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Project

Sleeper of a Bag

Give an orphaned pillowcase a new home -- over your shoulder.

Materials

  • Pinking shears
  • Pillow case
  • Scissors

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Trim 1/4 inch off the closed end, and cut the case in half on the diagonal. Turn the fabric of each of the four diagonal cut edges over by 1/4 inch, twice; pin, and hem.

  2. Step 2

    Place one pillowcase half inside the other, lining up bottom edges; pin, and sew at front where fabrics overlap. Repeat on other side. Turn fabric inside out, and hem case's cut bottom.

  3. Step 3

    Trim with pinking shears. Turn case right side out, tie top ends into a knot, and you have a carefree summer bag.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, June 2007

Reviews (84)

  • with_glasses 2 Apr, 2014

    Cute project, sweet bag. For those of you who wish there were more pictures accompanying these instructions, perhaps I can help: I created a tutorial for this project on my website: http://redpennypress.wordpress.com .

  • Cari Clayton 27 Jul, 2013

    As of today, there are no pictures. I believe the instructions would be more clear if I could see the pictures. :) I love making bags and have access to many pillow cases, if someone could download the pictures and send them to me I would love it :)

  • fabrics1 12 Mar, 2013

    Great Pattern. Easy Instructions. I think people are over thinking the instructions. If you take it one step at a time and look at the pictures it is very easy to follow. If you need to you can enlarge the pictures on your computer to see it better.

  • lawnlady 14 Apr, 2012

    NOT VERY GOOD INSTRUCTIONS FOR THIS BAG. NEED MORE PICTURES AND POSSIBLE VIDEO TO HELP.BUT OTHERWISE A GREAT IDEA.

  • Jadekat 9 Mar, 2012

    The directions I feel are pretty clear and on point. Yeah it's not a Simplicty pattern with elementary directions but very clear none the less. More pictures are always helpful, but even in the case not totally needed if you are reading and going by the directions. Thanks to the staff for a very cute idea! I will be giving this one a try this weekend if not today.

  • susanms_fl 9 Mar, 2012

    It looks like a great project, but why don't we switch it around some do the bottom of the bag has the crease and so the handles instead, just asking any ideas?

  • CorrineMB 17 Jan, 2012

    Seriously?? 1. we need CLEAR, detailed instructions, 2. we need BIGGER pictures so we can see, and 3. we need MORE pictures, so we can understand the various stages of the project. With all that is available on YouTube and various websites, you'd think Martha's site would be ON TOP of the game. NOT. :(

  • jalapena2004 20 Aug, 2011

    This was a wonderful and quick project. I ended up inserting a second pillow case to make it more sturdy.

  • shellygrabill 18 Aug, 2011

    Bossa, since you don't sew, there are fabric glue or iron-on things to hem and sew this project available in craft departments or craft stores.

  • bossa 29 Jul, 2011

    i thought that since i dont sew at all i might be the only one who cant make ANY SENSE of these instructions. i'd love to make this bag but think it'd be impossible with the info available. would someone PLEASE give some more valid instructions. thanks

  • mamaid 8 Aug, 2010

    I made this project and I love it! Everyone asks me to make one for them too. I made it a bit sturdier with a french seam at the bottom of the bag and double stitching at the angled edges. The double rows of stitching look nice. I agree the instructions are pretty vague. Martha, if you're reading this, please post more detailed instructions and/or a video.

  • amensista 30 Jul, 2010

    This did not work for me. It was a waste of a perfectly good pillow cases. Sorry.

  • StellaBL 30 Jul, 2010

    Great idea! How about lining it with another pillowcase and making it reversible?
    SBL

  • StellaBL 30 Jul, 2010

    Great idea! How about lining it with another pillowcase and making it reversible?
    SBL

  • CarrieStratton 30 Jul, 2010

    There is a how to on MS website on making a pillow case dress. I did it about 8 years ago, and it turned out soooooo cute!

