Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pattern review: "The Detour" Diaper Bag

This free diaper bag pattern is called "The Detour" Diaper Bag. Cute name for an okay bag.

The bag is a nice size, and bags with interior AND exterior pockets are now favorites of mine. But the straps are a little flimsy for the bag size, and the closure tab is awkward (I would rather if it were larger or a different type-- like just a snap or a zipper would be even better). I like the exterior pockets on the front and back, and would make it again using the front angled pockets on both sides.  I like her bottom oval to add shape to the bag, although mine didn't line up right on the interior or exterior pieces.  I would also add a thicker interfacing to the bottom if I made it again.

For the interior pockets, I did one side with a zipper and the other side with a lined patch pocket. I used waterproof fabric as the lining (Amy Butler oilcloth) to make it easier to keep clean (FYI: The exterior fabric is from IKEA, and I didn't do two types of exterior fabric as she recommends because I thought the bag was busy enough).

Actual construction of the bag had some bumps in the road.  The directions and pattern pieces were a bit unclear in a number of places.

First, the pattern pieces could have been labeled better.  The same terms weren't used on all of the pieces (i.e. "lining" or "exterior" etc.), so I had to go through and make sure I was cutting everything out of the right fabric before doing it.  Also, it was unclear why she has you hide a nice exterior piece of fabric inside the front pocket instead of using interfacing.  She says it is to make it more sturdy, but isn't that the point of interfacing?

During the construction of the bag, she skimmed over a number of details.  For example, she said to make the straps.  I find it helpful when the instructions say how to do that with the pieces you have cut, and she didn't do that.

I also added topstitching where I thought her example bag looked a bit rumply-- like at the top of the exterior pockets, along the strap sides, and along the top of the bag.  I should have turned the bag through a hole in the top instead of a hole in the lining, and used my topstitching to close the hole.  Instead, I followed her directions and left a hole in the lining and closed it at the end. I don't like when bags are turned this way, since it leaves a place in the bottom of the bag that looks different than the rest of the bag.  I know, it is the bottom, but still- I would prefer if it looked as polished as possible.

Overall, I found the amount of effort required for this bag (between interpreting her pattern pieces and directions, and actually making it) to be too high for how nice the bag is.  There are a lot of cuter and easier free diaper bag patterns out there.
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  1. Hi Nikki. I know this post is over a year old, but I was going to make this bag for my sister-in-law. I was so confused just now reading the free tutorial so I went on a search for more help and am glad i found your site! Can you help me with this if you have some free time for questions on the pattern? Any help would be great!

    Thank you - Amber



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