A custom chemo pump pouch is easy to create and makes a great gift for someone whose treatment includes at-home chemo infusion.
While chemotherapy patients still go to hospitals and clinics to receive hours-long infusions, part of a cancer patient’s treatment may also include an small infusion pump that they take home to continue/finish their infusion.
What Is A Take Home Chemo Pump?
A take home chemo pump is, “a small, lightweight device that will put chemotherapy into your bloodstream at a steady rate. This is called a continuous infusion of chemotherapy.” (Source: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center)
Another term you may see for this device is an ambulatory infusion pump.
There are a variety of infusion pump designs and brands and, while some are bigger than others, this chemo pump fanny pack design should accommodate many of them.
DIY Chemo Pump Fanny Pack Instructions
This free chemo pump pouch pattern is basically a small boxy dopp kit with a belt added to it.
You can therefore easily increase its size, but then you’ll also want to alter the belt design and select a different clasp to accommodate the weight that the fanny pack will hold.
Materials and Tools
To make this small fanny pack, you need only minimal materials. For this fanny pack pattern you need the following materials and tools:
– 1/4 yard lightweight denim
I use lightweight denim for this design because it is a versatile outer layer fabric that can be paired with almost any outfit.
A heavier denim will also work, but in order to keep the fanny pack to be super supple I feel a lightweight denim is the best option.
– 1/4 yard 100% cotton fabric
The lining of the chemo pump belt is an opportunity to add some color and customization.
If you’re making this fanny pack for someone specific, you can easily find novelty cotton fabrics that reflect the person’s favorite things. This small, personal touch is sure to make them smile each time they use it.
– 1/4 yard fusible fleece
When I first started testing this idea, I made the original fanny pack without any stabilizer.
This approach works just fine for a walking or hiking fanny pack meant to hold keys, some cash, and your phone, but needs more heft to hold a continuous infusion pump.
If you don’t have fusible fleece on hand, you can certainly use a different stabilizer, but it won’t be as soft or as flexible.
– One 13″ zipper
My decision to use a 13″ zipper is a simple one: to make life easy.
With a 13″ zipper, you have some wiggle room if the fabrics shift while sewing. It’s also very forgiving for anyone who is new to projects that use a zipper.
– 40″ of 1″ webbing
The webbing is used as the belt for the chemo pump pouch. This webbing is cut into two pieces – a 4″ piece and a 36″ piece.
If you are designing this to be worn low on the hips instead of closer to the waist, you will want to increase the size of the larger piece of belting.
– One plastic adjuster
If you do choose to increase the dimensions and make a larger fanny pack, you may want to use a plastic buckle (*Amazon affiliate link).
The plastic buckles, however, may be difficult to open for some cancer patients who are weak or fatigued from their chemotherapy treatment.
– Rotary cutter and mat
If you still haven’t jumped on the rotary cutter train, it’s never too late. The rotary cutter and mat are a “must-have” for me as they prevent hand fatigue if I’m cutting a lot of fabric and other crafty supplies.
Do you prefer scissors? Those will work for this project too.
– Sewing clips
Sewing clips are my “go to” sewing accessory because they’re easy to use and never prick my skin.
For this sewing project, you will want to keep your tin of clips close by, because throughout the project you will use more than a handful of them at a time.
– Clear ruler
The ruler is used to cut the fabric and, more importantly, cut squares out of the fabric to make the fanny pack’s boxy shape.
A clear acrylic ruler* let’s you see exactly what you’re doing and I highly recommend them.
– Small lighter
A small lighter* (or just use a match in a pinch) is used to singe and finish the edges of the webbing to prevent fraying.
– Sewing machine
This is all straight-line sewing and a little bit of zigzag stitching, if you so choose. So a basic sewing machine is all you need for this project.
*As an Amazon affiliate, I may receive a small commission if you buy a product using the links with an asterisk or the links below.
Easy Instructions To Make A Chemo Pump Bag
- 1/4 yard of lightweight denim
- 1/4 yard of 100% cotton fabric
- 1/4" yard fusible fleece
- 40" of 1" webbing
- One 9" zipper
- One 1" plastic strap adjuster
- Rotary cutter and mat
- Clear ruler
- Sewing clips
- Small lighter
- Sewing machine
CUT FABRIC TO SIZE
- Cut two 11" x 6' pieces of the lightweight denim.
- Cut two 11" x 6" pieces of the 100% cotton fabric.
- Cut two 11" x 6" pieces of the fusible fleece.
FUSE FLEECE TO FABRIC
- Use an iron to fuse the fleece to the wrong side of the each piece of denim. (The raised dots should be placed on top of the wrong side of the fabric.)
- Double check that the the edges and corners are fully fused on each piece of denim.
PREPARE & SEW ONE SIDE OF THE FANNY PACK
- Set the zipper right side up.
- Take the denim fabric and, right side down, line up the top edge of the fabric to the top edge of the zipper.
- Clip the zipper and fabric together.
- Grab a piece of the cotton fabric and check the direction of the fabric before placing it right side up on the table.