  • DDKD 30 Jul, 2010

    There is a U-Tube How to Video by Nancy Zieman on making a pillowcase dress.
    This is part of her Creative Kindness, Little Dresses for Africa!!!!
    The pattern is on her website ,Nancys Notions/ Just use Google!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQJwdEEsLog

  • Kinderhook 30 Jul, 2010

    Does anyone from Martha Stewart, Inc. EVER answer the questions here? I don't think so. Lots of people have commented that the pictures are too small (I agree) and I think there should be more of them. The directions are too scanty and not helpful. I'm an experience sewer, too. I'd love to try this but think I'll pass for these reasons.

  • jadis 30 Jul, 2010

    CAN'T WAIT TO TRY THIS, PLEASE TELL HOW TO MAKE PILLOW CASE DRESSES. THANKS

  • Mylcedro 30 Jul, 2010

    +I+want+make+this+bag+I+need+more+instructions.+The+images+are+very+small.+

  • sailboat 30 Jul, 2010

    I agree. I would like to make the bag, but need more specific instructions.

  • gramoliver 30 Jul, 2010

    I agree that most of MS instructions are vauge and hard to follow. I expect more from her

  • Wendy8652 30 Jul, 2010

    If using a rather fplain pillowcase, I would suggest using a decorative stitch when sewing the front where they overflap.

  • spicedrop 5 Jul, 2010

    These directions needed to be more specific - and I sew a fair amount. I also thought the arm opening was too small and tight for the size of the bag. Did anyone try redesigning that?

  • onlygirlathome 24 May, 2010

    I'm with Neisha, I have NO experience with sewing and don't understand the directions at all. Please make this more step-by-step with more pictures...I want to try it!

  • catebooth 25 Mar, 2010

    i love this, i've made several from mismatched pillowcases and hung them on a peg rack on the back of the bathroom door to hold spare facecloths etc. what a smart idea!

  • catebooth 25 Mar, 2010

    i love this, i've made several from mismatched pillowcases and hung them on a peg rack on the back of the bathroom door to hold spare facecloths etc. what a smart idea!

  • Neisha 10 Mar, 2010

    I'm going to try this but the directions look a bit confusing. could use some more pictures. Remember...not everyone is an advanced sewer

  • GoodThing15 3 Mar, 2010

    My daughter made one of these when she was 15 and you had first published this idea. She is now 17 and still making them. They are super cute with the "right" pillowcase and the plus is that they are washable when they need freshening. If you are adventurous, try some bric brac trim or buttons down the edges. Thank you Martha for a wonderful good thing!

  • frugal1 18 Feb, 2010

    I found the directions confusing, maybe because I am a beginner sewer? Cool idea and I am going to give it another try. 1st try...not so good

  • frugal1 18 Feb, 2010

    I found the directions confusing, maybe because I am a beginner sewer? Cool idea and I am going to give it another try. 1st try...not so good

  • zaydatul 30 Jun, 2009

    that looks easy and looks good too..gotta try that someday..

  • khusie 21 May, 2009

    very easy,will make this, thanks!

  • EskimoDoll 26 Feb, 2009

    I think I'll make a couple of these for my daughters for when they sleep over at friends' homes so that they don't have to pack their stuff in plastic grocery bags anymore.

  • jessy-may 6 Feb, 2009

    wow! so easy. that's birthday presents well

  • fullofjoy 24 Jun, 2008

    Great project easy to make! I made my bag out of regular fabric
    using my pillowcase as a pattern guide. I can't wait to make more
    for my friends!

  • sarahplus3 13 Jun, 2008

    I found my local Goodwill store had a great selection of vintage prints, and for 25 cents!

  • SweetTeaGirl 9 Jun, 2008

    How cute!
    Easey Peasy directions and a perfect picture.
    Thanks

  • carriebear 2 Jun, 2008

    While I like it, the tie looks a bit bulky on mine. Any suggestions?

  • pauprint 20 May, 2008

    Ahhhhh, comes the dawn!!! The mention of the four edges to be hemmed seemed to infer there were four pieces. My apologies. The are only two pieces but four edges. Now it makes sense. Thank you.

