, as if packing stuff for 4 kids wasn't enough to consume the week!! :)
    maybe we'll see you there….

  43. Angie says:

    This is a great bag – what a cool concept.

  44. Auntie Louisa says:

    That's a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  45. Daisha says:

    What an awesome idea and tutorial. If I get brave enough I'll give it a try!

  46. Cathy says:

    This is AMAZING!! Thank you for another wonderful tutorial.

  47. Kelly's Korner says:

    Very cool tutorial! I am out of the stroller phase, but the tutorial for the bag was helpful for me!

  48. Emine İncefidan says:

    Woww.Wonderfull.
    Thanks…

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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