Thursday, October 20, 2011

Drawstring bags

Oh my word! I meant to get this blog post out earlier, but I decided to help the girls clean out their closets first. 

What was I thinking? 

I guess I was thinking closet cleaning would only take a half hour or so.

Two and a half hours later...ugh!

Finally! Here we go. Let's make some drawstring bags!!

They're really easy to make!

No, really! I promise!!

You will need a few supplies:

1. A sewing machine...if you are interested in learning to sew but don't have a sewing machine and you do not want to purchase one only to learn that you do not enjoy sewing, do some checking in your area for craft stores or fabric stores that teach sewing classes. Some shops in our area allow people to use their machines to work on projects, for a small fee, during down times.

2. 2 pieces of fabric that compliment each other. I like that you can use a wide variety of fabrics for this project. I mostly use a nice cotton fabric. You could even use old fabric...old t-shirts, old sheets. Miss Sofi Bug has a pair of old flannel pajama pants that she has grown out of. I plan to use them next time.

This time I'm using a patterned cotton with a solid cotton for the lining.


3. Ribbon, bias tape, or enough extra matching fabric to make your own drawstring ties.

4. Thread that compliments your fabric. 

Finally you'll need a few general sewing supplies...fabric shears, pins, seam case you like me occasionally have to remove a seam because somehow, very probably a lack of my explaining the directions very won't be your I'm sure my error wasn't my must have been lack of proper directions...that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!


Cut out a 9x17 inch pattern. I used a piece of tracing paper. If you prefer you can draw out a 9x17 rectangle directly on your fabric with tailor's chalk. I made a pattern because I have made several bags and it's easier to use a pattern over and over instead of drawing it out every time.

Using pattern, cut out a rectangle from each of your fabrics.

Once you have your rectangles, pin them together right sides facing.

Sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance along the long sides. Leave short sides open.

Turn fabric right side out and iron seams.

Fold open ends over 1/2 inch. Iron. Keeping first fold intact, fold over again 1 inch. Iron and pin in place.

Still with me?

Now is when it gets fun!

Sew along the folded over edge about 1/8 inch from edge creating a channel. To be clear, looking at the above picture, the yellow pinhead side of the fold! We don't want to have to rip out any seams here!

Once your channels are sewn, fold the bag in half with outside fabric facing. The patterned fabric is going to be the outside of my bag, the purple is the lining.

Pin sides and sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Stop 1/2 inch from the channel seam. As I get close to the point where I want my seam to end, I curve the seam toward the outside edge of the bag. I think it looks nice.

Turn the bag right side out.

For this bag I used 1/2 inch black ribbon for the drawstrings.

You will need 2 pieces of ribbon, twice the length of the top of the bag plus 6 inches. My ribbons were 20 inches long each.

Attach a safety pin to the end of a ribbon and pull it through one channel and then through the other. Both ends will hang to one side of bag. One end from each channel. Again using the safety pin, pull the second ribbon through channels, starting from the opposite side of the bag that the first ribbon is hanging from.

Make sense?

I will admit that it took me a minute to puzzle out how to run the strings so that they would pull the bag closed. I must have been really tired the first time I tried it. Yep, that's my story!

And Voila!


Leave a comment if you make one of these little drawstring bags or if you have any questions!

I think you'll like them as much as I do!


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