Hey y’all – welcome to a month of sewing for home, November’s theme! Today I’m going to show you how to sew laundry bags. Now if you want a singular drawstring bag – like you’re sending a kid off to college, you might want to adapt this tutorial instead, making your drawstring bags much larger. But if you have a laundry sorting station type thing (or you want to build one) this kind might work much better.
Much like in the post about the ironing board cover, I’m going to show you my embarrassing before photo. Why is it embarrassing? Because the hubs has been asking me to make new bags since, oh, last Christmas or so. I got tired of repairing the holes in the bags that came with our sorter, to the point where he started stapling the middle bag there. Yeah. And then the staples ripped out and he tied the bottom in a big knot, which means that bag won’t hold a full load and that means more frequent washing. Or trying to carry an overflowing bag down the stairs.
All because I hadn’t gotten around to making new bags. (hangs head in shame).
I had even bought this fabric – a sturdy mesh – last spring when I went fabric shopping in Dallas. And still no new bags.
I prefer the mesh for the bags for two reasons – one, I can see the clothes through the sides if the boys just haaaaaave to have a certain item, and inform them honestly that it’s dirty. And stop looking for it.
But two, I live in a houseful of boys. Which means they tend to throw damp and smelly things in the hamper (do girls do this?) The mesh makes me feel better that my laundry won’t grow mold while waiting to be washed.
So, to make them. I used about 25″ of 60″ wide mesh for each one. I folded it in half so the fold formed the bottom of the bag, and sewed up each side seam. Then, just like in this tote bag, I folded the corners and sewed across them to square off the bottom of each bag.
I cut a 2″ wide by 50″ long strip of scrap fabric (linen) and serged the short edges together (a French seam would also work well). Then I sewed this loop to the top of the bag.
I pressed the raw edge 1/4″ to the wrong side, then made two 3/8″ buttonholes near the seam. These are to feed the drawstring through.
I folded the strip to the inside, covering the seam with the pressed edge of the linen strip. Then I stitched it in place, forming the drawstring casing.
At each corner (I put the bag in place on the sorter to mark them) I sewed a buttonhole so the bag would fit back over the knobs on the sorter. I made sure to put the buttonholes close to the seam, so there was room to feed the drawstring through above the buttonhole.
Then I fed the drawstring through the casing. I just stole the drawstring from the original torn bags, because the string and ties still worked fine.
I slipped the drawstring through the cord stop, then knotted the ends of the string to make sure the cord stop wouldn’t slip off.
The buttonholes fit over the knobs on the sorter.
And hopefully these bags are sturdier than the ones they’re replacing! I think the mesh is sturdier, and linen is less prone to ripping than nylon (which is what was there before) so fingers crossed.
Awesome! My laundry bag looks like the worn ones you’re showing, in fact when we put clothes in it they fall out onto the floor, some get stuck in the holes when I’m taking them out to do the laundry. My only question is: “Why didn’t I think of that”? But then, I guess that’s why I signed up for your newsletter, it helps me with those Eureka! moments. Great Post Melly. I will definitely be replacing my laundry bag, and this should make my husband very happy.
Did you make or buy the actual sorter? I’m starting from scratch 🙂
I totally do this. It’s boring sewing and I never want to do the little things that just need to get done. I feel you! Thanks for the tutorial….might actually get around to doing this now. And I don’t know about most girls with the damp and smelly laundry but Anika’s dance clothes can sure be a treat….mesh FTW.
Where do you find the mesh fbric? I looked for some last time I was at JoAnne’s and couldn’t find any.
Do you mind sharing exactly where you got the mesh? I’m in Dallas, so I’d like to get some to repair ours as well. 🙂
Oh yeah, girls will stick wet garments in laundry!! And wipe food on their shirts. And come home with weird mud stains on the fronts of their pants. I’ve quit even trying to understand how it happens! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later this morning that links to your tutorial:
*also hangs head in shame* mine look even worse after a month of summer camp clothes, beach towels and nasty gym clothes over stuffing the darn things. Seriously it never occurred to me to just stitch up new ones……DOH! As always thanks for the awesome directions.