Friday, January 11, 2013

Peg Bag

When I was pregnant with our second child we lived in Upper Hutt in the south of the North Island and Harry worked for the New Zealand Railways. We lived in a railway house in a private railways road so employees of the NZR would often pass by. One day I was hanging out some washing and unknown to me one of Harry’s bosses drove past our house as I was bent over picking up pegs from the ground in my rotund state. Later that boss told Harry he should make me a washing trundle/trolley so I didn’t resemble a mother hen!

Well the trolley never got made but when Harry told me I decided to take the matter into my own hands and make a peg bag.

Harry’s mum had had a stroke and only had the use of one hand. She used to wheel her washing basket out on an old pushchair and then proceed to struggle with grabbing a peg and pegging the washing on the line all with one hand. I had made her a peg bag that she could hang around her neck so allowing easy access to the pegs.

I thought I could make myself a peg apron making the pegs within reach for me. I would untie it when the washing was hung and tie the ends together and then hang the apron on the corner of the cloths line. But then one day when it was raining and there was a rush to bring in the washing, I didn’t have time to tie the apron around my waist so in the rush I flung it around my neck. Once inside I thought why don’t I just have a peg bag like Oma’s?

So the next time I had to make a new bag I made one just like her one.

The joy of making this yourself is you can use any material in the colour of your choice and the size you prefer.

You will need some material about a meter wide and half a meter long. Hunt out ends of rolls etc in material shops for a cheap option.

Cut out the four pieces as shown; 1 long piece (the width of the fabric x 13 cm), 2 pieces 30cm x 40 cm, 1 piece 40cm x 15 cm. These are approx. measurements.
There will be a piece left over. 

Cut out a curved segment from one of the large pieces to from a rounded top for the peg bag 'pouch'.  Don't cut this too far down or your pouch will be too small and the pegs will fall out but it must be wide enough for you hand to reach in a get pegs.
Before you cut it make sure the measurement from the edge of the fabric of the bag part, to the segment is the same width as half the width of the longest stripe.
In this example it had to be 6.5cm (ie half of 13cm) The long stripe will be the part that goes around your neck.
It can be seen in the pic on the right.

Measure this long piece now and shorten the long stripe if the bag is going to hang too far down.

Take one of the shorter pieces and press in half lengthways with the wrong sides facing each other.
Open and press under a seam allowance on both the long edges. This is to from a sort of waist band for the back of the bag to give it a reinforced edge.

Open fold and sit the uncut piece (the back) inside.


Fold the pressed fold over again and pin all pieces together so that when it is sewn both sides of the reinforcing is caught by the stitching.

Stitch in place ensuring both sides are stitched as pinned.

Fold the long stripe in half lengthwise with right sides together, press and then sew the long edge.

Turn inside out. I push a knitting needle through it to help to turn it out.

Press under a  5mm seam for the segment opening and zigzag stitch it into place.

 Attach short edges of neck piece to the front of the peg bag with the right side of the peg bag facing you. Make sure the neck strip is not twisted before you sew.

Stitch into place.

With wrong sides facing inwards, join the back and front of the peg bag pouch.

Sew the sides and bottom together with a small seam allowance (approx 8mm). This will include part of the neck part.

Yes this does look like you are sewing it the wrong way but bear with me.

Turn the bag so that the right sides are now facing inside. Sew the sides and bottom again using a 1 cm seam allowance. (This is the way you thought it should have been sewn the first time)

Make sure the first seam is 'encased' in the new seam (this is called a French seam). Ensure the neck piece is adjusted and tucked in a little to fit if necessary. (If you are a perfectionist you may struggle with this not looking the best, but who really is going to notice? If you will really struggle with it allow the difference in the seam when first sewing the neck part to the front of the peg bag)

Turn the bag so the right sides are facing out again.

Stitch along the top and bottom of the piece added as reinforcing catching the neck part as well. This gives the whole bag opening part strength.

At this stage the bag is ready to be used but you could top stitch both sides of the neck part or you may want to add bias binding to decorate etc.

To make you bag last longer don't leave it out at the cloths line but bring it in and hang it on a door handle or hook.


  1. I was watching my one and only neighbour pegging out her washing the other day and I noticed that she had the exact same item. What a nifty idea. Hugs Sue

  2. I have just spent 3 delightful hours making this Sue, and learnt all about French seams too which I had never done before.

    Thank you so much for this demonstration. No doubt I will be requested by all my Friends to make them one too!

    Kind Regards,


  3. I have just spent 3 delightful hours making this Hanging Peg Bag Sue, in the bargain I have learnt all about French Seams which I had never attempted before. No doubt I will be requested by all my Friends to make them one too!
    Kind Regards,

  4. Hi Kimm glad I was of help with a new sewing seam!!

    Its Fiona by the way ;)