Hey y’all – continuing with eco sewing this month, today I’m showing you how to make a clothespin bag. When I was a growing up, my mom hung the laundry outside to dry anytime the weather allowed. I know it was partially to save money, but hanging laundry is also more environmentally friendly. And she had a special bag for the clothespins (that I suspect she might still have). It was red striped canvas; it fit like a crossbody bag, and it was constructed in a way that it always hung open for easy clothespin reaching.
So today I’m going to show you how to make a clothespin bag just like mom used to use.
- 1/2 yard of 60″ wide fabric. Choose something durable, like canvas
- 1/2 yard of double fold bias tape
First, let’s make a pattern. Tape two letter size pieces of paper together along the long side to form a piece that is 17 inches tall and 11 inches wide. Then fold that paper in half, so that it is still 17 inches tall and now 5 1/2 inches wide. Round off the bottom corner, then cut the top at a rounded angle as shown below. The high side of top is about 3 inches below the top edge of the paper.
Now, cut 1 piece of canvas that is the same size as your pattern; this is the back piece. Then cut 1 inch off the top edge of your pattern, following the curve. Use this shortened piece, fold it in half, and place it at an angle away from the fold of the fabric. The top edge of pattern should be 1 inch away from the fold, and the bottom edge is at the fold. This is the front piece. Since it’s wider than the back piece, it will cause the bag to hang open at the top – just what we want!
Sew a piece of bias tape along the top edge of the front piece. Need help with sewing bias tape? See this post.
Place the back piece of the bag WRONG side up. Then place the front piece WRONG side up on top of it. Pin the two pieces together along the outside edges and stitch.
Finish the seam using an overlock or a faux overlock stitch. Turn the bag right side out.
Cut 1 or two strips of fabric for the strap that are 5 inches wide and the full width of your fabric. I only cut one strip, but I wish I had cut two; I would like the strap to be more adjustable than it is. If you cut two strips, sew them right sides together on one short edge to form one long strap. Then press your strap in half, wrong sides together. Finally, press each edge 1/2″ to the wrong side as shown below.
Unfold the strap and center it along the top edge of the back piece of the bag, right sides together. Sew along the crease line to attach the strap to the back.
Next, fold the strap along the crease lines to the wrong side of the back and pin. Start at one short edge and stitch across it, then turn at the corner and stitch all along the long edge, and finally stitch across the other short edge.
If your strap is long enough, you can tie the ends together to adjust the length. I tried that, but as I said I cut the strap too short, so I overlapped my two short ends and zig-zagged them together.
And that’s it – an easy bag to hold clothespins while you hang laundry!