diy

Make It Monday.

Since the hubs bought me my fancy OneK helmet last Christmas, I've been toting it around in the box it came in.  This was less tacky while the box was still in good condition, but then the box started to die and I realized that I needed more to protect my precious.


As is my instinctual response these days, I went to Etsy.  But between cost and offerings, I couldn't find a helmet bag that I absolutely loved.  So, I figured, fuck it.  I can sew a straight line, right?

HAHAHAHA.

How hard could this be?

HAHAHAHA.

Hey, you know what, I'm gonna add a fucking zippered pocket.

You get it.
For some of this shit.
I bought fabric (half a yard of a pretty patterned that compliments the saddle cover Nicole made me and half a yard of fleece).  I washed the fabric, because after my curtains washed and shrunk three inches, I've learned my lesson.  And then I doggedly went to the internet to make my life easier.

The zippered pocket tutorial I feebly followed was found here.  She certainly made it look easy.

The lined-drawstring bag tutorial was found here.

  • Trim all the snagglies off your freshly washed fabric.
  • Turn your iron on.
  • Kinda sorta measure what you need.  I think I did 17x17 inches.
  • Even though your interior can technically be a long continuous piece of fabric, go ahead and cut it into two, because fuck life, stabby machines are fun.


  • Realize belatedly that you didn't follow the schematics in the tutorial for a drawstring bag and it that it doesn't really matter because everything is going to be sewed together anyways.
  • Turn your iron off because it's beeping.  Who bought an iron that beeps?  (D.)

  • Drink beer.
  • Measure out your zipper length and height.  I did not do a good job with this and my box was very crooked and uneven.  Instead of fixing it, I decided to wing it.  I traced the outer edges of the zipper and then sewed with the foot following the box.  I did not do a good job.  Just wait, though, because the bad gets better.
  • Cut according to the guide on the pocket tutorial, with a line down the center and little snips on both edges towards the corner.  Do this through both layers of fabric, otherwise it makes no sense.
  • Push the little scrap fabric (which you totally forgot to mention up to this point and which was roughly 6x7 inches from a fat quarter) from the exterior to the interior.  
  • Try to iron it, remember that you unplugged the iron because it beeped, plug it back in, get a refill, come back, and iron it even though ironing is not a skill you've ever mastered.

  • Using that same fat quarter you forgot to mention, roughly cut a big length (length of fat quarter by two inches?) and a short length (4x2).  Fold these in on themselves and iron them, so they'll look pretty when you sew them.  This won't matter too much, because you'll put them on wrong-side out anyways.
  • Sew your two pieces of scrap fabric.  Start to sew your zipper into the hole you've recently ironed and break your last needle on the big sewing machine.  I'm really, really good at this.


  • Whip out your sew mini machine, which is to the real sewing machine what a mini is to a horse.  This works out okay, though, because the big machine lives in the guest room and the mini is small enough to go on the coffee table, so the Harry Potter marathon can be enjoyed.

  • Attach your zipper.  Haha, straight lines.  I am so good at this.

  • Layer and pin the other half of your zippered pocket.  Bonus points if the two sizes don't match and you trim one and make it worse.  Sew those two together, but not to the exterior, because that would be silly.

  • Admire your craftmanship from the outside.

  • Stick the little tab down towards the bottom of one edge, but not all the way at the bottom.  Give it like an inch or two from the bottom.  Note to everyone else:  this isn't magically going to flip when you turn everything right-side-out, so go ahead and sew it right-side-out. 
  • Affix the longer strap towards the top of the other side, angled up, if you can swing it.  Leave a gap of about an inch  from where the outside fabric meets the fleece.  If you were a better seamstress, you would finish this spot.  But you aren't, so the unraveling edges are going to slowly drive you mad.
  • Catty-corner all four edges.  I don't know why.  Just do it.  Then cut them off.

  • Realize that you didn't leave a hole big enough to force all of the fabric back through.  So tear some of the stitching on what will be the interior (the fleece) and flip all that stuff out correctly. 

  • Poke all the corners and stuff.  Fold the hole you just created into itself and then stitch over it again.
  • Take a minute to acknowledge the fact that your straps are inside-out and the holes for your drawstring are unfinished.
  • (Unpictured) Sew around the top of the bag where the drawstring will go.  Take another minute to admire sewing machine engineers who make that so easy.
  • Considering that you've already canabalized the design from your Tipperary helmet bag, go ahead and steal the drawstring and squeeze-closer thing.  I have no good method for inserting that into the little hole, so I tied the string to a pen and was patient.

  • Play with the cat.

  • Play some more.
  • And more photos:

With helmet.
Owls and arrows.
A set of spurs and a set of gloves.
And the zippered pocket sits in the helmet, like I planned it or something.

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23 comments

  1. Still straighter lines than I can sew.

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  2. DYING. This is really similar to how my first set on DIY elbow patches went, except add hand-sewing and blood.

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  3. incredible!! and obviously cat approved! *slow clap*

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  4. Super cute!!
    Also...is that a Siamese I see? I have one and I am literally obsessed. I need more cats in my life.

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  5. I can't sew so this looks like magic to me

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  6. You did this AND watched Harry Potter? Damn girl.

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  7. Cute. Clever. Hilarious narrative to boot.

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  8. Best. Crafting. Tutorial. Ever.

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  9. This made me laugh throughout the entire thing.

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  10. Perfect tutorial. Expertly described. LOL. Hey, girl, props to you for making it.

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  11. Make it Monday...as in making my day!!!

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  12. I mean, if you can operate your sewing machine, you're doing better than me. You a badass, Beka!

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  13. OMG, I actually laughed out loud at work while reading this. This is amazing.

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  14. I so admire the fact that you can figure out how to make it work. I probably would have thrown it across the room and went and bought one online.

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  15. The "squeeze closer thing" had me dying lol.

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  16. We should (probably never) do projects together, LOLOLOL! But well done, because IT WORKED -- my end result is usually, "If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you ever tried." ;P

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  17. Sounds like quite the adventure!

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  18. Love it! This post made me add buy a sewing machine and learn to sew to my to do list.

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