Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Monday, July 12, 2010

Laundry Bag Tutorial

I made a quick and dirty laundry bag for M2 last Thursday before she left to go back to Blacksburg, and I decided to try making a tutorial. I used fabric from IKEA that I bought last summer; it cost about $2 a yard and it's fairly heavyweight.

I just used half of what I bought, cutting along the print lines. Fold right sides together,

and stitch along two sides of the three raw edges, leaving one side open.
Next, decide how wide the drawstring is, so you can make the drawstring pocket. I used 1/2" wide cording, so I made my pocket approximately 1 1/2" wide.

Fold over the top edge, making sure you have a side seam opening wide enough to accommodate the drawstring. I unpicked my seam for this, but you could plan ahead and leave it open, if you remember to (I didn't).

Next, sew two lines all the way around the bag; this is the drawstring pocket.

Use cording twice the width of the bag,

plus a little extra. It took 2 1/2 yards for this bag.

You have to use tape to secure the cording before you cut it, to prevent unraveling.

Cut in the middle of the tape.

Now you need a bodkin to thread the cording through the pocket. Bodkins are sold in sewing stores and they are invaluable.

Insert one end into the pocket,

shove through, distributing the bunching fabric as you go.

If you're lucky, it comes out on the other side, although for some reason, it usually takes me two tries.

Pull it the rest of the way through,

and tie off both ends of the cording, then knot the ends together.

This bag is really too big, because M2 tends to stuff everything she owns in these, making it ridiculously heavy, but she was happy.

I'm going to use the remaining fabric to make two smaller ones. Let me know if I need to make anything clearer. Now I'm off to sew some kitchen rugs, ala Amanda Soule!


  1. I wish I had a machine. Between you and my sister tempting me, it's only a matter of time.

    The fabric is adorable. That bag is huge. If she gets homesick, she can squeeze herself in there and ship herself home.

  2. Great tutorial, Rose! Lots of good photos.
    Isn't it funny how many steps there are even when showing how to make something that seems as straightforward as a laundry bag?

    My son would be happy with such a big bag: he has IN and OUT baskets!