Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hand Wash Cold, Line Dry

As a wearer of hand knitted socks--some wool, some wool blends--I have been hand washing these precious pairs to save them from the ravages of the washer and dryer. (Read:  To save them from being felted.) The thing is, I haven't had a place to keep the socks separate from the rest of the laundry except for on a shelf next to the bed.  Imagine the beauty of hand-knit, dirty socks piling up in plain sight.  Truly a travesty for a modern, renaissance homemaker such as myself. 

I simply had to find a solution.

Or (ahem) I had to create a solution when I ran across the tutorial for a clothespin bag at My Lucky Chicken.  I modified the instructions a bit to make a bag befitting several pairs of bulky socks, and I added an embroidered patch on the front.  I've detailed my modifications below, but for now, for the sake of those visiting from Sew & Tell Friday, here's the finished product:

Hand Wash Cold bag

On the hanger, it's about 12" x 19".  Rather than beginning with a fat quarter, as the instructions suggest, I had yardage to work with.  So I cut off 13" from selvage to selvage and then sliced off the selvage edges themselves.

Hand Wash Cold bag 1b

I hemmed the short edges and added the pink lace trim.  About this time, my sewing machine broke.  Or, rather, I helped it along when I got tired of the needle not aligning itself correctly, ka-chunking itself through the fabric,  Hoping the problem could be solved by something simple, I tried to clean out all the fuzz from under the throat plate and from around the bobbin housing.  Somehow, however, I think I didn't replace all the parts correctly, and now I get a loopy mess under the fabric when I try to sew, and everything binds up.  Also, the needle still hits the edge of its opening in the throat plate--any needle does this;  it drives me crazy.

I wasn't thwarted for long, thankfully.  I pulled out my Featherweight and finished the bag.  I had planned to zigzag the embroidered applique onto the bag, but straight stitching became the order of the day.

First I folded in the edges of the patch and then folded the corners into points.

Hand Wash Cold bag 4

Hand Wash Cold bag 5

I top stitched around the patch and then folded the bag into its parts, right sides together, so I could sew the long edges closed.  I folded the top down about 7" and then folded the bottom up to meet the top edge, but I don't have a precise measurement for that.

Hand Wash Cold bag 5b

I sewed the long edges and flipped it inside out.  The clothespin bag at My Lucky Chicken has button holes and buttons as its closure for hanging from a line or hanger.  My featherweight isn't button hole friendly.  Quite frankly, neither am I.  So I added large snaps and sewed buttons to the front as decorations.

Hand Wash Cold bag 8

Again, I don't have a measurement for how far I folded this flap; I just eyeballed it.  I marked the placement of the snap components by slipping a folded sheet of dressmaker's carbon paper underneath the flap.  As I marked the top of the flap, corresponding marks were made underneath, so that all the places for buttons and snaps were marked at the same time.

Hand Wash Cold bag 7
Marks in pencil for the buttons.

Hand Wash Cold bag 6
Blue carbon paper marks for the snap components.  (This is a sideways view.  The top of the flap is on the right in the photo.  The fold runs down the middle.)

And, here's the bag again, all done.  The bedside shelf is now safe from stinky, handmade socks.  Thank you, My Lucky Chicken!

Hand Wash Cold bag inside

I've Linked to:


  1. The bag is beautiful! Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. What a great idea! Thanks for the tutorial. Now, I need to finish my first pair of knitted socks.

  3. Good thinking! Thanks for joining us for Anything Related! Hope to see you tomorrow! ~Bridgette

  4. great idea! love the snaps! I am hand knitting my first pair of socks, maybe I'll make another bag just for them!



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