Quick patchwork Laundry Bag

Another fab tutorial for you this month from Ali Burdon of Very Berry Handmade

This colourful, practical, patchwork bag is really quick and simple to sew, and would be great for general storage, as well as for laundry. Ochre & Ocre organic fabrics are ideal for this project because they are hardwearing, wash well and look so very stylish.



Pattern notes:

I used a heavyweight cotton lining for the bag, if you are using lighter weight cotton then you might like to interface the lining with some medium weight iron­ on interfacing. Don’t be tempted to use upholstery weight cotton for the lining, this will make the bag very bulky and the drawstrings won’t pull tight.

The drawstring cord is made with 6mm cotton cord which is widely available online ­ I bought mine from an Ebay seller.

The seam allowance is 1cm throughout. Press all seams open.

The finished size 50cm x 60cm

You will need:

A selection of scraps of various Ochre & Ocre organic fabrics measuring between 14cm and 22cm wide, about 1/2m in total. A cost effective way to do this is to buy a selection of the Ochre and Ocre organic fat quarters 38cm by 52cm of fabric A (I used the Ledbury design in Ochre Grey ­ the yellow & grey fabric) for the top section of the bag.

8cm by 52cm of fabric B (I used the Isabella­ design in the red ) for the drawstring channel contrast section

3/4m of heavyweight cotton ­ fabric C (light canvas or drill cotton is ideal)

130cm 6mm cord

Cutting list:

From fabric A cut:

2 pieces measuring 5cm by 52cm

2 pieces measuring 14cm by 52cm

From fabric B cut 2 pieces measuring 4cm by 52cm

From fabric C cut 2 pieces measuring 52cm by 62cm

Cut the drawstring into 2 equal pieces measuring 65cm.

Step 1 ­ Create the Patchwork panels

Use the patchwork pieces to create 1 column measuring 14cm by 45cm, one column measuring 20cm by 45cm, and one column measuring 22cm by 45cm. Press all the seams open. (Pic 1)

Pic 1(2)

Creating the 3 columns


Stitch these columns together to create a panel measuring 45cm by 52cm. Press as before. (Pic


Pic 2(2)

Stitch the columns together

Repeat step 1 for the other side of the bag.

Step 2 ­ Finish the front and back of the bag

Stitch one of the larger pieces of fabric A to the top of the front panel. (Pic 3).

Pic 3(2)

Adding the large piece to the top of the panels

Stitch one of the pieces of fabric B to the piece of fabric A. (Pic 4)

Pic 4(2)

Attaching one of the smaller piece B to the panels

Complete the front by stitching the smaller piece of fabric A to the top of fabric B (Pic 5).

Pic 5(2)

Adding piece A onto the top of piece B

Trim all the longer seams to about 5mm.

Repeat step 2 for the back of the bag.

Step 3 ­ Complete the outer section

Put the 2 outer bag pieces right sides together and stitch along one side seam, stopping and reverse stitching when you reach the narrow piece of fabric B Start stitching again (reverse

stitching at the beginning of the seam) on the other side of fabric B and complete stitching the side seam. The photo shows where to stop and start your stitching. (Pic 6)

Pic 6(2)

Press the seam open and then, working on the right side of the bag, stitch a small rectangle around the hole you left in the seam. (Pic 7)

Pic 7(2)

Stitch a small rectangle around the hole in the seam

Repeat this with the other side seam, leaving a small gap in the seam, and stitching round it as before.

Finally, stitch the bottom seam of the outer, then trim the seams, turn right side out, and press.

Step 4 ­ Make the lining

Put the 2 lining pieces right sides together and sew round the 2 sides and the bottom. Leave a turning gap of 15cm in one of the side seams. Trim the seams as before.

Step 5 ­ Finish the bag

Put the outside section into the lining, right sides together, and pin the outer and lining together all round the top edge, matching side seams. Stitch, trim the seam, then turn right side out.

Make a line of stitching around the top edge of the laundry bag and on either side of the drawstring channel, as shown in the photo. (Pic 8)

Pic 8(2)

Take one piece of drawstring and thread it all round the top of the bag. A Clover Easy Loop Turner makes quick work of this, but a large safety pin will also work. Knot the 2 ends of the drawstring together. (Pic 9)

Pic 9(1)

Knotting the ends of the drawstring together

Next take the other piece of drawstring and thread it through the channel so that the knotted ends are at the other side of the laundry bag. Knot them together to finish. (Pic 10)

Pic 10(1)

The final step is to stitch up the turning hole in the lining with ladder stitch.


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  1. All finished: Simple drawstring bag | Very Berry Handmade - August 30, 2015

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