Thursday, January 29, 2015

Make Your Own Water Bottle Sling!

Hey my sewing buddies. I took a little break from sewing because I knew there was no way I could get my machine during the holiday madness. I was right and a little wrong because I was able to complete a sewing project but I had to do it on the fly! I made two Water Bottle Carriers/Slings/Holders for my niece and nephew.

I know I sound like the grinch but I’m not super fan of Christmas. One of the things I don’t like about it is gift giving! Don’t get me wrong I love giving gifts (and receiving them), I just prefer to do it organically rather than being forced to by cultural norms. But my rebellious logic melts away when it deals with kids….. and I will, of course, get them Christmas gifts.  But if you are over the age of 12, sorry for yea.

My niece and nephew were in town during the holidays and I know this sounds weird but originally I wasn't going to get them anything while they were here but ONLY because they were doing a lot of traveling so I didn't want to load them down. But I started trying to think of something small, lightweight, and compatible so that they could pack them. BUT I didn't want to just get them some crap gift. They are cool kids who are very active and on the go-go-go. I didn't think there was anything I could make in a day that fit that bill but then…. I remember seeing a water bottle carrier/holder pattern on my pinterest page. It works out great because it can be crammed into their suitcase, I could get access to their current ones for measurements, I could make them essentially the same gift (which I love), and it looked fairly simple to do.

Now please keep in mind that I sewed this literally the day before Christmas, so I don't remember everything about it. The only reason I'm sharing this project is because the tutorial I found was great, the project is pretty cool overall and I think it's a great gift for kids. Originally I thought of buying them cool new water bottles and then making the customized water bottle carriers to go with them (I also thought of making them super hero costumes, but talked myself out of that)…. But I saw their water bottles lying around the house so I just snuck in a couple of quick measurements when no one was looking.

My source for information about this sewing project came from Melly Sews and even though I didn't follow her pattern or instructions (lol - sorry I never do, do I?) I liked her blog post: it was easy to read and gave me confidence to do it on my own! I chose to do mine differently than hers for a couple of random reasons and you’ll see why later. Anyways I was inspired by some fat quarters I got at that sewing convention I went to last year and some jelly rolls that my mom gave me. With those two things I can make practically anything!!!!!!!

I am still learning for my lessons and this time I did a test run before making the final one. The main reason that I chose to do a test first is because I was doing it so differently than the instructions on the tutorial. I think one of the reasons I deviated from the tutorial was because I wanted them to make the closure at the top differently. Instead of being open I wanted to create an opening that can be closed with a drawstring. I think just playing with a fat quarter made me realize that I can make one complete water bottle holder from the fact quarter (folded in half) and the excess fabric could be cut in half (approximately) and used for the bottom and the closure at the opening.

I don't remember the water bottle measurements but I'm guessing they were about 5 inches in diameter. So my thought was to cut it slightly larger and I would just stitch it up and turn it around. I am NOT doing very good job of describing this am I?

You can kinda see what I mean here the rectangle on the left is the water bottle holder, and the two pieces on the right would become the closure at the top and the circle piece for the bottom of the holder. I love the way I did it. It was much easier and they were essentially lined in the end - which rules.

Well you can see here that they turned out pretty good. The cord stops were left over from my gym bag drawstring project. Ahh I miss that gym bag. And the clip releases I picked up at Handcock’s on my way to the house to give them their gifts. I literally had to slip into my mom's sewing room to sew it all together!

Anyways I think there was other stuff I wanted to talk about…..

  • Pining and sewing a circle piece into place was interesting.  I don't know if I have done that before, it was a little tricky. I want to see if there are other instruction on how to do that.
  • Oh I know what I want to talk about is some of the things I would do differently. I wouldn't change the holder at all (I think my top closure piece is so cool) but the strap situation I would definitely change. I love the clip but what I don't like is how the strap attaches to the holder. In the tutorial the step for attaching the strap to the holder is very similar to a tote bag sort of construction. I didn't do it that way.  I just stitched the strap straight onto the holder across from the clip. But what I think I would do next time is I would cut/stitch two large button hole type openings that fit the width of the strap and thread the straps through them!!! RIGHT? Can you picture it?!?  This would allow the holder to move around the strap. If I was to do it that way I'd also would put a couple of snaps on the holder and the strap so that way if the water bottle holder was against their back it would lay flat against the strap when snapped down! Can you picture it!!!??! Makes me so excited to try again! I guess I will have to make all these variations and take better pictures so I can show you guys what I'm talking about.
  • What is really surprising about this project was how much it allowed me to be creative. I have a gazillion new ideas for this project and I think it could be very interesting and cool to make them as gifts.  Gifts for people and kids who like to hike.  Like me!   

Thanks for reading you silly seamster readers.  :)