Friday, October 14, 2011

Little lady hip-sack tutorial....

You know how all kids collect things when they're on a walk or a hike or just outside in general?  Well, in my earlier Mommy days, I would just give the boys Ziploc sandwich bags to do their collecting.... then I realized how much we actually walked and hiked and were outside in general.... not very cost efficient or environmentally friendly to be using so many plastic baggies.

Anyhow, when my husband decided that his pair of camo cargo work-around-the-house pants were no longer fit for working around the house,  I snatched them up very quickly and ripped off those big, bulky cargo pockets and made hip-sacks for my boys.... they use them for everything!  Collecting, taking toys to Great-Grans, helping Daddy with working-on-type-projects.... they have been one of my most successful D.I.Y. sewing projects.

I figured it was high time I got around to making a girlie version for the mini-monkey....  Only this time, instead of using a cargo pocket (as I was told to "Stay away from my pants!"), I used a cut-off denim pant leg....

Here it goes....

What you'll need:

- cut off pant leg (demin or any other sturdy fabric leg)
- woven trim
- webbing for the strap backing
- hook and loop... aka velcro
- thread
- sewing machine
- button
- thin elastic for button closure
- embellishments (or not, totally your choice)

Cut an 8-10" length from the bottom of one pant leg.

At this point, decide which embellishments you would like to be sewn to the front of the hip sack.  This should be done before you sew the bottom of the sack closed as it's easier to slip the pant leg over the free-arm on your machine and maneuver it with ease.

 For this hip sack I created a ruching (pronounced roo-shing) effect on the front.  I cut a length of denim about twice the width of the pant leg from side seam to side seam. and roughly 2.5" wide.  I chose not to zig-zag the edges or do any kind of finishing hems to this... I want it to fray on the raw edges.  Sew a gathering stitch down the centre of the denim strip, causing the strip to ruffle.  Iron it flat and pin it to the front of the pant leg.  

Sew it on down the middle using a loose zig-zag stitch, then attach the raw edges to the sack using the same loose zig-zag roughly a 1/4" in from both edges. 

At this point, or when you're done with your embellishing, zig-zag the raw edges of the bottom of the bag then sew the bottom closed.  Use the finished jean/pant hem as the top opening of your hip sack... it's just easier that way, is less work, well, and makes sense :)

To create a wider bottom to the sack, push the side seam of the sack toward the bottom seam to create a point.  Sew across the point about 1" in, do this to both sides of the bottom of the sack... this will create a flat-ish bottom to your hip sack.

Sew the webbing to the back of your woven trim.  This will give you a stronger and more structured belt-like strap.  Cut a length of hook and loop closure about 4-5" long.  Sew the loop side of the hook and loop to one end of the strap on the woven trim side; sew the hook side onto the webbing side of the strap at the opposite end of the strap.

Attach the sack to the belt/strap in the middle of the strap, making sure to sew along the entire width of the back of the hip sack, this will ensure that it lays against your child's body nicely and doesn't sag in an odd manner.   Attach a loop of elastic to the middle back of opening of the sack and a button to the middle front about 1/2" down from the top; this will create a closure for the top of the hip sack.

And voila!  You're done!  Give it to your little lady and let the collecting begin!

Usually, the three hip sacks in our house get filled with rocks from one of our many hikes, then once home, they all get added to our rock garden.  It's a good thing we all have an affinity toward rocks.... I say, in the next 5 years or so, our little rock pile will be a mountain at my front door :D 

Aaaanyway, give it a try.... I highly suggest using a cargo pocket, if you can, as it will cut out the creating the flat-bottom pocket step and the button closure step as well, as most cargo pockets already have a flap closure.  Either way, your children will love these great little hip sacks.

Have a nice day all    ;)


  1. Grandma needs a hip-sack! "Grandma, can you carry this?" =:-)

  2. I know what that's like! That was another reason for the hip-sacks.... it's helped a bit, until they fill them up anyway :P