Jun 9, 2010

Delicates Bag from a Vintage Pillow Case

Today's tutorial is from Suzannah of Adventures in Dress making.

 I get creative with antiques and old linens.  I have quite a few old pillowcases that Idon’t need–who needs tons of pillowcases?  You could also do this project with an old men’s shirt or old table napkins.  Or any old fabric, really, but it’s sort of fun to repurpose things that already have a few finished edges to work off of.  See my pile?
So today I’m going to walk you through a tutorial on how to make an over-the-door (or closet rod) laundry bag for delicates (I’m currently keeping my hand-wash pile like this:)
Not good.  So I made a much cuter, easier-to-store bag out of an old pillowcase!  Here’s what you’ll need:
An old pillowcase (or shirt, or whatever), a wire hanger, and some cardboard.
  • I’m measuring 2.5″ from the edge of my design.  Your pillowcase will be different, so make it whatever size you want, but mine will end up being 16″ on each side, or 32″ around the base.
  • Tear to get a straight edge.  I’m making my bag 18″ tall, so I’m cutting and tearing the fabric into a rectangle 19″x17″ (half-inch seam allowances throughout on this project).
  • Mark your centers.
  • Now, repeat for the bottom and top pieces and the placket facing.  You’ll need:
  • Two pieces 10″x2.5″ (the top)
  • Two pieces 13″x5″ (the base)
  • One piece 10″x4″ (the placket)
  • One piece of cardboard 12″x4″ (the base)
  • Hope that’s not too confusing.  Here are all my pieces laid out:
  • Now, sew your placket down.  This part is sort of fun–it’s the technique for making a welt pocket, but much easier and less frustrating!  Align the placket with the center of the front piece (right sides together).
  • Sew 1/8th of an inch from the center line, down to about 2″ from the bottom.  Repeat 1/4″ from the first seam.  You should have flanked the middle with these two seams, leaving a 1/4″ space.
  • Now trim straight down the center, equidistant all the way from both seams.  STOP 1/4″ from the bottom of the seams and angle two cuts toward the points where they stop.
  • Flip and press well.
  • Topstitch the center of the placket down.
  • Press 1/2″ under all around the placket.  Topstitch it down.
  • Sew the main pillowcase pieces together right sides together and press the seam open.
  • Now, to make the bottom piece where the cardboard will go.  Sew with a big stitch (or pin really well, with lots of patience during the next part) the two bottom pieces together with a 1/2″ seam allowance.  Slip the cardboard in and sew closed.
  • Now, pin right sides together the bottom of the pillowcase (the center seam) to the bottom base.  Sew all around.  This part can be sort of tricky–the corners were a little frustrating!  If you want, you can choose not to put the cardboard in at this stage and either make a casing or only sew the first three seams together first–you can figure it out if you want, but this is how I did it with moderate success.  You could also make a casing if you wanted to remove the cardboard and throw the bag in the washing machine.
  • Now, do the same thing you did for the placket on the top piece.  Sew offset down the center a 1/4″ gap, trip, turn, press, and topstitch.  Make the slit about 6″ long in the middle of your 10″ piece.
  • Fold this piece in half and sew the ends closed.  It will be double-thick.  Trim the corners and turn right-side out.
  • Press and turn and press under 1/2″ all around.
  • The piece should be 9″ long, so pleat your bag into 9″ at the top.  I pleated the width of the placket extra on the front and back, plus about 1″ on each side seam.
  • Pin the top of the back into the inside of the top piece.  Sew down.  You can take the pins out through the gap in the top!
  • That’s it for the sewing.  Now you just have to take apart your metal hanger, bend it to the right shape, and wrestle it into the top.
Here it is!!!
I’m picturing it working best on a closet rod in a laundry room or closet, but it works on a door handle too!
This is definitely a trickier tutorial, not for the very beginning sewist.  I have done lots of simpler tutorials that are better if you’re interested in getting into sewing; maybe do a couple of those before you try this one!  I am always doing clothing refashions and tee makeovers!
Anyway, hope you enjoyed my tutorial and please stop by my blog, Adventures in Dressmaking, to see more sewing, crafting, painting, decorating, and design! See you around!

Thanks for such a fun tutorial!!


Happy Cottage Quilter said...

This looks like a great tutorial. But I have to say that it was hard to read the words over the green background. Thanks for sharing such a great project.

billiemonster said...

Awesome! I'm gonna make one of these for sure. Thanks for the idea! :D