Laundry bag

I’ve been aware for some time that I wanted a laundry bag for traveling. While not getting around to making one I had been musing on what qualities I wanted in it.

-lightweight
-colourfast
-ok to be washed with either lights or darks
-smooth, non grabby fabric (so the clothes go in and out easily)
-fairly strong
-visually different from the rest of the contents of my luggage.
-as always, natural fibre preferred.

After thinking of, then rejecting a number of options, I remembered an old defunct garment. Now too small and burgundy no longer being my friend for wearing, I could claim the lovely Liberty lawn for a laundry bag. An unused thing isn’t taking up space and I get to enjoy the gorgeous paisley fabric in a new shape. It ticks all the boxes.

It’s 80x52cm and weighs only 100g, which is less than most tshirts.

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More Bagses

Golly, a month with no posts! I’ve been busy, but not getting to writing things up here. Two large projects are not finished yet. I’ll start with writing up some small ones.

I’ve made a couple more simple bags, this time as gifts. I ought remember to check the photos I’ve taken before I give things away. I’m not happy with the pictures of either of these, but in both cases I didn’t realise that until after they had gone to their respective recipients.

This is an intricately patterned woven “tapestry” fabric bought cheaply in a bolt end sale. The friend I was with that day liked it and asked if she could “have any leftovers, pretty please?” The piece was only small, so some years later I decided to make it up for her as a bag.  Front and back views all folded up neatly prior to posting.

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The second bag is made for a purple loving lady from 6 sample pieces of fabulous Laura Ashley (if I remember correctly) reversible cotton jaquard. I had to change the bag proportions slightly to fit the cloth dimensions. I’ve had these pieces sitting in stash for years. Now they are finally made up pretty much as I intended.

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Inside shot. Gives a better impression of how gloriously glossy the fabric is. I’ve had to use a facing instead of the top hem due to the limited fabric piece sizes.

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and here is the front view.

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Shopping Bag Pattern

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A friend asked for the pattern for my shopping bags. The directions might be a bit cryptic without pictures. Next time I make some, I’ll try to remember to take pics during construction and update this. Note that I haven’t drawn this to scale, use the written measurements.

As pictured, the measurements work for the soft cornered plain seam version.

Directions:
-Overlock around the base reinforcing piece and sew onto the wrong side of the bottom. Or cut it out big enough to press under a seam allowance before sewing on (this is bulkier of course).
-Sew the sides to the base with a 1.5cm seam, then overlock.
-Hem the top (double fold 3cm hem).
-Press the straps, long sides almost to the middle. Fold back on themselves and sew the ends shut. Clip corners, grade and turn open. Press neatly the whole length in half lengthwise ready to sew. Edge stitch both sides in the same direction.
-Place the straps on the front and back. I do them 12cm apart and 11cm from the top edge. Edge stitch the overlapped section with a few additional runs to secure the top edge.

For the stiff cornered reverse french seam version, add 1.5cm to the bottom depth (24.5cm instead of 22cm) to match to the side measurements. There is not a lot of point making this version unless your fabric has some stiffness to it.

Directions:
-Overlock around the base reinforcing piece and sew onto the wrong side of the bottom. Or cut it out big enough to press under a seam allowance before sewing on (this is bulkier of course and can conflict with the outer seam in this version).
-Sew the sides to the base inside out with a 0.5cm seam.
-Hem the top (double fold 3cm hem). If your fabric is heavy, it’s important to reduce bulk at the vertical seams as much as possible.
-Right sides out, Sew again around the side and base seams with a 0.7cm allowance. Sew each section separately, don’t try to sew around the corners.
-Press the straps, long sides almost to the middle. Fold back on themselves and sew the ends shut. Clip corners, grade and turn open. Press neatly the whole length in half lengthwise ready to sew. Edge stitch both sides in the same direction.
-Place the straps on the front and back. I do them 12cm apart and 11cm from the top edge. Edge stitch the overlapped section with a few additional runs to secure the top edge.

Denim shopping bags

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Where those lovely straight straps went. Not exciting but useful. Grocery shopping bags made from denim left over from one of my almost jeans projects. I’d not have needed to make them, but I foolishly dropped one of my set in a carpark. I didn’t realise until I’d got where I was going. When I went back, it was not to be found. So there is a Montjoye bag out there randomly somewhere. I hope it gets used.

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In denim, these should last me many years, as long as I manage to not leave them behind in random places.

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These are to the same pattern as my last Shopping Bag Mk II.

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Shopping Bag Mk II

The floppiness of the Mk I version did not please me. Looking again at the synthetic original, it has bound edges which act as stiffening. I’ve made up the same pattern again with a few significant changes:
1. The seams are done as inside out french seams for the stiffening effect
2. The base reinforcement only extends to the fold line, not beyond
3. Stiffer fabric. This is a pretty linen canvas (or so I conclude) remnant from Laura Ashley. Good fabric for the purpose.

