Sunday, November 20, 2011


Here is the first of many....
.... If you are looking to help out this holiday season here is a quick project.

Each year Mennonite Central Committee sends thousands of school and health kits to needy people around the world. Making the cloth kit bags is easy if you know how! Here's one good method.

You can find information on where to send them here:

Finished size: 11" x 16"  Cut fabric: 12" x 35"       
Cut two drawstrings: 32" 28 cm. x 40.5 cm. 30.5 cm. x 89 cm. 81 cm.

1. Cut rectangles of the appropriate size, if possible using a pinking shears on the short sides. If pinking shears aren't available and you have raw edges, fold down each short end 1/8" (0.5 cm.) (wrong sides together) and stitch a narrow hem on those two sides.

2. Fold the material length-wise in half, right sides together. Use a pencil to mark a 3/4" (2 cm.) gap that begins 11/2" (4 cm.) down each side. These two marks show where the holes for the draw strings will be.

3. Stitch down each side (1/2" seam allowance) (1.25 cm.), leaving a gap where you have marked.

4. Open your bag and spread out the material on both sides of the seam. To make each drawstring hole extra strong, stitch around each hole, starting at the top of the bag and going 1/2" (1.25 cm.) below the hole. (5. Fold down the top of the bag 1 1/2" (4 cm.) (wrong sides together) and stitch all the way around to form a casing for the drawstrings.

6. Turn the bag right-side out; the drawstring holes are now on the outside. Pull one drawstring through the casing the whole way around; knot the two ends together. Repeat with the other string, starting at the opposite side.

Note on threading the drawstrings: One method is to attach a safety pin to the string and push the pin through the casing. But a simple tool will make help you thread much faster. Take a thin wooden dowel or piece of plastic about 18" long. Tape a paperclip to one end. This serves as the "eye" of what is now a big needle to thread the drawstrings through the casing.

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