Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Kid's Wash Bag Tutorial

Hello, Jane from Handmade Jane here, sharing my tutorial for kid's wash bags.
I've been selling these wash bags at craft fairs for the past six months and they've proved very popular, I think because they're small and cute!  Once you've cut the fabric out, they probably take no more than an hour to make, so they're relatively easy too.  Here goes...

You will need:
2 x outer fabric (quilting weight is good) each piece measuring 32cm long by 27cm wide
2 x waterproof fabric* each piece measuring the same size as above
1 x length of piping cord or similar, minimum 60cm long
*I get my waterproof fabric from here and it's always been good quality and good value.  I use white as it goes with everything but there are lots of other colours available.

1) Pin together one of the outer fabric pieces and one of the waterproof pieces, wrong sides together.  If you're not sure about the waterproof fabric, the right side is shiny and slippery and the wrong side is very slightly tacky.  Do the same with the remaining two pieces.

2) I make my wash bags using French seams so they're enclosed.  To do this, pin the two double sided pieces wrong sides together so you have the two waterproof layers facing each other and the two pieces of printed fabric on the outside.  Make two marks on one long side, one about 5cm from the top and one 1.5 cm from the top.

3) Using a narrow seam allowance (about the width of your presser foot is fine), start at one top corner and sew down that long edge, along the bottom edge and up the other side, stopping at the first mark.  Backstitch a few times. Continue from the 1.5cm mark to the top of the fabric, backstitching again.
You should have a small gap of about 3.5cm at the top of one long side
4) Cut all threads and trim seam allowances right down.  Cut corners on a  diagonal.Turn the bag inside out and poke the bottom edges with a paintbrush or similar, so they're nice and pointy. Press (the waterproof fabric is fine to press on a low heat setting but if you're worried, use a cloth).

5) Now we're going to do exactly the same on the inside of the bag.
Using a large enough seam allowance to encase the first seam, sew along the folded edges of the fabric, starting and finishing at the same places.  That's your French seam!
Look, no unfinished seams wafting about
6) Now the next bit looks a bit unorthodox, but it will really help when you come to thread the cord through.  Trim the two top edge seams down to where the line of sewing starts again.
7) Press under 1.5cm of the top raw edge all the way around.
Top edge (about 1.5cm) folded over and pressed
8) Then press under the remaining 3.5cm.
Top edge hem
You should now have a nifty little hole for your cord.

9) If you want to add your own label, now is a good time so that the stitching doesn't show through on the outside.  Unfold the top hem and sew on your label about midway across.

10) Fold under again and sew all the way around the top edge, starting and finishing at the hole you've created.  Backstitch a few times by the entry hole for extra strength.  Press.

Now for the fun part....
11) Piping cord tends to unravel at the ends so I wrap a small bit of sellotape to each end to stop this.  Secure a safety pin to one end of the cord and feed through the hole until it emerges at the other end.
Ensure both ends are of equal length then tie a knot near the cord ends.  And that's it!  You have yourself a very professional looking waterproof wash bag.
Obviously play with size if you want it to hold more or want to make one for adults.  The size in this tutorial is roomy enough for a child's toothbrush, toothpaste and flannel.
If you're making one with a baby in mind then it's also the right size to hold a couple of nappies and a pack of wipes.

I hope this tutorial is useful, if anything doesn't make sense, please shout.  And if anybody makes a wash bag I'd love it if you sent me a link.  Good luck and happy sewing!  x

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