Thursday, September 22, 2011

Clothespin bag tutorial

One thing I really enjoy about having a house of our own is that I am able to hang clothes out on a clothesline to dry! However, once I started hanging up clothes I realized this called for a new craft...a bag to store all the clothespins in. I have seen clothespin bags shaped like little dresses & I think they are just the cutest thing. There are some tutorials online, but the one I liked had a pattern that you had to enlarge 200% and print out. I have no idea how to enlarge things on the computer, so I just decided to make my own pattern. It is just a little dress, how hard can it be?

Turns out it is super easy, so I decided to share my methods with my readers (that sounds so people actually read my blog). Then you can make your own clothespin bag! And having a sweet little bag to hold clothespins makes the chore of hanging up clothes just a little bit more fun : )

  • Fabric for the main bag - at least 1/2 yard
  • Coordinating fabric for the apron - 1/4 yard should be plenty
  • 12" of coordinating ribbon
  • 2 yards of coordinating bias binding
  • 2 yards of coordinating rick-rack
  • A wooden hanger
  • Sewing machine 
  • Thread
To begin, you need to draft your pattern. You'll need a large piece of paper for this. I used an old poster, but you can also use wrapping paper or whatever you have around. Measure your wooden hanger & make
sure the length of the sleeves is at least 1" longer than that. My hanger is 18" long, so I made the sleeves 19". Fold your paper in half, so that each side will be the same. Then draw the shape below onto the paper. You can use the same dimensions I used, but if your hanger is longer you will need to adjust the sleeves accordingly. I made the sleeves 9 1/2" long, because once the paper is unfolded they will be 19" in length. I'm sorry I don't have a better series of pictures illustrating what I did. I am new at this photo tutorial thing.  Make sure you draw the pattern with the fold on the 18 1/2" side. The pattern is pretty straightforward, just straight lines and angles except for the bottom. To round the bottom out I just placed a pot lid on the bottom corner (not on the fold) and traced around it.

When the pattern is unfolded this is what it should look like.

Cut 2 of the main dress pieces out of your main fabric, as shown below:

Cut necklines. You'll have to freehand this, but you could trace around the neckline of an already made shirt if that is easier for you. The neckline of the back piece should be shallow, and the front piece should have a scooped neckline, so that you will be able to reach your hand in and grab clothespins. Again, fold the fabric in half before you cut out the neckline so it will be symmetrical.

Making the pattern for the apron is a lot easier ;) Just take a regular 8 1/2 x 11" piece of paper, fold it in half,  and use a mug to trace a curve on one corner.

Your pattern should look like this once it is unfolded:

Pin the pattern to your apron fabric & cut it out. It should look like this:

Apply bias binding to all the sides of the apron, except the top

Using a long basting stitch, run 2 lines of stitching along the top. Then pull gently on the top threads to gather the fabric until it looks right.

Center the apron on the ribbon and sew it to the ribbon (be sure to move the stitch length back to normal)

Here is what the back should look like:

Now back to the main dress part.  Use the bias binding to bind the necklines on both the front and back pieces of the dress.

Sew the rick-rack on next to the binding, as shown in the picture below.

Pin the apron onto the front dress piece (the one with the scooped neck) and sew in place. Leave the top of the apron unsewn so that it makes a handy pocket :)

Place the front & back dress pieces RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER and sew around all the raw edges. Clip the corners & curves, turn right side out, and press. You are done and your clothespin bag should look something like this:

Insert your hanger in the sleeves and you are ready to hang up your bag and fill it with clothespins!

Yay for beautiful little crafts that make life easier!

This post is linked to: It's sew stinkin' cute craft Thursday

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