Make your own bag with our free fanny pack pattern
Fanny packs (also known as bum bags) are back! Make your own version of this 80s accessory with our free fanny pack pattern by Karoline Dahrling Hughes.
Is there anything more practical than a fanny pack? A fanny pack (or as a bum bag for UK readers) is extremely useful if you’re on the go and just need a small bag for a few essentials – such as when you’re going out for a run or popping to the shops.
Use Karoline’s free fanny pack pattern to make your own retro bum bags – and coordinate them with your favourite outfits. We’ve chosen a dark green leopard-patterned fabric for our bum bag pattern, which can be worn all year round. Use a metallic or patterned webbing for the strap for an 80s look.
This fanny pack pattern is also adjustable, so they can be made for children to wear too. This can be very handy when you take them on a day out and they need somewhere to keep their pocket money.
This pattern originally appeared in Simply Sewing, which is a best-selling craft magazine packed with brilliant patterns and tips for sewers of all abilities.
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to make a fanny pack step by step. Read on to learn how to make a fanny pack with Karoline’s free fanny pack pattern…
Looking for more bags to sew? Try our messenger bag pattern, free tote bag pattern or learn how to sew a duffle bag pattern. If you’re looking for a 90s-inspired accessory to complete the look, check out our easy how to make a scrunchie tutorial.
- Unfortunately the original fabric used to make this pattern is no longer available, but we love this leopard print fabric from VellatoFabric on Etsy (£21.39 per yard) which would make a good substitute. We recommend using heavyweight cotton, corduroy or velvet for the main fabric and lightweight satin or cotton for the lining
- Seam allowance is 1cm (3⁄8in) unless otherwise stated
- This method is patternless, but you can opt to trace onto paper first if you prefer
- Measure the exact required ribbon length when you have made the bag before you cut the precise length
You Will Need
- Main fabric (30x140cm (12x55in))
- Lining fabric (30x140cm (12x55in))
- Zip (40cm (16in))
- Fabric tape, webbing or ribbon for strap (4x90cm (11/2x351/2in))
- Matching thread
- Basic sewing kit
From the main fabric cut:
- Fanny Pack Front: 26x44cm (10¼x173⁄8in)
- Fanny Pack Back: 26x44cm (10¼x173⁄8in)
- Zip Tab Ends: four 10x10cm (4x4in)
From the lining fabric cut:
- Fanny Pack Front Lining: 26x44cm (10¼x173⁄8in)
- Fanny Pack Back Lining: 26x44cm (10¼x173⁄8in)
Preparing the outer bag
Take the Fanny Pack Front piece and lay it out in landscape position. Measure 4cm (15⁄8in) down from the top, 10cm (4in) from the bottom, and 11cm (43⁄8in) from the side in towards the centre as shown in the image and draw curves connecting the points. Draw one side first and cut out.
Fold the Fanny Pack Front in half so that you can trace the first curves on the other side, so they will be symmetrical.
Repeat the above steps with the Fanny Pack Back piece.
On the Fanny Pack Front piece, measure down 6cm (23⁄8in) from the top and mark two lines with 1cm (3⁄8in) between them. This is where the zip will be positioned. Cut away the 1cm (3⁄8in) strip of fabric between the lines.
Preparing the lining
Place the two front pieces and the Fanny Pack Back piece on one layer of lining fabric and trace around them to make lining copies of the pieces.
Cut out these lining pieces.
Inserting the zip
Take the Zip Tab End pieces and mark them as shown in the image. We have marked 6cm (23⁄8in) because the tape used for the strap is 4cm (15⁄8in) wide, and we need 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance on either side. If your tape is 3cm (1¼in) wide, then you will need to mark 5cm (2in) etc.
Pin one Zip Tab End right side (RS) facing the reverse side of the zip at each end with the raw edge of the fabric aligned with the end of the zip and stitch across. Fold the tab over the end of the zip and press. Stitch the tab to the front side of the zip end.
To sew the zip in place begin by placing the larger, lower piece of the fanny pack front RS up on your work surface. Place the zip, with the edges aligned RS down along the top edge. Stitch the zip to the fabric as close to the zip teeth as possible.
Place the lining layer on top of the zip, RS down and stitch on top of the seam already sewn to attach the lining to the zip. Open out the lining so the zip is facing out.
On the RS, topstitch the outer fabric and the lining along the edge of the zip.
Repeat for the other side of the zip and the upper part of the bumbag front. To keep the layers in place you can machine tack the outer and lining fabrics together close to the edges all the way around.
Assembling the bag
Lay out the Fanny Pack Back Lining WS up. Place the fanny pack front (with the zip attached) on top so that the lining side of the fanny pack front is facing the WS of the Fanny Pack Back Lining piece.
Then place the main fabric Fanny Pack Back, on top with the WS facing up.
Secure with clips and sew all four layers along the top and along the bottom of the bag, leaving the sides open.
Turn the bag through one of these sides. If the layers have been placed correctly the seams should be hidden inside the bag.
Adding the straps
Cut the remaining two Zip Tab End pieces along the lines marked previously.
Take one end of the strap and stitch it to the narrow end of one of the Zip Tab Ends.
Take another Zip Tab End piece and stitch that on top, RS facing.
Now sew along the sides, with a 1cm (3⁄8in) seam allowance. Trim the seam allowance down near the wider end as in the image.
Turn RS out. Fold the open end in on itself 1cm (3⁄8in) from the edge. Pin it in place and press.
This open end will go over the one end of the bag, and that end will have to be gathered a little to make it fit. Place the open end over the raw edges and pin or clip in place to hold. Try to evenly distribute any gathers that are necessary to make the bag fit.
Stitch the Zip Tab End in place as close to the folded edge as possible. Remember to check the back, to make sure both layers of the zip tab end are being sewn through for a secure finish.
Try on your bag to see how long you need the strap to be for it to sit comfortably on, or slightly above, your hips. Cut away any excess, leaving enough to insert into the opposite zip tab end opening.
When the strap length has been corrected repeat the steps above to attach the other end of the strap into the Zip Tab End.
You’re finished and you now know how to make a fanny pack. We hope you enjoyed making this fanny pack pattern.
If you’re a sewing novice, take a look at our best sewing machines for beginners guide, sewing for beginners guide and how to use a sewing machine guide to pick up some handy tips. If you can’t wait to get to get sewing, explore our pick of the best sewing kits for beginners.