Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Scrapbuster No. 25: Patchwork Shoe Bags (with Tutorial!)

Patchwork fabric shoe bags with super suitcase decontaminating powers.
I have this weird thing about packing. If my shoes are in bags and segregated from the clothing, everything is fine. If my shoes aren’t in bags and, therefore, can come into contact with the clothing then everything in my suitcase is contaminated and needs to be washed.

Ya, I know, I have issues and medication might help.

But, I’ve discovered, I’m not the only one with issues! One time I made my friend Joe (see Joe's Stuff) several shoe bags for his birthday. To this day, they are one of his favorite things. I’ve given them to others, too, and they are always popular. I told Sara about them the other day and she immediately wanted some. As a gift, they are fantastic as they are non-gender-specific. Everyone wears shoes!
One shoe per bag so you can stash them wherever you have space in your bag. Note the Scrappy Shoelaces made by Sara.  Don't they look great on my vintage Doc Martens?
I usually like to use flannel for my shoe bags (alas, I had no flannel scraps this time). The flannel is soft on the shoes and is great if you need to give your shoes a quick buffing to shine them up. Piecing scraps together is a truly thrifty way of making your bags, but you can go buy yardage if you want.

These are nothing more than drawstring bags. I put one shoe per bag so I can stash each shoe wherever I have a little space in my suitcase (and space is always at a premium in my bag!). And it doesn't matter if the shoes are wedged in between clothes because the super-decontaminating properties of the bag will keep them safe.

Supplies Needed:
  • Fabric scraps (I prefer flannel, but didn't have any flannel scraps so I used regular old calico)
  • Seam ripper
  • String, cording, clothesline, shoelaces (you could even use Sara's Scrappy Shoelaces)
The pile of 6.5 inch squares with which I started.

Note: Each bag is intended to hold one shoe so plan on making two of these unless you have only one foot.  If you have two left feet, you still make two bags. If you have three feet, you'll need to make three bags...  you get the idea, I'm sure.

Step 1: Piece your scraps together until you have a piece that measures 34 x 7 (you can adjust the size according to your shoe size; I make them big enough to work for anyone and don’t worry if they are too big). If necessary, trim pieced fabric so you have straight edges.
I sewed mine 3-6 inch finished squares wide...

... then cut the finished piece in half.
Step 2: Fold in half with right sides together, and sew up the two side seams. It should look like a mini-pillowcase at this point.

Step 3: Fold one quarter inch of the raw edge to the wrong side (don’t get too fussy... quarter inch, half inch, it’ll all work). Press. Now fold another inch to the wrong side. Press. Sew seam all the way around top of bag (that’s right, I said all the way around). Turn.
My mini "pillow case" with the top turned under to form a casing.

Edge-stitching all the way around the bag.
Step 4: We are going to need two holes to thread our drawstring. Using a seam ripper, rip out about half the stitches above the casing’s seam line and below the top of the bag on each side seam. (There are fancier ways of doing this, but I like to keep in mind that these are going to hold shoes and use that as an excuse to take shortcuts.  By all means, use a different method for this if you like).

Ripping out a couple of stitches to form holes for the draw strings.
Step 5: Cut two pieces of cording about 12 inches long (I used clothesline from the dollar store). Put a large safety pin through one end of one of your drawstring. Thread through one hole, around half the circumference of the casing, and back out through the hole on the other side. Repeat this process running the cording through the other side of the casing. Knot ends of drawstring.
Clothesline from the dollar store threaded through to make a drawstring.
Make your second bag (unless, as we determined earlier, you only have one foot).  Now you are ready to travel in style with your personalized shoe bags. You will be the envy of all your OCD friends who travel with contaminated clothing.

Now, about that medication....

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~Beth D. said...

I have a soccer shoe bag for my son. Never thought to post it. But what a great idea for scraps. Thanks!

Sara vs. Sarah said...

sarah - i LOVE these bags! I'm gonna need several so thanks for the tutorial. I applaud your public admission about your suitcase "issues" ... I too fear dirty shoes touching cleaning clothes - so thanks for a scrappy solution! -Sara

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