How To Make A Fanny Pack (aka Belt Bag)

JUN 16, 2015 updated Jun 17, 2016

Today, Spoonflower team member Jenny drops by the blog to show you how to make the fanny pack of your dreams! Have you been feeling nostalgic about the 90s? Have you noticed that the once white-hot trend has returned? If so, you probably want your own fanny pack right about now. I know I do. This time around, let’s leave the bright white tennis shoes at home.

finished fanny pack

finished waist pouch

FYI ‚Äď If you live in a place where the word “fanny” isn’t used in polite society, it may also be called a belt bag, bum bag, or waist pouch. ūüėČ

I’m adapting a pattern I found for matching fanny packs for a child and 18″ doll¬†by Pixie Faire Patterns. I’ve changed a few things to style it for an adult, though the waist straps can accommodate most any size depending on the material you choose. I also added a contrasting lining and using leather straps and a lobster claw clasp instead of nylon webbing and a parachute buckle, respectively.

I don’t tend to carry many things when I go out, so this fanny pack is on the smaller side, designed to carry your cash, cards, phone, and keys, plus a few other small items.



‚ÄĘ 2 fat quarters of fabric (Eco Canvas, Linen-Cotton Canvas, Faux Suede, or denim-like fabrics) in matching designs for the exterior of your fanny pack. I used ¬†“Clouds and rain in Scandinavian style” by¬†littlesmilemakers¬†and “geometric cloud” by andrea_lauren¬†in Spoonflower’s Faux Suede.

‚ÄĘ 1 fat quarter of soft lining for your fanny pack. I chose “Bloom Clouds – coral & charcoal” by kayajoy in Spoonflower’s buttery soft Cotton Lawn Ultra.

‚ÄĘ Two vinyl zippers: 6-inch & 12-inch or longer (Zippers will be cut during construction, but size given is the safe minimum length needed).

‚ÄĘ Thread matching your fabrics

‚ÄĘ Nylon webbing or a leather strap (I got a thin leather belt from the thrift store)
3/4-inch wide, 16+ inches long

‚ÄĘ 1 parachute buckle or clasp of your preference to fit 3/4-inch webbing/strap. (I chose a lobster claw + D-ring from an old purse I never used)

fanny pack materials

Step 1: Print and cut out paper pattern pieces

fabric pieces for pack

Step 2: Pin and cut all fabric pieces from the pattern.

Step 3: Read through remaining instructions to familiarize yourself with the process before beginning. Seam allowances are 1/4 inch unless otherwise indicated (on both doll and child-sized fanny packs).

pack step 4

Step 4: Lay your smaller zipper on the table so that it is right side up with the zipper pull on the righthand side. Right sides together, pin the upper edge of the pocket center bottom to the upper outside edge of the zipper. The fabric should be positioned between the zipper pull and the lower zipper stop.

pack step 5

Step 5: Using a zipper foot on your sewing machine, stitch as close to the zipper teeth as possible without actually running into the teeth. This should be an approximately 3/8-inch seam.

pack step 6

Step 6: Right sides together, pin the pocket center top to the other side of the zipper, aligning it so that its side edges are even with the pocket center bottom side edges. Stitch, and press seams away from zipper.

pack step 7

Step 7: Topstitch close to the finished edge on each side of the zipper.

pack step 8

pack step 8.5

Step 8: Unzip zipper about halfway and stitch back and forth several times across each end of the zipper near the edge of the pocket fabric. This creates new zipper stops to replace those that will be removed in the next step. Make sure your zipper pull is between these ends before stitching. 

pack step 9

Step 9: Trim off the ends of the zipper so they are even with the pocket fabric.

pack step 10

pack step 10.5

Step 10: Switch to regular foot. Right sides together, pin the straight edge of a pocket side to side of the pocket center. Stitch. Repeat to attach remaining pocket side to the opposite side of the pocket center.

pack step 11

Step 11: Trim seams to 1/8 inch. Zigzag or serge edges to finish.

pack step 12

Step 12: Press seams open. Topstitch close to the edge on the pocket side side of each seam. Set aside.

pack step 13

Step 13:  On the pocket band, make small clips on both sides of each notch about 1/4 inch from the notch. This will help you to shape the band around the curves of the pocket later on.

pack step 14

Step 14: Right sides together, pin and stitch the short ends of the pocket band together. Zigzag or serge end to finish. Press seam toward one side.

pack step 15

Step 15: Right sides together, pin the pocket band to the pocket back, matching the seam in the band to the notch in the back. Continue pinning the band to the back, using the notches and clips to shape the band around the corners. Stitch. Stitch again, if desired, for added strength.

pack step 16

Step 16: Trim seam to 1/8 inch. Zigzag or serge to finish. Turn POCKET right side out, making sure you fully push out the corners. Set aside briefly to sew the fanny pack front to the lining.

pack step 17

Step 17: Grab your pack front and your front lining and pin around perimeter. Stitch. Repeat for pack back and back lining.

