Making a Wool Wash Bag

Sewing for Knitting

I thought I’d take a break from the technical knitting posts and tell you about a sewing project that I finished last year, but have not had the time to write about. This time I decided to make the laundry bag from the Great British Sewing Bee book. The original fabric is a blue and white check with small red hearts. I wanted to use some fabric from my stash, and my fabric stash is, unlike my yarn stash, quite small. The only cotton fabric of which I had enough was calico. As a consequence of studying Fashion Knitwear Design I have an awful lot of calico! Perfect; a functional fabric for a functional bag!

First I cut out paper pattern pieces using the measurements given in the book, then used those to cut out the fabric pieces.

Wool wash bag - fabric cut out

Avoiding Woolly Accidents

This laundry bag will be used for wool items, a wool wash bag, so that there is no risk of them being put in an unsuitable wash cycle. To make this absolutely clear, I decided to appliqué the words “wool wash” on the front of the bag. I drew the letters on pattern paper and cut them out, then pinned paper patterns to some patchwork fabric and cut out the main outlines with 0.5 cm seam allowance. Then, working with one letter at a time, I removed the pattern from the fabric letter, pressed under the seam allowance, snipping corners where necessary, and stitched. I only cut the details, such as the hole in the “O” when I was ready to stitch that letter.

Wool wash bag - letters

Ta da!

Wool wash bag - finished applique

Being Pernickety

Now I made the bag following the instructions in the book; these said to use 1.0 cm seam allowances, which is a bit narrow if you want to neaten them. The only way I could do this was to ziz-zag over the raw edges; I would have preferred to turn them under. So if I were to make this again I’d use the usual seam allowance of 1.5 cm, so I could turn under the raw edges. Maybe I’m being fussy, but beautifully neatened seams were engrained in me when I took O-level Needlework.

Wool wash bag - applique detail

Once the seams are finished, you turn over the top to create a casing for two ties. The instructions are given for these, but I didn’t have enough purple fabric, so I used a lovely ribbon instead.

Wool wash bag - gathered top detail

I do love the way the top gathers together.

Purple Is One of My Favourite Colours

Wool wash bag - finished

Here is the finished wool wash bag, and now you see why the letters had to be purple. A nice enjoyable project.

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