In my book review post on How To Sew Sustainably I mentioned a project that I was motivated to make after reading the book, the project I made was 3 toiletry bags.
I have made toiletry bags in the past using the same pattern so that part isn’t new but I hadn’t planned on making these ones until I read the book. The book talks a lot about using up supplies you already own. I try and “shop my stash” when I can however I don’t always look at my stash and think what can I make from it? I started thinking of the fabrics I had in my stash and ways I could use it up in particular offcuts from previous projects. If it is a uniform shape like a square of rectangle that is easy to use up as it just fabric but what about the odd shape offcuts you get from cutting out a garment. I’ve mentioned this year I have made a lot pants so I have offcuts from cutting those out. Since the fabric had already been prewashed and was ready to go it made sense to try and use it up. Looking in my fabric stash I found an offcut of ripstop nylon so I decided to make toiletry bags having the outer bags in cotton sateen (offcuts from pants) and nylon on the inside. I restocked my zipper stash late last year and I found 3 zippers to match.
The pattern I used was the large boxed corner version of the Essential Wristlet by Dog Under My Desk patterns. It is my favourite zipper pouch pattern. Over the years I have pattern hacked it and played around with sizing. On my previous toiletry bags I had enlarged the pattern to 150% which is a great size as it holds a lot but can be a little large. This time I enlarged the pattern to 125%, I refer to the 150% as XL so I’m calling this the L+ size . The pattern is a digital pattern so instead of printing it out at 100% I changed the print settings. If you are photocopying it from a book or paper pattern you can adjust the size on the photocopier. With changing the pattern size you will need to change the length of your zipper but that is easily done by referring to the zipper placement in the instructions and adjusting the length to fit. Another reason for making the new smaller size was that the pattern pieces fitted the fabric I had without having to piece together fabrics.
Although this size is smaller than my previous bags it still holds a lot. It easily holds full size bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body wash plus room for things like hairbrushes or other bottles of liquids. As the inside is nylon it can also be used as a wet bag to hold for example a damp facecloth or wet swimming costume.
These bags will be added to our Charity Bags this year. I really like them for so many reasons. These bags got me thinking of ways to use up my fabric offcuts, they challenged me to look at my stash and think how can I use it instead of it just sitting on a shelf. They are a practical item which make a nice little addition to the charity bags. I enjoyed trying out a new pattern size. Even just the choice of fabrics, combing fabrics from things I have made for myself in an item for a complete stranger who will never know the story behind it but I do. I have more nylon in my stash so I plan on making another set next year. I’m happy for fabric to sit on a shelf if I know how I’m going to use it.