Vintage Baby Laundry Bag



Antique baby things always enchant me.  I hope you are not bored with them because I have several I’d like to share with you.

This little white laundry bag is one of my favorites.  It makes me wonder how a young mother, with all the responsibilities of raising children and running a house, could find the time to make this sweet sack for soiled baby clothes.  Of course, there is the possibility that a resident grandmother or other relative could have made this elegant little accessory for the family’s newest member. At any rate, it is charming.

This is truly a modern project for old fashioned Nanas.  A sturdy, 15″ x 18″ drawstring bag is a useful item appreciated by young mothers.  My daughter kept one folded in the diaper bag for the soiled clothing inevitably generated on outings with baby Alastair.

My friend Suzanne Sawko used this vintage bag for inspiration when she designed and stitched these for an article in Creative Needle magazine.




The bag with pink embroidery is her recreation of the blue monogrammed original  shown above.

I am convinced that this charming bag must have been made for a baby boy.  The strong, wide stitching on the seams is certainly not dainty and is, in fact, rather masculine.  At first glance, it appears to be feather stitch, but I’m not sure.


embroidery along seam line...Is this really a feather stitch?

embroidery along seam line…Is this really a feather stitch?



The monogram is bold, worked in the same heavy, faded, blue thread is used throughout, ribbon runners, stitching on the seam lines and on the cutwork scallop at the top edge.




The blue embroidery thread is much brighter in the Creative Needle  photo.  But after our home, especially (and painfully!) my sewing room sustained hurricane damage, the laundry bag was soaked to remove stains.  Much of the blue washed out.

The linen is fairly heavy, as is the raised satin stitch embroidery.  The same heavy, faded, blue thread is used throughout, on ribbon/buttonholes, on the seam line stitching,  and on the cutwork scallop at the top edge.

It reminded me of the good advice offered in a book I sometimes quote, the 1934 Singer Library No. 3, How to Make Children’s Clothes.


Wouldn't you love to see that thread rack, with sizes 8-200?

Wouldn’t you love to see that thread rack, with sizes 8-200?


Few  baby gifts are as quick and easy as a laundry bag.  I made the  Bebe’ bag in the CN photo from an old, odd damask napkin.  With 1/2 yd. of fabric and a touch of hand or machine embroidery, perhaps a monogram, you could whip up a lovely shower gift in no time at all.

Now that’s a modern project for an old fashioned Nana.

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