Saturday, 19 January 2013

DIY - Hand stitched Wash Bag

Make your own Wash / Gadget / Storage Bag

I always need a container for something so I chose this project to DIY but also because it is easy and fast to do. It is inspired by a design of a book by Amy Carol, this project is used to learn stitching by hand.

What you need:
. Jersey Fabric - either 2 T-shirts in colours of your choice or material
. Cutting Matt
. Rotary Knife (optional)
. Plastic Ruler
. 2 Buttons
. Milward Sharps Needle No4
. Gutermann Top Stitch Thread in colour(s) of your choice
. Thin Pins
. Embroidery Scissors
. Fabric Scissors
. Iron (optional)

How to start:
Step ONE
Iron your material/T-shirt. If you use a T-shirt then this will determine the maximal width and height of your pouch. Keep in mind that the ratio length to width should be easy to use as in don't make it to narrow and deep or short and wide. Cut a rectangle which is double the length of your final pouch, the bottom part is where you fold it in half. Test your shape by folding it over and see whether it has a good ratio.
Repeat with your 2nd choice of fabric. Depending on the designated use choose probably a brighter or lighter colour for the inside to make it easier to search for the content.

Step TWO
Fold your rectangle in half, right sides facing each other, wrong sides outside. Pin the left and right edge as seen in pic 3.
It is good if you pin the inner pouch a tick smaller so it fits nicely later in the project when you place the inner pouch into the outer pouch. 

Make 1 knot at the very end
(about 2mm away from the edge) to prevent fraying and then about 1cm higher make 2 knots in the same place to fixate your thread at the start.
(The double knot in the same place might take a bit of practice)

Start stitching from the top. I loop the first stitch around to the back and up next to the same hole which seems to give it more hold.(pic 4-5)
Then sew in a straight line a straight stitch. (pic 5-7)

The stitches should have a nice rhythm. Too wide leaves a gap, too narrow might ruin the fabric. When you reached the end run your finger along the stitching from the beginning to the end to find the right tension between fabric and thread. Too tight and the fabric looses its stretch, too loose and the thread makes loops. (pic 8-9) Finish as you started. Loop the last stitch around to the front and down to the back, next to the same hole (pic 10), make a double knot in the same place (on the wrong side) by using your nail (pic 11) and a single knot further away, trim the thread. (pic 12)

You have finished the first part of your pouch.

Turn your pouch to the right side and fold your seams (now inside) to one side (This is a felled seam on the wrong side). (You can iron again if you wish.) Fold and pin the right edge of the pouch to the back and the left edge to the front. You will do the opposite for the second pouch, so in the end when you fit the inner one into the outer pouch the seams on both sides face opposite directions. The reason for this: you don't need to sew through all layers and it leaves the top corners more flexible.
You have pinned your seams now thread your needle and stitch both edges in a straight stitch. (I used a cross stitch on the outer pouch for decorative reasons but it also gives more stretch, if you don't know this cross stitch yet, use a straight stitch. How to do a cross stitch will be published soon.) (top pic 1-2)(below pic 1)

When you repeated Step TWO and THREE for your second pouch you should have 2 bags stitched on both edges with additional felled seams (inside).
Place the outer pouch into the inner pouch, right sides facing each other (pic 2-3). Pin the top edge and leave some open to be able to turn the pouches to the right side later. Thread your needle and do the single and double knots and start sewing from one side of the opening all around to the other side. Knot off, trim, and turn your pouches to the right side. 

Prepare your loops using scrap material, cut it along the grain to have less stretch. If you use single Jersey you will notice that the edges curl up. This is exactly what makes the loop. The length of your loop is determined by the size of your button, see in pic 7-9. Rather stretch the loop when you adjust it around your button because it will stretch more later anyway. Pin the ends of your loop together where your button needs it and sew them together using the same knots and stitching as before, knot off, trim. Place your loops in the right position where you want to have your buttons (take care that the gaps are not too big so the pouch closes nicely). You can also place the loops into their position in Step FOUR.

Step SIX
Pin your top edge and sew around in a straight stitch starting on one edge and all the way around, fixing the loops in place. Don't forget to loop the first and last stitch, knot off, trim.

To make sure your loops are safe you can stitch them onto the material another time further up as seen in pic 12. Iron your pouch if required. Finally determine where to fold your pouch over and mark the position for your buttons (pic 10). Sew your buttons onto the pouch through both layers.


Repeat in different colours, sizes and for different occasions. (I did a single layer version for recyclable gift wrap.)

1 comment:

  1. LOVE this bag. I can't sew, but this DIY makes me want to try (again). =0)
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