Made myself a washbag. It’s a bit of a prototype, so it isn’t perfect, but I know all the bits I did wrong now.

I’d been using my old washbag for nearly ten years, and quite frankly, it was looking a wee bit manky.


So I cut it up and used it as a pattern.

A few years ago I was in bonds and another customer asked the owner for waterproof lining to make washbags. The owner said she could get it, but it was expensive, so she advised the lady to go to asda and buy a smartprice shower curtain.

I went to wilkinson sand bought a relatively expensive one ( ten whole poundses) cos I liked the colour. Also, I have a thing about nice linings. So many linings are plain and boring, and it seems to me that if you’re going to make something for yourself the lining should make it more special.


Gareth saw me using this and flat refused to believe that it was a shower curtain. He spent ages running a bit of it under the tap and marvelling at how the water ran off. Some people are cheap to entertain…

The pattern was simple, breaking down into an11x19 inch rectangle and two 3 1/2x 7 -1/2 rectangles of both liner and outer, and two extra pieces of shower curtain the same width but about six or seven inches deep for the inner pockets.

Because I decided to use leftover maneki-neko fabric for the outer, I cut that slightly longer to allow a seam at the bottom, otherwise half the kitties would have been upside down. Being kitties they probably wouldn’t have minded.


Next I hemmed the long edges of both inner pockets. I wanted to prevent my shower curtain from fraying. I also attached one edge of an eight inch zip to the larger pocket. Both Gareth and I feel that a major failing of bought washbags is that they don’t have a secure pocket for your toothbrush, so you either end up having to mess about putting your toothbrush in a plastic bag, or you get shower gel all over it. Neither of these options is acceptable, so my washbag is getting a zipped inner pocket for my toothbrush.

I know neither of my zips match my fabrics. I used what I had lying around because I figured it didn’t matter too much – making something for the first time never comes out perfect, it’s more about learning the process than the finished product at this stage.

I measured a three inch strip down the middle of the lining, and then paced out the length of the zipped pocket so I could sew it wrong way up at the top


Then I sewed both pockets down either side of the central strip


And did a zigzag stitch all around the edge, both to secure the sides of the pockets and to hold the liner and outer together.


I did the same with the side panels, attaching bias strip along the top


Then I sewed it into shape. Corners are tricky.


Next I trimmed the edges before applying bias tape. It was at this stage I realised I really needed the wider bias tape. I was swayed by the gingham, I have a thing about gingham. I’ll know better next time…prototype


At this point I would like to paws for a moment and point out that contrary to popular belief, I do actually put things in the bin. It’s not my fault that they don’t always stay there…

I used a twelve inch zip along the top, sewn edge to edge.


It was at this point I took another look at the original and realised it was made with self tape rather than bias. Bias would be too stretchy and flimsy for the top edge. I used some self made straight grain tape for the top.

I also managed to line up a kitty face for the little tab that seals the end


And now I have somewhere to put all my stuff next weekend ( I am queen of travel sizes and free samples, this is literally all I need)


Gareth needs one next, then everyone I know is getting a new washbag for Christmas becuase I’ve got a whole shower curtain to use up now

~ by opusanglicanum on April 9, 2015.

10 Responses to “Washbag”

  1. Looks like there was plenty of feline supervision all round!

  2. It’s lookin’ good even for a prototype and no doubt Gareth’s washbag will be perfect! I need to make some waterproof pouches but have delayed the start because I couldn’t think of what to use for the lining that wouldn’t cost more than the outer fabric so thanks for the shower curtain suggestion! Brilliant solution!

  3. I wouldn’t have thought of a shower curtain. What a good idea!

  4. I’m impressed.

  5. You make it look so easy but there is a lot of fiendish technique in there.

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