Sunday, 21 August 2011

Tutorial - cosytoe, footmuff, bunting bag, pushchair bag

I am going to show you how you can make your own custom sized pushchair bag, cozytoe, footmuff, bunting bag, or whatever you prefer to call them. I'll call it "the bag" from now on. Please read through the whole tutorial before you start, and do let me know if you have any questions as I might have forgotten to explain some steps...

If this is the end of the post, please click "read more" for the full tutorial!


First you need to take your pushchair / stroller / buggy and measure a few things.

Measure the seat width (above, left)
1. Width at top of seat back
2. Width at junction of seat back and seat
3. Width at the furthest end of the seat

Measure seat heights (above, middle)
4. Height of seat back
5. Depth of the seat (including any fold-up sections)

Measure any required overhang (above, middle)
6. The length from end of seat to just above the wheels (only needed if your child is tall and the feet stick out beyond the seat)

Measure back of seat (above, right)
7. The distance from the top of the seat to the first “obstacle” on the back.
This measurement will be used to determine the size of the fabric at the top of the back (fabric piece C). This fabric is used to keep the bag in place and stop it from sliding down.

Measure a boot
8. The size of the child’s boots or shoes; this is not as insane as it may seem….

Measure your child
9. The distance from the floor to under arms when the child is sitting on the floor

With all the measurements done, it's time to look at what pieces we need and what sizes they need to be.
When cutting out the pieces, I added 1 cm all around for seam allowance.
Make a note of your required sizes for each of the pattern pieces. Please note that you may decide not to include the bottom piece (B), and that depending on your buggy, you may need to invent another way of hanging the bag onto the buggy.

If you like to keep the cost of fabric down, here are a few suggestions: 

The outside of the front piece (with the elephant, above right), and the inside of the back piece (blue bubbles, above right) are the most visible pieces; followed by the outside of the bottom rectangular piece under the sack.

The back of the back piece and piece C are against the seat / hidden under the sun roof, so never really visible (tiny ducks and stripes, above middle).

The inside of the front piece and the bottom are only visible when opening the bag (blue bubbles, above left).

Time to cut your fabric!

I decided to make all of the inside in the blue bubbles fabric. Above it is laid out on top of the warm layer ready to be cut. Do keep these two materials pinned together as they’ll be stitched as one!

You need:
3 pieces each of A, B and D: 2 x fabric, and 1 x warm layer
1 piece of C: 1 x fabric

Please make sure you add your seam allowance! I usually add 1 cm all around.


Step 1: Take pieces A and D in inner fabric and the warm layer. Pin them right sides together, and then stitch the seam as shown in the picture above. Then, pin and sew the two opposite sides of A and D together 10 cm / 4’’ at the bottom (circled in the picture above). The zip is going in above this seam, so you may need to adjust the length depending on the size of your zip.

Now it’s time to attach the bottom piece (if you are adding this).

Step 2: Take piece B and attach one of the longest sides to the bottom of A, matching the seam between A and D with one corner of B. The other three sides are stitched to D.

If you are not adding piece B, then create some folds evenly placed on piece D to get the size down to that of piece A. Stitch together.

Repeat Steps 1 and 2 with your outer fabric.

You should now have two sack-like pieces.

Turn the sacks the right way out, and make a zigzag stitch in the junction of A and D to hold the pieces together and to provide some extra strength (please see image below).

Not much left now!

Attach the zip

Attach the zip between the layers on the right hand side. (Sorry, but I have no detailed explanations for this step, as I didn’t remember taking any photos, but I would suggest that you zigzag the warm layer to the inner fabric before attaching the zip to make sure the layers don't shift.)

Test the fit

Hang the bag on the seatback and check the fit. Depending on your preference you may want to add two stitches at the top of the bag to make the fit over the top of the seat back really really snug. Please see image below for where I added mine.

Make holes for straps

Time to identify where the holes for the straps go!

I find this easiest with the bag in place, then marking with pins where the straps are in the buggy. I also double-check distances by measuring the seat back and comparing with the pinned locations on the bag.

There will be some tension on the holes, but so far, I have found it sufficient to make normal button holes for the straps. Some people prefer to reinforce the holes with bias tape or thick thread, you may wish to do this too if you have a really wriggly child.

Make the buttonholes, taking care to keep all layers stretched!

Attach to your pushchair / stroller, load child and head outside!

Congratulations, you are done!

The small print
If you are making one of these, or blogging about this, please let me know by leaving a comment providing a link to your blog entry.
If you have any suggestions for improvements to the tutorial, please let me know!
As shop-bought cosytoes, bunting bags, footmuffs are ridiculously expensive, please feel free to use this tutorial for both personal and commercial use, as long as you credit / link back to me.


Anonymous said...

These were GREAT instructions. I made mine in an afternoon and am looking forward to using it as we live overseas and walk everywhere.

BossyOz said...

Thank you. Glad you liked the tutorial!!!

Daisie said...

I am going to try and make this next weekend. I'm beyond excited. I had been trying to find a footmuff for this very stroller and they are only available in the UK. Thank you so much!

BossyOz said...

Just take your time measuring before you start out. It is not very difficult, only straight seams. I can't believe how much they charge in-store for these!
Good luck!
Do link back to the post if you blog your work.

Daisie said...

I won't be blogging about it but I did pin this onto pinterest! I'm doing all the measuring now so I can head to the fabric store. This is just great! If I put it on facebook, I will for sure show the link. I always like to give credit to the genius!

BossyOz said...

In case you can't read the full tutorial (i.e. the "Read More" link doesn't work), then the link to the full version is at:

Pootle said...

This is great. Im going to give it a go but wondered could you tell me what weight of wadding you used for the padding. Thanks

BossyOz said...

