dirndl clothespin bag

one thing i love about living in southern california is it’s always clothesline weather! line dried clothes, especially towels, are one of my favorite feeling things.

about 10 years ago i got this adorable dirndl-style vintage clothespin bag, and even though i am very delicate with it (as delicate as you can really be with a clothespin bag, anyways) i’m afraid the old fabric might tear anytime. to prepare for that inevitable event, i made a pattern from it so i can whip up a new one when the need arises.

i wanted to share this project in the summer when it was clothesline weather all across the country, but i just finished it up now. it’s not too late though, they would make super cute gifts for the holidays! and the dirndl styling is just in time for oktoberfest-i made the new one using some vintage dirndl fabric i had lying around from dresses i had shortened.

you will need:

download the pattern pieces here. enlarge 200% before cutting! the finished size is appox. 13.5″ wide across at the shoulders and 16″ long at the center.

1/2 yard of fabric

7″ x 10″ scrap of contrasting fabric for apron

12″ of alpine ribbon

1 1/2 yards of foldover braid or bias binding

1 yard of ric rac

wooden clotheshanger, cut down to 13.5″ across

14″ of thin ribbon or trim for the tie

to sew:

fold pleats on apron and stitch down.

sew foldover braid/bias binding around apron sides and bottom.

center alpine ribbon on top of apron and stitch across.

place apron on front panel and stitch down around sides and bottom of apron, and sides of ribbon, leaving the top front of the apron open, it’s a pocket!

place the right sides of front and back together and stitch all the way around from shoulder to shoulder (1/2″ seam allowance).

turn right side out and sew foldover braid/bias binding around neckline, then sew the ric rac trim around neckline.

stitch the 14″ tie down at the center of the back of neckline. that’s to tie around the clotheshanger so it won’t slide out.

insert clotheshanger and tie. add clothespins and go hang out your laundry!

80 Responses to “dirndl clothespin bag”

  1. Heather - Dollar Store Crafts Says:

    Yay! You always do fun stuff!

  2. katy Says:

    so darling! Thanks for sharing the idea and pattern.

  3. Kathryn Says:

    I am now looking at my plastic clothes peg basket with new dislike. Thanks for the pattern – I will definitely be doing one of these!

  4. cecily Says:

    thanks for that great idea !

  5. Anne Weaver Says:

    This is so cute!!! I love the little pocket that the apron makes!
    I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


  6. Michelle Says:

    Super cute! Sadly, we are done with clothesline weather, but that’s okay, I still hang up the cloth diapers and just chip the ice off! It doesn’t really dry them, but it does whiten them up a ton and they smell so fresh. Thanks for the great idea.

  7. Banu Says:

    Really lovely.

  8. sandy Says:

    I whipped one up yesterday for my mom’s birthday. Made this in hawaiian fabric (I live in hawaii) looked just like a muumuu. My mom loved it! Thanks for the pattern and instructions, you are great! BTW I cut 2 fronts out and sewed the opening together, clipped, ironed, topstitched. I just wanted to reinforce it a bit. Thank you sooo much!

  9. Tausendschön Says:

    oooooooooooh i love it love it love it…
    like all your treasures ;-)
    much love from the northern bavarian part of germany,

  10. Ren Says:

    I love it! Unfortunately, I live in an apartment, so no yard to put up clothes on a clothesline… but I can see soooo many more uses for this, good for extra closet storage of things like hair accessories… or hanging storage for yarn or other craft supplies, anything!

  11. Tania Monti Says:

    That’s what I really need to get fond of making laundry every day!!!
    Thanx a lot I will try to sew it this week end!

    Grüße from an Italian living in Austria!!

  12. Beth Says:

    So adorable!

  13. Heather Says:

    So adorable! I made a functional one for my mother, but this one is so much cuter!

  14. Leanne Says:

    This is so cute!! thank-you for sharing I think I’ll make one as a christmas gift!

