Wheelchair Bag

Mr StitchNSew uses an electric wheelchair when not a home. He asked if I could make him a bag to hang off the chair to put things in if he wasn’t wearing a jacket or shirt with a pocket. I had never made a bag for a wheelchair before but challenge accepted.

When designing the bag I had a few things to consider:

  • Size of the bag
  • How to attach it to the chair
  • How it would be accessed
  • The fabric / colour

The chair has a bar on the side of it which holds the hand controller. I measured the free space on the bar to find the maximum width of the bag. I measured the length from the bar to the top of the wheels to see how long the bag could be without touching the wheels, this included any length added by the straps holding it. I had to work out an easy way to attach the bag so it could be removed easily if needed. Lastly I had to think of suitable fabric options.

I actually worked backwards picking the fabric first. Aesthetically I wanted the bag to look nice and be durable. Mr StitchNSew didn’t care about the colour as he just wanted a functional bag but I wanted a fabric which was in line with his tastes (simple and sophisticated) In my stash I found denim scraps leftover from my skirt last year. Denim is durable and is a classic look. With the measurements I had taken decided on a little box cornered bag that would be open at the top so you didn’t have to fumble around trying to open zippers or flaps. The bag is fully lined to add strength and give it more structure. I cut the bag pieces on the fold which meant I had to work out how deep to cut out the corner squares and then stitch the corners with a fold on the bottom edge. I did do a couple practice pieces first to test out the size of the corners.

For the straps I opted to attach it with snap closures. Mr StichNSew attaches all my snaps on projects so it was a way to get him involved in the making of his bag too. The straps are attached to the outside of the bag. My first thought was that the straps would thread over the hanging bar and be only on one side of the bag but when I tested it out by pinning the straps into place over the bar. I discovered the open bag hung out too far so the straps needed to have the closures on the opposite side of the bag. You can still easily access the bag and there is less chance it will get caught on anything.

One small touch I added was on the inside of the bag I attached a piece of fold over elastic which a pen could be clipped over, Mr StitchNSew always carries a pen so I wanted him to be able to access it easily.

Mr StitchNSew loves his little bag and I enjoyed the challenge of making it. I like to sew practical things and this bag was a practical solution to a problem we had.

Cassiy

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