We love a bargain at The Crafty Co and are always looking at ways to save money. Good quality material comes with a big price tag, but if you look at things from a different angle, then you can get a great deal. These smart peg bags are made from curtain samples. You can pick them up relatively cheap (we paid £3 for a good size one). Once unpicked, we not only got a large piece of fabric, we also got some header tape, and lining material. It’s a cost effective way to build up your sewing and craft supplies and us crafters just love to be surrounded by useful items that didn’t break the bank.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED
oddments of material (we used a curtain sample)
hangers (we used ones purchsed from a discount store)
Here’s what you do
The first thing you need to do, is unpick your curtain and remove any heading tape and lining material. Our curtain had a flock backing to it already, and was a really nice weight for a peg bag. The downside to this type of fabric is, it leaves holes if you unpick it. Instead of unpicking the header tape, we simply cut if off. We also cut the bottom and side seams off too, so that we were left with a perfectly usable piece of fabric.
Peg bags take quite a bit of abuse so you need to select a nice thick material. If there is a particular print you want, but it is fairly thin, you can always line you peg bag to strengthen it.
Once you have taken your curtains apart, it’s a good idea to iron your pieces. Make sure you use the right setting and it’s always best to protect your fabric by never ironing directly onto it. This fabric would have been expensive per metre so this is a good way to save the pennies.
Once you have chosen your material, cut out the top and bottom pieces to the front of the peg bag. The top should measure apporximately 6 by 14 inches and the bottom piece 12 by 14 inches. You don’t have to make it this size. You can adjust the size to suit your needs, but the way the peg bag is made will be the same. We will cut our coat hanger to size after we have made the bag, but if you don’t want to or don’t have the tools to cut the hanger, how about making it to fit the width of yours.
Some people get scared when they hear the word zip, but they really are easy to insert.
There are a couple of ways you can do this. You may have a long zip, that is wider than your peg bag. If you want, you can have your zip opening the whole width. We however don’t want to do this, so we will be using a shorter zip. To get a nice finish to the bag, we add an extension of material to the zip so that it fits the width of the material. That way the ends of the zips are hidden seamlessly and look professional.
A top tip when adding this extension piece, is to choose your extra piece wisely.
You can see that the edges of our bag have stripes. If we didn’t match them exactly, your eye would be drawn to it and it would look sloppy. By selecting a plain fabric, we don’t have to worry about matching any patterns. It also looks intentional and part of the design.
We don’t have to worry about matching pattern if we use a contrasting plain material. The backing material can be any colour you like, as it will be hidden inside the peg bag.
To add the extension fabric, lay your zip wrong side facing to the right side of the backing fabric. The green line indicates where the stitching will be.
Next lay your top piece of fabric right side down and line it up with the bottom piece.
Secure the fabric in place with clips. (you can purchase some here)These are fab for holding material as they won’t pierce it and leave holes. This is especially important with the type of fabric we are using for our peg bag. Place them well away from where you will be sewing as they will get in the way.
Using a 2.5 length straight stitch, sew one or two lines as we have in the picture below. The smaller stitch is ideal for this and be nice and secure.
Once you have sewn the end of the zip in, fold both layers of fabric back over the end of the zip and finger press to give a crisp edge. Secure in place with clips or pins.
The zipper foot is great for sewing a top stitch as you can see most of the fabric and where you are stitching. It’s a good idea to increase the stitch length slightly. We increase to 3. It helps the material glide easier and looks neat.
This is the reverse of the stitch.
You can see that by adding the backing material it has hidden the zip inside. Not an essential step to add, but if anyone does look inside the bag, it will look more professional. It’s these simple things that turn something homemade into something “hand crafted”.
To finish the end of this extension piece, cut the strip the same width as the zip.
Do exactly the same with the other end of the zip. You will see that this end has the zipper pull. It is vital that when you sew the extension pieces on, that you make sure the pull is zip side and not left at the end. To do this move the pull back. This will leave the ends open so you need to secure them to the material or you will have an ugly gap once sewn. Using the picture below as a guide, place your backing fabric as shown.
Place the top fabric on top and secure with clips or pins. Take note where the stitching will be and keep the clips and pins away from there.
Trim the fabric on this second side and you now have your extended zip. Think of it now as just a piece of material that we will be inserting into two pieces of fabric.
