Peg Bags and Baskets

Pyjamas, Bags and Baskets

From Pyjamas to Peg Bag

Many years ago (well over two decades, in fact), I made several pairs of pyjamas. A good few years later I decided that a navy cotton pair had outgrown their use as pyjamas; maybe they had shrunk – I don’t remember the reason.

I up-cycled the pyjama top into a peg bag.  Gosh, this was in the days before the word “up-cycling” had been invented! I cut off the sleeves and squared off the top so that a coat hanger would fit inside. I sewed around the outer edges, to create a traditional style peg bag.

Old peg bag made from a pyjama top

The coat hanger was covered in wading then some spare Liberty fabric.

Frayed old peg bag

And the Liberty fabric was used to applique the word “Pegs” across the front.

Faded applique on old peg bag

That peg bag has been in use ever since, and as you can see in the previous photos is somewhat faded and worn. The fabric covering the coat hanger has worn away; even the wadding has worn away. And, let’s face it, it is so worn on the shoulder that it does not look like it will even stay on that coat hanger much longer!

Now For Something Different

He Who Doesn’t Knit does hang out the laundry. When I mentioned that I was going to make a new peg bag, and that I had bought fabric from Laura’s Little Haberdashery at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show, it emerged that He Who Doesn’t Knit didn’t like the old peg bag. The problem was ease of use; he couldn’t see the pegs before he took them out of the peg bag. And we have lots of different pegs of different types; some are best for light weight items, some cope with large towels. Some are designed not to mark clothes.

So what to do? I had planned to make a replacement peg bag in the same style as the old one. I had enough fabric. I researched peg bags on the internet. What a surprise, there are so many images of something that is essentially fairly mundane. And most are similar in style, and the ones that were different were not going to solve the problem or hold our massive peg collection.

But what about one of these …

Plastic peg basket

This is the peg basket I use with my knitting machine. Pegs are a useful tool if you machine knit. Attach one to the end of yarn when you are casting on; one provides just the right weight to keep the end out of harms way, but not break. Use a peg to keep other ends out the way when colour knitting. Can anyone think of any other uses?

The basket hangs from the knitting machine table. I also store useful small things, such as claw weights, pens and spare transfer tools. That way they don’t clutter up the knitting machine table, but are close at hand.

Making a Peg Basket

I could have bought another plastic peg basket, but I’m not a big fan of plastic. I prefer to make my own, and really what else could I make from this fabric.  So, I used measurements from the plastic peg basket to make paper patterns.

Paper pattern for new peg bag

I decided to stiffen the fabric using pelmet interfacing; it’s a sew-in interfacing which is, of course, machine washable. I often use it to stiffen bags; I used it for the Magic of the Circus bag.

Thick interfacing for peg basket

Then I cut out the fabric pieces, lining up the clothes so that the red ones would sit along the top of the basket and along the centre of the base. Firstly, I made the lining, simply by sewing side seams and then sewing the base to the sides. Next I attached the interfacing to the fabric by tacking, then top-stitched by machine.

Fabric cut ready for peg bag

Then I stitched the side seams and attached the base to the sides. At this point there are no more step-by-step photos, simply because I found attaching the interfaced base to the interfaced sides a bit tricky. I wasn’t even sure that it would be finished!  The interfacing made it difficult to line up the pieces, so the seams were wonky and not where they should be! A few attempts later, I had something I could live with! Finally I turned the top edge over the interfacing, pinned in place a handle and placed the lining inside (with the top edge folded over already) before “top-stitching” everything together.

So here we are …

Not quite as planned, and not quite the finish I would like, but pretty and functional. And yes, it has met with approval from He Who Doesn’t Knit!

Finished peg bag

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