How many of you made New Year’s Resolutions to be more organized? I did. I realized that my clothes quickly get out of control. I didn’t move my plastic laundry basket across the country with me last summer. I don’t like just using shopping bags or boxes for my clothes. I really needed something for my laundry. I am trying to reduce acquiring new pieces of plastic in my life unless it’s really the best alternative. I looked at my fabric stash and a lightbulb went off. I would sew a new laundry bag. I chose a pattern from Simple Sewing with a French Twist. I thought wistfully about all of my fabrics – which would I choose?
Then I cleaned out a closet in the spare room, finding mismatched elements from old sheet sets. I picked up a big green cotton pillowcase, and I knew – this would be my new laundry bag.
The photos hopefully show the basics of the how-to. The full set of photos is here.
1-Take a pillowcase with a wide hem at the open side. This will become the drawstring casing. I used a grosgrain ribbon from my jar o’ribbons. Simply cut holes in each side where the ribbon will enter and exit. Use two pieces of ribbon to make ties on each side. Thread each ribbon around the whole bag in a U shape, so the ribbon enters and exits on the same side, using opposite sides for each ribbon. This is what draws the top closed. You can finish the holes if you want – I didn’t bother.
2- Decide on any optional embellishments. I raided my fabric scraps and did a quick applique for the initial and the little dresses. I cut out the motifs from fabric, used iron on interfacing to add some stability to each motif, and then sewed them to the bag.
3 – Sew gussets. See the top two smaller photos on the right of the mosaic. Basically, you turn the bag inside out, press it flat, and draw a straight line about 1.5″ or 2″ down from the edge (first photo). Sew down this line. Repeat for the other side. Second photo is finished gusset from the outside. This gives the bag shaping and more stability.
4 – Ribbon loop (optional). I planned to hang mine in the closet, so I wanted to add a loop. The flickr photoset shows more detailed photos of this step. I took two pieces of ribbon, folded one into a loop and then folded the other over to make something to attach the loop to. Sew in a rectangle around the entire flat part (not the loop). Make sure you are securing the ends of the loop inside. Then attach the loop to the back of the laundry bag. I did mine about 1/4 of the way down on the bag in the center. Sew in a rectangle again, using X shapes to reinforce the stitching. (Again, the photo illustrates this far better than words). Done!