Here is a convenient bag for storing your kids PJs; it is also a great gift for any parent with young children. Alternatively, you could make it in any print you choose and use it for adults too. Honestly, I wanted to do that, but I just used the material I had at home.
It is easy to make and you will never have any pyjamas lying around your kids bedroom again. Well that is a lie and we can only hope.
How to choose the right cloth and prepare your machine
When people usually ask me which cloth should I use, my answer is always whatever they prefer. In this case, you will definitely need strong cloth. I used sheeting material which is thick cotton; you could always use denim or a sturdy alternative.
I noticed my sewing machine had some difficulty sewing the cloth, so you may need to change your sewing machine needle and adjust it to a thicker needle.
What you will need
- 1 1/2 yards of cloth
- carboard, length 11 1/2 inches, 29 cm, and width 8 1/2 inches, 22 cm
- a thin wire 12 inches long or a wire hanger cut at the same length
- matching thread
- sewing machine
- coloured chalk
- measuring tape
- sharp scissors
- a needle 😉
How to cut your cloth
Firstly iron all the creases out of your cloth. Then on a table, cut your fabric at this measurement length 30 inches-72 cm, and width at 24 inches-61 cm.
Now fold your cloth by making the width meet each other. Look at the pictures below for further guidance.
You need to measure out 7 inches and make a marking with some fabric chalk. Now fold the cloth on the place you marked till the edge of the other side. It should look like the Pythagoras theorem triangle. If you are confused, look at the images below.
Cut off the triangle and keep the scraps for later. When cutting cloth like this, always place your hand on top of the folded material and then carefully cut along the fold. If you are not yet confident with your cutting skills, then you can mark the cloth with chalk all the way. Then cut along the marking you made.
You will need to cut out two strips of cloth for the front of this bag/satchel. The length should be 25 inches-65 cm, and the width should be 7 inches-18 cm. Hem only one side of each strip and sew the other side to the slanted side of the cloth you cut previously. Look at the image below for some further help. You will need to join both the flaps by making them meet at the edges and then sewing it a half-inch away from the seem.
Now you will need to fold the top side of your cloth (the more narrow side will be on top) and hem it with your machine. Once again, look at the image below.
For the base of your bag, you will need to cut the length at 13 inches-33 cm and a width of 10 inches-25 1/2 cm. Sew this cloth to the wide part of your already semi-sown cloth. Firstly fold your cloth so that the slanted sides meet. The bottom will be the widest, and you need to mark the centre with chalk; repeat this with the small rectangle you just cut for the base of your bag.
Join the cloth at its markings and just sew one straight line to join them together. In this way when you sew it all the way around you won’t need to worry about not getting it in the middle.
You’re almost done!
Now you will need to cut out an 11-inch-28 cm by 11-inch cloth for the triangle that appears at the top of your bag. When you cut this piece of material, fold it inside out, making the corners join in a triangle shape. Sew it around the edges, leaving about an inch of space to turn it the right way around later.
Look below for a little help; if you look closely, you will see that there is an unstitched inch or so. You can use the back of a pencil to help you turn it inside out. Now iron your triangle but do not close the hole just yet.
Place the triangle on top of the inside of your already stitched cloth as shown below.
Fold the flaps on top of the triangle leaving the excess inside, because later, we will slip the wire into this thin slot. With the help of your machine, sew a straight line on the flaps so that the triangle and flaps are all held together.
Now for the loop that will suspend the bag. This is the easiest part of it all. All you have to do is take an 8-inch by 2-inch piece of the same fabric. Fold it in from both sides of its length once, and then once more. Iron the folds so that sewing it will be easier. Sew it at the opening as shown below.
How to attach the loop
Fold the strip of sewn cloth and place it on top of the triangle top attachment’s back. Sew it on with your machine and then turn it up, making it straight and sew once more. In this way, you will get a nice neat finish.
I used red buttons to dress it up a little and give it a finishing touch. You can always play around with the decorations and put what you prefer.
As shown in the image below, I used three red buttons for the top and three for the opening itself. You will have to sew them on by hand, so firstly measure 6 inches on the opening and make a small marking with chalk (Note: My finished result was 24 inches long. In sewing, it could be different for you, so measure the entire length and then divide it by four to add your buttons). I randomly placed the other buttons, and you should have fun with yours too.
Sewing buttons is simple but a tedious task nonetheless. If you never sewed a button, then read on. Sew one small stitch on the exact spot you want to place your button. Now pass the needle and thread through your button’s hole and pass the needle through the cloth again. Repeat this at least 6 times, and your button will be safe and secure.
Follow the same instructions for “How to make the loop” but this time with a 1 1/2 inch in width and 11 inches in length. Cut the sewn strip into three equal parts and sew them on the same spots as your buttons on the opposite side, of the flap.
Great you are almost there!
Turn the entire bag inside out and push the wire into the little hole from the triangle. You can now sew the hole closed with a needle and thread.
How to make a matching cloth cover for the cardboard
You might be wondering why you even need to complete this step, but the fact is that without this cardboard, your bag would sag. The cardboard gives it shape, and it is neater.
Measure and cut out the length 24 inches-31 cm and width by 10 inches-25 cm. Fold the cloth with the right side on the inside and sew it on two sides. Now turn the cloth the right way around. Slip your pre-cut cardboard into the opening and fold the excess cloth inside. Hem it shut with a needle and thread.
Now all you have to do is slip the covered cardboard in your bag and you’re all set.
Here is what it looks like on its side.
This is an amazing thing for de-cluttering and also an awesome gift. I hope you enjoy making it as much as I did. Remember to ask questions if you get stuck. I will be happy to help in any way possible. Also, use your cloth pattern of choice, replace the buttons with a zip and make adjustments according to your own preferences. The original design had no buttons at all, but I added them for extra neatness. Have fun sewing!