Sunshine means... New Wash bags.

Mr O is treating me for our not killing eachother wedding anniversary this year, and while its not with the Cambridge Satchel I want I'm not too pissed off with him. He's taking me to Rome.

Looking forward to it muchly, unlike Glastonbury we aren't taking the car so Mr O can't crash it! Glastonbury reminds me of the other issue thou...  my over excessive spring cleaning  I'm missing a few holiday essentials.  Like a wash bag.

Last week I headed off to my favourite fabric shop and picked up, amongst the other many bits, some lovely Echino fabric and some lace zips. I already had a fat quarter of a polkadot fabric that complimented it nicely.

I've ended up with a long, thin bag, but that works for me. I wanted something to sit nicely with my "special occassion face" stuff on the shelf day-to-day, but would also fit within the hand baggage limits so I can just empty all my pastes/liquids into the clear bag at the airport.

For my bag, which has ended up 8x6. I cut two pieces of the Echino 9 inches x 11 inches. I like my linings a bit "baggy" so those bits were more like 12x10.

Firstly, the lining. Hem the two ends you want to be the "top" and that will later attach to the zip. Sew right sides together until you have a pocket with the hemmed edges still open. Put aside until later.

Putting in a lace zip is easy. Fold over and press the raw edge at the opening. Pin the zip to these, as you would normally but with the lace on the outside then stitch as normal with a zipper foot. Once you've sewn each side, put the right sides together and sew the other three edges. Now I have to admit here I cheat with seam allowances - with straight edges I use my patchwork foot so I get a 5mm allowance and its easy to keep it even.

Once all sides are stitched. place flat. To make the gussets, measure 1 inch in from the corner along the seam on both sides and mark. Pin these two marks together, and along the other way to the seam, and you will find  you have pinned off a triangle of fabric. Sorry, I really meant to take a photo and show you but I got "involved", but I did snap a quick photo of a corner folded the way I mean.

Still working on the wrong side, sew along the straight folded like (I mark it with chalk) then snip off the triangle. Repeat this on all four corners before turning right way out.

Do the same gussetting on the bottom two corners of the liner. On the top edge, mark out where the zip will be. I did this by first measuring the zipper opening, then marking the length of the zip centrally on the liner. Mark a slightly angled line from each end of the zip opening, then stitch along this before snipping away the excess fabric.

Place the liner into the bag, and pin the two openings together in place. With matching cotton, slip-stitch in the liner. I am the worlds worse, most sloppy hand sewer but using a zip and liner that match its nigh impossible to see the stitches. Very pro looking.

Best bit. All of it. I love the combo of the two fabrics, although lace zips? lovely but a wee bit of a pain trying to stitch and avoid getting into the pattern of the lace.  I'm thinking a handbag sized version sans lacy bits with the left over fabric.

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