  15. SEWButterFly Says:

    So, so cute!

  16. Deci Worland-MacKinnon Says:

    I not only hope to make this soon, I also linked to this tutorial on my blog.

  17. Morgan Says:

    This is so cute! Way to make work a happier time. You are a clever girl!

  18. Amy Kelly Says:

    Honestly, Hannah, this is one of the cutest things I have seen in a very long time! I posted about your fantastic tutorial on my blog:


  19. Erin Says:

    Why am I having a heck of a time figuring out how to print it at 200%??
    I really want to make one, but can’t get it scaled properly.

  20. hannah Says:

    depending on your printer, you may be able to enlarge it in your printer settings before printing out (that option is usually in the advanced settings) or you can open the file in a program like illustrator or photoshop and enlarge there before printing it out. if all else fails you can print it out and enlarge it on a good ol’ fashioned xerox machine. i hope that helps!

  21. Bernice Says:

    I remember using one like this as a child in New Jersey.
    Our guild quilt show in AB Canada is doing an apron theme in June 2010.
    I’ll make up afew to catch scraps of fabrics.
    Thank you for the pattern.

  22. Debbie Says:

    I made this for my mother-in-law, and she loves it! I modified it a bit – use the apron fabric in place of decorative ribbon and made it do it ties in the back. It seems kinda small and miniature, so if I make again, I would try a bit more than 200%. Thanks!

  23. dirndl Says:

    This is so cute!! thank-you for sharing I think I’ll make one as a christmas gift!

  24. queen-of-denial Says:

    what a lovely idea… its so adorable!
    Thank you for sharing this with us.
    Spring is just around the corner and im going to make this for myself and a few of my friends!

  25. Teresa Gregory Says:

    Thank you so much. My mother had one of these when I was a child and have been wanting one for years but couldn’t figure out how to make it from memory. Now I have one and it is so much nicer and will hold up better than the ones at the store. You old this old lady very happy! :)

  26. Alice Says:

    I am so glad to see this pattern. My mother-in-law made these for my sons (usually out of outgrown sleepers, onsies) for socks, hot wheels, small figures. My granddaughters have outgrown their dance recital costumes and now I can make them one to hold their things (may have to make a lining to stiffen some of them. Thank you so much!!!!

  27. Doreen Says:

    Thankyou for the idea I still hang my wash outside on the line Doreen Brit in TX

  28. Emily Says:

    Sure is cute. I can certainly use this a lot in Hawaii. Thank You for sharing!

  29. Naomi Says:

    I like the idea you got and share with everyone. It is really cute! I’d like to make some of them and share the idea with my sisters and daughter.
    Thank you for sharing.

  30. Karen Says:

    Love it!!! But I can’t sew : ( you should sell them ; )
    I guess I will have to stick to the plain white ones. Its beautiful.

  31. Sharon Says:

    I would love to try this project. When you say to enlarge 200% before cutting, what do you mean. How would a rookie go about that?

  32. hannah Says:

    you can enlarge it before printing, in a graphics program or some printers allow you to enlarge it before printing in your printer settings. or else you can print it out and enlarge it on a photo copier.

  33. Barbara Says:

    I love your website and all of the wonderful sewing ideas you publish, I am going to sew the dirndl clothespin bag for my daughter in-law as she hangs all of their laundry on the clothesline in the nice weather and this will be handy for her. I made an apron bag for my clothespins and it is handy, but with all of the pins I carry it starts hanging clear down to my knees, this Grandma is short. I enjoyed all of the girls comments. Thank You, Barb

  34. Alice Says:

    Hope this isn’t a stupid question, but how do you increase the size of this pattern? I hit on on the + and still the same size.

  35. Dawn Says:

    O my goodness!! This is soooo cute! Thank you for sharing!

  36. Brenda Says:

    Love, love, love it! I made one for my daughter a few months ago. She called last night and asked if I could do one for her neighbor. So easy to do, and so cute. Love your ideas. Thanks

  37. ann Says:

    I made one like this for a friend and added hands, feet , and a head just for fun.