  • pauprint 20 May, 2008

    If the only thing I cut to open the pillowcase is the 'bottom' I only wind up with two pieces when I cut diagonally. Did I miss a step???? What about the side seams? I've seen better done directions, sorry.

  • yvonneANDjoe 12 May, 2008

    sooo cute! gonna try to make it tmrw... directions look a little confusing.

  • plotdot 29 Apr, 2008

    Shouldn't there be a bottom stiffener added to this? Otherwise, the bag is likely to collapse in on itself or wear through, depending on how much "stuff" is put in it. I would suggest some sort of stiffer material across the bottom that the bottom edges would then be sewn onto.

  • Quanah 25 Apr, 2008

    I had a few problems understanding the directions. Once I finally understood, The bag turned out darling! I intend to make more for ladies I know would love them!

  • Oliveoil_62 23 Apr, 2008

    Uhh.. Wallpaper cards seemed kind of neat! but I will definitely use this one too!

  • redguide 23 Apr, 2008

    I got this and the wallpaper cards on the same day as I hadnt been on line for awhile. My daughter just made this bag with some very pretty flowered fabric that we had. She just used a queen size lpilloowcase as the pattern. So simple, and lovely . She put the knot at the top, it's very becoming and useful...rg

  • 1Toffy 23 Apr, 2008

    This is a great idea, for so many things. Grocery bag, overnight kids carryall, and YEP, would be a good way to snuggle with a little kitty, or puppy. I read the instructions in a hurry and yes they sounded confusing. When I read the posts, and then re-read the instructions and viewed the photos...it really is simple and can be done by hand for the non-machine folks. Button at the top a great idea.I would just overlap the pointy ends (I would cut them square off then just sew them down)

  • RazzleDazzle 23 Apr, 2008

    Wallpaper Craft?????? Looks like a bag!
    Pat Dorsey

  • debo1976 23 Apr, 2008

    being a sewer I find these directions to be confusing. and, thought i was opening a wallpaper card craft?!

  • debo1976 23 Apr, 2008

    being a sewer I find these directions to be confusing. and, thought i was opening a wallpaper card craft?!

  • AmyBrown 23 Apr, 2008

    It sounds like you cut 1/4 in. from the closed end to make it an open end--turning the pillowcase into a tube before you cut it apart on the diagonal. This seems like an awesome party project for a bunch of teenage girls. What about for a slumber party (bring an extra pillowcase!)

  • vernall 22 Apr, 2008

    The instructions are confusing. Number 1 sounds like I would need to turn under 1/4 " of the diagonal edge twice and hem. I like the idea of using a a button instead of tying together

  • roschelle 22 Apr, 2008

    I thought this was about the wall paper cards?

  • carabau 22 Apr, 2008

    Believe it or not, this is a great way for your kitty to snuggle with you! I made something similar for my cat because she liked to keep warm next to my side at the computer.

  • toybug 22 Apr, 2008

    where is the wallpaper cards?

  • jmeisen 22 Apr, 2008

    I love the idea, but don't sew much. I think I get it, if I can add any details that help, I'll let you know!

  • RebelAngel 22 Apr, 2008

    I'm still looking for the 'wallpaper cards' Martha..... :-)

  • RebelAngel 22 Apr, 2008

    Go Green! Use these pillow case bags for shopping instead of the plastic and paper bags.

  • mof2gof3ggof3 22 Apr, 2008

    Great idea!! I hope this is a "regular" size pillow case? You always have such great and novel ideas. Thanks so much

  • LouLou2007 22 Apr, 2008

    I don't know why they won't put up what I actually write.They say 3rd. time is charm so let's see. Come on MS, give us more step-outs to all your fabulous crafting ideas.

  • LouLou2007 22 Apr, 2008

    I would make the strap on this differentlytoo;I don't like the knot at the top either

  • LouLou2007 22 Apr, 2008

    Yeah,the directions on this website definitely need a severe update;but I love this pattern

  • JeanneElizabeth 22 Apr, 2008

    It is hard to understand the directions and I sew quite a bit. It would be great to have a video!

