I’m not always good at explaining things, but here’s a tutorial for how I make drawstring bags from fat quarters.
These bags are used by medical professionals to put their scrubs in for washing, or for them to store their own clothes in whilst wearing scrubs at work. The idea is they can put potentially contaminated clothing into the bag and then put the whole bag in the washing machine to be washed at 60C.
I’m donating my bags via a facebook group for the Yorkshire area https://www.facebook.com/groups/Yorkshirescrubs/ There is also a national group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1500699350098765/ . It’s recommended to donate via a group rather than direct to a hospital as they will allocate to hospitals & medical centres who have asked for them rather than things being handed into an overstretched receptionist who doesn’t know where they need to be sent to in the hospital.
There are many tutorials for making bags online – I hope this is a simple and straight forward method. It makes the most of two fat quarters; those lovely bits of fabric sold in fabric & craft shops and even Aldi occasionally!
Fat Quarters usually measure around 18″ x 20″ To make the bags as big as possible I add a casing to the top rather than folding one down as other tutorials suggest. Five FQs will make two bags.
Start by pressing any creases out of your fat quarters. Chose two for your bag front and back and cut two 4″ strips from another for your casings. Trim about an inch from the short ends of your casing.
Make a small hem on the short ends of your casings – turn under about 1/4″ and then turn under again to enclose the raw edge and stitch close to the edge on your machine.
Do the same on the short ends of both of your casings – you can “chain piece”, folding the hem and slipping the fold under the foot and keep on stitching to save thread and time.
Fold the casings lengthwise with wrong sides together. Press nice and flat and then fold in half and press a crease to mark the middle of the casing.
With raw edges all facing the top, centre the casing at the top of the body pieces. There will be a gap at each end. Pin in place. Repeat for the second side.
Stitch along the top edge. I use an overlocker or you could use the straight stitch on your sewing machine and then zigzag on the raw edge. The size of your seam allowance isn’t critical, but try to keep it even.
With right sides together stitch along the two sides and bottom of the bag. Again, you can overlock or machine stitch and zigzag to neaten.
Press the seam allowance towards the body of the bag, forming a little turning between the casing pieces
Turn inside out and top stitch along the top of the bag,catching down the seam allowance of the casing and the little turning between the casing pieces.
Give the bag a quick press and thread ribbon or cord through the casings – you can use one cord or two for ease of use. I used a rouleau loop turner to thread my ribbon through, it’s a nice big casing so easy to thread a nappy pin or similar through!
I hope this makes sense and you enjoy making these drawstring bags. Please let me know how you get on if you try this method!