Learn new skills and techniques whilst making your very own wash bag or make up bag. We have created 3 different sizes for you to choose from; small, medium or large! Alternatively check out our blog post that shows you how to make your own size – Quilting Wash Bag Sizing. Watch our video on YouTube to help you along: How To: Quilted Wash Bag Tutorial.
Please see the required pattern size, as well as the finished size of each of the bags. When discussing the zip length measure only the zip teeth, from the zip pull to the zip stopper. Should you wish to shorten a zip to the required length we recommend using a plastic zip. Measure from the zipper pull the desired zip length and add 1/2″ (1cm), this will be required for the zipper tab discussed later in the tutorial.
Pattern Size: 7 1/4″ width, 4 1/4″ height (17.6cm width, 10.5cm height)
Zip Length: 5″ (13cm)
Zipper Tab: 1 1/2” x 1 1/2” (4cm x 4cm)
No Box Corners
Quilting: 1/2″ (1cm) squares
Finished Size (approximately): 6 1/4″ width, 3 1/4″ height (15cm width, 8cm height)
Pattern Size: 8 1/4” width, 7 1/4” height (20.1cm width, 18cm height)
Zip Length: 6″ (15.5cm)
Zipper Tab: 1 1/2” x 1 1/2” (4cm x 4cm)
Box Corners: 3/4″ (2cm)
Quilting: 1/2″ (1cm) squares
Finished Size (approximately): 7 1/4” width, 6 1/4” height (18cm width, 16cm height)
Pattern Size: 14 1/4″ width, 12 1/2″ height (35.1cm width, 32cm height)
Zip Length: 12″ (30.5cm)
Zipper Tab: 1 1/2” x 1 1/2” (4cm x 4cm)
Box Corners: 2″ (5cm)
Quilting: 3/4″ (2cm) squares
Finished Size (approximately): 13 1/4″ width, 11 1/2″ height (33cm width, 29cm height)
Please bear in mind that we are not using exact conversions for imperial to metric measurements. We are working with 1/2″ (1cm) seam allowances for ease. SEAM ALLOWANCES ARE INCLUDED.
What materials do you need?
– Fabric (1/2 metre)
– Lining (1/2 metre)
– Zip (see above for sizing)
– Wadding (1/2 metre – optional)
What equipment do you need?
– Sewing Machine
– Chalk, Removable Pen, Pencil
– Ruler, Tape Measure
Decide on the size of the bag you wish to create; use the pattern measurements above or see our blog post – Quilted Wash Bag Sizing.
Use chalk, a removable pen or a pencil to draw the measurements of the desired bag onto the WRONG side of the fabric. Cut along the drawn lines. Cut out 2 rectangles in exterior fabric and 2 in lining.
You will also need to cut out 2 zip tabs for the end of the zip. The tabs should measure 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ (4cm x 4cm) for all bag sizes.
Creating Zip Tabs
Start by attaching the zip tabs onto the end of the zip. Press opposite edges of both zip tabs to the WRONG side by 1/4″ (1cm). Press the tabs in half so that they measure approximately 1/2″ (1cm) in width and 1 1/2″ (4cm) in length.
Measure 1/2″ (1cm) from the end of the zip stopper and the end of the zip pull. Trim off any excess zipper tape. The zipper tape (at both ends of the zip) must measure the same as the zip tabs to produce a neat professional finish.
Wrap the zip tabs around the end of the zipper tape (the zipper tape will be sandwiched in between the fabric zipper tabs).
Pin in position, check that the pins are about 1/8″ (3mm) from the folded edge of the zip tab on both sides, this will create a neat finish when sewing. Be sure that the zipper tabs are NOT pinned onto the zipper teeth.
When pinning the zip tab onto the top of the zip, you will need to open the zip. Place the last teeth at the top of the zip close together. This is fiddly so pin one side of the zipper tape to the fabric tab and then the other side. Fasten the zipper and check that you haven’t left a gap at the top.
Using a zipper foot on the sewing machine sew 1/8″ (3mm) away from the folded edge of the fabric tab. Do NOT sew through the zipper teeth, especially if you are working with metal. If you have shortened a plastic zip you will have to sew over the zipper teeth, complete this carefully. Walk the sewing machine forward with the hand wheel if required.
If you wish to quilt your bag you will need to quilt the exterior fabric to some wadding. This is an optional step, as is the choice of wadding weight.
We chose a lightweight 100% cotton wadding. The weight of wadding you choose will affect the structure of the bag, a thicker wadding will provide a stiffer finish. If you do not wish to quilt your fabric you may wish to choose a slightly heavier weight fabric, such as a lightweight upholstery fabric or canvas. The lightweight Liberty Tana Lawn Cotton we used will be too light and may collapse without the support of wadding and quilting.
Start by marking quilting lines onto the RIGHT side of the exterior fabric using a removable pen or chalk. We worked with lines positioned 1/2″ (1cm) apart in the tutorial (used on the medium and small sized bags). We used quilting lines positioned 3/4″ (2cm) apart on the large bag. You are welcome to change the distance of the quilting lines to personalise your bag.
Start by marking a nice diagonal line onto the fabric, draw other lines the required distance apart.
Complete lines in the opposite direction, they must be parallel to the original lines to create accurate squares or diamonds.
Cut out wadding slightly larger than the exterior fabric. Position the exterior fabric RIGHT side facing up, place the wadding onto the WRONG side of the exterior fabric and pin together sporadically.
