If you haven’t picked up on it yet, here at Happiest Camper, we are all about sewing projects that have practical uses. And here is a very practical project we are excited to share! It’s a DIY Crossbody Water Bottle Holder sewing tutorial! Give it to an outdoorsy family member or friend that walks or hikes a lot to help them keep their hands free but always have fresh water within reach. Or use it to stay on track with hydration goals. After all, there’s no excuse not to drink your water if it’s attached to your hip!
You can make the project as is or adapt the pattern size to fit your favorite reusable water bottle. Now go pick out some fun fabric and let’s get started sewing this water bottle holder!
Supplies For a DIY Water Bottle Holder
- Cotton Quilting Fabric in two coordinating prints (about 1/3 yard each)
- Fusible Fleece
- 7” zipper
- 54-60” webbing for strap
- Coordinating thread
- Sewing Machine
- Stick pins (Clover Clips optional)
- Ironing board
- Rotary Cutter and Self Healing Cutting Mat
How To Sew A Crossbody Water Bottle Holder
To begin your water bottle holder, start by cutting your fabrics and fusible fleece to the sizes needed. I always like to start by washing and ironing the fabric first to make it easier to cut.
For Outer Fabric:
(1) 6″ x 3″ – top panel
(1) 6″ x 7.5″ – bottom panel
(1) 5″ x 10.5″ back panel
(2) 5″ x 5″ top and bottom
(1) 6″ x 3″ – top panel
(1) 6″ x 7.5″ – bottom panel
(1) 6″ x 10.5″ – back panel
(2) 5″ x 5″ – top and bottom
(2) 12″ x 3″ – binding
(1) 5.5″ x 2.5″ – top panel
(1) 5.5″ x 7″ – bottom panel
(1) 4.5″ x 10″ back panel
(2) 4″ circles – top and bottom
Next, you’ll bind each piece of fusible fleece to its corresponding piece of outer fabric. Lay each piece of the fleece on your ironing board with the rough side facing up. Then lay the outer fabric piece on top, right side up.
Press your iron straight down onto the fabric for about 15 seconds. (Be sure to follow the instructions for the particular fusible fleece that you’re using. Some may work better at different temps or need different amounts of time under the iron.) Do not move your iron around on the fabric!
Flip each piece over and check to make sure the edges are sticking down well. If you find any pieces that are still pulling up, press those places again until the fleece is secure.
While you still have the iron out, this is a good time to iron the crease in your binding. Just fold each piece in half (the long way!) and press the one fold. Set these off to the side.
Now its time to start sewing!
Grab the lining pieces for the top and bottom of your water bottle holder and line one up with each fused outer piece. (You’ll want to be able to see the fleece at this point.)
Mark about a 1/2″ allowance around the fleece and cut all four pieces into circles.
Next, lay both sets of circles together with right sides facing out. Pin or use sewing clips to hold in place and then sew around both pieces leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.
As an optional step if you’re not comfortable with sewing circles, is to take a moment here to clip four notches into the edge of each finished top and bottom. This will help you make sure everything is lined up later when you’re attaching it to the rest of the project.
Just fold each one in half, and make a short cut at each fold. Make sure not to hit the thread! Then fold it in half the other way so that those two cuts match up, and cut in the new folds.
Next, it’s time to start putting together the body of the bag. We’ll start by sewing the top and bottom panels to the zipper.
Line up the inner and outer panel, right sides together, with the zipper sandwiched in between.
Sew a straight line as close to the zipper as you can. If you have a zipper foot, you can use that, but if you can still do this with your regular presser foot. Just move the needle as far as you can to the left and line up the fabric so the zipper teeth are just to the left of that.
Start with your zipper pull close to you, sew a few inches, then lift the foot (needle down!) and slide the zipper pull to other side. That way you don’t end up with a bulge in the seam where the pull was sitting.
Trim your threads and open up the fabric so that the wrong sides are together and the zipper is now sticking out at the seam. Sew another line straight down the zipper and both pieces of fabric to keep them flat and in place.
Repeat this process on the other side of the zipper for the bottom panel.
You should now have a larger rectangle with a zipper near the top.
Next, attach the back panel using the same method, only instead of having a zipper sandwiched in between the outer fabric and the lining, it will be the long side of the piece we just finished putting together.
Now it’s time to create the tube shape by sewing both sides together. This step is just a little but trickier. We have to fold back the lining and sew just the outer fabric.
Then lay the lining back down with the raw edge tucked in and sew over it again. If it’s giving you a hard time, ironing fold in the edge will help a lot!
And then all that’s left is to attach the top and bottom and straps! It’s almost a finished water bottle holder!
However, if we just attached the top and bottom circles as is, there would be some nasty looking exposed seams on the inside of the bottle holder, so before we attach them, we are going to prepare a binding to go over those seams.
