Having torn a calf muscle, I have to wear an “Aircast” foot brace and use crutches for a while. Trying to use a pocketbook or purse when using crutches is just too challenging, so I thought a crutch bag would be a good idea. Apparently not an original idea as I found some on internet, but by the time I ordered one and received it in the mail, I will hopefully be off crutches and just booting my way around. I decided to make one since I sew, have plenty of scrap fabric and have orders to stay off my foot for a while. It is not my peddle driving foot so I can still use the machine with the injured foot propped up.
There are plenty of different designs on internet, but decided to make one to fit my needs. Here is how it is made, if you like this one, you are welcome to use my design and instructions for your personal use. You might need to modify it to fit your crutch and your needs.
NOTES: 1. This design is for crutches with a 4″ space between the two support rods and those rods have holes for adjusting the hand grip location. 2. You might want to read all of the instructions before you start as I have made several notes as to how either the bag or the process of making it can be improved.
The fabric I used appears to be a cotton duck or light weight canvas, but I don’t know.
a heavy weight fabric such as cotton duck, light weight canvas, upholstery fabric or quilted fabric.
Body: 9″ w. x 20″ l.
Front pocket: 7″ w. x 7″ w.
Back pocket/rod pocket: 5″ w. x 9″ l.
Stabilizer: 6 1/2″ w. x 10″ l.
Inner fabric: 9″ w. x 11″ l.
Velcro Ties: This are two sided Velcro strips with the rough hooks one side and the soft loops on the other side. This is a little softer and easier to sew than regular Velcro and feels nicer to the hand as a closure strap. Cut in following lengths:
3 at 1″ long (two for front pocket and one for closing top strap)
1 at 4 1/4″ long (for top strap)
1 at 13″ – 14″ (for bottom strap)
1 Bolt: same length as the bolt that holds the hand grip in place (and will slide through the holes).
1 Nut: one that fits the bolt.
I don’t know the sizes for the hardware because it was easier to let my neighbor who works at the hardware store pick it out for me so I would not have to hobble up and down the parts isle.
1. Over-edge zigzag stitch around all pieces of fabric except the inner fabric and stabilizer.
2. Fold and press a 1″ hem on both ends of body fabric. Stitch down about 1/8″ from edge.
3. Fold and press 1″ hem on one side of the front pocket. Stitch down about 1/8″ from edge. Press 1/2″ under towards the back side on other three sides.
4. Fold and press 1″ hem on one of the end of the back/rod pocket. Stitch down about 1/8″ from edge. On remaining three sides, press 1/2″ under towards the back side.
5. Center a 1″ strip of Velcro (with rough side) up on the top hem and stitch in place by sewing around all four sides.
6. Center front pocket (with front side out) on the body fabric with the hemmed edge 1 1/2″ from one end. Pin in place and stitch along the two sides and bottom. Reinforce the top corners with a bar stitch (or satin stitch- a very close together zigzag stitch).
7. Center a 1″ piece of Velcro (with soft side up) under the pocket Velcro and stitch in place by sewing around all four sides.
8. Fold down and press a 1 1/2″ hem on the back/rod pocket. Stitch across top, 1/2″ from the folded edge.
9. Center back/rod pocket on body (opposite end from front pocket) with the hemmed edge even with the hemmed edge of the body. Pin in place and stitch along the two sides, starting at the just under the hem stitch on the back/rod pocket. Do not stitch through the hem as this is the rod pocket for attaching to the. Reinforce the top corners with a satin stitch.
NOTE: if I had to make one again, I would make an important change. For the back/rod pocket, I recommend stitching a strip of Velcro across one end. Fold the fabric at the 1 1/2″ hem and pin a strip of Velcro to the back piece so it lines up with the first piece of Velcro. To stitch the pocket in place, have 1 1/2″ of the Velcro end extend beyond the body fabric. Start stitching 1/2″ from the hem of the body. This method makes for easy removal of bag if necessary.
10. Cut a strip of Velcro Ties to 13 -14″ long. Find center and pin so that it is centered on the width of the bottom edge of the back/rod pocket with the rough side up. Also, center the Velcro so that the bottom edge is covered by the Velcro.
11. Stitch across top of Velcro starting 1/4″ before the edge of the pocket and ending 1/4″ past end of pocket, stitch down to bottom edge of Velcro and back to starting side, then up to beginning point. Then stitch diagonally to opposite bottom corner, up that side and then diagonally down to opposite bottom corner, stitching an X through center.
This is what the stitching looks like on the inside:
12. Center the stabilizer along both the length and width of the back side of the inner fabric. Over-edge zigzag stitch along sides and one end of the stabilizer.
13. Fold the end seam allowance of inner fabric over ends of stabilizer and pin in place. Pin this stabilizer lining on the inside of the back so the top edge of the stabilizer is just below the top hem of the back. Mark the location of the bottom edge of the stabilizer with pins. Flip the liner so that the stabilizer is facing up and the stabilizer is even with the pins. Unpin the folded over seam allowance end and pin edge in place. Using a zipper foot, stitch across the width of the fabric close to the stabilizer edge.
NOTE: Again, if I had this to do all over again, I would simplify this and make the stabilizer and inner fabric the same length as the body to make construction easier. Then the tedious step eleven could be skipped.
14. Flip the stabilizer lining back to the back side, pin top edge to top of body(remember the lining should be just short of the top, but if it is even with it, then that is okay). Stitch the top hems together.
I recommend flipping the bag over to sew this seam so you can keep the back pocket and the Velcro out of the way while sewing.
15. Pin the 4 1/2″ long strip of the Velcro to the outside of the back of body piece centered on the top hem with a 1″ overlap with soft side up. You will have to hold the back pocket out of the way when pinning and stitching. Stitch in place by sewing around all four sides and an X in the middle. Fold 1″ of the remaining free end over so the rough sides are together and stitch together the same as you did the other end.
16. Pin a 1″ long piece of Velcro to the outside of the back of body piece centered on the top hem with rough side up. Stitch in place by sewing around all four sides.
NOTE: An improvement in order of steps would be to attach the Velcro to front and back before attaching the front and back pockets, but I did not know how all this was going to come together when I was designing as I was assembling.
17. Take the two ends of the Velcro strip at the bottom of the bag and pull them together, overlapping them so they stick together. This will keep them out of the way when stitching the bag sides together.
18. Fold the bag body right sides together with top hems aligned. Pin along sides. Using a zipper foot, stitch sides together. Trim seam allowances to 1/2″ then over-edge zigzag along each side (but not together).
19. Stitch top of side seams with a bar stitch so that the stitches straddle the seam to prevent it from tearing with stress.
20. Stand bag up and squash a corner flat. Stitch across bottom where it is 2″ wide. This will form the box corner of bag. Repeat for other corner. Cut the tips of corners off, leaving 1/2″ seam allowance and then over-edge zigzag stitch cut edges.
21.Turn bag right side out. Insert bolt in one side of crutch, slide bag rod pocket over bolt and then slide bolt through other side of crutch. Put nut on bolt end and then use screwdriver to snug it in place.