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This folds nicely more easily too, which pleases me. If I make the handles a cm shorter each side, the folding will work even better. Hurrah, I have a workable pattern and several bags to be going on with.

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Prosaic Project

This isn’t fascinating but I’m still pleased to have done it. I’ve been meaning to replace my collection of synthetic shopping bags with cotton or linen ones. This is a good start. I like the shape of the supermarket issued ones, so I copied the measurements. Mine are floppier which might be a bit irritating in use. They sure feel nicer to the fingers though. The fabric is a brushed, dense cotton twill suiting left over from a pair of trousers.

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They look neater folded flat. I doubt this will happen often though. They may never look this neat again.

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I’m a little disappointed that I miss positioned one of the handles. Oh well.

These are done with my first thought on construction. Front/base/back is all one piece for strength. There is an extra layer in the base for reinforcing. The sides are separate pieces. I have a few other different thoughts and plans to make a few more. Patterning and/or construction decisions might well be influenced by the shape of the fabric pieces.

Of course I had to put labels on.

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Pink!

Some months ago, my niece pointed at a picture in a book and said “I want that one”. I didn’t see the picture, but I’m told it was a bag made from a pair of pink jeans. I needed to organise a present for her and this is something well within my capabilities. She may not even remember the picture, or the wanting, but I hope she likes it anyway.

An opshop provided a pair of size 8 ladies jeans in brilliant pink. I chopped them below the fly, inserted a rectangular base and handles, cut from the legs.

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I then put a coordinating lining in.

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I left the button and fly functional for fun. Then I realised that gave access to the space between bag and lining for the putting of things, and a five year old would. So to prevent the inevitable struggle of having to get them out again, I sewed through to catch the placket closed. Pity I didn’t think of this until the lining was in, so that stitching shows on the inside. Oh well. If I ever make another I shall try to remember.

And the backside:

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I reckon it came out quite well. It occurs to me that my old jeans would make good grocery bags made up like this with a squarer base. I wonder if I’ve kept any?

Little zippered bags

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Such a tiny project I’m not sure it’s worth blogging about. I was visiting a friend yesterday and she had just made a bunch of these. Then today, I remembered why I wanted a couple, so I made some. Hurrah for timely inspiration.

I should have used a finer lining fabric for the blue one, it’s sitting badly. I also suspect a different order of operation would give a neater effect at the top corners. Oh well, they will do for the purpose in mind.

The red toile fabric is left over from a tablecloth and napkins I made years ago. I bought the fabric in Florence. The blue willow pattern love birds were originally part of a tablecloth that I bought in an opshop, I think in Holbrook. It was damaged, I made a kitchen hanging from it first. A few years later I cut that up to make trim on a curtain for the then new servery. This is the leftovers from that, so the third purpose for these scraps of cloth. The zippers are stash cast offs from a friend.

 

A Little Augmentation

This is the original of those fabric bags I’ve been making. I decided to add internal pockets so that it is more useful as a travelling handbag. I have also shortened the strap because that had been so annoyingly long I had knotted it up.

I’ve sized one of the pockets to hold my passport and phone.

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This would have been SO much easier if I had thought to do this during construction in the first place. I had to carefully handsew through only one layer of the bag so that the stitching doesn’t show on the outside. Well, I could have done it on the machine, but I didn’t want the ugly stitching lines.

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Here is the bag from the outside. Looks no different.

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I still might make myself another, but later.

Purple handbaggage

Another bag for another recipient and a reminder that I must focus and be really present even for simple projects, or I will keep stuffing up. I thought to myself that I could “just throw this together” in time for a planned visit. Nup. Yes I had time to build it, but I made more mistakes and did more unpicking for this little, simple project than I have in ages. Plus I broke two needles in quick succession trying to sew through the metal stops at the top of the zip*. Stupid. After I pulled myself together and concentrated properly, the bag came together much more smoothly.

I got that zip in after a silly amount of mistakes. The sparkly crystal pull looks nice against the purple lining.

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It’s the same shape as the tartan bag from a few weeks ago, but on a smaller scale. The outer fabric is apholstery stuff left over from a doorway budgie barrier I made maybe 12 years ago? The lining is from a friend’s reject stash. Button and zip from a different friend and threads for the plaited loop from my large box of perle cotton. I do heaps of things with that stuff.

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The strap is long enough to be worn cross body, the way the lady prefers. I think I want to build myself one for travelling. It’s almost weightless, squashable and machine washable.

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*in my defence I had though the first breakage was on the pull tab, which I moved for the second attempt, but I was mistaken.