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Projects & Guides

Boxed washbag (John Scott’s Sewing World episode 1)

John Scott – 03/03/20

Did you watch the first episode of John Scott’s Sewing World? In it, he showed this stunning boxed washbag, which is the perfect accessory for the bathroom or for your travels, and you can create your own with this step-by-step project. Personalise it with your favourite patterns and colours!

You will need:

  • Fat quarter of two different prints for outer panels
  • Fat quarter of contrasting fabric for the lining
  • Fat quarter of wadding
  • 12″ zip
  • 8″ of ribbon for zip tabs
  • 1m of lace or ric-rac for embellishment
  • Matching sewing thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Basic sewing kit



  • two 3.5” x 12” rectangles from one of the outer prints
  • two 5.5” x 12” rectangles from the other print
  • two 8.5” x 12” rectangles from the lining fabric

Step 1

Join one of the  3.5” x 12” rectangles to one of the 5.5” x 12” along the long edge. Press the seam flat. Repeat for the other two rectangles. This makes the two outer panels. Cut a 2” square from each of the four corners on both of the outer panels.

Step 2

Cut  a 2” square from all four corners of the lining panels. Before you put the bag together, stitch the lace to the outer panels, following the seam of the centre join.

Step 3

To make the zipper sandwich, place one completed outside panel right side up, lay the zip right down along the raw edge of the top panel section, then lay a completed lining panel wrong side up on top of the zip, again aligning the raw edges. Pin this together. Using a zipper foot, sew these three layers together about 0.25” from the zip. The zipper foot will help you to keep the seam straight and ensure you can get close enough to the zip. Flip the panels you have sewn to one side of the zip, revealing the un-sewn side of the zip. Repeat the previous process along this edge of the zip. Flip the fabric away from the zip, press and then you can topstitch to hold the fabric out of the way of the zip. This stops it from getting caught when you open the zip.

Step 4

Cut the 8” piece of ribbon into two pieces and attach them facing inwards to each end of the zip. Open the zip so it is at least half way along. Then place the outside panels wrong sides together and the lining panels wrong sides together, and pin and then stitch all the way round, living a 4” gap in the base of the lining.

Step 5

Open out all four corner sections and with the seams lined up sew across each one. Take care on the top corners as you will be sewing over a few layers, including the zip.

Step 6

Turn through using the gap in the lining and carefully poke out the four corners. Hand stitch the gap closed and press.