The Delta Hospital Auxiliary  was asked to sew 100 laundry bags for health care workers.     These were  bags to go into the washing machine – contents and all.     The most readily available material was sheets.    A laundry bag is a large, roomy drawstring bag .   Sewing the rectangle is easy .  The tricky part can be sewing the channel for the drawstring.

One of the long sides of the bag  is sewn in the following manner.    From the top of the bag seam line measure down 3 inches from the top.  Sew to this point.  Leave a 3/4 inch gap then continue sewing the seam.  (do back stitches where you finish and then start this gap).  This gap is where you will insert the ties.

Press this seam open  and overcast the edges.


To make the casement that will contain the ties fold over the top raw edge 12-inch all around and press the fold in place.  Then fold over a further 2 1/2-inches evenly all around lining up the side seams.  Press.

Unfold the pressed casement and insert the two ends of the drawstring into the gap in the seam.  Tuck the drawstring into the top part of the casement and pin in place.  Fold the pressed casement down and machine stitch the bottom hem in place.  Watch you don’t sew the long ends of the draws string into the hem.




To machine sew  the folded top edge  give the ends of the ties a little tug.  This will ease the cords away from the top fold.    Do this occasionally  when you are stitching the seam to ensure you don’t catch the ties.  Top stitch the casement about 1/2-inch or so away from the fold.

Right side will look like this when finished.   Knot the tie ends together.

It was originally thought when using sheets we could utilize the finished  edge of the top sheet for the casement.  This could work on smaller drawstring bags but I found  it created too much bulk.    I will  eliminate that part of the sheet in future bag making.    Our Delta Hospital has requested an additional 200 bags.




  1. Virginia, I haven’t heard about these in the US yet. What are they used for by healthcare workers? We’re still focusing on masks, but if these are helpful, they might be our next sewing projects. Thanks for the explicit instructions!

    • Dear Gayle. When a hospital worker finishes their shift EVERYTHING they are wear goes into this bag and they throw it in the washing machine. They have been using plastic bags but would prefer to use cloth. It is not just health care workers but many people (us included) wear washable clothes when they have to leave their home and then do the same thing when they return. My husband does this in the garage, takes the bag into the house and throws it in the machine. One of my girl friends who does not have a garage entrance wears two layers of clothes and takes the top layers off and puts it in a bag. She doesn’t alarm the neighbors this way . If it is chilly and one is wearing an outer jacket – this is left in the garage overnight. We are all doing our best to part of the solution. Hugs Virginia

  2. Excellent idea, Virginia. Our younger daughter made masks for all of us and we should get them any day. We also ordered some online and they’re supposed to shop mid-April. Be well.


    • I loved reading that your daughter was sewing face masks, Janet. In many small ways we are trying to help where we can. We are all in this together. Say well dear friend. Big hugs, Virginia

  3. Love this Virginia. On the island people are sewing hair caps and masks. I will share this post, such a great idea. Staying the course and helping others ❤. Take care of yourself.

    • Dear Wilma, With so many health care worker sacrificing so much it seems this is the very least we can do. I self isolated on the farm five weeks ago, and was more than happy to start sewing these bags. Stay Well. Big hugs, Virginia

    • I sewed and sewed and sewed. At times the stitches were not quit even but every seam I sewed I was saying thank you thank you thank you. Ttwenty five bags and every single one sewn with appreciation for those health care workers in our local hospital. Big hugs, Virginia

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