I used a duvet from IKEA instead of wadding, the cheapest one they had, 4 tog rating. Warm and cosy enough!
Good luck!
PS. Like your blog!

helen said...

Hi im about to print these instructions and make one over the weekend! I have a tall toddler and was not willing to pay £50 or more so excited!!

BossyOz said...

Agree, the price in the shops are a real rip-off!! The bag is really simple to make once you have done all the measurements. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm confused as there's no mention of the outer layer?? Any tips?

Anonymous said...

Oh dear just read it properly! Sorry I see now

Anonymous said...

Sorry I'm still not getting the two sacks part. Any chance you could add a diagram for that stage because the one shown is not clear about where you pin and sew

Anonymous said...

i made one of these for my phil n ted smart pram as i couldnt buy one for it and the fabric i used is same fabric used on the seats in our t4 camper van.all co-ordinated lol!its amazing how many people ask where i got it from and when i tell them i made it.they are shocked.i do sewing all time.thanks again for info.xx

Gillymayb said...

Hi what fabric would you recommend? I'm very interested in making one of these for my niece! They are so expensive to buy.

BossyOz said...

@Gillymayb: I have used simple cotton - both light weight / quilting and home decor versions. There is definitely more bulk with the latter. I have also used soft PVC coated fabrics, to protect a bit better if it rains. Saying that, if you have a rain cover it is easier to just use normal cotton. You could aways treat it to be water resistant (e.g. with spray from outdoor shop).

Gillymayb said...

That's great, thank you. Here in Ireland it rains a lot so the waterproof spray would definitely be needed :)

Anonymous said...

After buying a personalised pushchair set and being very disappointed I am now going to try and make this wish me luck never sewn with a machine before lol!! X

BossyOz said...

Anonymous, GOOD LUCK!!!!
Make sure you take your time measuring the pushchair, then the sewing isn't too complicated.

BossyOz said...

BTW, if you like it even easier, use sew on velcro instead of the zip! Although, be aware that opening the velcro may wake up the baby / toddler....

Anonymous said...

Could some1 upload a video in awful with instructions

Anonymous said...

excellent tutorial. Im going to make it this weekend. Thanks so much

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this tutorial! The sleeping bag I made works great and I am so happy not to have spent $100 when I had everything I needed lying around anyway.

I posted pictures of my finished product with a few details here:

Thanks again!

fay carter said...

Hi, this tutorial came up when I was looking for a patter to make a wheelchair cozy for my niece. I'm going to see if I can make her one this weekend, it may take a while I sew everything by hand

BossyOz said...

sternfamily : Thanks for sharing pictures of your sleeping bag; it looks fantastic!! Good idea to skip the zip to make it even more snuggly.

Fay Carter : Good luck with making a wheelchair cozy! Good thinking; the principles should be the same and it is really straight forward. Good luck with the hand sewing!

Anonymous said...

Thankyou soo much for an excellent tutorial. I searched for a sleeping bag for my pram for ages without success. Your instructions were simple and easy to follow even for a sewing novice. I have had many compliments about my pram cozy. Thanks!

BossyOz said...

Thanks for the great feedback Anonymous!

Jasmine said...

Thanks for the tutorial! We don't have the foot muffs here in Australia yet and it's just starting to get cold. Now I can make one for my bub, so thanks! Cheers, Jasmine :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great tutorial, just finished making one for my Phil and Teds, only took me 2 hours and used up some fabric i already had. :-)

Anonymous said...

made something similar for my children years ago - now onto grandchildren & just found your instruction.
bought a lovely double fleece from charity shop for £5 - think enough material for single + double buggy!!

Anonymous said...

What things are required to complete this bag? Material amount (roughly)? Zipper? Valcro? Etc...

Anissa said...

We live in snowy Minnesota and are taking my son to cold/windy Chicago in a few weeks and this will be PERFECT to have so we can still go for walks in the winter! I'm going to try and make it this weekend. I think I'm going to try and use fleece instead of cotton, although I may decide on something more water resistant for the outside, and use fleece for the lining.

Thanks so much for the tutorial!

Anissa (again) said...

I don't understand why the HEIGHT of Piece D is calculated using measurements (2) and (3) - which are width measurements. What am I missing?

BossyOz said...

Anonymous, 25 October,
The image with the text "Supplies needed" states what you need. As all buggies/strollers are different, I have described how you make your own made to measure bag, hence no exact measurements.

BossyOz said...

Anissa, looking at description again (after over three years!) I am with you, that seems wrong! Measurements (5)+(6)+(9) should be the height you are looking for.
I'll dig out the original image files and adjust the instructions when things have calmed down a bit around here.
I am surprised no one else has pointed this out before.
Thank you!!!
Good luck with making the bag!!

Anonymous said...

What a super tutorial! Just what I was looking for — thank you :)

Ana Highley said...

I'm gonna make one for my daughters doll stroller too!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot, although I'm German and don't understand everything, with your tutorial I made it in one afternoon! Before I found it I never thought I can make one... Anna

Unknown said...

So glad I came across these instructions. Got a special needs child. And he has grown out of the footbags you get for toddlers. Can't wait to get started on this project :) Thank you so much!!!!!

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic tutorial. I have been looking to buy one with a soft cotton lining for my son. Unfortunately this seems impossible. There is very little choice and the prices are unreasonable to say the least. Then I came accross your page. It looks so easy to make. I can't wait to start. Thank you very much.

K said...

What do you do with the seams? I'm so confused. Do you turn it in first? Or do you not see them at the end

K said...

Never mind. I claim baby brain. Sorted now.

Beverley Todd said...

Hi, just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to post this tutorial, I was just looking for a liner for a buggy I use for my granddaughter when I found your post, I did make just the liner but used all your instructions for measuring etc, so thankyou very much from not so sunny Scotland!