So… How do YOU feel about fanny packs having a come back? Are you weary of calling them “fanny packs” and instead want to call them “belt bags?” It’s okay, I understand you. My husband and I got married in 2006 and he decided that year that he was going to make fanny packs cool because he REALLY wanted to wear them. Basically, he was a man who was sick of his pockets being full. I about died as he bought and wore them everywhere. My sister lived in Brooklyn at the time and told him people were wearing them there, so he felt justified. We know NYC is ahead of the trends years before they make it to places like Utah (where we were living at the time). But my husband? He took that as a green light.
Well… he’s finally done it. He’s made it a trend guys. My husband worked hard to make them cool, and I’m pretty sure the trendsetters were watching him all along.
I finally jumped on board this year and made some for my trip to Iceland. Let me tell you. THEY ARE TRAVEL- LIFE CHANGING!!! My shoulders were free!!! I didn’t have to take it off to get in and out of the car! It was amazing.
I’m a total convert, so I asked Spoonflower if my post this month could be about making fanny packs for my friends and family. I think they’re the perfect holiday gift! I picked special fabrics that suited the tastes and interests of each person which is easy when you have a site like Spoonflower. They have every kind of design imaginable.
In this post I present to you: Three Pattern Reviews, Fabric Suggestions (substrate and prints) and Gift Ideas!
FIRST: The Fanny Pack Patterns and Fabric Choices
First: Fennel Fanny Pack
The smallest fanny pack pattern that looks more like a “belt bag,” is the Fennel Fanny Pack by Sarah Kirsten. I loved this pattern because it is perfect for both smaller people (like my kids!) and bigger people (like my adult friends!) and fits the essentials.
**The bag above was made for my oldest daughter who is currently obsessed with pineapples. I made hers in Eco Canvas because it repels water and she wants to bring this to amusement parks.
** This Rainbow-inspired “Fennel Fanny Pack” was printed on Celosia Velvet for a friend who loves rainbows and fun accessories. She bought her first fanny pack this year to bring to Busch Gardens so I knew she’d be down for another!
This colorful floral is printed on Celosia Velvet as well (because I used Fill-A-Yard), and I chose it for a friend that is happy, cheerful, loves color, and gardening! I used the scraps from my other fanny packs to do a two-toned webbing strap– mostly because I was too lazy to order more, but also I think it’s perfect for this print!
This fanny pack pattern would probably be too small proportionally on a man, but is great for everyone else. The instructions are clear and easy, and it sews up fairly quickly. You will need to get zippers, webbing, a buckle and a slider. You can find some colorful ones here!
Second: Proper Fit Clothing Fanny Pack
The second pattern I am reviewing comes from ProperFit Clothing who actually specializes in fanny packs for men (but women can wear them too of course)! I sewed one of these for myself (for Iceland) and found it held a lot– perfect when hiking!
This bag is more of the traditional or “old school” type of bag that my husband has been sporting for years;) He was STOKED when I started making some for him!
For my husband’s, I did a vintage “Diving Helmet” fabric on the outside (he’s a US Navy Diver) in Eco Canvas because he’s a doctor and plans on wearing this one on the job (you wish your doctor wore a fanny pack at work)! On the inside I did something funny. Those… are…. speculums. My husband is also a Naval OBGYN and I cracked myself up putting that secret lining (I got his approval). It was printed on Petal Signature Cotton.
Third: Luna Crossybody Bag
The third pattern is actually a purse pattern, but I’ve made it into a belt bag! It is the Luna Crossbody Bag by Pattern Scout and I love the half-moon shape.
This fabric looks like an abstract watercolor painting which I chose for my fashion girl/artist daughter with full plans to steal it— a lot. She has worn it every day since I made it even though I was trying to save these for Christmas!
It was printed on Linen Cotton Canvas which is sturdy enough with interfacing, and has a nice visual and tactile texture.
The pattern is made to be a purse so it’s a little large for a belt bag. To fix this, I reduced the length by placing the interfacing pattern piece on top of my front and back pieces like pictured above. I then traced the curve about 1″ higher than the original (just as shown— it tapers off on the sides) and cut it. I left the pocket bag the same size.
The other thing I did to make it more of a belt bag (at the suggestion of Casey, the pattern designer), was to use “lobster clips” instead of attaching the webbing straight to the rings. (Both can be found here)
If you make the strap long enough you can actually use this one as a shoulder bag OR belt bag making it very versatile! This pattern is perfect for the fashionista (which my 8 year old daughter totally is) and those not down with a traditional fanny pack.
Above you can see each design used. I printed them with Fill-A-Yard so that I could get two prints per 1 yard of each substrate. The fabrics I used were:
Eco Canvas: 100% polyester canvas fabric with 45% recycled content and a sturdy construction— for the fanny packs that I wanted to be water resistant.
Linen Cotton Canvas: 55% linen, 45% cotton fabric with a versatile medium weight and textured feel— for the bags I wanted to be a little fancier.
Celosia Velvet: 100% polyester velvet fabric with a short pile and subtle shimmer. I chose this because it is a sturdy upholstery weight fabric that looks luxurious and prints such vivid color.
Petal Fabric: 100% natural cotton fabric that’s versatile, soft and easy to sew. I used this one for lining, but also I made one bag (pictured on the little guy) with it and it worked fine with a heavy weight interfacing for structure!
Tips for Sewing the Bags:
- Use wonder clips instead of pins. Much less painful!!!
2. This is a great time to use zippers from your stash! They don’t have to match! You can use any size as long as it is the length required or LONGER. The zipper length that is unused gets cut off because a seam becomes the zipper stop. I had fun looking through my stash to see which ones coordinated with the prints!
3. Keep your zipper-foot on the machine for doing tight edges and going around corners. This helped me a lot on the Fennel Fanny Pack.
The fun thing about making custom belt bags for your friends and family is thinking of what to fill them with!! Here were my ideas:
For the colorful, rainbow and unicorn-loving friend:
*Colorful washi tapes
*A piece of rainbow jewelry like this necklace from J.Crew
For the doctor on his feet all day:
*Fun pens….especially if it’s my husband– a real pen-lover (I know he is sounding really cool right now)
*moleskin notebook or Quattro pad.
*Some protein bars or other on-the-go meals and treats! I like these ones.
For the budding artist:
*Fimo, Sculpy or other colorful polymer clays
*Liquid Acrylics– these flow like watercolors but are more opaque and have acrylic qualities, so they are a fun new medium to work with!
*Nice Paintbrushes (not used like the ones I used for this photo of course! haha) I like Windsor and Newton Brand.
It was so much fun coming up with ideas for filling these bags!
AND THEY LOVED THEM!!!!!! (The littlest guy is wearing a fanny pack I made for myself because he really wanted to be in on the photoshoot!)
Thank you Spoonflower for having all the fabrics and prints I could want on one website!
**And HERE you can find all of the fanny pack prints I used plus a few more that were in the running!