Sunday, 17 February 2013

Mother's Day Wash Bag

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

With Mothering Sunday fast approaching I thought I better pull out my stitching fingers and make her a wash bag (as mentioned in a previous post). So without delay I started the hunt for a good tutorial. I simply googled 'sewing wash bag' and lots of great tutorials came up. Again I searched for one that would be slightly challenging and decided on this one by Handmade Jane: Kid's Wash Bag Tutorial

Although it said 'kid's' I knew the pattern size could be easily changed so all I needed to do now was search for some yummy fabric.

I decided to look for fabric that is nautical - well it is a wash bag after all. I headed straight over to my favourite fabric website Fabric Rehab and looked at their wonderful designs under the 'Nautical and Nice' section. In the end it came down to two - Coastal Houses Blue or Coastal Shells. It was a close call but I chose the Coastal Houses Blue because the pattern reminds me of a quaint coastal town in Cornwall, like St Ives, with all the lovely cottages and lighthouses all jostling for position - love it. Also as the wash bag required a waterproof lining (see link in tutorial for this as I sourced it from the same place) the best colour match I could get was for the Coastal Houses Blue. Here is a piccie of the fabulous fabric below:

Coastal Houses Blue Fabric
I patiently waited for the fabrics to arrive and as soon as it did I got stitching! Now, like the other posts, I won't go into detail on how to make the wash bag as this is clearly explained in the tutorial above. What I will do is help aid those who are beginners (like me) and to say how I overcame my hiccups. Below are the tools - plus my sewing machine - I will need for this exciting project.

The Essentials
I took my gorgeous fabric and measured it to 42cm long x 37cm wide. Now, this was my first challenge - to make sure that the fabric was cut straight and all the same size. I used my cutting board, rotary cutter, ruler, tape measure and chalk and got measuring up. I found this doubly hard as I don't have a wide surface, but please do not attempt this on the floor! I tried and it turned out to be a disaster so I took all my tools to the kitchen and used the side board where I had a lot more success. My cutting board has lines across it so provides a good guide to help cut the edges straight. After a lot of patience I cut the fabric the same size. Tip: Cut the fabric about one to two centimetres bigger just in case the lines aren't straight. This will allow you enough leeway so can make any alterations if necessary.

I aligned the fabrics and pinned the wrong side of the cotton fabric to the wrong side of the waterproof fabric together. I then pinned the right sides of the waterproof fabric together so that the right side of the cotton fabric was on the outside. Tip: Remember to remove any pins you do not want. It is hard to explain, but when you pin the cotton and the waterproof fabric and then pin these pieces together you will know what I mean! I followed the tutorial to the was challenging but I enjoyed it! Again, I forgot to check my bobbin and thankfully it ran out when I had done around the edges but it could have been a disaster! Tip: Check your bobbin before sewing!

After cutting my fabric, it took me about 90 minutes to make the wash bag. I enjoyed running the fabric through the sewing machine and watching the pieces of fabric merge together to make a fancy finished item. All I have left to do is buy the cord and thread it through the whole that runs around the top (this maybe a trip to town next weekend - any excuse!). I am so pleased with this little wash bag and I know my mother-in-law will be too.

The Finished Wash Bag
Hint and tips
  • Equipment: Iron, cutting board, metal ruler, rotary cutter, fabric scissors, tape measure, fabric, pins, tailors chalk, thread and a sewing machine
  • Patience - Again, I mention this every time but as I'm setting out on this adventure I can't stress it enough!
  • Check the bobbin for thread - I was lucky this time, but do check it - especially stitching large amounts of fabric
  • Do not cut the fabric on the floor. Use a table, kitchen side, anything that would can look over.
  • When cutting fabric the same size I would recommend you cut the fabric a couple of centimetres larger just in case the fabric is cut wonky - you can always trim it down
  • Remove any excess pins as you go or they may end up inside your wash bag - ouch!

Enjoy and take your time!

Happy Stitching x

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