The Happiest Camper is one of my favorite blogs for beginner-friendly sewing tutorials. This is not the first tutorial I have shared as a recommendation from this blog, and certainly will not be the last! As these hot months are amongst us, and we begin more outdoor activities in the heat, I wanted to share with you this very practical project: a DIY Crossbody Water Bottle Holder sewing tutorial!If you have never sewn a zipper before, use this project to add it to your new skills list! Or if you are not quite ready to give that a try just yet, try alerting the pattern to use velcro, snaps, or magnets.

DIY Crossbody Water Bottle Holder Sewing Tutorial


How To Sew A Water Bottle Holder

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

water bottle holder materials
  • Cotton Quilting Fabric in two coordinating prints (about 1/3 yard each)
  • Fusible Fleece
  • 7” zipper
  • 54-60” webbing for strap
  • Coordinating thread
  • Iron
  • Sewing Machine
  • Stick pins (Clover Clips optional)
  • Ironing board
  • Scissors
  • Rotary Cutter and Self Healing Cutting Mat

How To Sew A Crossbody Water Bottle Holder

pattern pieces for 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

For Lining:
(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

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

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.

iron on fusible fleece

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!

check to make sure fleece is secure

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.

iron the binding for the top and bottom of the bottle holder

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 it’s 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.)

cut matching circles for top and bottom of the bottle holder
Mark about a 1/2″ allowance around the fleece and cut all four pieces into circles.
sew top and bottom of water bottle holder together

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.

(optional) clip notches into top and bottom to make it easier to sew around

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.

sew top panel of water bottle holder
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.

sew top panel of water bottle holder a second time
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.
sew bottom panel for water bottle holder

Repeat this process on the other side of the zipper for the bottom panel.

finished front panel of water bottle holder

You should now have a larger rectangle with a zipper near the top.

attach back panel to zipper side
form tube shape with front and back panel to make water bottle holder

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.

conceal raw edges on sides of water bottle holder

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.

sewing binding around bottom of water bottle holder

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.

pin top and bottom in place for water bottle holder

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.

conceal raw edges with binding

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.

pin on straps
secure straps to water bottle holder

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!

finished water bottle holder

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.

DIY Crossbody Water Bottle Holder
Joan Mantini

About Joan Mantini

After several years of being the Facebook page owner at Beginner Sewing, I noticed there was a desperate need to have a single go-to spot for members to be able to find answers to their common questions, get some useful tips & tricks, as well as find reputable places to purchase sewing products online. Taking my role as a trade publication editor by day, and combining it with my knowledge of frequently requested beginner sewing advice, I created An outlet that gives new sewists a free digital magazine geared for entry level sewing as an extra bonus!

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