Step up your packing game by sewing your own DIY lingerie bag (or three!). This durable mesh bag separates your “unmentionables” from the rest of your clothing, keeping your suitcase or travel bag organized. When you get home, throw the bag directly into the washing machine to clean your delicates safely and easily.
This DIY lingerie bag features:
- Fully finished seams
- Decorative casing
- Professional double barrel cord lock closure
- Multiple sizes: A generous “two bra” size, finishing at 10½" x 14½" — or create a custom bag in any size with the bonus instructions at the bottom of this tutorial!
How to sew the perfect DIY lingerie bag
What you need:
- Pre-washed sport mesh knit fabric: 12" x 30"
- Pre-washed cotton fabric: 23" x 1½"
- 1 yard of 3/8" wide grosgrain ribbon
- Double barrel cord lock
- Matching thread
- Ballpoint needle (for sewing knits)
- Bodkin or safety pin
- Sewing machine and your usual supplies
- Recommended: Even/walking sewing machine foot (for sewing knits)
Just in case, it is recommended that you test your fabrics to ensure the colors do not run if they get damp. Carefully place a fabric scrap in a small bowl of boiling water for 1 or 2 minutes; if the water color changes, choose a different fabric.
First, sew the mesh bag
We'll finish each side seam of the mesh bag with a French seam to enclose the raw edges.
Fold the sport mesh with wrong sides together, matching the short ends and all sides. Pin both longer side seams.
Stitch each side seam with a ¼" seam. Begin and end each stitched seam in this tutorial with a back-stitch to hold it in place.
Trim the allowance in half to about 1/8” wide.
Tip: Sport mesh is a knit fabric and should be sewn as you would any stretchy knit fabric. Use a ballpoint needle and an even or walking machine foot for best results. Click here for more knit sewing tips.
Turn the mesh bag inside out so right sides are together and press well along each sewn edge.
Tip: Press the sport mesh carefully, it will melt at high temperatures. Check the fabric label for instructions or test a small scrap with a wool setting before beginning.
Pin both longer side seams again and stitch each long edge with a ¼" seam. This will enclose the previous seam allowance and complete the French seam.
Pin the French seam allowance to one side at each raw edge.
Stitch a 1"-long seam close to the edge of the seam allowance. This will hold the seam in place as you complete the decorative casing.
Turn bag right side out (the French seam allowance will be on the inside of the bag).
Fold the mesh bag in half along the top raw edge to find and mark the center of one side. This will become the center front of the bag. Set the mesh aside for now.
Next, sew the decorative casing
Next, we'll prepare the cotton fabric. On each end of the fabric strip, fold each short edge in ¼", then¼" again. Pin or use a water-soluble school glue stick to hold it in place.
Stitch close to the edge of the fabric to hem and finish the ends.
Fold up one long edge of the casing ¼" and press it in place.
Tip: If you are using a directional fabric, fold up the bottom edge of the casing.
Match and pin the unfolded long edge of casing to the top raw edge of the mesh bag.
The right side of the casing should match the inside (the wrong side) of the mesh. The casing fabric should begin and end at the center front mark you made before.
Sew the casing to the mesh bag along the raw edges, using a ¼" seam allowance.
Press the casing away from the bag, taking care not to remove the previously pressed marks.
Fold the casing over the mesh bag along the stitching line. Match the wrong side of the casing to the right side of the bag.
Pin the casing in place, re-folding and pinning the previously pressed ¼" edge under.
Stitch both casing edges about 1/8" from top and bottom to secure it.
Tip: Backstitch at the top and bottom of the front opening to reinforce and strengthen the bag.
Finally, add the ribbon and cord lock
Use a bodkin or safety pin to feed your ribbon through the casing at the finished edge openings.
Tip: Center and flatten the ribbon inside the casing, then stitch along the center back edge of the casing from top to bottom. This will secure the ribbon inside the casing so it cannot be pulled out.
Place one end of the ribbon through each side of the double barrel cord lock.
Knot the ribbon ends together. Trim the ends at an angle and apply Fray Check to avoid fraying.
How to create a custom size lingerie bag
To custom size your DIY lingerie bag, first, decide on the final size in inches. Write down these measurements, where A = Width and B = Height.
- Sport mesh knit: Cut 1 piece double the height (B x 2) by the width you want (A).
- Casing: Cut 1 piece double the width minus 1" [(A x 2) - 1"] by 1½" high.
- Grosgrain ribbon: Cut 1 piece as long as the casing plus 12" [Casing + 12", or (A x 2) + 11"]. If you're sewing a very small bag, your ribbon may only need to be 6" longer than the casing measurement.