How to sew ~ a Delicates Laundry Bag

Helen Cloke Lingerie garment bag sewing tutorial

Whether it's a silk blouse or a lacy lingerie set, we all have me-mades that we prefer to delicate wash.  

I've created a fun, easy to sew kit for a delicates garment bag featuring an exclusive Nellie Joans quilting cotton print 'Lingerie Sewing.'

The kit includes:

  • Quilting cotton 20cm x 29cm (plus 2 pieces 5cm x 4.5cm)
  • Mesh 50cm x 29cm
  • Zip 25cm
  • Sewing clips
  • Nellie Joans heart sewing label

You'll need to add your own thread.

I've sewn this on a standard sewing machine with a 6mm seam allowance.  You could use an overlocker instead.

Note: The instructions don't include inserting the sewing label.  You can pop this in whatever seam you like :)


Cut your main piece of quilting cotton horizontally so that you have one piece measuring 6cm high x 29cm wide and another piece measuring 14cm high x 29cm wide.

A flatlay of the kit pieces will look like this.

flat lay image of materials

Zipper Ends

The smaller 4cm x 4cm pieces of quilting cotton are used to cover the ends of the zipper.  Place these pieces with the right side of the fabric facing the right side of the zipper.

Line up the outer edge of the fabric with the zipper stops.  The tails of the zipper will extend past the fabric.

Secure the fabric and the zip together using the sewing clips.  Move the zipper pull out of the way but make sure that the two zip tapes are butted together for sewing.

Sew a straight line 6mm in from the outside edge of the fabric.  Your stitching should just miss the zipper stop (the zipper stop will be within the seam allowance.) Do this for both ends of the zip.

Fold the fabric over so the right side is showing and finger press the seamed edge. (Finger press means use your finger in place of an iron to give a crisp fold to the fabric.). Topstitch a straight line a few mm's back from the folded edge.  Do this for both ends of the zip.

Top of Garment Bag

Lay out your pieces like this: (I like to lay them out to ensure I have the fabric pattern running in the correct direction.)

Mark the centre of your fabric pieces and of the zip tape.

Flip the narrower bottom piece of fabric over so that the right side of the fabric touches the right side of the zip, their centres align and the long cut edge of the fabric lines up with the outer edge of the zip tape.

Use the sewing clips to secure it in place. The fabric at the ends of the zip will extend past the main piece of fabric.  These will be trimmed to fit later.

Stitch a straight line 6mm away from the edge to secure the fabric to the zip.  You will most likely need to use a zipper foot on your sewing machine.

Fold the fabric back so that the right side is showing.

Repeat with the top piece of fabric.  Making sure that the side edges are aligned with the bottom piece of fabric.  The two smaller pieces of fabric at the ends of the zipper will extend past - these will be trimmed later.

With the top and bottom pieces of fabric folded back so the right sides are showing, finger press the seam and topstitch a few mm away from the folded edge.

Trim the excess fabric on the ends of the zipper so that it lines up with the main fabric edge.

Mesh Bag

Lay your pieces out like this:

With right sides together, place one of the shorter sides of the mesh along the top of the fabric bag top. Secure in place with the clips.

Straight stitch along this edge with a 6mm seam allowance. Then open the fabric out so that the right sides are showing and topstitch to secure the seam allowance flat.  I chose to do this on the mesh side.

Fold the bottom of the mesh fabric up, right sides together, to meet the other edge of the fabric bag top. You'll be creating a loop. Secure in place with the sewing clips.

Stitch the seam, finger press and topstitch as before.

Open the zipper

Flip the bag inside out so that the right sides are facing.

We're going to sew down these open edges so first check to make sure the seam where the fabric meets the mesh aligns on both sides. You can always baste stitch this small section first if you want to make sure it is perfect - I always do ;)

Secure the edges together with the sewing clips and sew a straight stitch with a 6mm seam allowance. Repeat for the other side.  The mesh fabric has a stretch so try not to pull it out when sewing.

Turn the bag right side out through the zipper opening.  Optional: topstitch along the long edges 4mm away from the edge.  This will provide extra security for this seam but may not be necessary if you are sewing this on an overlocker.

Ta-Da!!! Your cute, lingerie sewing themed garment bag is now ready to protect all your delicate me-mades in the wash.



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