Sunday, April 8, 2012

Water Water Everywhere - Girl Scout Water Bottles

My children must think that I am Wonder Woman, capable of carrying large quantities of items when we are walking around on vacation.  Totting the items they get tired of holding like some sort of pack mule.  "Mom, can you carry my lip balm?   Mom, can you carry my water bottle?  Mom can you carry the $2 I have left from shopping?"   I pictured what it would be like with 16 Girl Scouts in Savannah, and quickly decided I needed a plan.   From that plan hatched my next craft project.

I had seen a few water bottle holders on Pinterest made from jeans or various pieces of clothing.  But I needed something that could hold not just a water bottle but also small items each scout would need while wandering through Savannah.   I wanted it to be a fun keepsake the girls could pull out years from now and show their children as they tell stories of the trip.  Tall order, I know!   

Brainstorming with my husband, we came up with a similar design to those I had seen but with a pocket and made from some fantastic Girl Scout fabric I found on eBay.  The result is what follows.... keep in mind that the last time I sewed anything was YEARS ago.  Seamstress I am not.  But I gave it the ole Girl Scout try. 

The fabric is Robert Kaufman and comes in a pink with Try-It's for Brownies and the green with patches you see here for Juniors.  

The side border on the fabric had numbers and "My Troop" along with "Girl Scouts of America".  However, I decided to use only the numbers for my project. 

I found the water bottles at Target. They are BPA free and very reasonably priced for a 4 pack.

The holder required two cuts of fabric.  The larger piece at the bottom of this picture is 12" wide and 9" tall.  This is the water bottle carrier.  The second piece above that is 12" wide and only 6" tall.  This is the pocket that will wrap around the bottom of the carrier.  To the side are the numbers for our troop that I cut out of the border.

I sewed a nice clean edge at the top of each piece (the large and small).  I also sewed on the troop numbers, centering them between the middle of the pocket piece and the right edge.  Do all this while the pieces are separate and PRIOR to layering them on top of each other as you see below.  

Pictured to the left are the two pieces layered on top of one another exactly how they will be sewn.  Take two pieces and fold them directly in half.  The edges of each fabric should line up with the other side.  

Sew about a 1/2 inch in from the edge, down the side, and across the bottom as seen in the picture above to the right.  To give a little more strength, I sewed a zig-zag stitch between my first stitch and the edge.  

Place a bottle inside the carrier, being sure that the bottle is in the center of the inside pocket.   You will notice that there are little "ears" that hang over on each side.  These will be sewn to help create the bottle carrier shape.  Pin both ears while they are on the bottle so you know where to sew.

Sew the ears as shown in the picture to the right.  Again, I did a basic stitch and a zig-zag to provide additional strength.

Turn the bottle holder inside out and you should have something that looks like this.

I purchased some 1" Nylon webbing in Gold on eBay.  Cut a piece to match the exact inside of the carrier and another piece 3 1/2 feet long to serve as the shoulder strap.  Pin the pieces.

To sew the nylon, you need to be sure to have a thicker needle that can handle thinker fabrics.  Also be sure you use all purpose thread.

Sew once about 1/4 inch from the top and again about a 1/4 inch from the bottom around to attach the nylon to the carrier.  You will also want to do a criss-cross stitch shown below to make sure the shoulder strap is securely attached.

And there you have your water bottle carrier as shown below and my little scout with her own.   People raved about our carriers while visiting the Juliette Low house in Savannah and the girls loved to show them off.

As a side note, one of the best things about this project was that I thought of my grandmother every time I sat down to sew.... my grandmother after whom my little scout is named ... my grandmother that was also a scout leader once upon a time and who's leader book I still have to this day and treasure.   This project came to mean so much to me, and I hope it means a lot to these girls.     

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