I decided a couple months ago that I wanted to give cloth diapering a try. If you cloth diaper, you're probably thinking - what's wrong with you that it took 2.5 years to consider this? If you don't, you're probably thinking why mess with what's obviously worked thus far? I've been doing a test-drive on some cloth diapers for several weeks now, and I think I am hooked. That, however, is a post for another day.
While researching cloth, I learned that one way to preserve the life of your diapers (and reduce your overall diapering cost even more) is to avoid using the dryer whenever possible. The sun is magic when it comes to lifting stains, and everything seems fresher when air-dried. So I bought a package of clothesline, strung it up on my deck - we're high-tech around here - and started using it to hang up my clean diapers.
And within about three minutes, I was super annoyed with clothespins.
There is nowhere to put them that is safe from a child's reach, and the last thing I needed was to fish a clothespin spring out of someone's mouth. I needed a solution and I didn't feel like purchasing one and waiting for it to arrive - so I decided to just make one! If you aren't the crafty type, this one looks nice!
Since I haven't sewn much of anything since I made our Christmas stockings, I found it exciting to dig around in my craft room. I didn't have a pattern and wanted to whip up something quickly. I have a little obsession with buying fat quarters because they seem to be available in the cutest fabrics - so I pulled one out of my stash and set to work.
DIY Fat Quarter Hanging Clothespin Bag Sewing Tutorial
-Lining Fabric (14"x21")
-Trim (if desired)
-Clothesline or other cord to use as drawstring
Note: I used 1/2" seams on this project.
1. Unfold fat quarter and press flat. Mine measured at about 18.5"x21.5".
2. Cut fat quarter to approximately 14" x 21". Cut a piece of lining fabric in the same size. Set aside the remaining 4.5" x 21" strip.
3. Fold with right sides together (making the size approximately 14" by 10.5") and stitch the 14" open side and bottom together. Do this with both the fat quarter fabric and lining fabric. Turn right sides out, trim seams, press.
4. With wrong wides together, insert lining into fabric, matching seams. Pin along upper edge, baste.
5. If desired, add trim to one side of 4.5" x 21" strip. This is the top edge of the bag. It will be folded in half, so you want the trim on just the outside. Make sure to pin at least 1/2" from the edge to avoid catching the trim in the seam.
6. Fold under the untrimmed edge of the 4.5" x 21" strip and stitch a very small hem.
7. Fold the long side of the strip in half, making it approximately 4.5" x 10.5". Stitch edge together, leaving a 1" gap on the trim side (this is where the drawstring will be inserted).
8. With right sides together, match seams and pin strip onto bag. The trimmed edge should be the edge that is pinned. Baste.
9. Unfold strip so that all right sides are facing out. Fold the untrimmed half of the strip down inside the bag, covering the seam. Slip-stitch strip in place.
10. Cut long piece of clothesline. Use safety pin to thread through casing, tie knot, then thread the knot into casing. This should enable you to use the clothesline in something of a drawstring fashion.
I actually made mine slightly different - I did not leave a gap in the side seam of the trim piece. Instead, I left two gaps when slip-stitching and ran the clothesline through both holes. This gives me a great drawstring feature, but I don't love that I can sometimes see the raw edges, and that the bag hangs a little funny since the clothesline runs from the inside of the bag. I'm not sure if any of that makes sense - but all of it to say, if I made another one, it would be in the fashion described in the steps above!
So that's it! This project probably took me about two or three hours to complete - but my time is always divided! If I had been able to just sit down and sew from start to finish, I'm guessing it would have taken an hour, maybe an hour and a half.
Do you use a clothesline? What's your clothespin solution? Let me know if you make a bag of your own!