Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tutorial - vintage pillowcase to bag

This is the long awaited tutorial detailing how to make your own shopping tote bag from a vintage pillowcase. The blogpost i wrote about the design a few years ago (HERE) has had thousands and thousands of hits and many of you asked for a tutorial....here it is: (in timely fashion...they make great holiday gifts!). If you are looking for the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway post, click HERE.
Take your vintage pillowcase. Choose one in good condition. Thrift shops have them in abundance.
Iron pillowcase to begin. Fold your pillowcase in half and cut the shapes above out of your case. You will have two scrap pieces, one of these will become the pocket. Set them aside for now.
Unfold the top of the pillowcase. (The bit that would fold over to secure your pillow inside the case)
Pin as above to create the bag's handle.
 Sew handle. I make two seams to make it super secure.
 Turn inside out. You will use the existing side seams.
 Fold over and pin to create a hem out of the raw edges.
 Sew.
Box the corners. This is pictured above. For those new to boxing corners I will post a seperate blogpost detailing the process of boxing corners and link it to here.
Turn your bag right way out and iron. You can see the nice rounded edges the boxing gives the corners here. This is the basic bag, but if you like you can add an inside pocket:
 Take one of the scrap pieces, zigzag the edges and iron to create a pocket. Pin and sew.
Add a bit of velcro to keep the pocket's contents safe. This way you have a seperate pocket so keys, phone and wallet won't go walkabout.
And there! You made a tote bag out of a vintage pillowcase. I keep one handy so i don't have to use plastic bags. I don't want to contribute more plastic to the world, and besides, these look much cooler.
Whether you are carrying shopping, library books, garden produce, finds from thrift stores or swimming gear...it's perfect. I love easy projects with a beautiful outcome...don't you?!
I design all of my GrowMama gear, this has been a big favourite over the years...I hope you enjoy it too.
xx

Update: in response to all your requests, i have posted a tutorial on how to box corners, the technique i use in making this bag. Click HERE for the boxing corners tutorial.  And for all those lovelies who have been bugging me to add a Pinterest Button...i have!

25 comments:

  1. Lovely Anissa, what a fantastic idea ~ practical, but it also looks gorgeous. Jxx

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    1. Thanks J...i am whipping some up for gifts this year. I use mine all the time. Beach, market...it's never too far away! x

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    2. That is one of the great ideas ever to recycle old pillow cases or new ones.
      Thanks.

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  2. what a great simple idea. I will definitely be making one of these!!

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    1. thanks...love to see pictures of your pillowcase bag creations...send me a pic! x

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  3. Thank you for posting. I have been fascinated by these bags ever since reading your initial post. I think they would sell like hot cakes if you listed some on Felt.

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    1. It's a peculiar thing, what sells on felt or at the markets and what doesn't. I am up to my eyeballs in sewing at the moment, but i may try listing some in the new year...thanks for the idea. x

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  4. I don't like not having a choice where I live to use plastic bags if I want to do that. Plastic is recyclable, too. Hope everyone understands that. Otherwise, this is a very cool "repurpose"of old pillow cases. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Kathy. It isn't nice when choices are taken from you but I have seen so much wildlife wash up tangled in supermarket plastic bags and protruding from their mouths that I can't stand the things! Some places in the world don't actually have the facilities to recycle them. We do have some make their way into the house and they do come in useful, granted! Glad you liked the idea. x

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  5. Thank you for such an ingenious idea. Ill be making several friends and family.

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    1. Enjoy your sewing! Lucky friends and family. x

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  6. I'm going to make one of these for each of my kids to cart their stuff back and forth from the beach this summer while camping...and the bags will drip dry! What a NEAT idea!

    Kirsty

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    1. Hi Kirsty. We live near the beach and ours get used to haul beach gear back and forth...work a treat. Enjoy camping...x

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  7. I love your work, would you like to do some markets in the Yarra Valley?

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    1. Thanks! I would love to do markets in the Yarra Valley...transport might be a bit of problem since I am in NZ though! x

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  8. I just love this! I love vintage sheets so this is just perfect. thank you for sharing.

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    1. Aww, thanks for your feedback. I too, love vintage sheets! x

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  9. i am working on this project. But I realized the folded hem around the handles is super tricky. Any tips?

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    1. Try ironing the hem open then fold over the edge you are going to have visible, lay it over the other handle (that edge can stay raw) in such a way so that the handle is continuous with no twisting. Pin and sew. Email me if you need more hints. You'll get it. x

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  10. Great idea and tutorial...I made 2 of them and put one inside of the other and stitched around edges to make it super strong and reversible....thanks for the great idea.

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    1. Hi there. I have found one layer to be very strong but using the reversible option makes a lovely gift or if you are hefting around loads of library books! Love to see what prints you used...love a picture if you'd like to share!

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  11. Love this idea. Thank you. Going to search for pillowcases I don't use anymore.

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    1. Thanks cb, have fun transforming your old pillowcases! x

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  12. Excellent tutorial, thank you! Your pictures are so helpful, too. I appreciate the visual assistance :D

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    ReplyDelete