How to Make an Ostomy Pouch - Sewing Pattern and Construction Tutorial

  • 01 of 06

    How to Sew an Ostomy Pouch Cover - Make a Pattern and Construction Tutorial

    Front, Back and Drainage area opened in photos of the Handmade Ostomy Pouch Cover
    Sew Your Own Ostomy Pouch Cover. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to

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

    Materials Needed

    • Paper or pattern making material - tissue paper, news print or similar materials work fine
    • Fabric - a soft light...MORE weight fabric such as flannel or 100% cotton - preshrunk - The amount needed will vary with the bag size and resulting pattern pieces. I also chose to make a second front layer of a silky fabric which allows clothing to slide over the pouch and not hang up on the pouch the way some fabrics tend to do.
    • Double fold bias tape - a scrap to go around the opening for the flange.
    • Thread to match your fabric
    • Marking tools - To create the pattern and to transfer pattern markings 
    • An ostomy bag to trace
    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    Create a Pattern for an Ostomy Pouch Cover

    Step by step instructions to make a custom ostomy pouch cover pattern
    Creating a Custom Pattern for an Ostomy Pouch Cover. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to

    Front Pattern Piece

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

    Back Pattern Piece for a...MORE Drainable Pouch

    • Trace the outer edges of the front pattern piece.
    • Measure 2" from the bottom edge and draw a line across the pattern piece. The distance decision is up to you. You want enough fabric to support the bottom of the pouch but an opening that is close enough to the "drain" so that you can conveniently drain the pouch without removing the entire cover. My choice of 2" was so the line landed just above the "drain area" of the pouch.
    • Cut the pattern piece on the line you just created.
    • Trace both pieces on to the pattern making material.
    • Add 1 1/2" to the newly created line area of the pattern.
    • 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.
    • Trace the flange opening on to the upper back pattern piece. Cut out the opening.
    • 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.
    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    Cutting Out the Pattern Pieces

    Cutting the fabric to make an ostomy pouch cover
    Cutting Out the Fabric to Make and Ostomy Pouch Cover. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to
    • Lay the fabric out flat in a single layer. Press the fabric if needed.
    • Lay the pattern pieces out, using the marked grain-lines to keep the fabric on the straight grain of the fabric. 
    • Pin the pattern pieces in place.
    • Cut out the pattern pieces.
    • Cut out the flange opening by tracing the opening or by using the pattern as a guide and cutting the opening the same way pattern piece is cut out.
    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    Sewing the Flange Opening

    Use double fold bias tape to enclose the edge of the flange opening
    Sew the Flange Opening. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to
    • Stabilize the edges of the flange opening by stay stitching close to the edge or by zigzag stitching on the edge of the opening.
    • 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 likely you are to want to baste first!

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Creating One Piece for the Back of the Ostomy Pouch Cover

    Hemming the back pieces and joinging them to create one back section
    The Back Pieces. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to
    • Press under (to the wrong side of the fabric) 1/4" on the splitting line of the two back sections.
    • If your fabric is prone to fraying, zigzag the raw edges of the pressed under the edge.
    • Sew the turned under edges to the body of the fabric, forming a hemmed edge on both back sections.
    • Lay the full front section on a flat surface.
    • Lay the larger, top back pieces on top of the front piece, aligning the edges.
    • Lay the smaller, bottom back section on top of the upper section and align the lower...MORE edges.
    • Pin the edges of the back sections so the overlap is held in place.
    • Baste the edges of the overlap to hold the two back pieces together.
    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Joining the Front and Back

    Sew together the front and back sections, trimming and finishing the seam.
    Joining the Front and Back Sections. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to
    • If you are using a silky fabric layer, baste the silky layer to the main fabric so that you can work the pieces as one for the remaining process.
    • Lay the front and back sections together, with the right sides together, aligning the edges.
    • Pin the layers together. How to Pin a Seam
    • Sew all of the edges, using a scant 1/2" seam. Setting Your Seam Guide for Sewing Curves(You added a 1/2" seam to the pattern. By sewing with a scant 1/2" seam you allow room for the seam allowance and pouch...MORE expansion.) Sewing a Curved Seam
    • Trim the seam allowance to 1/4"
    • Sew a second seam line on the seam allowance close to the first seam line. This will stop the fabric from fraying but not add as much weight as zigzagging of most other seam finishes.
    • Turn the bag right sides out.
    • 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.