How to Make a Walker Caddy - Photos and Instructions for Sewing
What Grandma Could Really Use
Beyond providing seniors the thing they want most, a visit from you, if you're looking for a gift your friend or senior will really appreciate, put your sewing skills to work and make this fabric walker basket. You'll be pleased at how much they like it and how many of their friends stop them to ask where they got it.
One of the biggest challenges when using a walker is having a place to carry small items when both hands are occupied. This organizer is something you can make in a few hours that will be put to good use to carry small notebooks, pen or pencils, nail clippers, cough drops, tissues, letters, photos, and other lightweight items.
Patterns On Sale
Where To Start
If you like saving money, look for a fabric store or hobby barn that runs specials on patterns. This $16.95 regularly priced pattern was on sale for 99 cents. Ebay is another good source for hard-to-find patterns.
Ask your senior what their favorite color is. Do they like flowers, plaids or stripes, animal prints? The fabric store is a great place to get ideas.
For the dedicated and experienced person who sews, this project will take a few hours depending on skill. Mostly, the stitches are straight and simple and there aren't too many pieces to cut out.
Something That's Used Everyday
Fabric and Notions
Once you have the pattern in hand, check how much fabric you'll need for the project. This pattern called for double sided, quilted fabric. Be sure to buy enough for matching any designs if you choose a fabric with stripes or a distinct pattern.
Purchase notions like thread, Velcro tape and double-fold bias tape in a color that matches your fabric. If you plan well, you might find the fabric on sale and save a bundle of cash.
Laying out the Pattern to Match the Design
Reading the Instructions
Organizing the Pieces
Begin by ironing the pattern pieces flat using a warm setting on the iron to get out the creases and folds in the paper. It really makes things easier.
Determine the specific pattern pieces that you'll need for your project and put the extras back in the envelope. It's a good idea to cut apart the individual pieces that are printed on the same sheet. That helps when laying out the pattern on the fabric.
Cutting Out the Pieces
A good pair of sewing scissors is important when cutting through double thicknesses of this polyester filled broadcloth. Many fabric stores promote scissors on special pricing at the checkout.
A flat surface and good lighting helps the project move along. It's best to have an area dedicated to sewing that doesn't require everything to be put away after use. Putting it all out of sight demotivates me from finishing a project.
Nearly any model of sewing machine will work. There's no zig zag stitching required.
A good fabric marking pencil helps when it comes to marking the spots that need to be matched up. Even a number two pencil or eyebrow pencil will work in a pinch.
A measuring tape is useful in placing the pattern on the fabric evenly and straight pins are essential.
Notions are listed on the pattern consisting of thread and double fold bias tape, along with sew-on Velcro for fastening the straps.
Adjusting the Design to Match the Equipment
The most time-consuming part of making the organizer is turning the straps after stitching. This takes a small amount of patience and a keen eye. There are devices made to assist in this part, although not essential. A heavy-duty needle can be used to help turn the fabric right side out along the narrow straps.
To accommodate this particular walker, an extra strap was needed. Rather than one strap fastened in the center, the design of the equipment made it necessary to make a strap for either side of the center support on the walker.
Straps for Holding the Bag in Place
After the straps are turned right side outward, Velcro is added and the straps are attached to the main body of the bag. Pictured above are the top straps and the side strap that holds the organizer to the leg of the walker.
Notice how the pattern of the fabric is matched to the pattern on the bag bodice.
The biggest obstacle in putting the organizer together was the lack of directions when it came to the side straps. A little bit of improvising was necessary to cover both of the raw edges around the strap that attaches to the leg of the walker.
Notice along the side seam where the strap extends outward from the main body. The instructions say to encase the raw edges with the bias tape. That proved to be difficult since the strap is in the way.
I cut an extra strip of double fold bias tape about two inches long to affix to the unfinished edge left after attaching the strap to the main body of the organizer.
There was no way to enclose both sides of the fabric surrounding the side strap without adding another small piece of bias tape to cover the unfinished edge.
Attaching this short piece of bias tape along the edge of the pocket insert will alleviate the issue.
The Joy of Giving this Organizer
This is one project that is truly worth the time invested. The walker organizer receives a lot of interest from the residents at the nursing home. Several people have asked if I would make one for them as well.
If you're looking for a worthy project to make as an act of kindness, this is one that will bring happiness to the both the receiver of this gift and to you as the giver. The cost to make the entire project is around forty dollars depending on the fabric pricing, buying the notions and pattern on sale and of course, not counting your time.
Walker Tote Bag - No Pattern Needed
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2015 Peg Cole