Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dishtowel Bag Tutorial

Three years ago, after the Monkey was born, I returned to work for a short period of time. Knowing I would be pumping, I wanted to find a good way to transport my pump parts to and from work that was more sanitary (and environmentally friendly) than a ziplock bag. I turned to Google and found a blog post about a little bag made out of a dishtowel. It was just what I needed. When I found out that a friend of mine was pregnant, I decided to make a set for her. Since each dishtowel makes two bags, I decided to make a couple different styles. One is more of a pouch style, the other more of an envelope style.

1. Start with a single dishtowel. I found this at Target. The friend I made this for likes red, and I loved the apples!

2. Cut the dishtowel in half. I cut the hemmed edges off the towel first. It's not necessary, but it reduces the bulk in the seams.

3. Fold the top and bottom edge in 3/8" and press.

For Pouch Style: Attach a strip of velcro to the inside (wrong side) of the top and bottom edge of the towel, overlapping the pressed hem. Velcro should be placed 3/4" in from each side, and as close to the edge as possible.

Velcro should align when towel is folded in half with wrong sides facing.

For Envelope Style: Place one strip of velcro along the inside (wrong side) of the top edge as described above. The second strip of velcro should be placed on the bottom edge on the outside (right side) of the towel, 3/4" in and as close to the edge as possible.

4. Stitch up the sides.

For Pouch Style: Fold towel in half with right sides facing. Pin, and sew up the sides leaving a 3/8" seam allowance.

I finished off the edges using a zigzag stitch. It's not necessary, but it will reduce fraying.

For Envelope Style: With right sides facing, fold so that bottom edge is about 1 1/2" below top edge. Pin and stitch up the sides to lower edge, leaving 3/8" seam allowance.

5. Flip right-side-out.

For Pouch style: You're done! Enjoy your bag!

For Envelope Style: You're almost done. When you turn the bag right-side-out, the edges of the envelope "flap" will be unfinished. Press the bag flat, and while doing so, press in the edges of the flap where they naturally turn in, about 3/8". Then top-stitch around the edges. You could jazz it up a bit by using a decorative stitch here.

You're done! Now you have two bags for the price of one dishtowel. These bags worked great for my pump parts. They're machine washable, and since you get two out of a single towel, I always had one to use if one was in the wash.

They're also the perfect size to hold a diaper, a few wipes, and maybe a small bit of hand sanitizer and diaper ointment for a quick diaper change kit. Or, if like me, your diaper bag doubles as your purse, you can put your wallet, keys, phone, etc. in it so they don't get lost in the depths of the diaper bag. I'm sure there are many other uses as well! I love these bags and they're such a quick and easy project!

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