I visited a relative recently, who is living in an assisted living apartment building. She lives on a way upper floor, and I noticed that when she goes down to get the mail, she would hold the letters in one hand while trying to maneuver her walker at the same time. After I got home, a subsequent search of the Internet revealed that lots of creative sewists have posted many awesome free patterns for “walker bags;” I had plenty of designs to choose from!
I picked this one from Debbie Colgrove at About.com. I liked it because it has pockets, looks like it holds its shape, and has sturdy straps to attach it. I snagged some collegiate sports fabric while I was in the vicinity, knowing that it’s football season and boy, does she love football! Of course, in my remnant bin I happened to have some pre-quilted fabric for the body of the tote, which the pattern called for, in a relatively decent color match! I thought personalizing it would be a nice touch, and I love the script lettering in bold crimson red (I didn’t say Crimson Tide, here, slow down, buddy.)
The bag’s wide top straps button over the upper bar of the walker. It also has two bottom straps that can be fastened to the walker legs by lacing through D-rings. Hmmm, I just might have some D-rings in the old button box here—wait, here are some! Just the right size, too (1-inch)!The best way to sew those D-rings to the straps was with a narrow zipper foot. That foot is a trouper! Er, pay no attention to the fact that you only see one D-ring in this pic: I had to rip out the seam because I forgot to insert TWO D-rings onto each strap. No biggie: I also have a LOVELY seam ripper that gets more use than any other attachment!
I had buttons galore to choose from, stashed.
Thank you so much, Ms. Colgrove of About.com, for the wonderful free pattern. The changes to the original pattern that I made were the embroidery and the center button: I sewed a velcro strip inside rather than adding another button right over the embroidered name. Why? Because I thought the button might detract from the embroidery and make it look even more off-center than it is. Plus, I don’t have the greatest button-hole making capability with my machine and my teeth were already grinding plenty enough enamel after making two buttonholes and having to trim bird nests off the underside of the buttonholes and repair with a satin stitch. 🙂
The only other little quirks I noticed with the pattern were that it directs you to do something with one side of the body: if you personalize it with a name, it does make a difference which side you do some things to, like attaching the straps. And in attaching the top straps, it directs you to place them 2″ away from the seam but the picture shows 2 1/2″ from the seam. I chose the 2 1/2″ distance. I thought the collegiate fabric added a nice touch, what do you think? An elderly person has seen lots of purty flowers in their lifetime, but what’s not to love about a touchdown? Northern Illinois University actually played the Florida State Seminoles last year in the Orange Bowl. At the time, we were all saying “NIU who?” But it looks like a pretty good little football team!