  38. Nicole Says:

    I love this pattern!! I just made one for a client and she absolutely loved it. Thanks for the super easy directions and pictures :)

  39. Sophia Says:

    Adorable… I made one a while ago but still did not get a chance to thank you :) Here is the link to my Clothes pegs Ann (as I call her):


    She served me well all summer!

  40. Sophia Says:

    I liked your pattern so much, that last week I decided to make some more “dresses” :) http://blog.sophiaburns.com/2012/01/sew-cute.html

    Thanks again for posting this lovely pattern!

  41. Kelli Says:

    Thanks for the super cut pattern! Going to attempt making one today!

  42. Becky Says:

    I just adore this and will be making a few…one for my daughter-in-law for sure! THANK YOU!

  43. mish Says:

    Thank you!! I just chanced upon you Hannah, and I am already in love with you!!
    Super cute stuff, and I’ll be ordering a skirt from you very soon! Do you post to Australia?

  44. hannah Says:

    thank you!!!
    i ship everywhere, mish!

  45. Mary Watson Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing such a fun pattern. I just finished mine and love it. To the apron/pocket I added a waist band and some apron ties so that it makes a pretty bow in the back. Also, left the arm holes open to fit any size hanger but added contrasting cuffs to finish off the arm holes.

  46. Sue Says:

    Thank you for sharing. My son-in-law hangs the clothes and saw one I had and loved it but it’s not as cute as this one. Someone gave me the other one yrs ago. Thank you.

  47. Dotti Says:

    I have used a baby outfit, about one year size, and sewn the legs or bottom of dress closed and the arms closed to help keep spiders out. The opening is usually in the back side, and my man has to help take clothes down sometimes. He says he always feels like he’s reaching into a dirty diaper or something, so he should like this one much better. I think it’s so cute!

  48. Kristin Says:

    This is just so CUTE! Love it!

  49. Janice Says:

    Love this sweet bag’s vintage charm! I included this tutorial in my blog post on clothespin bags today. Thanks!

  50. Viji Says:

    Thanks for the details. I made one and it is so pretty. Viji

  51. Sarah Says:

    It’s clothes line weather all year round here in Australia! Thanks for the great tip

  52. Bart Says:

    Just started looking for a clothespin bag and yours is the cutest one on the net. Yes I am a guy and straight but I decided to hang clothes instead of firing up the 220 volts it takes to dry clothes in a dryer. Smells better too.

  53. hannah Says:

    awesome! line dried clothes are the best!

  54. Luz Galvan Says:

    Maravillosa idea y sus colores y telas me encantan, muchas gracias por compartir.

  55. Kathy Says:

    I want to make sure I am understanding this right. Is the only opening the apron pocket? Thanks

  56. hannah Says:

    the opening where you put the clothespins is the ‘neckline’ of the dress.

  57. Terry Says:

    love your idea!! Just took a glance & you have beautifull ideas! Greetings from FLA

  58. Tabitha Says:

    Thanks so much for this! I Can’t wait to make one. Now to just get my husband to put a line up for me on the other hand… He hates stuff hung on the line. HOW can you hate that?

  59. hannah Says:

    i know! line dried laundry is the best!

  60. Georgia Says:

    I know a lady that has made these out of vinyl fabric so that they are more rain proof in case you let it out.

  61. Tabitha Says:

    I loved this. Thank you Sooooo much. I made one and blogged about it too. Though yours is MUCH better. I had fun. http://www.playmommaplay.com

  62. Karine Says:

    This is just great! Thanks for sharing that gorgeous pattern. It’s exactly what I was looking for :) I only have one question… Does the pattern include seam allowance?

  63. hannah Says:

    hi karine! yes, it does include 1/2″ seam allowance. i hope you have fun making it!

