The boys will be going to a tennis training camp and playing in a series of national tournaments this summer, up in the Alps in the far north of Italy. A few weeks away with their team, their tennis coach and their fitness trainer. Gasp! I know, I know, many kids do such things each summer, but it's the first time for us, with two kids, so ... double gasp! They leave next week, and while they're so looking forward to the travel and to the hours and hours on the tennis courts - even more hours than they already spend there already! - I'm not quite adjusted to the idea yet.
Hours and hours playing tennis and working out in the summer sun, even high in the mountains, mean a lot of sweaty clothes. So, to help them organize their own laundry (and perhaps to help me get used to the idea that my boys will be away from the family for awhile...) I made them some travel laundry bags. I was aiming for something extremely practical, that they'd actually use and not wad up and leave at the bottom of their luggage. So I avoided drawstrings and other fiddly design elements, and recreated a pattern I remembered from my own childhood: a round fabric bag that my grandmother had made for my sister and me a long time ago, the first time we went on a summer adventure away from the family.
I remembered the shape very well, but couldn't recall how she'd stitched it together, so it took a couple of attempts before I came up with a result I liked. And, of course, I added a little bit of embroidery -nothing too cute, but suitable for big boys: the sashiko patterns I made from the boys' own drawings (here).
It's a very simple pattern: two round circles sewn together, the top one with a wide opening, and a loop attached to it for hanging. If you'd like to make one yourself, and want step-by-step instructions, I wrote a tutorial. And if you'd like one already made, I've added a white round bag to my shop.HANGING ROUND LAUNDRY BAG (for travel, home and anywhere else)
Materials:- 2 fabric circles, 26" in diameter
- 1 fabric rectangle, 2½" x 16"
- Take the circle that will become the top half of the laundry bag, and mark the line where the opening will be by folding the circle in half, then folding this half-circle in half again to create a quarter circle. Press.
- Finish the corners of the opening: make a fan of blank stitches around the corners (as shown).
Note: you can also use your sewing machine to finish the corners with buttonhole stitching.
- Next sew the two ends together to create a closed loop of fabric.
Lay the two fabric circles with the right sides together, and sew them together along the edges. Next turn the bag right side out (pulling through the opening), and sew the seam a second time - this is the French seam technique, only reversed.
And your hanging laundry bag is now ready!