How to make a PE bag

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Making a simple PE bag is an enjoyable way to teach your child some basic sewing skills. Another advantage is that you can choose the colour, pattern and type of material so the finished bag will suit your child's needs perfectly. Base the size of the PE bag you require on how much your child carries to school. Make sure the bag is big enough to hold plimsolls, shorts and a T-shirt, but not so big it overwhelms her when she tries to carry it.

Cut two same-sized rectangles of fabric according to the size you want. Choose a fabric that is strong enough to hold all items that will go in the PE bag and choose colours and patterns your child will like. You can buy the fabric especially or use some old material you have around the house.

Place the rectangles together, right sides facing each other. Ascertain which width will be the top. This is important if you have a pattern on the fabric -- you don't want it to be upside down.

Thread your needle. Sew in a straight line down the two lengths and across the bottom of the rectangle. Sew about 1.25 cm from the edge of the material, leaving 1.25 cm unsewn at each corner. You can double sew these lines to make the stitching stronger. Leave the top width unsewn.

Create a seam wide enough to push the cord through by folding the top of the upper piece of fabric back towards you, about 1.75 to 2.5 cm. Sew along the bottom line as far from the fold as you can. Make sure you only sew through the top piece of fabric. Turn the fabric over and repeat on the other side.

Attach a safety pin to your cord and use the safety pin to push the cord through the seam you have created at the top of your bag. The cord should be threaded through the top piece of fabric and back through the bottom piece of fabric. Hold the two pieces of cord together and make sure they reach the bottom corner of the bag. The cords will act as a strap to carry the bag with.

Turn the bag the right way out. At the bottom corner on the same side as the long lengths of cord, sew the clasp. Tie a knot in the cord, and cut to the desired length, so that you can hook the end of the cord into the clasp and sling the bag over your shoulder.

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