Making Your Unique Ostomy Bag Cover (DIY)
For many individuals living with an ostomy, the presence of the ostomy bag is a daily reminder of their medical condition. Though these bags are essential, they can sometimes be a source of discomfort, both physically and emotionally. Skin irritations can arise, and some individuals might feel self-conscious about the visibility of the bag. However, there's a solution: a DIY ostomy bag cover. This soft fabric cover not only alleviates some of the discomfort but also adds a touch of personal style, ensuring that you feel confident and at ease.
Benefits of a DIY Ostomy Bag Cover:
- Comfort: Using soft materials like flannel or 100% cotton can significantly reduce skin irritation.
- Aesthetics: You can select a fabric design that reflects your personal style or matches your clothing, making the ostomy bag less conspicuous.
- Custom Fit: Pre-made covers might not always be a perfect fit, but creating your own ensures the cover fits your specific ostomy bag snugly.
Materials and Tools You'll Need:
- Materials: An ostomy bag (for tracing), soft lightweight fabric (preferably preshrunk, like flannel or 100% cotton), double-fold bias tape, and matching thread. Optional: a silky fabric layer for a second front layer for added comfort.
- Tools: Marking tools, scissors, measuring tape, iron and ironing board, pins, and a sewing machine.
Step-by-Step Guide to Making Your Ostomy Bag Cover:
Designing the Pattern:
- For the Front: Place your ostomy bag flat on a sheet of paper. Trace its edges, then add a 1/2 inch margin all around for seam allowance. Remember to trace the flange opening and add a 1/8 inch margin for a precise fit.
- For the Back: Use the front pattern as a base. Add a 1 1/2 inch margin to the bottom area, ensuring there's enough fabric to support the bottom of the bag and provide access to the drain without removing the cover.
Cutting the Fabric:
- Lay out your fabric smoothly, ensuring there are no creases. If necessary, iron the fabric first.
- Place the pattern on the fabric, ensuring alignment with grain lines for optimal fit and wear.
- Secure with pins and then cut out the pattern. Remember to cut out the flange opening too.
Crafting the Flange Opening:
- To prevent the fabric from fraying, stabilize the edges of the flange opening either by stay stitching close to the edge or by employing a zigzag stitch.
- Use the double-fold bias tape to enclose the flange opening edge neatly. If the flange is particularly small, consider hand basting the bias tape in place before machine sewing.
Assembling the Back Section:
- For both the top and bottom sections, fold and press a 1/4 inch on the splitting line towards the fabric's wrong side. To prevent fraying, consider a zigzag stitch on the raw edges.
- Align the back sections over the front piece, ensuring edges meet. Pin them in place. Baste the overlapping sections to keep them secured.
Sewing the Front and Back Together:
- If you've opted for the silky layer, baste it onto the main fabric for added comfort.
- Place the front and back sections together, right sides facing inwards. Pin them in alignment.
- Sew along the edges using the 1/2-inch seam allowance. For durability and to prevent fraying, trim the seam allowance to 1/4 inch and sew a second seam beside the initial one.
- Turn your ostomy bag cover right side out and give it a good press with the iron to shape it.
Pro Tip: If you use an ostomy belt, consider adding snaps or Velcro to the back of the bag cover and the belt, ensuring the cover stays in place throughout the day. Additionally, crafting a fabric tube to cover the belt can offer an even sleeker look.