So I decided Miss A needed some kind of containing device for her toys that were starting to get played with more and then being messy around the living room so I made a soft fabric box / bag-thing:
I've seen them before online ages ago, and thought it could be a good idea. This one is made from spare cloth nappies (not fluffy ones and well washed) that I then interfaced (a fairly light interfacing). I then cut out four shapes like this:
And sewed them together: Two together along one long side and to each pointed end, and one set had an opening to turn it through on what would become the 'inside' (you could do half and half different fabrics and make it prettier), and then sewed the two halved together, turned it through and handsewed up the hole before folding it in half and then folding the top over. I should have pressed the seams open and flat AS I sewed but I didn't, and then it was rather tricky once it was all made up.
It is quite sturdy, but nice and soft. Miss A likes to sit and see what she can find in the bag and pull out something to play with. (Miss S sometimes tries to convince me it is a hat, but I am not convinced.)
As I sewed it, all plain white, I thought it might be nice to sew coloured zigzag over each long seam line, but it would be tricky with the seam allowance and the opening-to-turn-through, so I didn't. But I thought that if I made another one, I could cut the pieces like this:
And then I could. I'd sew all the sides and then the base, making the opening-to-turn-through in the base rather than a side.
It's a really easy pattern to make up. Just make a long rectangle twice as long as you want the bag high, plus any fold over (I suppose you could make it without foldover, but I think it gives the opening more structure, and the foldover can increase or lessen as the bag is fuller or emptier) and as wide as you want one side of the square. Then to add the base just make a right-angle triangle on each end of the rectangle - I used my patternmaking square, but you could use anything square, as long as the sides are even and the angle is a right angle (otherwise it won't sit flat).
bag base, showing seams joining at right angles
If you want the second pattern style, cut the triangle in half and add both halves to the end.
It was really easy to whip up, and is really handy and surprisingly sturdy (and a great use for old cloth nappies).