It was just after Christmas I found myself saying again “we need more toy storage!” This is something I’ve said a lot since being a parent…
So I spent a couple of afternoons sewing together this storage bag made with less than a metre of gorgeous Cath Kidston oil cloth fabric (which was in the sale) and ended up with another thing for my kids (me) to chuck toys in.
The great thing about sewing with oilcloth is that it is SO easy to fold (no need for pins) and sew. If you’ve never sewn with oil cloth before, once your sewing machine is set up spend a few minutes with a scrap piece playing around with your tensions. You may even need to buy a bigger needle to cope with the thickness of the fabric and/or strong sewing thread, but I found I needed neither and the sewing machine was happy to sew away.
You will need:
- 1 metre of Cath Kidston Oil Cloth (or similar) You can get it here!
- Fabric scissors
- Tape measure
- Sewing Machine (possibly with a larger needle for thick fabrics)
- Sewing thread in matching or contrasting colour to your fabric (this may have to be strong thread depending on whether you need a larger needle)
Approximate time needed: 3-4 hours
1) Start by cutting up your fabric into x6 40×40 cm squares and you will also have two fairly large strips of rectangular fabric left.
2) You only need 5 of the 40x40cm sqaures. (I used the 6th one to practice my seams and tensions on). These form the 4 sides and bottom of your storage bag. On 4 of your 5 squares fold down approx 3.5cm from the top and sew this fold down by stitching with the presser foot against the edge of the fabric which serves as an easy and consistent guide to your sewing.
3)Now sew 2 of your side pieces to the base by placing the base right-side down with 2 side pieces opposite each other (see picture) then one at a time sew right-side to right-side a 2cm seam (again I just used the presser foot as a guide to the seam )
4) Then do the same with the other 2 side pieces so, laid out flat, you have a cross shape.
5) Now you can sew the main seams up. I did this by simply grabbing 2 of the side pieces, and right-side to right-side sew a 2 cm seam starting from the top and sewing to as near to the bottom as you can go. It can start to get a bit fiddly at this stage as there is more and more fabric coming together…
6) Now with your storage bag still inside out you can check that it stands up, it may be a bit wobbly, but the next stage should help strengthen it up.
7) Pull the bag the right way round, and using your fingers push all the seams and nooks into place so it isn’t bunching anywhere. Now to strengthen those side seams…. on each side seam sew a seam all the way down from top to bottom on the RIGHT side of the fabric, therefore encasing the original seam inside the new seam. This technique acts as a sort of fake ‘piping’ for the four corners of your bag and makes it stand on its own.
8) Make two handles – cut 2 strips of fabric roughly 7×15 cm. On each strip, fold down 1.5 cm widthways, then lengthways fold each side into the centre, then fold again through the centre. Holding it carefully in place sew down the length of the strap securing the folds in place.
9) Position the straps and sew them just inside the bag, sewing an ‘X’ to secure them in place.
I hope this tutorial helps you to de-clutter a bit! Let me know how you get on & I’m happy to answer any questions!