When traveling, I used to pack my shoes in plastic grocery bags, and although it is great to reuse, repurpose and all that, they sure do not look tres chic when you open you suitcase at your destination. I decided to end the grocery sack ugliness going on inside my suitcase by making some simple, cute shoe sleeves to tote my shoes on vacation.
To make them all you need is a half a yard of fabric (any type of quilter's cotton or cotton/poly blend works great), thread, iron and a sewing machine. Half a yard of fabric will make two sleeves, which can fit either two pairs of shoes or one boot each. These are a great project for new sewers and great gifts for traveling friends. It takes about 20 minutes to make two sleeves.
Here's how you do it:
#1 Cut two pieces of fabric into a square 18" x 18"
#2 Turn under 1/4" on two opposite sides of the square. Press. Turn under same two sides again, totally encasing the raw edge. Straight stitch across the turned under hems. (These sides are the top and bottom of the sleeve)
#3 Fold the square in half with the right sides out matching up the two unsewn sides of the square. Stitch 1/4" seam down side of sleeve. Clip the seam edge close to the seam. Now turn the tube inside out and press the seam edges together from the inside and and sew down 1/4" on the side seam again, this time with the right sides together. When you turn the tube back right side out, the inside seam will be totally encased without any raw edges. This is called a French Seam, and it will help keep your sleeve from unraveling and having messy, stringy hems. Click here to see an online tutorial with pictures of how this seam is made.
#4 Once your sleeve is turned right side out, you now have a finished tube. Simply sew across one of the open sides to close it and form the bottom. Voila....you're done!
When I get home from my trip I simply throw them in the wash with the rest of my laundry. The same 8 sleeves have been traveling with me for several years now, making them a very green travel accessory.