Make Your Own Garment Protection Bags to Organize Your Closet

Garment bags not only help organize your closet but also protect some of your finer clothing. Moths, dust and other closet friends can settle on your clothes and ruin them but not if they’re safely tucked away in various shaped garment bags. To make garment bags you’ll need wide sheets of plastic, zippers and bias tape.

Hang several shirts or blouses on hangers, stack them together, and lay them on top of two sheets of plastic. Make sure sleeves are hanging naturally and that hangers are all aligned. Mark a dot on each side of the curved part of the hanger, at its base. Draw a line from that dot, across the shoulder area, to the arm area. Stay a few inches away from the garments to allow them plenty of room in the bag, once it’s done.

Now draw a line straight down to the hem area of the largest shirt. Draw across the hemline as well. Remove the garments from on top of the plastic. You should have an outline of the bag with an opening where the hangers can slip through.

Place binding tape around the hanger opening of the first piece of plastic and double stitch it. Do the same to the second piece. Now align the plastic to where one shoulder area is facing the shoulder area of the other piece. Butt them together and lay the binding over the top of the seam. Make sure, as you sew, one line of stitching catches the plastic on one piece of the garment bag and the other stitch line catches the plastic on the opposite side. The binding should be holding the two shoulder pieces together. As you arrive at the corner turn presser foot and continue applying the binding down the side seam as well. Do the same to the opposite shoulder.

Measure the bottom width of the bag. Cut one strip of plastic that is five inches wide by the measurement of the garment bag width. After cutting this strip cut in half, lengthways. Insert the zipper by aligning it between the two plastic pieces. Turn the plastic under a half inch then stitch down the zipper. Do the same to the opposite side. Insert the zipper piece by aligning it into the opening at the bottom of the garment bag. Use bias tape to hold it. Start on one side and wrap the bias tape halfway over the garment bag edge and halfway over the insert edge. Stitch. Continue in this manner until you have the insert fully stitched into the bottom of the garment bag. A similar bag can be made, only longer, for holding dresses.

To make a sweater bag cut two equal size rectangles, slightly wider and longer than a folded sweater. Cut a band to go around the side of the bag. The band should be approximately ten inches wide and the length of the totaled measurements of the perimeter of one rectangle. Measure from one short side, near the corner, around the long side and slightly past the opposite corner of one rectangle. Use this measurement to know how long the zipper should be. Make a cut in the band to accommodate the zipper, then insert and stitch the zipper.

Start sewing the band with zipper around the perimeter of one rectangle. Do not start on a corner. Use the bias tape to overlap both the edge of the rectangle and the edge of the band. Continue sewing in this manner until the band is fully around the first rectangle. Now align the second rectangle piece with the band and first rectangle. Make sure you have corners in alignment. Stitch, with bias tape, the rectangle onto the band. This design can be made smaller, to hold socks or lingerie. It can also be made larger to hold blankets or coats.

To make a bag for holding cosmetics, kids socks or toys, and other small items cut one piece of plastic 10″x14″. Cut one more piece 10″x10″. Cut a strip that is 32″ long and 3″ wide. Sew the strip onto the square, starting at one top corner and stitching around to the other top corner. Sew the strip onto the large piece of plastic making sure the corners of both pieces align. Use the bias tape, folding half of it over the edge on the strip and half of it over the edge on the large rectangle. Stitch around. This will leave a flap at the top of the bag. Align the flap with the top edge of the smaller plastic piece and insert zipper, sewing it first onto the edge of the flap, then on to the edge of the square plastic piece. Now when you unzip the bag the flap will lay back and allow you to place or remove items in the bag.

Have fun making your zipper bags and remember a few things about crafting them: it’s not necessary to use only clear plastic – colored plastic makes great bags but isn’t really suitable for closets, and you can eliminate the plastic and use cloth instead – just remember to launder all fabrics before stitching your creations.

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