achievement unlocked: diaper laundry bag


yet another not-exactly-thrilling sewing project. i was not into sewing before ramona was born. if i had been, i probably would have gone nuts sewing her little outfits & making all her cloth diapers myself. but instead, we bought all that. my friend amanda gifted us a big waterproof drawstring laundry bag. it came in handy because diaper laundry can really smell (shocker), & cinching the drawstring tight contains the reek.

but two years of constant use was too much for the drawstring, & one day it just kind of disintegrated. jared tried to rethread it, but some key drawstring hardware component had disappeared, so it didn’t work. we tried just tying it shut, but obviously that was a giant pain in the ass. no one wants to have to tie a damn sailor’s hitch ten times a day when they’re not even on a boat, especially if they have poop on their hands. (it happens.)

i had been thinking for a while that a bag with a zipper would be a lot more sensible. it would be easier to use & it would contain the smell better. i added it to my ever-growing list of sewing projects, but you know. there’s a lot of stuff on that list. making a zippered laundry bag wasn’t exactly rocketing to the top of the list of things i was super-stoked to sew.

but when the bag we had self-destructed, i had to act fast. a toddler doesn’t hold its poop just because there’s nowhere to put it. i cut a length of viewfinder print fabric (in the pink colorway, which, upon reflection, is my least favorite of the three colorways, & therefore ideal for containing gross laundry) to the same size as the existing laundry bag, sandwiched a zipper between the fabric & the waterproof bag opening (because only the drawstring surrendered–the body of the bag is fine, & this way we still have leakage/smell containment), & sewed. then i sewed up the seams on the fabric, topstitched around the zipper, & done. really, the hardest/most time-consuming part was pressing the fabric & figuring out the proper dimensions for cutting it.

as soon as i was done, i took my temperature & it was 102 degrees. so that was the start of the pneumonia, & i think the explanation for why i was having such a hard time figuring out what size to cut a damn rectangle of fabric. this would have been a much faster, easier project had i been fully healthy & in command of my faculties.

oh, i also made a little loop from webbing covered in fabric, which i stitched to the outside of the bag. this is to loop the bag over the door handle. i don’t know why we do that. i guess just to keep the laundry bag in one place? i did break a needle sewing a box to secure the loop. which is crazy because i’ve sewn webbing twice that thick with no problems. maybe i was using a heavier needle? i did this one with just a universal needle.

we’ve been using the new bag for a couple of weeks now & i love it. it’s nicer to look at than the plain baby blue bag we had before, the zipper is way faster & easier to use than the drawstring, & it’s just pleasing to look around the house & see so many things i’ve made myself. it was also nice to whip up a quick project without having to buy any new supplies. the webbing was left over from a bag i made, the zipper was originally for a dress that wound up with an invisible zipper instead, & the fabric was just a length i had purchased with no specific purpose in mind.

in other news, has anyone reading this ever read any of the “scraptherapy” books? i think there are two. i read one the other day. the idea is that you cut up all your little scraps (quilting cotton, specifically, which is something i have a lot of) into three different sizes so they are all trimmed & ready to roll for scrap projects.

i’m thinking about trying it, but i’m nervous because i do a lot more with fabric than just quilting. i use scraps for muslins, piping, pocket linings, bindings, bias tape, paper-piecing projects, fussy cutting…i’m worried that cutting it all into a few pre-determined sizes will foreclose on some of what i do with my scraps, but i can’t deny that the idea of neatly trimmed & organized squares appeals to me much more than the crumpled mess of bits & bobs currently residing in my quilting cottons bin. i’m trying to figure out the smartest way to proceed. i’m thinking about going ahead & fussy cutting the fabric i specifically bought for fussy cutting, cutting the rest into a few pre-determined sizes, & making piping & bias tape from the little bits left over. & of course, leaving bigger pieces for muslins & pockets.

of course, it’s nice to fantasize about being so organized. who knows if it will ever come to pass. i’m exhausted right now because i think ramona is getting her two-year molars. she’s been chewing on her crib railing (i should probably make a cover for it) to the point that it honestly looks like it’s been attacked by beavers. last night she kept me up for FOUR HOURS singing & reciting her books. she seemed cheerful enough, but she just wouldn’t go to sleep. we were up from 1:30am until 5:30am. i wanted to cry. & also sleep.

& she just came in & threw herself down on the ground in tears because i was not reading a mo willems book to her. so i guess i will go tend to her with the knowledge that lunchtime & then blessed, wonderful NAPTIME are happening within the hour…

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

2 thoughts on “achievement unlocked: diaper laundry bag

  1. I broke a ton of needles on the webbing for the bag I made. I guess maybe webbing just really likes to eat needles? It’s probably some combo of it being super thick and super rigid.

    The bag looks awesome! I don’t have a ton of projects around the house where I can look at it and get all happy that I made it, but it’s getting up there. I definitely smile every time I walk by the curtains that I’ve made.

    My scraps are just a random bin that I’ve thrown them into. I was starting to feel like a hoarder (actually I think I was just straight up being a hoarder), so I had to get tougher on myself about what I’ll keep. I had some stuff in there that wasn’t big enough to sewing anything with a decent seam allowance (“because maybe I’ll use it for applique”). I’m much better about it now. 🙂

    1. i used cotton webbing, which is a looser knit so i think it’s a little easier for the needles to sink into it, compared to nylon webbing. also, when i didn’t break any needles sewing it, i was using a denim needle. & i was super-nervous about breaking a needle so i was going really slowly. this time i was using a lighter universal needle & sewing more quickly because i hadn’t had problems before. whoops!

      maybe you have this problem too, where you are sewing both garments & home dec stuff & hence accumulating a whole mess of different kinds of fabrics. i have all kinds of bibs & bobs of wool, fleece, lace, denim, etc. the scraps are too big for me to feel okay just tossing them, but i don’t have enough to really make anything. i hold on to it because i’m like, “maybe i’ll need to make a patch!” or “maybe i can use it as sew-in interfacing!” or whatever. & honestly, some of the scraps have been useful. i used denim as a bag lining, i used wool scraps to line a winter hat for ramona…

      oh well. i’ll come up with some kind of system sooner or later…hopefully sooner, since i have another 10 yards of fabric arriving this week…

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