Make & Do: Sew an Easy Wash Bag

Homemaker-heroGive your toiletries a thorough scrubbing up with a stylish case from Homemaker Magazine (UK).

For something that most of us use daily, it’s shocking how grubby our toiletry bags can become. We may be the proud owners of the sparkliest of nail varnishes or the sweetest smelling soaps, but it’s no good if they live in a case that looks like it’s been dragged through a swamp. Put a stop to your cosmetic shame and whip up one of our beautiful Laura Ashley carry cases; they’re simpler to make than you think – and make fantastic gifts, too.

Laura Ashley fabric: Polka Dot PVC and Wallace dual-purpose
Scrap of orange fabric
White zips with plastic teeth
Bias binding, 1 inch wide
Metal ’D’ rings
Orange cord

Laura-Ashley-template-620Template – shown at 50% of actual size

  1. Using the template provided (above), cut two pieces from your chosen print. Trim bias binding to fit along the curved top of the bag, then fold and press in half lengthways, slot over the cut curved edge and machine stitch in place.
  2. Repeat the process on the other panel with the addition of a ’D’ ring: fold in the edges of a small strip of fabric, loop the strip through the ring and position the ends in the center of the bias binding. Pin and stitch in place, attaching the ’D’ ring in the process.
  3. Open the zip fully; it should be approximately 2 inches longer than the length of the curved edges. Position the top of one side of the zip at the end of one of the bag’s curved edges. Pin the zip underneath with the teeth laying next to the fold in the binding. Using a zipper foot, stitch next to the teeth.
  4. Repeat the process on the remaining side of the zip and the other side of the bag, making sure that the ends of the zip and fabric pieces are level. Turn the pieces so that the right sides of the fabric are facing.
  5. Close the zip half-way, then match the side seams together and stitch down each side with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. You’ll be stitching through the two ends of the zip, be careful during this process – as long as the zip’s teeth are plastic there shouldn’t be a problem.
  6. Sew across the base of the bag, again with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. You’ll be left with two square shapes at the base of the bag; these will become the gussets. On one corner, match the end of the base seam with the end of the side seam, then pin. Stitch together to form the gusset and repeat for the remaining corner.
  7. Turn the bag to the right side, tease out the corners and attach a length of cord to the zip pull. Make a small rectangular purse using the same processes, but omitting the gussets. If you fancy making your bag waterproof, at the start of the project cut an extra layer of plain white PVC, lay it on the wrong side of the fabric pieces and treat them as one. You will need to attach a Teflon foot to the machine to stop the foot from sticking to the fabric’s surface whilst stitching.


For more craft inspiration from Homemaker magazine click here


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