My son-in-law asked me to make a wheelchair bag for his mother for Christmas. It was a challenge, since I didn’t have a pattern for one, but this is what I came up with and it seemed to work very well.
28 inches (.7 metre) of a sturdy fabric
Approximately 50 to 60 inches of cording
18 inches x width of fabric (mine was 42 inches) for the main bag
1-1/2 inches x width of fabric for the top facing
2 pieces of fabric 10 x 1-1/2 inches for the handles
The rest of the fabric for pockets
Fold the 18-inch piece wrong sides together and stitch with 1/4-inch seam. Then turn it right sides together and stitch again (gives enclosed seam). With right sides together and the seam at one end, stitch the bottom closed (or you may opt for the enclosed seam again or zigzag or serge). To choose the width of the bag, hold the bottom seam flat which will make a “V” at each end and sew across the “V” about 2 inches from the point, making your stitching about 4 inches across, which makes the bottom of the bag 4 x 16 inches. I did a 1/8-inch stitching up from each corner to give the bag the rectangular shape. Pockets can be added on the outside and inside. I made the outside one about 6 x 9 inches and the inside one smaller (just for personal items). Centre the outside one about 3 inches down from the top and put the inside one closer to the top and easy to reach. You could do something decorative on the outside pocket (like decorative stitching or a decal). Double stitch around the pockets to make them stronger.
Find the centre front of the bag and make 2 buttonholes 1/2 inch down for the cording. Take the 10 x 1-1/2-inch pieces and fold in the raw edges from each side and stitch. Fold them over and pin to each right side edge of the bag. Join the 1-1/2-inch facing and sew the ends together. Place on the top edge (over the handles) of the bag and sew with 1/4-inch seam. Fold over and press. Fold over the raw edge 1/4 inch and sew down facing. Insert the cording in one buttonhole and out the other. Tie with a double knot or use cord ends. I thought the cording would make the bag smaller when it had very little in it.
– Myrlene Currie writes from