To attach it to the peg bag, place the right side of the zip piece to the top panel of the front. Clip or pin in place.
Using a zipper foot, sew in place. A top tip is to use the foot as a guide. We have learnt that our zips can be sewn in with the foot at the edge of the material. This gives us a line of stitching close to the zip teeth. Have a play to see what guide you can use. The important thing is to try and keep the line straight down the edge.
When sewing zips, you don’t want to be sewing past the zipper pull. This will make the line of stitching uneven. Once you reach the pull, needle down and use the lever to raise the foot. It may be a bit of a wiggle, but you should be able to tease the pull back up the back and away from the foot. If you are having difficulty you can always lift the needle up and out of the fabric. If you do this, try and place the needle back in the same place if you can.
You can see in the picture below, that our stitches are neat and close to the teeth.
Don’t worry if you’re not too confident with yours. You can always sew your line closer to the edge of the fabric.
Once you have sewn this side of your zip, turn it to the right side and finger press the fabric along the zip edge. Although not essential, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of sewing a top stitch on your zip. Not only does it look nice, it will stop the material moving and getting caught in the zip.
Sew a line of top stitching along the edge of the zip. If you are really confident and neat with your sewing, how about using a contrasting colour to make the stitches “pop”.
Don’t forget to push the zipper pull out of the way. A top tip is to leave the needle in the down position while doing this, so that the fabric doesn’t move.
Place the right side of the zip to the right side of the bottom piece of the front panel and clip or pin in place.
Sew along this side in the same way you did the first side.
Finger press and sew a line of top stitching on this second piece.
Lay the finished front panel right side down on the right side of a piece of fabric. We have chosen to use the same material for the back and front, but you can use whatever you have to hand. As our material has stripes, we took our time and made sure that they matched up.
Cut out the back piece, taking care to make sure it is exactly the same size as the front panel. The more accurate you can be with sewing, the neater your finished item will be.
Sew up the sides and bottom, but for now don’t sew up the top.
As it doesn’t have to be a perfect fit, you don’t have to worry too much about your seam allowance. We like a quarter inch allowance and have a foot that we can use as a guide to achieve this. Just make sure that you are consistent and keep all the seams the same width.
Once you have sewn the three sides of the peg bag, it’s a good idea to overlock or zig zag stitch them. This will stop the seams fraying and look neater on the inside.
For the hanger, we used a cheap fabric hanger from a discount store. All you need to do is remove the material and foam to uncover a wooden hanger.
All you need to do is remove the material and foam to uncover a wooden hanger.
To make the top of the peg bag, find the centre and mark with a fabric marker or pencil. Next put a mark approximately half a cm one side of the centre mark and the same the other side. This centre gap needs to be left unsewn so that the hanger can be inserted.
Lay the hanger down on the centre mark. Make sure that it is place evenly. You can measure from the zip to the bottom of each side of the hanger to check they are equal. Once you are happy with the position, draw a line across the top of the hanger.
This indicates where you will sew the top of your peg bag.
Sew along the line, making sure you leave the centre gap open between the markers. A top tip is to work a reverse stitch a few times each side of the centre space. Your peg bag will get a lot of wear and this will protect the opening and stop it unravelling.
Overlock or zig zag stitch along the top edge, again making sure you leave the centre gap clear.
Lay the hanger along the top edge and mark where you need to cut it. Don’t go too close to the edge as you need to leave a bit of wiggle room.
Saw off the ends where indicated and give it a light sanding. Although, it’s not a toy and the hanger will be hidden, there is still a risk that you may get splinters from the rough wood.
Turnt he bag the right side out, making sure you push all the corners out.
It can be a bit tricky to insert the hanger. The best thing to do is insert the hook first and push the hanger down in the bag. You should then be able to push it into place.
And there you have it
. A funky peg bag, made with expensive fabric at the fraction of the cost.
To save money, the one below was made with a plain material on the back.
There are some amazing fabrics out there. Oil cloth is just perfect for peg bags as it will withstand a quick shower, if it gets caught out in rain.
So next time you’re out and about, look in the bargain buckets, grab yourself some reduced fabric and get creating.
We love seeing your creations and makes, so don’t forget to tag us #CraftyCoCreations
The Crafty Co