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Clothespin Bag

Source: Martha Stewart Living Television


For many, these vintage-style clothespin bags will bring back memories of childhood days and clothes drying in the breeze. The bag buttons over the clothesline, holds all the clothespins you'll need to hang your wash, and conveniently slides along the line as you work.


  • 1/2 yard horizontal striped fabric

  • 2 buttons, at least 3/4-inch wide (or 2 heavy duty plastic snaps)

  • Thread

  • Hand sewing needle

  • Straight pins

  • Sewing machine

  • Iron

  • Fiskars ruler grid (or plain ruler)

  • Scissors

  • Pinking shears


  1. Cut a piece of sturdy fabric 43 inches long by 11 inches wide, centering the stripe within the center of the width.

  2. With wrong sides together, fold the fabric in half lengthwise. Use a hot iron to press at the fold. Topstitch along the fold. This will become the top of the bag's pocket.

  3. Create the pocket for the bag by measuring (using the Fiskars ruler grid or ruler) 9 inches down from the stitching on both sides. Fold the fabric up so that the pocket is sandwiched between two layers of fabric, and press. The wrong side of the fabric should now be facing out. Pin all layers together.

  4. Using a 1/2-inch seam allowance, sew around three sides of the bag up to the top of the pocket, leaving the rest of the bag unsewn.

  5. Press 1/2-inch fold for seam allowance on just one layer of the top of the bag. Open the fold; the crease is where you will sew on the tabs, which will attach the bag to the clothesline.

  6. Press the fabric in a diagonal line on the left and right sides, joining the corner of the pocket seam and the point where the tab will be attached (the edge of the stripe, so that the tabs will be a continuation of the wide stripes on the bag). Trim 1/2-inch seam allowance outside of the pressed line. Make sure there are at least 4 inches between the tabs so the bag will hang securely on the clothesline.

  7. To make the tabs, cut 4 strips of fabric 4 1/2-inches long. The width should be the width of the stripe, plus 1/2 inch on each side for seam allowance. Pin 2 strips, right sides together. Sew around three sides just outside the outline of the stripe. With pinking shears, trim close to the seam. Turn the tabs right-side out, using a needle to neatly pull out the corners, and press. If you're going to use buttons to attach tabs to the bag, make buttonholes in the tabs; as an alternative, you can attach heavy-duty weather-proof snaps.

  8. Pin tabs to the marked side of bag, right sides together, matching the stripes and aligning the raw edges. Sew tabs 1/4 inch from the raw edge.

  9. Pin front and back of bag together; sew along the diagonal crease and top crease, leaving a 3 1/2-inch opening at the top between the tabs, where you will turn the bag right-side-out. Trim seam allowance to 1/4 inch; clip corners diagonally.

  10. Turn the bag right-side-out through the opening, starting at one corner. Use a pin to gently pull out and shape the corners. Press in the seam allowance of the opening and hand-stitch closed.

  11. Fold tabs over toward the side with the pocket, so that the fold of the tab is 1 inch above the top of the bag. Sew 2 buttons (or snaps) to the bag where they correspond to the buttonholes.

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