Sew each of the drawn lines on the sewing machine. Use a walking foot if you have one to improve stitching. Be sure to back stitch at the start and end of each row, trim loose threads.
Introduce the Zipper
The zipper must be positioned in the middle of the bag. Lay the lining fabric RIGHT side facing up and measure in from each side 5/8″ (1.3cm). Draw a mark with a removable pen. Please understand that we are NOT using exact imperial to metric conversions as we are working with 1/2″ (1cm) seam allowance for ease (we know that 5/8″ is not 1.3cm!). If you wish to understand what the 5/8″ (1.3cm) zip placement means and where it comes from read our Quilting Wash Bag Sizing post.
Position the lining RIGHT side up, place the zipper (teeth facing UP) along the top edge in between the marked lines. The zipper tape should sit along the longest edge of the bag, this is the width measurement. Place the exterior fabric RIGHT side DOWN onto the zip, sandwiching the zipper in between the lining and exterior fabric.
Pin along the top edge joining all of the layers together. Note that the zipper tabs may extend the fabric, this is not a problem. As long as the top edge of the lining, exterior fabric and zipper tape match you are ready to sew.
Sew along the edge using a zipper foot. Sew as close to the zipper teeth as possible. You may need to un-do the zipper slightly as the zipper pull can be too large to sew past. Start sewing along the edge of the teeth, stop when you reach the zipper pull. Position the needle into the fabric, lift the foot and fasten the zipper so that you can continue sewing down the rest of the seam.
Fold the lining and the exterior fabric away from the zip, towards the same side. Next you will need to topstitch the zip to hold the fabric and lining in position.
Pull the lining and exterior fabric away from the zip tightly and pin the lining and exterior fabric together. This will help achieve a neat finish on the underside when you are topstitching the fabric.
Topstitch 1/8″ (3mm) away from the edge of the exterior fabric. Use a zipper foot for ease, you may need to open the zip to enable you to sew past the zipper pull.
Attach the zip to the other side of the bag, complete the same process. Mark the zipper placement on the other side of the lining. Lay the lining fabric RIGHT side facing up, position the zip (teeth facing UP) in between the markings with the zipper tape along the top edge. Place the exterior fabric RIGHT side down onto the zip and lining, sandwiching the zip in between the lining and exterior fabric. Sew along the edge of the zipper, as close to the teeth as possible. If you struggle with this step please watch the corresponding YouTube Tutorial that will show this in greater detail.
Topstitch, 1/8″ (3mm) away from the exterior fabric to secure both layers of material.
Sewing the Bag
Start sewing the bag together. Separate the lining and exterior fabric, position the 2 pieces of exterior fabric, and 2 pieces of lining fabric RIGHT sides together. Be sure to OPEN the zip at this point, you will not be able to turn the bag around if you forget this step! Start by sewing along the side seam of the bag, sew from the lining towards the exterior fabric. Push the seam allowance at the zip towards the exterior fabric.
Pin in position and sew 1/2″ (1cm) away from the edge from the lining towards the exterior fabric.
Complete for the other side of the bag, again sew from the lining towards the exterior fabric to be sure that the seam allowances at the zip is sewn towards the exterior fabric.
Next sew the bottom of the bag. Sew across the bottom of the exterior fabric using a 1/2″ (1cm) seam allowance.
Complete the same for the bottom edge of the lining. You will need to leave a hole in the bottom of the lining to ensure you can turn the bag around. Leave a hole in the middle of the bottom edge, approximately 4″ (10cm) in width. Sew from the edge to the start of the hole, and from the other side of the hole to the edge. Sew using a 1/2″ (1cm) seam allowance.
If you decide not to box the corners of the bag, you will need to cut off the remaining seam allowances at the corners. This will create neat points when you turn the bag to the right side.
Cut off the corner 1/8″ (3mm) away from the stitching. This should create two new corners either side of the main corner, these points must also be trimmed to create a neat, pointy corner. Complete for the main fabric and lining.
Box Corners (optional)
Decide on whether you wish to box the corners of the bag, we boxed the corners of the large and medium sizes. We did not box the small bag, however please personalise your bag as you wish.
Take the seam at the bottom of the bag and match this with the seam at the side of the bag, open seam allowances. Please watch the tutorial on YouTube for a visual example!
Measure from the tip of the corner (the sewn corner NOT the end of the seam allowance) 3/4″ (2cm) and draw a line across the corner, this will be sewn shortly. You are welcome to change the amount of corner you ‘box’, playing with different amounts will change the shape of the bag.
Sew along the drawn line, be sure to sew as close to the edges as possible and back stitch. You do not want to leave a hole in the corners.
Complete for all 4 corners (2 in exterior fabric and 2 in lining). Trim off the extra fabric, 1/4″ (5mm) away from the stitching line.
Turn the bag to the right side, poke out all of the corners for a perfect finish! Take a look at your beautiful handiwork and be proud of what you have achieved!
To finish the bag you will need to sew up the hole in the lining. Turn the seam allowances of the gap under and pin 1/8″ (3mm) from the edge.
Edgestitch 1/8″ (3mm) away from the edge, sew across the whole width of the gap to secure the lining. Backstitch at both the start and finish to secure the seam.
Congratulations you have a beautiful bag with a variety of uses and hopefully you have learned some new skills along the way.