October 20, 2011

Diaper Clutch Changing Station

Diaper Clutch Changing Station. The bow is actually a hair clip made from fabric scraps.
Clutch unfolds to reveal changing mat and a pocket for supplies.

At some point in a baby's life, the need for a giant diaper bag (packed with every baby product under the sun) diminishes, and you can transition back to carrying just a single bag - your purse. At 17 months, all my daughter really needs for our daily outings is a few diapers and a package of wipes tossed into my purse. However, diapers quickly get crumpled at the bottom of my bag, and even unused diapers are a little unsightly when digging for the car keys. Thus, I created this cute diaper clutch changing station.

The clutch unfolds to provide a changing surface area, with a pouch to hold diapers/ wipes/etc. The matching diaper case (think pillowcase) can be used individually, if a changing mat is not desired, or as a supplement to the clutch, storing additional supplies.

This project is much easier than it looks. Remember, I have very limited sewing experience (as in, this was only my third sewing project since the 7th grade.) If I can do, you can too! I am so glad I took photos and notes, because this is one project I will definitely be making again! Baby shower gifts anyone?

The compact design slips easily into
the outer pocket of my purse.
A compact size was a big priority for me during the creation process. I wanted something thin enough to easily slip into my purse. Because size was a priority, I chose to use a canvas-like, home furnishing type fabric for the exterior; however, a PUL waterproof fabric would also have been a good choice. The interior lining and pocket are both simple cotton fabrics. I also considered flannel, fleece, and microfiber for the lining, but decided they were too bulky for my needs. But all are great choices, if you don't mind the added thickness.

What you will need...
Two fat quarters (18"x21") of complementary fabrics for the inner lining and pocket.
An equal amount (18"x21")  of your exterior fabric.
Coordinating ribbon (~20")
Velcro or other means of attachment

hint: "fat quarters" can be purchased precut and folded into squares on display in the fabric department. They come in a variety of prints and are usually only a buck or two. Great for the inner lining, but I would choose something more durable for the exterior of clutch. My black floral fabric is a canvas-type fabric.

What you'll do... 
1. Lay out your exterior fabric, right side down. Using your inner lining fabric as a stencil, trace an identically sized rectangle with pen or pencil and cut to size. Set aside.

Next, we will begin working on the pocket. This part is a little tricky to describe, so bear with me. I'm sure there is a special word for this type of pocket, but I'm no sewing guru, so I will just describe it the best I can. This is an accordion folded pocket that expands when full.  This pocket is big enough to hold 3 diapers and a few wipes. You may need to modify pocket dimensions, especially if you buy wipes packaged in a firm plastic case. We buy Pampers size 4 diapers and generic wipes (love Target's Up & Up!)

2. Cut pocket fabric 12.5" by 9" (finished pocket is smaller)
3. Fold under the top of the pocket lengthwise 2." Press and sew.
4. Fold under the two sides at 0.5" for the seam. Press.
Steps 3 and 4
 **image is displayed upside down**

5. Now it's time for the accordion fold. Measure 1.5" from seam fold in step 4 (or 2" from fabric edge) and press under.
6. Now take the space between the folds in step 4 and 5 and fold in half again and press. See image.

Accordion fold. Steps 5 and 6.

7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for the other side of the pocket.

8. Fold under the bottom edge of pocket 0.5" and press. See image.
Step 8.

9. This next part is very important for the clutch to fold up nicely... Place the pocket on the corner of the inner lining fabric with the long axis of the pocket perpendicular to the long axis of the inner lining. See picture.
Step 9. Long axis of mat is perpendicular to long axis of pocket.
Don't pin too close to the edge of pink fabric!! Leave a seam allowance!!

10. Pin the pocket in place, but be sure to leave a little margin of pink (inner linig fabric) around the edge of the pocket. You will need this as a seam allowance later on. When pinning the accordion folded sides, place the pins deep inside the fold. See picture.
Step 10

11. Sew bottom margin of pocket first. Then sew the sides of pocket within the fold. See image.

Step 11. Sewing pocket sides.

12. With the right sides together, pin the outer and inner liners together (RST).

13. Determine where ribbon tie will be sewn - opposite the open edge of the pocket - see photos in step 15 for help with placement. Place pin at this location 90 degrees, to identify location. Set ribbon aside for now. Sew around perimeter leaving a 3" opening at the ribbon location.
Step 13

14. Invert the fabric through 3" opening.

Step 14. Should look like this after inverted.

15. Place ribbon into 3" opening, stitch (and backstitch) ribbon into place. Continue stitching around edge of mat for a decorative finish. (Avoid stitching on pocket)
Step 15. Finishing stitch and ribbon attachment

16. Tada! The hard part is finished! The last step is cutting your ribbon to size and applying velcro.

 Save your fabric scraps for the additional diaper case and matching fabric hair bow tutorial!
Hair clips made from fabric scraps

The additional diaper case is simply a small pillowcase intended to hold additional diapers, wipes, spare  baby clothes, etc. It's a great supplement to the clutch, or you can use it all on it's own. I often grab just the diaper case packed with a single diaper and travel wipes for quick runs to the store.


  1. That is so adorable! You did a great job and the tutorial is awesome! I'll have to whip one up myself! :)

  2. sheryl/marine01_1@yahoo.comOctober 21, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    i love your site! great job. i will have to tell me friends to check it out!

  3. I made this tonight. Love it! I added some Batting for extra padding.. Super cute thanks

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