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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How to Make a Drawstring Bag

Ever wonder what you can do with fabric scraps or fat quarters?  Ever need a bag to put something in?  Well, here's a really easy solution for you.  Make a drawstring bag.  They are handy and make a nice little re-usable pouch to wrap presents in.  If I can do it, so can you.

Go through your scraps and recycle them into something new.  I used a (cheap) liner, such as muslin, and two complimentary colors for the outside.  You'll also need ribbon or cording for the drawstring.

I put beads on the ribbon ends on this one.
You can customize these bags to any size you like.  Make them special for whatever you want to carry in it.
I didn't need my bags to be an exact size so I just cut everything out bigger than than what I wanted the finished bag to be.  I cut the  body out (this is the orange butterfly printed fabric) 7" x 16" ( 7" x  8" if you fold it to cut it) and the top (white with multicolor butterflies) 7"x3" (you will need two of these).

At this point, your bag is laid out open, so the tops (where the drawstring goes) will be on each end.
I sewed both tops to each end of the body using a 1/4" seam.

Using the outside of the bag for a pattern, I cut out the liner out of some inexpensive cotton, such as muslin.  I just pinned the fabric to the liner and cut around it. 

When I got it cut out, I put the wrong sides together, pinned it in place, and sewed down each length using a 1/4" seam, folded twice to hide the raw edge.
1/4" hem on each side

I used a 1/4" presser foot
After sewing a hem down the edges, I sewed a 1/4" hem on the top of the bag (the white with multicolor butterflies fabric).  You do not have to turn your seam twice because it will be hidden.

Next, fold over the top so it lines up just below your seam on the front (it is about half way if you are not using two different fabrics).  You will use the seam on the front to stitch in the ditch.
This pictures shows the right side (bottom) and the wrong side (top) of the seam for the draw string.
Now, just sew across to make the pocket for your drawstring.  If you are using one fabric, you can use a decorative stitch instead of the stitch in the ditch method.

Stitch in the ditch hides your thread... presto!

This picture shows the "pocket" sewn down.  You can see the rows of stitches.  The first row is where it was hemmed, the second row is where I sewed it down to make the "pocket" for the drawstring.
If you are an experienced seamstress, I am sure you can hem it and sew it down at the same time.  I am not, so I do it my easy way. :)

Next, fold the bag in half, right sides together, matching up the "pockets" on the top.
I just sewed right up the hemmed stitches I had previously made.
Don't sew through the pocket!  It has to be open to put your drawstring in.
STOP HERE! - pretend like you didn't see my little birds nest... that takes a special kind of talent ;)

When I got to my pocket, I turned my fabric and sewed back and forth to tack it.  This gives it a little extra strength and durability.
Cut your ribbon or string about 24".  You will need 2 of these.

Next, I put my draw string on a large safety pin and ran it from one opening, out the back and in the other side to make it end on the same side I started on.

Just go out and back in for one side.  Sorry, this picture is a little blurry.
For the next drawstring, start on the other side and do the same.  Go out and right back in the other side so you will end up on the same side you started.  You have to be able to cinch it up.
Your second draw string goes in the other side.

Now, tie knots in your strings on each side in order to hold them in.
You may also use decorative cord locks.
cord lock

Now, just PULL!  Yay! Bag complete!   Now, what to fill it with?  I made bags for my pStyles.  (See my blog page on that too!)  But you can put whatever you want in them.  Customize the size for your needs. 
My pStyle with this bag.

If you have any questions, please ask!  I enjoy reading your comments and the tips and tricks you have to make sewing easier.

1 comment:

Kathy Shea Mormino said...

Great tutorial! Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop!

Kathy Shea Mormino
The Chicken Chick