- Create a "zipper sandwich" by taking the clipped zipper and outer fabric and lining it up, right side down, with the top edge of the cotton fabric.
- Clip all three pieces together.
- Sew the fabric and zipper sandwich together using your preferred method.
- Open of the fabrics so that they are wrong sides together.
- Finger press to help the seam lay flat.
- Clip the fabrics wrong sides together to prepare for sewing.
- Top stitch the fabrics together using your your preferred method.
The first side of the fanny pack is done, now it's time to prepare the second side. You will basically follow the same process as before.
PREPARE AND SEW THE SECOND SIDE OF THE FANNY PACK
- Place the zipper right side up, but this time the top edge should be the empty one.
- Line the denim fabric up with the top of the zipper and place it right side down onto the zipper.
- Clip the fabric to the zipper
- Place the cotton fabric right side up on the table.
- Lay the zipper and the denim, right side down on top of the cotton fabric.
- Clip them all together.
- Check that the direction of the fabric (if there is one) will be right side up after sewing.
- Sew the zipper sandwich together using your preferred method.
SQUARE UP THE FABRIC & SEW BOTTOM EDGE
- Since we're sewing different kinds of fabrics together, sometimes things can literally go sideways. So take a minute to square everything up.
- Use a clip to keep everything together since you're removing the zipper's stopper. This also helps as a visual cue not to take zipper pull all the way off the zipper.
- Fold the fabric in half with the right sides of the denim
together and clip.
- Sew the bottom edge together using a 1/2" seam allowance
(OPTIONAL) Clean up the bottom edge with pinking shears if you'd like.
FORM THE FANNY PACK SHAPE & SEW
- Open up the fabric sandwich and shift the fold so that the sewn bottom edge is centered with the zipper.
- Take the zipper pull and move it toward the middle.
- Keep a clip on both sides of the zippers as a visual reminder not to take the over the edge.
- Clip the side edges to prepare for sewing. You can also clip the long edges to keep everything in place and secure.
- Sew the short edges together using a 1/2" seam allowance.
- Double check that the zipper opening is at least half way open.
- Take your ruler and rotary cutter and cut 1.5" squares out of each of the four corners.
PREPARE THE STRAP PIECES & CREATE 3D SHAPE
- Grab the webbing and cut two different pieces: one 4" strip and one 36" piece.
- Use the lighter to each end of the two pieces of webbing.
- Insert the 4" piece of webbing into the bottom of the plastic adjuster and line up the edges.
- Clip the webbing's edges so that they stay aligned.
- Create the boxy shape of the fanny pack by pulling the zipper and the bottom edge away from each other.
- Take your short strap on the adjuster and insert it into one of the edges.
- Clip to secure.
- Double check that the adjuster is facing the right direction so that the strap will stay taut when in use.
- One the same side, take the long piece of webbing and insert it into
the unsewn edges, then clip them together.
- Clip the remaining edges together to finish your sewing prep.
- Use a 1/2" seam allowance to sew all four edges of the fanny pack.
- Turn the fanny pack right sides out, then poke out all of the corners to finish it and enjoy!
- The dimensions of this fanny pack were originally designed for small chemo pumps that patients use for their at-home treatments.
- When sewing the webbing into the fanny pack, go back and forth a bit to strengthen the seam.
- The small plastic adjuster is part of the pattern instead of a two-piece buckle because it's often easier to use.
As an member of certain affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
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Fusible Fleece by Pellon: 45"x60"
Strapworks Heavyweight Polypropylene Webbing - Heavy Duty Poly Strapping for Outdoor DIY Gear Repair, 1 Inch x 10 Yards - Black
MumCraft Multipurpose Sewing Clips with Tin Box Package, Assorted Colors, Pack of 100
Rotary Cutter Set Pink - Quilting Kit incl. 45mm Fabric Cutter, 5 Replacement Blades, A3 Cutting Mat, Acrylic Ruler and Craft Clips - Ideal for Crafting, Sewing, Patchworking, Crochet & Knitting
DIY Fanny Pack Video Tutorial
Consider Making These Chemotherapy Accessories Too
In addition to this chemo pump pouch, I have tutorials for other accessories that are helpful to cancer patients and people going through chemotherapy.
Make A Chemo Port Pillow
A chemo port pillow is a small pillow that is placed over a seat belt or bag strap that prevents the belt from rubbing the port and irritating it or applying too much pressure.
Make A Bra Bumper
A bra bumper is a tiny port pillow that people can place over the strap of their bra so that, once again, the port doesn’t have too much pressure on it or get irritated.
Make A Chemo Care Bag
A chemo care bag can be as simple as grabbing a fabric tote and adding some helpful items to it that someone can use while they’re going through chemotherapy.
You can also customize the fabric tote using HTV by adding an inspirational saying, a fun quote, or an image of something the recipient loves.
Here are some ideas on how to make a chemo care bag to get you started.
A Custom Chemotherapy Pump Bag Is A Gift
A custom chemotherapy pump pouch makes the at-home infusion process just that little bit less impersonal.
So, if you’re looking for something to give to a friend, or to donate to a cancer clinic along with port pillow, please try making some!