Army Laundry, or a Cool Bag for a Hot Summer

Army Laundry Bag
This bag had a former life as an army laundry bag. I had two sitting in a corner of my green sewing room waiting for their re-invention moment to happen. First I thought of a skirt, but it would have involved too much sewing in such hot summer weather. So a big tote bag in which all of my towels and other summer things would fit, seemed just right.
Still reading my Wabi-Sabi book, I’m inspired by Japanese aesthetics and simplicity. I wanted to make the bag with the least amount of effort, but interesting and functional enough that I would love to haul it around. The bag has a good architectural feel which counteracts the raw edges. Just what I like.
Best thing is that it took 5 minutes to make. Here’s how, so you can make one:
Supplies
1. Laundry Bag (they are around 5$ and available in surplus stores and ebay. I like the used ones.)
2. chalk
3. ruler
4. scissors
5. pins
6. needle and thread (use buttonhole/craft thread for this one)
Tutorial: 5 Minute Army Laundry Bag
How To:

The principle is really easy. You essentially cut a rectangle from the top part of the bag and sew the two emerging handles together.

1.  Lay out your laundry bag. Use tailors chalk to draw two parallel lines 12 inches long 4.5 inches from each side. Connect them into a rectangle (see image 1). I have not given the distance between the 2 lines because the width of laundry bags vary slightly. Now round the 2 drawn corners by measuring 1 inch from the inside of each corner and draw a small curve to soften them.

2. Cut out your rectangle. Notice the slightly rounded corners in the 2nd picture.

3. Remove the strings from the laundry bag.

4. Sew the two “handles together”. I overlapped the top parts. You can use a machine or your trusty old needle. I used a running stitch and button hole thread to make the bag really strong. (After all I might want to transport some books from the library in it.) It’s a bit of work to sew by hand through all the layers and my needle broke in the middle. But it’s a short seam and the end result is so worth it.

That’s it!

If you would like to wear the bag across your chest, just insert a 9 inch wide piece of fabric in your desired length before you connect the strap to make it longer. Experiment. I made my straps wide, but you can adjust the measurements to your liking.

Army Laundry Bag

I’m thinking of adding a little pocket on the strap for my phone and keys. But today I’ll throw in the towel and go off for a swim… although it looks as if I was heading for NY City on a greyhound bus in my summery black attire. Guess I was inspired by the well dressed traveler heading to a fashionable watering-place…or the “Blues Brothers”…

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9 Responses to “Army Laundry, or a Cool Bag for a Hot Summer”

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  1. Sharon says:

    what a fantastic idea! i must have one to take up the country with all my junk in it!

  2. kampinga says:

    Great bag!
    Bathing suit to go with it, perhaps? – http://www.flickr.com/photos/clotho98/3724083152/in/set-72157619170658128/
    'The jacket (..) is cut very full, so as to give plenty of room to the arms of the swimmer in action.' Phew, that's a relief..

    Back to my own sewing – I'm making a big rug to go in our tent, out of old curtain bits. The ones going in our local charity (thrift) shops this week were all very voluptuous and velvety, so we will be imagining ourselves to be in a bedouin tent, this summer..

  3. CraftCrave says:

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [09 Jul 01:25pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  4. Terri says:

    Hi I love your blog….I love the hat you are wearing…did you make it? THANKS for sharing….

  5. annekata says:

    @Terri: The hat is big canvas thing I bought a few years ago. Usually are I wear hats in winter and this one – although I love the shape and how it looks – is a bit hot for a summer hat!

  6. kirschkernzeit says:

    Aber HEY! das ist ja absolut COOL! Ich weiss ja jetzt, nach Niks Blogperlen-interview, dass du auch Deutsch kannst und werd dich mal nicht mit meinem Stümper-Englisch quälen *grins*. Dein Blog ist superspitze uhnd die Ideen einfach der Hammer, die du hier zeigst! Ich bin auch ganz baff, wie viele Leser du schon hast, nach bloss ein paar Monaten!!!! Obwohl, erstaunlich ist das ja nicht, bei DEM schönen Blog hier… Viel Elan weiterhin; ich weiss, so ein Blog bedeutet wirklich viel Arbeit (geht mir nicht anders)…
    Alles Gute!
    Bora von Kirschkernzeit (aus der Schweiz übrigens…)

  7. annekata says:

    Hi Bora aus der Schweiz,
    Vielen Dank fuer deinen netten Kommentar! Ich werde mir mal ein Taeschen Tee machen und spaeter mit ein bischen mehr Zeit in deinem Blog stoebern.
    LG, Kathrin

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hello — Can you tell me where you got that fabulous hat? It is gorgeous and I am craving one!
    Thank you!

  9. annekata says:

    @Anonymous: The hat came from some "el cheapo" in Germany and was bought ages ago.

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