Monday, May 9, 2016

Why I love Fanny Pack's and how you can DIY one for FREE!!!

I know that the 'Fanny Pack' isn't in the latest magazine of Vogue as a huge fashion accessory "must have", but it should be in the "I don't want to hold my purse while I'm at the park, but I need to have my phone, chapstick, cash, and lotion just in case" magazine. Still working on the title, but the point is I want my bare necessities with me without having an aching shoulder. I really don't need my entire purse while my son's going down the slide and too many times I see mom's struggle with the same thing. I've literally seen a few moms juggling their kids water bottles, a wallet, a phone, some chapstick, and their keys. Why do that when you can strap it to your waist and forget it? I'll tell you why...because they're freaking expensive! I went to Target to look for a nice simple one. Want to know how much it was? $27!!!!! Nope, nopety, nope. I don't even buy the expensive shampoo, you think I'm going to spend $27 for some fabric and a zipper? I had so much extra crafting supplies at home, I knew I could whip up a makeshift fanny pack for nothing! 

Now, I will admit that I had everything I needed, so this fanny pack literally cost me $0. Seeing as how not everyone has buttons, a zipper, an old bet, and some fabric lying around, I thought I'd give you the run down on how much it could cost you, in case you don't have any supplies lying around. 

Zipper: $2 JoAnn Fabric Store
1 Yard of fabric (depending on how big you want it): $1 JoAnn Fabric Store/remnants
1 Button: $2 JoAnn Fabric
Thread: $2 JoAnn Fabric 
Belt: $1 Thrift Store
Total: $8

That was just an idea. A MUCH easier way is by going to your local thrift store, find a pair of men's fancy trouser pants for $3 and then you'll have the fabric, zipper, and button. Get yourself a cheap $1 belt and go to Sally's for the thread (Hair weaving thread. It's extremely strong) for $1.20, and there you have it. All the materials you need.

After you've disassembled the zipper CAREFULLY, removed any buttons you want to use, and you've got your thread ready to go, grab a pair of scissors, a white colored pencil, and a needle. 

WARNING: I'm not a seamstress. I'm not a pro. I don't know the correct terms, but I can describe to the best of my abilities and provide pictures. If you are confused at any point in time, feel free to comment or email me. I will be happy to help as best I can. Here we go:

1. DESIGN: Grab your fabric (in my case an old pant leg from men's trousers I'd cut into a pair of fall shorts), fold it in half (again, it was a pant leg so it was already doubled up), and draw the outline of your fanny pack. You can see in my picture where I cut out. You can also see 2 squares on the side of the cut out. The reason being is that the top of the square represents the top of the fanny pack, while the bottom of the square represents where I'll sew the zipper. Also, If you go with a pant leg, it actually saves time. You can simply use the pre-sewn area of the fabric, as the bottom of your fanny pack. Thus only making you sew the sides and top. Cut out your pattern through both pieces of the fabric, making sure to add approximately 1/2 an inch to an inch extra around your entire fanny pack. You need that space for the sewing. If you aren't sure on how big to make your fanny pack, maybe figure out what you want to put inside it. If the biggest item is your phone, measure enough space for your phone to fit.

2. SEW ZIPPER: Cut off about 2 inches - IN A STRAIGHT LINE - from the top of the fanny pack. Only do this to ONE half of your 2 cut pieces of fabric. Sew the zipper to the 2 inches of fabric cut off. Sew the other side of the zipper to the bottom portion of fabric where you cut off the 2 inches. To ensure no one see's the sewing line, simply line up the fabric edge to the zipper's edge and sew like a sandwich. Do this on the "inside" portion, so that the thread will only be visible from the inside. See picture for reference. 

3. POCKET DESIGN: To create a pocket you need to plan out what shape you want the flap and how big. If you want a triangle shaped flap like I chose, simply cut out a 5" x 7" rectangle and a 9" x 7" rectangle. The added 4" is so you can play with the shape while cutting it down. If the pocket is too big when you cut it out, it's ok. You need a little extra room to sew and to fit accurately. I decided to add a little lace to my triangle flap. The way I chose to attach it was by using super glue. My only fear was that I didn't want the top of the lace to fray too much, so what I did was take 2 strips of white ribbon, glue on each side of the top portion of the lace (like a lace sandwich), and then glue the ribbon to the fabric. This way it would have a little bit stronger stick. You can always choose to glue on one strip of ribbon to the lace, sew that portion to the pocket, and then glue another strip over the lace and thread. Giving it even more strength. Sew your button to the pocket (don't pierce through both pieces of fabric) and cut a small slit in the pockets flap. Just big enough to securely fit over the button. 

4. SEW POCKET: Attach your pocket to the fanny pack. Be sure to sew from the "inside" of your fanny pack. Also, decide beforehand if you want an extra "pocket" behind the buttoned pocket or not. I opted for the extra "pocket" behind my lace pocket for my chapstick. I'm always in need of it (super dry lips), so instead of searching, I wanted it to have it's own little area. To do an "extra pocket", simply attach the buttoned pocket by only sewing the sides and bottom portion to the fanny pack. The top will act as your pockets opening. If you don't want an extra pocket, simply sew the top portion as well to the fanny pack. 

5. SEW FANNY PACK: Sew the sides and top (and bottom if you didn't use a pant leg like mine) of your entire fanny FROM THE INSIDE. Don't worry, you can turn it right side in through the zippers opening. Just make sure to double - even triple - the thread. This is holding your necessities, so you want to it to be strong enough for everything. Including your phone. When in doubt, thread it out! Horrible joke, good concept. 

6. TRIPLE CHECK: Once you've double checked your stitching, turn your fanny pack right side in and get a good look at it. Make sure the zipper doesn't have any holes around it, everything's attached strongly, and that it's up to par so far. Remember, it doesn't have to be absolutely perfect. Yes some of us have OCD, but honestly this is about making a free - if not cheap - fanny pack that's personalized for YOU! No one will have the right to critique your beautiful work, so don't worry. 

7. BELT: Make two small slits in the back of your fanny pack, just wide enough for your belt to slide through. Try to find a thin belt, it disguises easier. If you prefer not to use a belt, you can use a strap from an old purse, a piece of fabric that you can simply tie to your fanny pack, or even a thin scarf. Again, it's for YOU. Once you've picked out your ideal strap (I chose thin gold belt. I liked the contrast against my dark green fabric and white lace), thread the strap/belt through the holes in the back. Attach to you and see exactly where and how you want it to hang. Once you've got it figured out, attach your belt to your fanny pack by sewing TIGHTLY around it. You don't want to pierce the actual belt, as it can be difficult and painful. I tried. Head my warning! If you just loop the thread around the belt tightly, you'll be ok. See picture for reference. 

8. DONE: After attaching your strap, test it out. Make sure it hangs nicely, it holds what you need, and you're happy with it! If all is well, you're done! If for whatever reason you aren't happy with how it's sitting, you can simply readjust it by ripping the stitches (you can use a stitch ripper or some scissors) and readjust. You can also do the same if any part of the fabric seems off. I like when it isn't perfect. It's my own personal little fanny pack that no one else would have. To me that's kinda cool. Plus I don't have to worry about holding a million things at the park now.

And there you have it! One personalized, free/cheap fanny pack to suite all your needs! I took this bad boy out for a spin and freaking loved it! I went to the bank, the grocery store, and the park with it. I can't even begin to tell you how awesome it was to not have to worry about my purse in a shopping cart, or a painful shoulder, or not being able to find anything. When it comes to other items I normally take with me (like my "mini emergency kit" like band-aids, antibacterial wipes, ect.), I have a tiny little bag I keep in the car. Still more freeing than a purse. I will say that if I go out all day or to eat, I'll still be using my purse, but my fanny pack is a freaking great option for the little things. So go out there and rock your DIY people! I don't care what vogue says, anyone can rock a fanny pack and still look good! Especially with one that's been handmade!!!

I hope everyone's had a great weekend and Mother's Day! This is the last week for anyone to enter my "Gorgeous Giveaway"! If you haven't already, check out my prior blog post HERE or check out my Instagram (@thewhiterockingchair) for official rules and regulations on how to enter. It's an absolutely beautiful prize and I truly think you would love it! So go on! Enter now while there's still time!

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