I love Winnie more than any other little pup in the universe. She’s lived with us for just over three years and she could not be more perfect. Despite her precocious ways.
While she’s grown out of many of her “sneak attack” tendencies, she still has an affinity for baskets of (dirty) laundry. For years, I’ve used one of those pop-up baskets, but one of Winnie’s favorite hobbies is tipping it over and running amok with its contents.
This is why I decided to include hanging laundry bag on my list of 100 No Pressure Projects. And happily, one of my favorite sewing books – One Yard Wonders – had a great pattern for a hanging laundry bag, designed by Rae Hoekstra of Made by Rae. Yay!
As I’ve mentioned before, I have way too much fabric and I’ve been trying my hardest to use up what I already have. I sometimes have to bend this rules when making gifts, but if I’m just making something practical for me to use around the house, I can surely use what I already have. The only challenge with this particular project was that I needed a full yard of home decor weight fabric. I have tons of cotton quilting fabric, but very little home decor weight unless I’ve picked up miscellaneous remnants.
Now let’s pause for a moment and talk about a really awesome shower curtain I still have from my last apartment. Yes, this shower curtain was definitely influential in adding this particular goal to my list of 100 No Pressure Projects: Upcycle an old shower curtain or bedding and turn it into something else.
You see where this is going, right? I turned the shower curtain into a hanging laundry bag. I just killed two projects on my master list with one stone. Is that allowed? I make up the rules, so I say yes — but I will also say this: I have a lot of shower curtain left, and it’s surely going to be morphed into additional projects. And when it is, I’ll be sure to include them on the list as well!
Let’s talk about how awesome this laundry bag is. I honestly went into this project thinking, “Meh. It’s a laundry bag.” The project felt so practical that I didn’t think I’d get all that excited about the finished project. But I’m excited, because this thing rocks. And it holds way more laundry than I thought it would, which is an added bonus.
This project required a lot of bias tape, which I’ve previously mentioned is not my favorite thing in the world. But using bias tape for a project that was not a gift really brought the pressure level down, and gave me a chance to learn how to make bias tape look the best it can be without sweating over the details. It was great practice knowing nobody is going to look too close. So in the end, this project helped me make peace with bias tape, which I appreciated. Dare I say I even like bias tape? Shhh.
This project also required snaps. Both tabs at the top fold over and snap closed, which is beneficial if you want to hang the bag over some sort of permanent horizontal bar, like a closet rod. I hung mine on over-the-door hooks, but I think it’s a neat feature anyway.
The bag also has snaps at the bottom on the backside, so I can just unsnap the bottom and dump the contents into the washing machine through the bottom. I love that! The book didn’t showcase that feature in the photo, and they really should have. I think it’s a nice selling point.
Up to this point, I’d been avoiding snaps in my life. I wasn’t afraid of them, but it just seemed like more STUFF because I was under the impression you had to have all sorts of crazy tools to install them (turns out you just need one little tool). I’d just been using Velcro in place of snaps because I already had Velcro on hand. But I didn’t want to use Velcro on this bag – I was afraid my clothes would get snagged. So I bit the bullet and bought some snaps. And you know what? Snaps are pretty awesome.
I do want to take a moment and offer a bit of advice about the snap kits, though, for anyone who hasn’t used snaps but is about to. I thought I’d be all fancy and get the more expensive kit on the left – the “Easy Attacher” kit. I love how they put “Easy Attacher” in quotes because… it actually made my life so much harder.
This thing only works well if you’re installing snaps near the edge of your project. So, it worked well in the above photo, but it didn’t work well for the snaps I needed to install on the back of the bag. It sort of works like a hole punch in the sense that a hole punch can only reach the inner inch or so perimeter of a piece of paper. Well, the snaps for my laundry bag needed to be further inside the perimeter than this dumb thing would allow, and I ended up going back for the classic (and cheaper!) snap fastener kit, which easily allows you to install snaps ANYWHERE on a project. Don’t fall for the fancy molded plastic, people. Go with the old-school kit on the right.
So now I’ve officially marked off one — or, two, actually — more projects on my master list! I would highly recommend this hanging laundry bag — I might even make a second one someday.
One last note for anyone planning to tackle this project — there is a small correction to one of the steps, which is available on the publisher’s web site. Be sure to check it before you get started and make a note of it in your book!