Wash Bag / Make Up Bag Free Pattern

Finished Size:
Large 9” tall x max 15” along top (shorter at the bottom)
Small 7.25” tall x 9.5” along the top (shorter at the bottom)


For Large Bag
16” w x 11” l external fabric
16” w x 11” l internal fabric
16” w x 11” l fusible heavy weight or fleece interfacing
16” zip

For Small Bag
10”w x 9”l external fabric
10”w x 9”l internal fabric
10”w x 9”l fusible interfacing
10”w x 9”l zip

For Handles (optional)
2.25” x 21” x2 strips for handles
12” x 2 pieces, size 4 piping cord.


Iron your interfacing on to the back of the external fabric pieces (in this example I used heavy weight interfacing, its fine,but when I make another one I will use fusible fleece as it will make the bag a little stiffer and give it a more luxurious feel).

wash bag 1


Take one length of handle fabric and iron in half along the longest edge (see image 2).  Open up and fold the bottom edge up to the first fold, iron the crease into place (image 3), repeat with the top edge, folding it into the centre and ironing the crease into place (image 4).

wash handle 1

Now fold one end over by ¼”, iron the crease in.  Fold the same end over again, this time folding over 2” (image 2), and iron the crease in.  Sew the layers of fabric together with a simple rectangle. Repeat at the other end of the handle.wash handle with rectangle

Place your piping cord in the middle, it should run between the two sewn tabs.  Fold the fabric over the piping cord and sew into place, starting ¼” – ½” before the first end of the piping cord, and ending ¼” – ½” after the next end of the piping cord, this will ensure that the ends of the tabs and cord are hidden.

wash handle 3

Take your external fabric pieces and mark dots, 2” down from the top, and 5” in from each side.  These dots show you where to line the piping in the handles up to, if you would prefer to line up the bottom of each handle side, measure 4” down from the top.

haldle placement

Sew over the left, right and bottom seams on the rectangles at the each end of the handle.  Repeat with the second handle and external fabric piece.


Lay your zip in front of you, so that the right side is facing you.  Place one of your external fabric pieces over the zip, so that the whole of the zip is covered, with the top of the fabric lined up with the top of the zip tape, and the wrong side of the fabric facing you.  If you have sewn a handle onto your fabric, tuck it out of the way (NOT LIKE IN IMAGE 2 – YOU SHOULD NOT SEW OVER THE HANDLE), then sew the zip and fabric together, along the line shown in the images below. 

attaching zip part 1 wash

Turn the fabric over, so you are looking at the right side of the fabric, with the zip tape sewn on top of it.  Move the handle back out of the way and line one of the internal fabric pieces up with the top of the zip tape and all the sides of the external fabric piece, wrong side facing you (it will look like the second image above).  Pin into place and sew along the same line as before.

Fold the fabrics back along the seam line, so that you can see the right sides of the fabric and iron into place.

You now need to repeat these steps with the internal and external fabric pieces for the other side of the zip.  If you are unsure of how to line up the fabric, start with the empty side of the zip tape at the top of the bag (right side of the zip facing you), making sure the sides already sewn on onto the other side of the tape, are folded back out of the way, line the top of the external fabric piece up with the top of the zip tape, making sure the sides are lined up with the rest of the bag and that you are looking at the wrong side of the fabric, then sew together (along the empty side of the zip).  Turn the bag over, line the internal fabric piece up with the external piece you have just attached (the zip will be sandwiched between two pieces of fabric and you will be looking at the wrong side of the internal fabric).  Sew together over the last seam line.

Fold the fabrics back so you are looking at the right sides of the fabrics, on all sides of the zip, and iron flat.

wash bag sides

The next step is optional but I find it stops the fabric getting caught in the zip.  With the right sides of the fabric showing, after ironing the fabrics flat, sew a top seam each side of the zip.

wash zip

You are now going to sew the sides of the bag together, BEFORE YOU DO THIS you MUST open the zip.

Arrange the fabric pieces so that the internal pieces are on top of each other, and the external pieces are on top of each other (right sides together).

Looking first at the external pieces, pin together and sew a seam around the open sides (left, right and bottom – see image 2).

matching sides wash

To make the box corners, hold one of the bottom corners and manipulate the fabrics to get the two seams coming off that corner (side and bottom seam) on top of each other.  I find it easier to do this by looking inside the bag and guiding the side seam on to the top of the bottom seam (see image below) and then iron flat.

Place your ruler across the corner, making a triangle shape, with the visible seam (show in red below) lined up with a line on your ruler.  Now move the ruler back and forth, towards and away from the corner, until you have 1.5” on each side of the red line (see orange lines).  When you are sure that orange lines are both 1.5” and the red line is lined up with the seam, draw you sew line (if you can’t get 1.5” on both sides of the line, then realign your seams inside your bag).

Draw a line across the corner, pin and then sew a seam along that line. Trim the corner away.

box corners sewing wash

Repeat these steps on the other corner.

Now take the internal fabric pieces and pin together, right sides facing each other.  Sew around the three raw edges BUT THIS TIME leave a 4” gap in the middle of the bottom seam, this will be used for turning out.  Then make the box corners as for the external bag.

internal bag construction
Turn the bag out by pulling the fabric through the gap at the bottom of the internal fabric bag, fold the raw edges in (along the turning gap) and sew together. 
turning out

Push the internal bag into the external bag and fill up with your favourite goodies.

cosmetic-make up-wash-bag

Fabrics used: Riley Blake Kensington Collection, Riley Blake Think Pink Collection, Heavy Weight fusible interfacing (but recommend using fusible fleece interfacing).
If using handles you will also need size 4 piping cord.

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