FREE Pattern – College Laundry Bag

College Laundry Bag One of the least favorite tasks for any student is doing laundry. This applies to college students and to high school students who are just learning the responsibility in preparation for college. So I thought it was high time to create something that might make laundry time a bit more enjoyable.

This bag is designed to be made using college print fabrics – but it could easily be made with any other fun print the student will enjoy.

I have created a downloadable pattern page for this project, so I’m not going to re-write the entire project here.  If you are considering making your own laundry bag, I suggest that you download the pattern, and have it printed out as you follow along with a few more detailed explainations below.  Laundry Bag Pattern

One of the most notable design elements is the line of black prairie points that runs down the side of the bag.  If you don’t know how to create prairie points, I have explained it in the pattern, but a more detailed explaination can be found at  I used a 6 1/2″ square ruler to make sure I had the points spaced perfectly.

The bag is constructed as a tube, with only a small strip of the coordinate fabric used to accent one side.  Again, you can change this if you want, but one reason to not make the tube using seams on either side of the bag is to reduce stresses on the seams when the bag is overfull (and we all know that’s going to happen at least once).  So if you make changes, I suggest that you still use one large piece of fabric, and one smaller piece for the accent.

Another important step is finishing the bottom of the bag – instructions are included for sewing into the corners of the bottom, this will allow the bag to stand up more easily than if you just used a single seam across the bottom.  It will also reinforce the corners and provide a bit more strength to the finished piece.

A few suggestions to personalize the bag:

  • Use blanket tabs (also known as tags) instead of prairie points.  These can be made from a coordinate fabric, or just use ribbon.  I would still use buttons to finish the tabs off.
  • Add a pocket inside for quarters.  Or, make a small matching drawstring bag that could fit over the mouth of a coffee mug to collect quarters in through the week.
  • Print washing hints and instructions (don’t wash new jeans with white t-shirts) onto a colorfast sheet, then topstitch into the inside of the bag.  This can be done on fusible webbing, and use a decorative blade to trim before topstitching into the bag.

I’m sure you can come up with lots of new ideas… feel free to share a few!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing

FREE Pattern – Chenille Baby Blanket

My gift to you today, a free pattern to make your own chenille baby blanket. (This size blanket can also make a nice couch throw.)

If you have not seen my basic instructions and tips for making your own chenille, please read this post.

Flannel Chenille Baby Blanket – finished size approximately 36” X 42”
Blanket Fabric: Approximately 5 yards of baby flannel
Binding: 1/3 yd Fabric or 175” pre-made binding
Olfa Chenille Cutter

  1. Cut the flannel into 5 pieces, 36” X 42” each
  2. Lay first layer facing down – Layer the next 4 pieces facing up. (In my finished baby blanket I layered the same flower directly on top of each other in the top three layers so after I did the chenille work the flowers would still show. If I had not done this you would only see the colors in the finished piece, not the flower design.)
  3. Pin the layers together, if you feel like your fabrics are going to move around for you.
  4. (Optional) Use a walking foot on your machine.
  5. Channels should be 1/2” – 5/8” wide, so make your stitches that far apart. (For the best finished project, you want all the channels to be the same width, so once you have selected a channel width stay with it.)
  6. Use the chenille cutter and cut through the top 3 layers of the fabrics.
  7. Add the binding
  8. Wash and Dry
  9. ENJOY!

Below are some pictures to illustrate the process a bit better.

This is what the flannel will look like after you have stitched your channels

Olfa Chenille Cutter in action (this image is from a different blanket I am making, not the final one pictured in this post)

The look of the fabric after it “blooms”

A closer look at the “bloomed” fabric

Finished Project!

Just imagine what else you could make with your own, personally designed chenille fabric! Feel free to share any pictures of projects you have made from your own chenille! For more ideas on making and sewing your own chenille fabric, check out these posts:

Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing