How to Make an Ostomy Pouch Cover

Ostomy Bag Cover Pattern and Construction Tutorial

An ostomy pouch worn on a woman's midsection
Magnus Baglien / EyeEm / Getty Images
  • 01 of 07

    Ostomy Bag Cover Pattern

    Anyone with an ostomy knows about skin irritation and discretion. This pouch cover solves both issues. By choosing a soft fabric in an appealing print, both skin irritation and discretion are taken care of. Since there is a huge variety of bags and pouches on the market, these instructions will guide you through making a custom pattern for any shape and size.

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  • 02 of 07

    Materials Needed

    Ostomoy bag front, back, and open drainage area
    Debbie Colgrove
    • Paper or pattern-making material
    • Soft, lightweight fabric such as flannel or 100 percent cotton, preshrunk*
    • Double fold bias tape
    • Thread to match your fabric
    • Marking tools to create the pattern and transfer pattern markings 
    • An ostomy bag to trace
    • ​*Optional: make a second front layer of a silky fabric, which allows clothing to slide over the pouch more easily.
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  • 03 of 07

    Create a Pattern for an Ostomy Pouch Cover

    The front and back patterns to make a custom ostomy pouch cover
    Debbie Colgrove

    Front Pattern Piece

    1. If you are using a drainable pouch, close the bag.
    2. Keeping the pouch flat, trace edges of the pouch on your pattern-making material.
    3. Add 1/2 inch to the entire edge of the tracing.
    4. Trace the flange opening.
    5. Add 1/8 inch to the outer edge of the traced opening.
    6. Do not cut out the flange opening on the front pattern piece. You will be using this marking to create the back pattern piece.
    7. Cut out the pattern piece by cutting out the outer edges only.

    Back Pattern Piece for a Drainable Pouch

    1. Trace the outer edges of the front pattern piece.
    2. Measure 2 inches from the bottom edge and draw a line across the pattern piece––adjust this measurement if appropriate for your bag. You want enough fabric to support the bottom of the pouch, but an opening that is close enough to the drain so that it can be accessed without removing the entire cover. The line should land just above the drain area of the pouch.
    3. Cut the pattern piece on the line you just created.
    4. Trace both pieces on to the pattern-making material.
    5. Add 1 1/2 inches to the newly created line area of the pattern.
    6. Connect the new line to the pattern pieces, keeping the shape intact by tracing the edge of the original pattern piece to the new line.
    7. Trace the flange opening on to the upper back pattern piece. Cut out the opening.
    8. Fold the length of each pattern piece in half, aligning the edges. Draw a straight line on the fold. Use the fold line as your grainline to lay out the pattern pieces.
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  • 04 of 07

    Cutting Out the Pattern Pieces

    Cutting out the fabric from the ostomy pouch cover pattern
    Debbie Colgrove
    1. Lay the fabric out flat in a single layer. Press the fabric if needed.
    2. Lay the pattern pieces out, using the marked grain lines to keep the fabric on the straight grain. 
    3. Pin the pattern pieces in place.
    4. Cut out the pattern pieces.
    5. Cut out the flange opening by tracing it or by using the pattern as a guide and cutting the opening the same way the pattern piece is cut out.
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  • 05 of 07

    Sewing the Flange Opening

    Use double fold bias tape to enclose the edge of the flange opening
    Debbie Colgrove
    1. Stabilize the edges of the flange opening by stay stitching close to the edge or by zigzag stitching on the edge of the opening.
    2. Enclose the flange opening edge with the double fold bias tape. Fold of the end as you reach where you started sewing and enclose the starting point with the folded end of the double fold bias tape. 

    Note: You may want to hand baste the bias tape into place before machine sewing. The smaller the flange opening, the more helpful it is to baste first.

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  • 06 of 07

    Creating One Piece for the Back of the Ostomy Pouch Cover

    Hemming the back pieces and joinging them to create one back section
    Debbie Colgrove
    1. Press under (to the wrong side of the fabric) 1/4 inch on the splitting line of the two back sections.
    2. If your fabric is prone to fraying, zigzag the raw edges of the pressed portion under the edge.
    3. Sew the turned under edges to the body of the fabric, forming a hemmed edge on both back sections.
    4. Lay the full front section on a flat surface.
    5. Lay the larger top back pieces on top of the front piece, aligning the edges.
    6. Lay the smaller bottom back section on top of the upper section and align the lower edges.
    7. Pin the edges of the back sections so the overlap is held in place.
    8. Baste the edges of the overlap to hold the two back pieces together.
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  • 07 of 07

    Joining the Front and Back

    Sew together the front and back sections, trimming and finishing the seam.
    Debbie Colgrove
    1. If you are using a silky fabric layer, baste the silky layer to the main fabric so that the pieces are together for the remaining process.
    2. Lay the front and back sections together, with the right sides together, aligning the edges.
    3. Pin the layers together.
    4. Sew all of the edges, using the scant 1/2 inch seam that you previously allowed room for when cutting the pattern.
    5. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4 inch.
    6. Sew a second seam line on the seam allowance close to the first seam line. This will stop the fabric from fraying but does not add as much weight as zigzagging or most other seam finishes.
    7. Turn the bag right side out.
    8. Press.


    • The lighter weight your fabric, the better.
    • If you use a belt, add snaps to the back of the pouch cover and the belt to hold the pouch cover in place.
    • If you use a belt, consider making a tube of fabric to cover the belt and attach the pouch cover.