Charity Sewalong – July 2019

ORANGE SKY Australia

Orange Sky Australia is the world’s first free mobile laundry service for those experiencing homelessness. They provide a platform for every day Australians, where they can connect through a regular laundry and shower service.

Orange Sky not only give those who suffer homelessness an opportunity to wash and dry their clothes, but also to positively connect with the thousands of volunteers. The genuine and non-judgemental conversation made through this incredible service has a big influence on their lives. The community at Orange Sky is made up of people who treat others how they want to be treated.

With 29 services across Australia, Orange Sky are determined to challenge the perception of homelessness. In this month’s charity sewalong, you can become a part of their movement and create laundry bags which will be donated to those that are homeless.

Sewalongs are a great way to get inspired by what everyone creates, while giving to a worthy cause. If you’re new to sewing or embroidering this is a great chance to get involved and have fun no matter what the outcome. Any excuse to put your sewing and embroidery machines to good use is a great one.


For this month’s Sewalong, we are asking you to create a laundry bag for homeless people to carry their clothes in. 

We have created a reconstructed denim bag made from denim jeans or you can create a fabric laundry bag. Plus, we’ve added an extra touch to these bags by adding appliqued words that are relevant to the message of Orange Sky.


Fabric Selection:

  • Heavy weight material e.g. Denim, Corduroy, Curtaining fabric
  • We have made our bag with recycled and reused denim jeans
  • A lighter weight fabric can be used and should be lined


Reconstructed denim jeans bag:

  • 1 x pair of old denim jeans
  • Scrap material for applique words
  • 50″ of thick cord (preferably 5-7mm thick)
  • Hot Melt Web – for applique letters
  • Matching or co-coordinating sewing thread
  • General sewing supplies (tailors chalk, scissors, pin, etc)

If you’d like to instead make the fabric laundry bag, follow our instructions here →

Orange Sky has provided specific words to be appliqued onto the bags:

  • Connected
  • Conversation
  • Genuine
  • Community
  • Friends

These words are available to download as a PDF and can be applied as an applique with Hot Melt Web. Another option could be to utilise built-in embroidery fonts on your machine, or stitch an Echidna lettering font, e.g. Chubby Alphabet Appliques.

Download words 


    1. Your laundry bag can be stitched on an Overlocker if you have one
    2. If you don’t have an Overlocker, your laundry bag can also be stitched with a ‘triple stitch’. This will form an extra strong seam to hold the denim.
    3. Leftover quilt binding is perfect to use for the belt/cord on this bag.IMG-9773



Recycled jeans laundry bag

  1.  Fold jeans in half and mark cut lines as shown below.1
  2. Cut across the jeans as marked – you will now have 3 sections: 1, 2 & 32
  3. Square up piece 1 along the bottom to create a straight line.STEP3
  4. Cut through one layer of piece 2 along the dotted line and lay flat. Then cut through one layer of the jeans leg (piece 3) along the “dotted” line, repeat on other leg, you will now have 4 pieces .  Open out all pieces and lay flat.step4
  5. Measure width of “leg” pieces (piece 3), and cut piece 2 to exactly the same size
  6. Pin the sides of rectangles together Pieces 2 & 3 – this is the the bottom half of the laundry bag.
  7. Choose your method of attaching the words – applique or embroidery.
    If using applique method, follow these steps:

    1. Print out your chosen words on paper
    2. Iron hot melt web on the wrong side of your colourful fabric
    3. Using a light box & a water soluble pen, trace the letters onto your fabric then cut them out
    4. Position the word onto the bag. (Note: the words can be stitched horizontally, vertically or diagonally. You can use as many or as few words as you like)
    5. Remove the paper backing from the hot melt web and iron onto the fabric
    6. Use a zigzag stitch to sew around each letter to affix to the bag

8. Stitch the side seams together, and the bottom half of the bag to the top (piece 1).

9. Sew the bottom of the bag closed.

10. Mark 8 x buttonholes horizontally between each belt loop along the jeans waist band.  This helps to close the bag once the cord is threaded through the buttonholes and belt loops.

11. Thread cord through the belt loop and buttonholes to finish the bag. You are finished!


Create a fabric laundry bag!

If you don’t have recycled jeans or would rather create a laundry bag made of fabric, you can follow our instructions here. 

Please ensure that any laundry bags made are sent to Echidna Sewing or Orange Sky Australia. Please see address below.

See instructions →


This sewalong will run from 1 – 31st July 2019. However, you can continue to donate to Orange Sky Australia all year round.


The laundry bags can be dropped in or posted to any of the Echidna stores or you can send them directly to the charity:

Orange Sky Australia
17 Dover Street,
Albion QLD 4010

Be sure to include your name, postal address and contact details with your donation.

One thought on “Charity Sewalong – July 2019

  1. kathy3795 says:

    Hi, I am want to download the ScanNCut laundry FCM file but when you click on it it says Page Not Found how do I get these letters. Thanking you Kathy Odekerken


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