  64. Debbie Q Says:

    I was wondering … I DO NOT repeat DO NOT sew lolol and was wondering if anyone would be willing to make one for me… I “commission” your sewing art :) thanks!
    Debbie Quintero

  65. Stella Says:

    So pretty. No clothesline NO Problem!Use it to store your panty hose. Place some pretty lavender sachet bags close with netting on opening . HMMM your closets will smell so nice.

  66. Mary Busch Says:

    I also like clothespin bags! I love your pattern and will make some for gifts.
    When my kids were young, I took a shirt of son’s and a dress from daughter.
    ( Or purchaced small clothes from thrift stores ) turned them inside out, sewed the bottom of dress or shirt closed, the shirt front was sewed partway up. Turned them right side out…..Clothespin Bags. When ever I hung clothes I thought of the little ” angels”. Mary B.

  67. Kathryn Plett Says:

    I think this clothespin bag is so cleaver! Thank you for sharing this great idea! For those who can’t hang clothes out in the winter months, it can be used for those grocery sacks we all get regularly.

    It could also be used as a hanging tote for your car when on trips, to store things you may need while enroute but don’t want to have to dig thru a suit case or back pack to find certain items.

    blessings and <3 <3 heartfuls of thanks! ~kathryn

  68. Judy Grandle Says:

    this is just what I was looking for.

  69. Laurie Says:

    This is SUPER cute. I had so much fun making this.

    Since I am nowhere near a copy store and my computer was not behaving today, I did the enlarge by hand. I will link to my manual enlarge once I have it posted to my website. It was pretty easy but a bit time consuming.

  70. Mary Says:

    Does anyone know of a good substitute for Alpine ribbon? I can’t find any around my location…New Brunswick, Canada, nor online.

  71. hannah Says:

    hi mary! this website has some cute trims http://www.shop.continentalstitcherytrims.com/Tyrolean-trims_c22.htm

  72. Mary Says:

    Thank you, Hannah! This site looks great!

  73. SANDRA Says:

    I love this little clothespin bag and will definitely make it. As many people have noted, a lot of us grew up with mothers and grandmothers who used clothespin bags that were shaped like little dresses. I found this site after I noticed that my store-bought clothespin bag was starting to fray. It won’t be long before it fails, but I will be ready.

    Several people have commented about trying to increase the pattern pieces to 200%. How about providing the finished length and width of the bag? That might help some of us to get close to the 200% size.

  74. hannah Says:

    good idea sandra! the finished size is appox. 13.5″ wide across at the shoulders and 16″ long at the center. i hope that helps!

  75. Sharlyn Says:

    Sooooooo cute! Pinning!

  76. karen Says:

    How wonderful, now that’s what l call a peg bag and so easy to do. I have made this for myself and now making for friends. Thank you so much for sharing your pattern

  77. Nalini Murthy Says:

    Very pretty and useful. I however plan on using one of my colorful T shirts or tops for the body. Also useful as a soiled/ clean clothes holder in the bag and clothe spins and handy extra plastic rope when travelling. In India we normally line dry clothes anyway. I plan on using an inch of Velcro to keep the pocket closed. Tks

  78. Kathy Beeston Says:

    Love it. Could it get any quiter? Thank-you

  79. M Says:

    I have made these before but decades ago. Tho I made them w/old baby clothes, they didn’t hold a candle to yours’ and I thank you for the tutorial which I will use to make more new & improved pin bags. Your creativity is inspiring. Thank you again. Also you and others have offered many excellent alternate uses for the bags. My daughters need several of these. Pardon me, but you rock!

  80. Anna Maria Says:

    When I have seen your clothes pin bag I loved it immediatly! So during this summer I made it and it now is very very beautiful. I received a lot of compliments and many people asked me to make it. Thank you very much for your tutorial. (If you want, you can see it on my blog: http://improvvisamentecreativa.blogspot.it/2014/09/alla-fine-ce-lho-fatta.html

    Anna Maria

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