Last year, about this time of year, I wrote about our clothes dryer kicking the bucket and building a solar clothes dryer out of necessity. Because we live in the country with horses for neighbors, we can hang out our laundry with reckless abandon. The horses don’t judge us when they see our laundry hanging on the line. At least not that we know. You never can tell with horses.
Because we get much use from our clothesline, our clothespin bag has seen better days. Much better days.
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I expected more from the dollar I spent on this bag. They just don’t make things like they used to.
Because I like cute things and didn’t want to leave the house to get another cheap clothespin bag, I did what any logical person would do.
I disassembled the old one and made it into a new, fabulous one.
I felt a little like Dr. Frankenstein while doing it. A fabulous Dr. Frankenstein!
First, I squared off a piece of fabric I had in my stash. It was a little smaller than what the original bag was, so I had to make a few modifications down the road.
I took apart the bag, which was easy since I had already began the job itself. Overachiever.
With the metal hanging bar and plastic reinforcement thingy removed, we are ready to roll.
Designate which side will be the top and fold the fabric over twice to the wrong side to create the top casing. This is where we will slide the plastic reinforcement thingy in (I still don’t have a better word for it) to keep the top of the bag open for easy access. Sew along the bottom of the casing all the way across.
Slide the plastic reinforcement thingy (help me out, people!) into the casing. This is where the slight modification come into play. In order for there to be sufficient room to attach two grommets for hanging the bag, you may need to trim the plastic. It needs to be centered in the casing from end to end about 2-2 1/2 inches from each end. In other words, your casing will only have the plastic reinforcement in the center, stopping about 2 inches from each end.
Hold the plastic reinforcement in place and fold the fabric right sides together. Pin the fabric to prevent shifting and sew the bottom and up the side.
At this point, I decide I wanted the bag to have a boxy bottom. That’s the only boxy bottom I want.
To do this, line up the bottom and side seam to make a small triangle on the bottom corner. Draw a straight line, pin and sew along the line. Clip away excess fabric with pinking shears. Zig zag stitch along the raw edges for reinforcement.
Turn the bag right side out and make sure the plastic reinforcement is centered.
Using the metal hanging bar as a guide, mark the fabric where the grommet will need to be placed.
With a grommet tool, punch a hole where you have place the marks and attach the grommets according to the directions on your tool. I’m not being specific here since grommet-attaching methods vary. If you don’t have grommets, use a button-hole stitch on your machine. I had grommets, so that’s what I used.
When the grommets are in place, slip the ends of the hanging bar into the grommets and squeeze firmly to close the gap.
All finished and ready for a closeup!
If you want to DIY entirely, you can replace the plastic reinforcement thingy with a piece of strapping often wrapped around shipping boxes for reinforcement. Or, if you have a well-stocked sewing room, boning will work. A metal clothes hanger can be substituted for the hanging bar. It might take a little muscle, but it can be done!
I still haven’t come up with a better word for the plastic reinforcement thingy. Any suggestions?