Craft: Spongebag square-off

By Anna Subritzky

1 comment
Faced with a major craft challenge, Anna Subritzky refuses to give up

Make your own makeup bag. Photo / Supplied
Make your own makeup bag. Photo / Supplied

On the face of it, this should have been a productive week. The school holidays were finished, I'd navigated the highs and lows of Mother's Day and there was no good reason I couldn't be ultra-industrious on the craft front.

Yes, this week I was determined to complete not one, but two step-by-step projects and I would do so with such mindblowing efficiency that I'd leave a trail of craft perfection in my wake. And I needed a new spongebag. The reality, however, was somewhat different. The craft section of my brain went into serious malfunction, the sewing machine turned into the devil's spawn and flurries of bad language echoed around the kitchen and bounced off the Formica table. What should have been an easy, straightforward toiletries bag morphed into the sewing project from hell, made all the worse by the weather (isn't it too early for SAD?), spousal illness (to be fair it was flu) and the fact that I had to call the IRD (this was actually easy in comparison). Add an asymmetrical element to the whole fiasco and I was all set to resort to craft violence.

Fortunately I resisted the urge to smash the sewing machine with my lady's hammer and instead tried to tune into the sewing voice in my head which encouraged me to "work with it''.

Now I know how annoying this advice is when offered to my children. After three days of pure frustration and several versions later, I nailed the lining on the asymmetrical flap and reminded myself of the old craft adage - never assume anything.

Step 1- Copy pattern pieces. Pin on the straight grain of the fabric and cut 2 pouch pieces and 1 flap piece. Repeat for lining and waterproof layer (alternatively use oilcloth fabric). Pin waterproof layer to right side of lining pieces and sew in place along seam line (1.5cm) using a small stitch length to prevent slipping.

Step 2 - Sew pouch pieces together, right sides facing. Leave a 1.5cm gap at each top edge. Repeat for lining pouches. Centralise flap piece, right sides facing, on one side of the pouch top edge (fold down flap on other side and pin to get it out of the way). You should have a 1.5cm gap on each side of the flap. Sew flap to pouch.

Step 3 - Trim pouch seam by half, tapering off before you reach top edges. Repeat for lining.

Step 4 - Match up flaps, right side facing, and pin together, leaving a gap at the top for turning (approx. 14cm). Sew flaps together, taking care to ensure pouch doesn't get caught in the seam at the beginning and end. Turn flap to right side through gap followed by pouch sections. Push pouch lining into pouch outer, lining up seams and top edges. Fold under pouch top edges and pin. Topstitch to secure. Repeat for gap in flap.

Step 5 - Finish off with a poppa fastener (available from Spotlight) showing restraint with the hammer. Feel some sense of accomplishment.


• Fabric offcuts (approx 40-50cm square, examples shown are from Spotlight)
• Lining material
• Waterproof layer (I used plastic tablecloth material from the dollar shop)
• Sewing machine
• Fabric scissors, pins and thread
• Poppa fastener kit

- Herald on Sunday

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