Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ten minute upcycled peg bag

The first signs of warmer weather and my washing is out on the line - good training as we've decided to take a biggish leap on the eco-front and get rid of the tumble dryer all together. I'm a little nervous as there are six of us and we do produce a lot of washing, but with some tweaks and organisation in the new house, we are going to do are darndest at least.

So, on hanging out the washing the hanger that we are continually repairing, finally gave up the ghost this morning. A quick glance on ebay and online drew me to a swift conclusion that I wasn't going to find a replacement that 
a. I liked
b. was free
c. was eco or fair trade

But making a peg bag is so easy.

I raided the stash of clothes that LMB has grown out of but I don't want to throw away because she looked so cute in them and decided that I would give a fantastic outrageous fuzzy jacket a new lease of life.

So, here are your easy instructions.

  • Take your hanger first of all as this will determine the width of your bag. 
  • Choose an item of clothing, a shirt, t-shirt, sweater - all these work really well. Using an item that belonged to a child is easiest as you won't have excess fabric to contend with. If you use an adult sweater, however, you could choose to felt the it. If you want to felt an item, the best mix is either pure wool or an item that has 75%+ wool content. Put the item in a really hot wash and this causes the weave to knit together really tightly creating the smooth look of felt. Felt is then a lot easier to work with as you don't have fraying edges. Anyhoo, I digress!
  • Mark where the hanger sits into the sleeve cavity, then cut off the excess sleeve.
  • Turn the item inside out, remove the hanger and then sew the sleeve openings shut.
  • With the item still inside out, stitch along the bottom edge. You will need to decide how long you want your bag, if you are using a child's item of clothing you won't need to remove too much.
  • Turn the bag the right way round and you now have the basic requirements for your peg bag. 
  • Opening: The easiest openings are from re-using items that have already got fastenings in the neck area. My jacket had a zip, yours may have buttons or ties. If they have neither you will need to cut a v shape out of your bag and then selvage the edges to ensure it doesn't fray. 
  • Finally you need to put your hanger back in and mark with pins, where it sits. Then run your stitching from each side edge towards the neck (catching front to back) to create a pocket that enases the hanger. This isn't imperative, but you'll have to put up with the possiblity that your hanger may keep falling out.

I'd love to be able to add diagrams for this, to make it easier. Maybe I'll work out a way to do that, if anyone knows how, just leave a note below!

There are also many other ways you can make a simple peg bag, such as using vintage tea towels and and overlap opening such as this one I found from here:

Have fun and enjoy hanging your washing out in the sun!

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