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perfect line drying weather has officially arrived (gads, how hot and how sunny it is!), so i decided to finally post this project. a while back i saw this tutorial by in color order to make drawstring laundry bags from pillowcases. it seemed like a great idea because my laundry hamper is always overflowing and every time i had to separate darks from lights from towels from delicates. so i decided to make four pillowcase bags to keep the laundry already separated inside the hamper of horrors. this way i can see right away what type of cycle i need to run most and i can just empty out the bag into the washing machine.
only thing was that then i couldn’t find the original tutorial. so i did it my own way. (as always.) also, she uses vintage pillowcases that are very cute. i, on the other hand, used 4 ridiculously old (and not in the cool old vintage way), not so cute and sometimes even torn pillowcases. but i’m upcycling addicted and they would be hidden away inside the laundry hamper anyway, so i didn’t really care.
(please note that this is definitely not the best way to make a drawstring bag if you have normal fabric to use. i generally make them like in this other tutorial and i actually have another properly done project to post, but i’m not publishing it yet because i still need to give it away to the recipients!)
i started with the cotton pillowcases left over from this massacred set of sheets that i used to make my upcycled bathroom rugs. just that… i’d already used them at my daughter’s name saint party to do the sack race. so you might well imagine that they got a bit destroyed. therefore i first of all had to sew up all the rips. how do you like that frankenstein effect of the bags in the first picture at the top of this post? 😉
then i made the drawstring casing. i don’t really know why i did them in this awful way. perhaps because sometimes i get super lazy and i don’t feel like spending the extra minute to do things the right way. or maybe because they already looked like frankenstein bags, so i didn’t really care. and this must also be the reason why i didn’t bother buying thread in the right color. (that’s a nasty habit of mine. i did it with my cat neck pillow, too.)
first of all i made cuts at the top of the both sides. i folded the cut edges inwards and sewed them down. (and pretty badly, i’ll add. i’m a little embarrassed to show the photo below…)
then i folded down the whole top edge (again inwards) and sewed it, making a pretty ugly, though perfectly functional, drawstring casing.
for the second set of pillowcases (a mix of cotton and polyester, much sturdier, i think from the 70s) i took the extra two seconds of sweat to make the casing a little better. i made the same sort of cut at first, but folded the edges inside each other, hiding the cut edges. i’m not sure how to explain it, so just look at the picture above.
i sewed the folded in edges to keep them inside and then i continued like the first time around, folding down the top edge inwards and sewing the casing.
then to insert the drawstring. i’ve always done it the traditional way, cutting two cords a bit longer than the circumference of the opening so as to leave enough for knotting and holding it when it’s open. and then stick a safety pin in the cord or ribbon and slip it through the casing. once per cord, so two separate times for a well-made drawstring bag (they’re easier to use if they have two strings, not just one). then i realized that you could thread the safety pin through just once, thereby saving a tiny bit of time. (yah!)
basically, i used one piece of cording as long as the sum of the two you’d normally use. so, 4 times the width of the pillowcases, plus that extra bit for the knots. i slipped the cording through that little loop at the bottom of the safety pin (though in these pictures i just tied a knot) and i slipped it through so the two parts were the same length. (it’s much easier than i’m explaining it, sorry!)
then you slip the safety pin through the casing and you cut the cording where it’s bent (or knotted) on the pin. here you can see that i slipped the knot off of the pin before cutting, but if you just slip it in the loop, you have to cut it still attached to the pin.
then you need to knot. you certainly don’t want to knot the end of one piece with the end of the other, so lightly pull one of the cords on the other side with your finger and you’ll see the two ends get pulled in. (you can tell from my armwarmers made from socks that i made these quite a few months ago! i’m certainly not wearing them in this heat!)
knot those two ends and then the other two. then pull one of the cords through so that the knot goes around to the other side.
and there’s your upcycled laundry bag! now go throw in a load of laundry! i know that’s what i’m about to do!