World traveler shoe bag

Earth Day is coming up on Friday. I know Earth Day is about recycling and such, but this blog really is not. So I did the next best thing. I used it as an excuse to sew something with this really neat map fabric. This is a simple drawstring bag to use for travel. You can stow shoes inside to keep your garments clean, or you can use it for laundry. Either way, it’s reusable, and that’s all Earthy and green, right?

You can make this bag any size you want. This particular one is a little big for one pair of shoes, but you could toss boots inside, or several pairs of shoes. And it’s a great size for dirty laundry.


(Click fabrics for direct links for purchase at Warehouse Fabrics Inc.)

Old World Multi - OLDMUI

Thin rope or cording
1/2 yard of fabric and 2.5 yards of thin rope.

The process

For my bag, I took my 1/2 yard of fabric and cut it into two equal pieces. You can make your bag smaller or bigger. Just cut two rectangles of the same size.
Do a narrow hem on the top of each piece.
(Showing the hem.)
Measure and mark 3 inches from the hemmed top on either side.
Sew down one side, across the bottom and up the other side, starting and stopping at the marks you made above.
Use pinking shears along the edge all the way around, even at the top where there is an opening on either side (above the 3 inch marks). I’m trying to show the pinked edges here, but it’s hard to see.
Press open the side seams, including the area that was left unsewn at the tops.
Stitch around the opening – down the sides and across the bottom, securing the pinked seam allowances to the inside and creating a clean look from the outside.
Fold your hemmed top edge over to form the casing for your cord. You can just eyeball this, but leave enough space to run two cords through with ease. And if the casing is too small, you’ll have a hard time scrunching the bag closed.
Here’s my casing.
I had stark white rope and wanted it to look a little antiqued, so I gave it a tea bath. I just left it soaking in tea. Actually, I left it all night because I forgot about it, but since it was polyester, it didn’t stain it too much. It came out just about perfect.
OK, try to follow me here. This is a great way to make a drawstring. Your casing is open on either side of the bag. Cut your rope in half. Now what you’ll do is use a safety pin or bodkin to run one rope through so that it starts at one opening, goes through that casing, out the other opening and through the other casing, and back out the side it started. But it’s coming out the other casing, kind of like a U shape. Do the same with the other rope, except in the other direction. So each side of your bag has two rope ends coming out. Tie those rope ends together on either side. Now, all you do is yank the ropes outwards and it cinches the bag closed with ease.

Other views

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