Thursday, 13 February 2014

Prototype Pillowcase bag #1

I needed to make a prototype for a bag I'm teaching next month, and I've taken stage photos and though this might be a good place to save the instructions!

It's loosely based on my slouch bag, but is more of a green version as it takes just two unwanted pillowcases rather than new fabric.

So: get two unwanted pillowcases of a similar size

Fold them together, lengthwise so the openings are at the top and the fold is along the left side

Eyeball half way up the left side, and 1/3rd in from the top edge: draw a curved line linking these, repeat on the right side

Cut along these lines

The pillowcases should open out looking like a vest top

Continuing the idea of a vest top, pin a 'neck' of one to a neck of the other RST (right sides together) and then pin the other two necklines together the same way. Stitch along each neck, including the straps that lead to and from the neck

Now pin the 'armhole' of one to the arm hole of the other, RST.  Repeat, but (IMPORTANT) on one only stitch half way towards to top of the strappy bit. 

Sort it out so you can see the bag shape

This next stage is referred to a 'birthing' and at some stage you will realise why.  Put your fingers into the gap at the strap that wasn't fully stitched.  Reach in as far as you can, and grab, (if you can) one of the bottom corners of the bag, and start to put it through the gap.  Wiggle, twist, tug, just keep going until the whole lot has some through.  Sort it out again so the bag shape is clear.

Slip stitch or top stitch the open strap so it matches the others.

Decide whether you prefer the straps to be joined left to right, or back to front.  (I prefer L to R).  Join the straps however you prefer (fold and slip stitch, overlap, overlap and button, etc) and you now have a reversible bag.

Ideal for sewing projects, shopping, library books, anything really; it's comfy in your hand or on your shoulder, holds loads, is strong enough to carry quite a bit, and in this case cost nothing other than thread and electricity!!!  I always seem to have orphan pillowcases (how does that happen) and at least I know this bag is fully washable!!!!



  1. I am over-thinking a tote bag I need to make for two weeks from now - I might sew your simpler bag instead.

  2. Gotta love quick and easy and no real pattern!

  3. Great bag Benta I always have orphan pillowcases too, I have no idea how either :)

  4. Such a clever idea - will try this !!

  5. Great pattern idea! I always seem to use orphan pillowcases to make something much closer to a Mors bag - not nearly as nice as your lovely bag!

  6. very clever! I rarely have orphan pillowcases; somehow they are the things that get lost in the wash.


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