Last year I made five or six peg bags. You would think I had enough, wouldn’t you? But no! I gave them all away and realised when my wicker peg basket started to fall apart this month that I had nothing to replace it with.
Peg bags are simple to make and are great for using up bits of fabric in your stash, so I thought I would share how I put mine together.
If you are inspired by this tutorial and have a Flickr account, I would love to see pictures. Please post a photo of your peg bag on the Granny Maud’s Girl stuff Flickr group.
These bags can be for anything. One friend I gave a peg bag to last year has decided to hang hers in her wardrobe and keep delicate stockings in it. Fortunately hers was one without the word ‘pegs’ in big letters across the front!
Apart from the usual sewing supplies, such as thread and a sewing machine, for each bag you will need:
- paper or lightweight interfacing for your pattern
- 1 children’s coathanger (Ikea sells a five-pack of wooden coathangers, hänga, which are a perfect size)
- 2–3 pieces of coordinating fabric, each at least 18 x 15 inches (46 x 38 centimetres), depending on the size of your coathanger
- 1 piece of lining fabric for the front facing, at least 18 x 15 inches (46 x 38 centimetres), depending on the size of your coathanger
- about 28 inches (70 centimetres) of ribbon
- scraps of fabric and Vliesofix (Wonder-Under) for appliqué (optional).
You can use any fabrics for the outside of the bag. I often use curtain and upholstery fabric offcuts (especially curtain fabric without the plasticky UV layer on one side), either left over from my own curtains or from the bargain bin of a local fabric store. This project is also quilter’s fat-quarter friendly.
The lining fabric for the front facing is not seen. Inexpensive calico or homespun is perfect.
Draw up a pattern as follows. Your pattern will depend on the size and shape of your coathanger but is quick and simple to draw.
Start by measuring the width of your coathanger from side to side, then follow the diagram.
If your coathanger has a trouser bar, I suggest lowering the opening to avoid it and adding a bit of extra length to the bottom of the bag.
My first hole template was a large saucer. Find a bowl or plate about the right size and trace around it. The opening needs to be large enough to allow a hand clutching a fistful of pegs in and out.
If you have farmer’s hands like my dad’s, make the hole bigger. If you make the hole much bigger, I would also make the bag a bit deeper. (Watching dad get his enormous hand into a biscuit jar, grab a biscuit and get his hand out is fun. He now knows to just tip my jar so the bikkies come to the edge.)
Use your pattern to cut out the front, back and lining (facing) pieces.
Cut one piece of the lining fabric for the front facing. From the other fabrics, cut one piece for the front, one for the back and, if your fabric is not double-sided, cut one for the inside back. Woven and solid fabrics are often double-sided; printed fabrics are not.
Before you cut the inside back, look at where the hole is going. Do you want part of the design to show through the hole? When you cut the front piece, do you want part of the design framing the hole?
Step 3 (optional)
Appliqué ‘pegs’ onto the front of the bag, being sure to avoid the area of the opening.
I traced a mirror-image of the text onto the smooth side of a piece of Vliesofix, before ironing it to the wrong side of a scrap of fabric. When I had cut out the shapes and ironed them in place, I used Sulky machine embroidery thread and a blanket stitch to sew them down.
You can use my text template, or choose a font you like on your computer and print your own.
You can use any appliqué method, omit the appliqué altogether or decorate the bag in any way you like.
Make the hole.
- Put the front and front facing right sides together.
- Mark a circle on the wrong side of the front facing, and sew along the line you have drawn.
- Cut out the centre, leaving a narrow seam allowance. Clip the seam. It needs to be well clipped to sit flat.
- Turn the two pieces right sides out and press.
- Topstitch around the circle to hold it in place.
Sort the pieces for your bag into front and back.
Your front and front facing will already be attached through the hole. I like to also machine tack around the edges of the front layers, within the seam allowance, to help prevent them shifting later.
If you are using two layers of fabric for the back, place them wrong sides together and machine tack around the edges. Obviously, if you are only using one piece of fabric for the back, you can skip this step.
Thanks to the machine tacking, the front and back will now feel like only one piece each.
With the outsides of the bag facing, line up the front and the back, pin and machine sew along the seam allowance, leaving a small opening (about ¾–1 inch) at the top for the coathanger’s hook to poke through. If you have a walking foot, use it.
Back stitch on either side of the opening for the hook. I also like to add extra reinforcing stitching on the bottom corners.
Finally, overlock or otherwise finish off the seams, clip the bottom corners, turn inside out and insert your coathanger.
Decorate by tying a bit of ribbon to the top.
I made four bags as I had four children’s coathangers. Rummaging in my sewing cupboard, I also rediscovered this tiny coathanger, which I acquired when I bought my small dog a coat. How cute is that? Now I need ideas for a craft project that uses this ridiculously small coathanger.