Summer officially hit hard here a couple of weeks ago, and I needed a little refresher on heat-management. We don’t have air-conditioning in our house, so once it gets hot, we get into a routine of opening all the windows in the evening when it cools down (which it usually does here in the Bay Area), and then closing them all and drawing the curtains once it gets warmer outside than in, around 9 am. I also had to change my lunchtime hike habit to one where I got my outside exercise earlier or later, when the sun wasn’t as hot. And I needed to bring water. Which has always been a challenge for me because I hate carrying things when I hike, and didn’t really need a backpack for my 90 minute excursions. So, as I was heading out on one particularly hot day, I took a pause to sew this little water bottle sling. It took me about 1 1/2 hours, but I was figuring it out as I went, and I used some of our new Terrarium organic fabric (from the Saturday Collection) paired with organic hemp muslin that we have in the shop. It worked perfectly! I think it would be even better with an added pocket, which you could easily add. Here’s the simple tutorial.
SIMPLE WATER BOTTLE SLING TUTORIAL
Fabric and Notions
-1/3 yard sturdy fabric for bottom, base and strap (I used the hemp muslin for this, but you could also interface quilting cottons, or use a canvas, denim or similar heavier fabric.
-1 10×13″ piece of printed fabric for top (poplin, quilting cotton or canvas works great)
-1 small scrap of interfacing or stabilizer (can be an extra scrap of fabric)
-1 long ribbon, cord or scrap of fabric to make the tie, 24″+
-Eyelets or grommets (or you can just sew two buttonholes)
Bottom: Cut 1 4″ circle (I used a wide-mouth mason jar as a template, giving 1/2 of space around the edge)
Base: Cut 1 5×13″ rectangle
Top: Cut 1 10×13″ rectangle
Strap: Cut 1 5×34″ rectangle (Note: this size worked for me as a comfortable cross-body length. However, because the strap won’t be adjustable, use a measuring tape or measure a string to 34″ and make sure this size works for you. If not, adjust accordingly.
1. Sew the strap: with right sides facing, sew the long edge of the strap with a 1/2″ seam allowance to form a long tube. Turn and press. If you’re not familiar with tube-turning, a chopstick or other turning tool can help with this. I have one that looks like this.
2. Join base to top: with right sides facing, sew your base fabric to your top fabric along the 13″-inch edge. Open and press the seam down toward the base. Then, on the right side of the fabric, topstitch 1/8″ from the seam on the base side, securing the seam allowance in the stitching. This will strengthen the seam and keep the seam allowance pinned in place.
3. Create fold lines for later step: at the top edge, fold the edge 1/4″ to wrong side and press, and then 1 additional inch and press, creating a channel. Do not sew yet (this will make it easier when you get to that step).
4. Create the tube: with right sides facing, sew the side edges with a 1/2″ seam allowance to form a tube. Press seam open.
5. Sew the tube to the bottom circle (including one end of the strap in the seam): with wrong sides of the side tube out, slip one end of the strap inside the tube and center it over the side seam at the lower edge, matching raw edges. Then, sandwich the strap between the lower edge of the side tube and an edge of the bottom circle and pin in place. Continue matching the lower edge of the side tube to the edge of the circular base with right sides facing and pin all the way around. Stitch with a 1/2″ seam allowance.
6. Insert grommets, eyelets or buttonholes: using water-soluble ink or chalk, mark the center front by flattening tube and marking opposite center back. Apply fusible interfacing or stabilizer the the center front, just under the second fold line. This is where you will insert 2 parallel grommets or eyelets, or sew 2 small parallel buttonholes, to accommodate the tie. I used a grommet kit that I had on hand (probably purchased from Joann’s). The first time I tried, the grommets pulled out because I was using lighter fabric and hadn’t used stabilizer, so don’t skip this step if using grommets on lighter fabric.)
7. Sew the channel (including top edge of strap): Once your grommets are inserted just below the second fold line, with wrong side of the sling out, fold the top to the wrong side along the 1/4″ line, then again along the second fold to form the channel. Pin in place. Being careful not to twist strap, pull the loose edge up and slip it underneath the lower edge of the channel, centered over the side seam of the tube, and pin in place. Stitch close to the lower edge of the channel, making sure to catch the strap in the seam. Turn the sling right side out and topstitch the upper edge of the channel over the strap to hold in place.
8. Make the tie (optional): if you are not using pre-made ribbon or cord, cut a long, 1″ wide strip of fabric that coordinates with your print. Mine was about 36″, but it should be at least 24″. Fold each long edge 1/4″ to wrong side, so that edges meet at the center. Press. Fold the strip in half the long way so that the edges are encased and the strip is now about 1/4″ wide. Stitch close to the open edge. This will be your tie.
9. Using a small safety pin, thread the ribbon/cord/tie through one grommet, around the channel and out the other grommet. Tie knots at each end of the tie.
10. Fill up your water bottle, sling it on your back and get out there!