pack step 18

Step 18: Using the shaded area on the pattern piece as a guide for placement, pin the back of the pocket to the pack front, right sides together.

pack step 19

Step 19: Hand- or machine-baste the pocket to the pack front using earlier stitching line as a guide.

pack step 20

pocket is attached

Step 20: Flip the pack front over to the back to check pocket alignment. If your pocket is crooked, this is the time to remove the basting and try again as you will not be able to do so later.

pack step 21

pack step 21.5

Step 21: IMPORTANT: UNZIP THE ZIPPER all the way in the pocket front. Pin the pocket front to the pocket band, matching the notches and clips in the band to the pocket front corners. The zipper part of the pocket front should be at the top, opposite the side of the band with the seam.


Step 22: Stitch, taking care to make sure you aren’t catching the inside folded layers in your stitching.

TIP: Use a zipper foot for this step to help navigate the edges and corners.

Step 23: Trim seam to 1/8 inch. Zigzag or serge to finish.

pack step 24

Step 24: If your zipper is not fully opened, reach through the fabric from behind to grab the zipper pull and open the zipper pack right side out by gently tugging the fabric out through the unzipped opening. Press, if needed.

almost there

Step 24 1/2: Whew! Great job!

pack step 25

Step 25: Now, pin the top of the pocket away from the upper edge of the pack front. (This will help keep it clear of the stitching in the next steps.)

pack step 26

Step 26: Stitch from the left end to the first notch. Leaving the area between the two notches open, stitch from the second notch to the pack right end.

pack step 27

Step 27:¬†Trim seams (from each end to the notch only) to 1/8″. Do not trim the center area.¬†Zigzag or serge seams to finish.

pack step 28

Step 28: Baste remaining center area between the notches. (Optional)

pack step 29

Step 29: Press basted seam open. Press finished seams on each end toward the pack back.

pack step 30

Step 30: Lay the pack on the table, right side down, with the pack front at the top. Unzip your larger zipper. Center it pull side down over the opened up center seam so that the zipper pull is on the right side. The zipper pull should be slightly to the right of the notch on that side of the pack. The zipper stopper on the other end should be to the left of the notch on that side. Pin the top portion of the zipper to the pack with the zipper teeth lined up directly over the basted seam.

pack step 31

Step 31: Using a zipper foot, stitch about an 1/8 inch from the zipper teeth from notch to notch only.

pack step 32

Step 32: Zip the zipper so that the zipper pull is about an inch from the top of the zipper. Pin the remaining side of the zipper to the pack, lining up the teeth above the zipper pull so they are right next to one another with the upper zipper stoppers aligned.

pack step 33

Step 33: Starting where your previous stitching ends above the zipper pull, stitch across the end of the zipper 2 or 3 times to create a new zipper stop. Continue stitching down the free side of the zipper until you are even with where the stitching on the other side started. Stitch across that end of the zipper 2 or 3 times to create another zipper stop. Make sure your zipper pull is between these ends before stitching. When finished, your stitching should be in the shape of a long narrow rectangle.

Step 34: Use a seam ripper to carefully remove basting threads and open up the zippered area (optional), then trim the ends of the zipper about 1/4 inch from the end stitching.

pack step 35

Step 35: IMPORTANT: unzip the zipper and pin the lower edge of the pocket away from the lower edge of the pack front. (This will help keep it clear of your stitching in later steps)

pack step 36

Step 36: Pin the pack front to the pack back along the lower curved edge.

pack step 36.5

Step 37: Zig zag or serge the edge of the lower side of the pack.

pack step 37

Step 38:¬†Cut two pieces of nylon webbing, leather or whichever material you chose for your strap. One piece should be about 4″-6″ long, and the other should be 10″-18″ long depending on your waist size.¬†Attach a safety pin to one end of a piece of webbing. Thread it from the inside of the PACK out through the small opening on one end of the PACK, keeping it flat.

pack step 38

Step 39:¬†Remove the safety pin. Pull the webbing back into the pack until it sticks out of the opening about 1/8″.¬†Stitch across the opening 2 or 3 times to secure the webbing and close the seam. You may need to hand stitch it if you’re using a leather strap to avoid breaking your needle. Trim seam to 1/8 inch. Zigzag or serge to finish if you’s like.

Step 40: Repeat to attach webbing to the other end of the pack.

pack step 40

Step 41: Turn the pack right side out, gently tugging on the webbing to fully turn the ends. This is the most exciting part of the process, so enjoy it!


pack step 40

Step 42: Straight stitch through your strap material to attach and secure your clasps and D ring on either end of the straps. Make sure to size it to your waist while leaving room for clothing, like in autumn when you’ll be riding your bike in jeans and a sweater with this cute pack. ūüôā

Attach the fanny pack around your waist and admire your handiwork, you talented so and so!

Your fanny pack is finished!

pack finished 2

pack finished 3

pack finished

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