Babies will soon be popping out everywhere so my sewing for all the new babies continues. There's one thing I know, when they aren't sleeping / feeding / screaming, babies are pooping. One of my expecting friends showed me the changing mat she used first time round and just told me – it's just so big. I don't need all these pockets and things, all these bells and whistles. Just make it simple and small enough to carry about, but big enough at the same time. And it needs a wipe clean inner surface.
So I made one, and although it's great and is already on its way to a new home, I wanted to make one that closed up even smaller so I made a second version too. Here is the pattern and brief instructions for both.
Making up the baby changing mat pattern
You will need:
- 1 yard of fabric total – all the same or mix and match prints
- Piece of vinyl – 12 x 24 inches (optional)
- Low loft batting or fusible fleece – 12 x 24 inches
- Ready made bias tape or make your own from 1 fat quarter
- The pattern – download below
- Closures – sew on velcro or button and elastic loop
Option 1 – satchel style with handle
This bag is a little more open and loose in style than the second. It has a carrying handle and the pockets are placed at the bottom of the bag for easier access when you have a wriggling baby on there. But because of the lower pocket placement it doesn't wrap up as tightly as option 2 below. Pick which one you like best – both are made from the same pattern, and instructions for both are included in the download.
Download the pattern and check out the fabric sizes needed. Assemble the pattern piece for the top shaping. If you are making your own bias binding tape – start with this. You will need approx 4 yards if you use it efficiently. A little more is better. You can find tutorials on how to estimate, make and use bias tape on the tutorials page.
Start by assembling the pockets. Fold the fabric in half press. On the smaller pieces, trim the folded edge with your bias tape.
Match the raw edges of the smaller piece with the larger piece, at the sides and bottom. The pocket front is slightly wider so at the center bottom, create and pin a small pleat. Keep your pins away from the edge so you can sew past them, and then add your binding along the bottom and the two long sides. Repeat for the other pocket and set them aside for now.
Make your handle. Fold the fabric in half length-ways and press, then fold each side into the center and press, and fold again through the middle to get 4 layers. Once pressed, open out at the ends and fold the center fold back the other way so the raw edges are on the outside. Stitch with a 1/4 inch seam at each end, then turn right sides out again and turn out the corners neatly. Stitch all around the outside of the strap close to the edge.
Use your pattern piece to place the strap on your outer fabric. Leave a 1 inch gap from each side seam, and place the strap butting up to the bottom of the pattern piece. Pin in place and then stitch a 2.5 inch long rectangular box over your previous lines of stitching to hold it in place. (If you are using a fusible fleece, apply this to the outer fabric before sewing on the handle.)
Press the fabrics for the main body of the mat. All the fabrics are cut unshaped to start with and layered before cutting. Place the outside fabric face down. You can either use a fusible fleece on this fabric for a little padding, or a layer of low loft batting. Then add your inner fabric face up. If you are using a vinyl for a wipe clean finish, add this as the top layer. Match up all the edges and either pin in place (within the seam allowances so you don't pierce the vinyl), or use your Wonder Clips.
Use your pattern piece to shape the sandwich at one end. Place the pockets now so they'll be sewn in with the binding. For option 1 – the pockets were placed at 2 inches up from the bottom edge. Place them so the pocket front (the short side) is face down on the mat when folded.
Apply your bias tape all around the edge of the mat, catching and enclosing all raw edges and securing the pockets in place.
Once everything is sewn, its time to add your wipes and diapers and fold up the mat. Once you are happy with how you have it folded and made sure the handle is at the top, mark the placement of your velcro. Match up the pattern in the fabric if you can for a cool look. Stitch it in place making sure the soft fuzzy part is by baby's head and the rough scratchy side is on the outside. Completed!
Option 2 – the clutch style
Option 2 is almost the same, uses the same pattern etc, but has some small variations. See which one you prefer.
- Make the pockets the same.
- Don't add the handle to the outside
- Pin the pockets at 3 inches down from the top corners
When adding in the bias tape around the outside, make sure to slip a short piece of elastic or a hair elastic at the center top underneath the binding. Or, you can still close this one with Velcro – it's up to you.
Add your wipes and diapers to the pockets and fold up the bag. With the pockets in the upper position, it folds up much tighter and creates more of a clutch. If using Velcro, mark where to sew on both pieces. If using the elastic and button, mark where your button will go.
Sew on your velcro, or your button, close up your clutch and go. Oh, and don't forget the baby.
I'm already working on a third one of these and am thinking of adding some kind of wrist strap or hanging strap. What do you think? And which option do you prefer – 1 or 2?