  • tehachap 22 Apr, 2008

    If you study the photos carefully, you can see what was done. I think this is a great idea too. I don't know how the tying at the top will work out (whether it'll be too bulky to rest comfortably on a shoulder), but if I don't like it tied, I'll stitch it together and sew a large button on top.

  • kathysings 22 Apr, 2008

    Oh... and the email subject said "Wallpaper Cards". Oops! :)

  • kathysings 22 Apr, 2008

    I agree... it would be very helpful to have a video. The directions are not really clear enough... especially once you start the sewing directions.

  • Bettyt 22 Apr, 2008

    great craft idea. but shouldn't the lady in the picture be wearing a bke helmet.

  • flidhais 22 Apr, 2008

    This is a great idea for more grocery bags too. Less stretch than the t-shirt bags and very strong. Even the cheapest pillowcases would make great grocery bag alternatives.
    I can see that you pinned each cut edge side to one thickness after hemming the diagonal cuts...otherwise you'd have nothing but a flat thing...I was required to learn to sew in school and maybe others here need more instruction with a movie if they never received this in school. It's frustrating to not understand.

  • junet 22 Apr, 2008

    The instructions are not quite clear to me. Do you cut diagonal through BOTH layers of the pillow case?
    A short video, or more step by step instructions (the steps inbetween the 2 pictures here) would be very helpful.

  • LouLou2007 22 Apr, 2008

    WOW, I've been a Multi-Media Artisan/Crafter for over thirty years now and this one I've never seen.LOL. Go figure. I love this one. Grrrrrrrreat Job Martha. I'm going to get busy on the sewing machine and just see what I come up with. I like the pictures also; that's certainly a plus.

  • ovestobake 22 Apr, 2008

    Oh, I love this idea. The possibilities are almost endless. Yes a video would be nice! Being able to see something done, always makes doing them, so much easier.

  • zilla63 22 Apr, 2008

    With a king size pillowcase you could make bags big enough for grocery shoping ect.. so eliminates the paper or plastic questions.

  • mpegm 22 Apr, 2008

    These are excellent! I have quite a collection of onesies - and agree these will make great gifts. I think I'm going to do them for my daughter's softball team, as we always go on at least one or two longish tournament trip every summer. These will be great to take to the pool! Oh, and you can find lots of cheap pillowcases on eBay also!

  • rhphx 22 Apr, 2008

    I don't quite understand the direction. A Video would help!!!

  • Anna_Marie 22 Apr, 2008

    This is a GREAT idea for a tote! Thanks especially for the clear, simple instructions....but mostly for the PICTURES! I don't think I could have understood without them. They really help!

  • rdywenur 22 Apr, 2008

    Yes and check out stores like Marshalls or TJ Maxx to find denim pillowcases from Ralph Lauren collection.

  • Angieboyd 22 Apr, 2008

    I made one and my friends are giving me their old pillow cases so i can make them one... i live in guam so this is perfect for the beach.

  • auntieup 22 Apr, 2008

    This would be a great "green" bag for quick trips to the grocery store.

  • PartyPlanningMama 22 Apr, 2008

    I saw this once before and lost the instructions I cant wait to make one for me my friends and my daughter and her friends.

  • MissPat38 22 Apr, 2008

    If you serge the diagonal edges before turning they will turn smoother and quicker. Works for any 1/4" hem.

  • Jennydlr08 22 Apr, 2008

    this sounds like fun i wanna try

  • wendolynaragon 22 Apr, 2008

    i love this idea-imagine if you embroidered something on it!

  • beckaboo 22 Apr, 2008

    I just love this idea! I can't wait to make one today! happy earth day.

  • m_w 18 Apr, 2008

    Absolutely darling, especially for yard-saling and outdoor festivals! You could add vintage lace, trims and buttons. Oooh, and some ball fringe. What a great way to use orphan pillow cases!

  • gemnasium 23 Dec, 2007

    I made this tote and I love it. It is really big, so you can get a lot of things in it. Very easy and lightweight.