With your water bottle holder still inside out, pin or clip the binding strips in place around the top and bottom. The raw edges of the binding should match up with the raw edges of the tube.
There will be some overlap on the edges of the binding. No need to sew them together, just trim down at an angle so there is only about a 1/2″ overlap.
Sew both binding strips in place with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Next, with the project still inside out, pin the top and bottom circles into place.
If you have been sewing a while, you may be able to eyeball this, but if you need a little guidance, just clip 4 notches into the top and bottom of the tube the same way you did with the circles earlier. Then just line up the notches on the tube with the notches on the circles as you’re pinning into place.
I found it was much easier to use sewing clips for this part instead of straight pins. I poked myself about 600 times trying to pin the circles into place the first time. Sewing clips took care of that. If you don’t have a few sewing clips in your arsenal, I highly recommend getting at least a 10-pack to have on hand for projects like this. They’re easier to work with, especially with thick fabric or lots of layers. They stop you from getting stabbed by straight pins (honestly, they’re worth it just for this!), and if you get the right ones, they even have seam allowance guides on them.
Now you can sew the top and bottom into place with the smallest seam allowance you can manage. There’s a lot of bulk to work around at this step, and it can be difficult to keep everything lined up. Just go slow and don’t try to leave a smaller seam allowance than you’re comfortable with.
Trim the edges down to a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Next, flip the folded side of the binding over the raw edges and sew in place. Now you can flip the whole thing right side out.
All that’s left now is to sew on the straps. If you purchased the kind of webbing that unravels unless you seal the end, do that now. Either with some kind of clear glue/polish or by melting the edges with a lighter.
Now, with the zipper open, pin the ends of the strap in place on each side of the back panel, around the same height as the zipper.
Sew a rectangle over the bottom inch or so of the webbing, with diagonal lines across to help secure it. Be careful not to hit the front of the tube with your needle as you’re sewing. Then just trim any leftover threads and you’re all done!
Now you have a lovely water bottle holder that makes a very practical gift for any outdoorsy person on your list. Even if they don’t need one for water, since this one has a zipper closure on the top, it’s great to have on hand for hikes or events to carry a few essentials and keep them safe and secure.
Try customizing it with a favorite color, or using a fun character fabric to get the kids excited about drinking their water too. It’s never too early to teach the importance of hydration!
If you liked this DIY Crossbody Water Bottle Holder Sewing Tutorial, make sure to pin it to your favorite Pinterest board or share it with friends on social media. If you decide to make it take a picture afterward and tag us on social media as we love seeing the fabrics and color choices others make.
- Cut outer fabric.
(1) 6" x 3" - top panel
(1) 6" x 7.5" - bottom panel
(1) 5" x 10.5" back panel
(2) 5" x 5" top and bottom
- Cut lining fabric.
(1) 6" x 3" - top panel
(1) 6" x 7.5" - bottom panel
(1) 6" x 10.5" - back panel
(2) 5" x 5" - top and bottom
(2) 12" x 3" - binding
- Cut fusible fleece.
(1) 5.5" x 2.5" - top panel
(1) 5.5" x 7" - bottom panel
(1) 4.5" x 10" back panel
(2) 4" circles - top and bottom
- Iron each fusible fleece piece to its corresponding outer fabric piece.
- Iron each binding piece in half lengthwise.
- Layer the top and bottom lining together with the matching outer fabric/fusible fleece, and cut both pieces into circles about 1/2" around the fleece circle.
- Sew each of these sets together with wrong sides together.
- (Optional) Clip 4 notches in the edges of the circle 90 degrees apart to help with alignment later.
- Sandwich the zipper in between the two pieces of the top panel, with their right sides together, and sew in place.
- Fold those two pieces over so that they are now wrong sides together and sew another straight line down the side of the zipper to hold them down flat.
- Repeat steps 9-10 for the bottom panel.
- Sandwich one side of your finished front panel in between the two pieces of the back panel, with their right sides together, and sew in place.
- Fold those two pieces over so that they are now wrong sides together and sew another straight line down the side of the front panel to hold them down flat.
- Fold back the back panel lining for this step and hold it out of the way.
- Sew the two remaining edges of the front panel and outer back panel together with right sides together.
- Next, lay the lining back down over the seam you just made, tuck the raw edge underneath the fabric, and sew back down the same place.
- Pin each piece up binding so the raw edge matches up with the raw edge at the top and bottom of the tube.
- Sew in place with a 1/4" seam allowance.
- Pin or clip top and bottom into place.
- Sew top and bottom pieces into place with the smallest seam allowance you can manage. Trim down to 1/4".
- Fold binding pieces over the new seams and sew down to cover the rest of the raw edges.
- Flip right side out.
- Pin straps into place on both sides of the back panel, lined up with the height of the zipper, and sew into place.
- You're done!
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