Mum uses a plastic carrier bag to keep her laundry pegs in. The bag gets scuffed and ripped, pegs go everywhere, drives me spare whenever I’m down and doing laundry.
“We can do better than this,” I thought. “And it’s nearly her birthday.” All the patterns I found online were the ones with the coat hanger in that we made at school (mine was dark green with rick-rack in red and varying shades of blue, I seem to remember). I knew I didn’t want that sort of design, but couldn’t find anything else. So I designed one. And it looks like this:
Yes, the strap is in two parts with a buttonhole, it’s so you can button it over the washing line.
You will need:
1/2 metre of exterior fabric (I used a denim)
1/2 metre of lining fabric (I used some coordinating quilting fabric)
1/2 metre of fleece (either the fusible sort or the sew-in sort)
30cm by 75cm fusible interfacing
A button (I used a large plain navy blue one)
The pattern pieces:
For the body: A rectangle 60cm long by 26cm high (cut one of these out of the exterior fabric, the lining fabric, and the fleece – three pieces)
For the base: A circle of 19 1/2cm diameter (cut one of these out of the exterior fabric, the lining fabric, and the fleece – three pieces)
For the straps: A rectangle 75cm long by 15 cm high (cut two of these out of the exterior fabric and interfacing – four pieces)
Seam allowance is 1/2″ throughout except where stated. I apologise for the mix of metric and imperial measures – the drafting paper I use is cm squared, the sewing machine was my grandma’s and so has imperial seam allowances marked on the footplate.
1) Iron the interfacing onto the wrong side of the fabric for the straps, and press in half, longways, right sides together.
2) With wrong sides together, sew down one short edge and the long edge, so you end up with an open-ended tube. Trim the seam allowance to about 1/4″, clip the corners. Turn right side out, poking the corners out (a knitting needle is a very present help in times of trouble). Press, mercilessly. You can top-stitch all the way round as well. I meant to, but I forgot.
3) Attach the fleece to the exterior fabric, both body piece and base piece. If using fusible fleece, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, if using sew-in fleece, use a 1/4″ seam allowance.
For the exterior
4) With right sides together, sew the side seam down the short side.
5) With right sides together, pin the exterior body to the exterior base, easing fullness if required. Sew.
For the lining
6) Sew the side seam, and sew the base to the body, in the same way as for the exterior.
7) With the exterior body inside out, drape one of the handles inside the bag and pin the short end to the exterior body fabric (so the handle is on the inside of the bag). Repeat with the other handle. Sew in place using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
8) Insert the lining into the exterior, with the right sides together, and pin in place. Sew around the top edge, using a 1/2″ seam allowance, and leaving a 4″ gap somewhere in the seam for turning.
9) Turn the bag right side out through the opening you left in the seam, topstitch all around the top edge to close the gap and reinforce the top edge.
[Optional: discover that the large navy blue button you thought you had is actually two smaller ones which wouldn’t have suited at all, realise that this means a trip to Westfield shopping centre on a Saturday afternoon, sob gently, go to Westfield, buy button, don’t kill anyone].
10) Put the buttonhole at the end of one of the straps, sew the button on the other strap.
11) Beam with pride.
This is the first sewing pattern I’ve ever written out, if I’ve made any particularly glaring errors, do point them out in the comments.