Tuesday, July 26, 2011

create your own laundry hamper liner

This is another long overdue sewing project. There simply isn't a good, hidden place for a hamper in our master bedroom/bath. The closet is a little too narrow, and real estate is already at a premium in the bathroom. That means that our hamper is forced to hang out in relative "public" place next to one of our dressers in the actual bedroom. Until now, the "hamper" has really been a large laundry basket, which really didn't add any aesthetic value to the room. When I spotted this MainStays Folding Laundry Sorter (link is to the most similar product I could find) at my local Wal-Mart, I was excited by 1) its large size, and 2) its wheels. But the plastic-y plain white actual liner? Not so much. So here are the steps I followed to replace the hamper liner with something I found more appealing:

  1. First you need to measure the size of the liner you are replacing. Mine was 17.5 inches tall (not including straps), 15 inches deep, and 24.5 inches wide.

  2. To construct the liner, you are basically using a large "T" shape. You need to divide the depth in half and add that amount plus a 1/2 inch seam allowance to each side, and add the same amount to the bottom. My final dimensions were 40.5 inches wide and 26 inches tall (at the tallest part).

  3. Now cut two T-shaped pieces from your fabric. I used this cute giraffe print by Premier. At 58" wide, I only used 1.5 yards for this project (and had plenty of scraps left over). You'll also need to cut six 4 in. x 2 3/4 in. straps.

  4. Fold and iron the top edge of the "T" down 1/4 inch and topstitch in place. Repeat for your second "T."

  5. Take both pieces, holding right sides together, and sew together along the right, left, and bottom edges using a 1/2 inch seam allowance (the edges highlighted in red in the diagram below). Do NOT sew together the "corners" of the bottom edge.

  6. Iron your seams open.

  7. Now for the trickiest part: match your left-edge seam to the bottom-edge seam to form the square bottom of the bag. Pin together and sew (you'll still be working with the bag inside-out). Repeat on the other side.

  8. Move on to your straps. Fold down and iron 1/4 inch on each 4-inch-long side and topstitch in place.

  9. Space three straps evenly across each side. Pin and then sew into place.

  10. Turn your liner right-side out and then construct your hamper following your model's instructions. Sooo much prettier than the old laundry basket!

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