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weekend sewing project: simple scrap rag bags


Happy Friday, everybody!
Today’s project seems almost ridiculously housekeeper-y, especially for me, since I’m not a very good housekeeper. But we’ve had these sloppy plastic bags of rags lying around and getting in the way since we moved in – I’ll put them in a cupboard, and they just slump all over and make a mess. So I finally got fed up and made some bags to hang on the wall in our laundry room and hold the clean and dirty rags. I have to say, they work pretty well! You could use them for anything, really, but I labelled mine with stamp letters, so now they’re pretty specific.

I started out with a bunch of scraps – cotton canvas for the bags, and a variety of cottons for the patchwork. The main body sizes were 13×18″, for a finished bag size of 12×16″.
Next, I cut fabric patches and arranged until I liked the way they looked. I made each bag a little different, depending on how much fabric I had and the proportions I liked. I pinked some of the edges, and cut others straight to be satin-stitched.
I used alphabet stamps to label the center patch.
Once I had the patch decorated, I stitched the patches to the front of the bag, and then sewed them:
1) Iron a 1/2″ fold at top edge of bag, and then fold over 1″ and iron again. Unfold carefully, keeping crease.

2) Put the two 13×18″ pieces together, right sides facing, and sew sides and bottom with a 1/2″ seam. (Make sure top edge is not folded at this time – the sides should be sewn together with no fold). Iron seams open.
3) Turn bag right-side-out and refold top edge, but do not pin. Find the center of the front, and mark a spot for two 1/2″ vertical buttonholes 1/4″ to either side of center, centered between the top of the bag and the lower edge of your 1″ fold. I also added a horizontal, 1″ buttonhole at the center back to hang the bag, also centered between the top and bottom of the 1″ fold. This is optional. Unfold top edge gently.
4) Sew buttonholes.
5) Turn bag inside-out, re-fold top edge and pin. Stitch close to the bottom of the fold, 1″ from the top of the bag. Turn bag right-side-out.

6) Cut a ribbon to the desired length (mine were about 32″) and attach a safety pin to one end. Feed through one buttonhole and around and out through the other. Cinch and use!




  • live a colorful life

    The fabric stamping is my favorite part of this very awesome project. thanks!

  • I just have to look in the stamps-collection of our little girls! I think there were alphabet-stamps in a post-stamps-set! 🙂 Fabric-scraps are never ever a problem!Thanks for sharing!

  • monaluna

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • monaluna

    Hi Uta –
    I got my stamps at Michaels', I think, but when I looked on the website they didn't have them. The ones here are either the same or very close:

  • You know, I love this kind of project … beautiful and useful. This makes ordinary life beautiful!

  • Michele

    So, so cute! And you gave me the idea of using my stamps on fabric. There goes my schedule tomorrow! Thanks!

  • My Owl Barn

    I love those ribbons and the print fabric you used for the bags.

  • CSN stores sent me a set of similar alphabet stamps to review and I'm looking for a project to make with them. I didn't think about stamping them on fabric! Thanks for the idea.
    I'll be posting a project and CSN stores review on my blog soon. Be sure to check me out:

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Monaluna Design

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