The Low Down on Laundry Bags

Written by AHQ

30 January 2014

As I explained a few nights ago we have quite a few new followers on facebook and a number of people are emailing me and asking how to get started so I figured it would be a good idea to write a few “how to” posts.  I have been a little short on time with getting my son back to boarding school and other AHQ admin so the wonderful Joan offered to draft something up for me.  Thanks Joan. So what follows is mostly Joan’s take on how to get started making laundry bags. 

So, you want to make some laundry bags???/

You like the look of what you have seen and now you are asking the question, “How to become involved if you want to sew Laundry Bags”.
The laundry bag tutorial can be found on the blog here.  Joan has added a few hints that she has acquired as she has sewn the HUNDREDS of bags she has done.  So, over to Joan.
I use my overlocker to make the bags but straight sewing is fine.
You will see on the instructions the size of the bags but I usually cut on the fold, quicker and one less row of stitching.

You will also see the instructions for the tie. I use cotton rope bought in 30 metre lengths for $5.00. It is available from one of the crazy discount shops.

When it comes to the choice of material, anything bright and colourful helps brighten the living space of our ADF personnel. I keep a watchful eye on my local fabric shops and buy when the price is right. Now is a good time to clear out that packed linen press. Bright souvenir tea towels can be made into great bags, just a little bit more work to put a border on to them. The sheets you bought and don’t like anymore can often be used for lining. Talk to your family and friends and ask them to clear their cupboards. Doona covers, particularly the cartoon type can be recycled as bags.

I tend to make bags in batches, cut out six bags, linings, collars and patches. I make the bags on the overlocker, don’t forget to leave a gap in the lining. Then switch to the straight machine to apply the collar, topsew the gap and there you are.

Initials, appliqué patches or strips of plain colour for names to be written all lead to making the bags distinctive and easily picked out in a large pile of bags.

Some of our ADF use plastic bags as laundry bags so anything bright cheerful and made with love is always welcomed. Go to it and sew, the first thank you receive will send you back to the machine to carry on.
Thanks very much Joan. That was great. Bags can either have pale patches on them so that the recipient can add their own name and number.  Joan adds a strip of pale fabric that can be written on.  some people get creative. There is no reason why the patch has to be a square.  I have seen kangaroos for example. 

Sometimes I can give you the name of someone specific to make a bag for and if you want you can put their initials on their bag.  It is up to you.

If you just want to make laundry bags then you make as many as you like – usually you can fit 4-6 in a Bx2 box – and I will tell you who to send them off to.  I have several points of contact around the Middle East Area of Operations.

I think that is about all you need to know but if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.  My email address is fr**********@gm***.com.  By the way if you know someone deployed on Operation Slipper, Operation Mazurka, or Operation Aslan who would like a laundry bag just let me know and we will take care of them.

Till next time…………….keep spreading the word and happy stitching!  JMxx

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1 Comment

  1. Sue Niven

    Thanks for a great post! Brilliant work Joan!


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