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Tips & Techniques > Free Instructions On How To Sew A Drawstring Bag In Minutes

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Posted by: JenniferThoden

About JenniferThoden star
Member since: 12/14/05
Reviews: 6 (tips: 6)
Skill level:Advanced
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Posted on: 12/14/05 8:24 AM
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 5 people   
Drawstring bags are one of those sewing projects that can transcend all purposes. You can make them to hold small objects, like those seasonal colored glass rocks that you fill your vases with. You can use them as gift bags to cover wine bottles, hold small jewelry boxes, or any size gift. You can make them for decorative items for your home or bath. Whatever your reason for sewing a drawstring bag, you will discover that making one is super simple. The construction is sew simple, that you can easily modify your dimensions, fabric and string to create a huge variety of drawstring bags.

So, decide on the size of your bag first. Are you making to hold a wine bottle? Something small?

Then pick out your fabric. You'll need a little more than twice your bag's dimensions. So, if your bag will be 12" by 5", then you want fabric that is at least 24" plus 1 1/2" by 5" plus 1".

You're also going to need some cord, ribbon, or whatever you plan on using for a drawstring. You will need the diameter of your bag plus at least 8". In the example above, I am making a bag that is 5" wide, so the diameter will be 10". I will need 10" plus 8" of cord.

Once you have your dimensions, cord and your fabric, follow these easy step-by-step instructions below to learn how to sew a drawstring bag... within minutes (yes minutes) !

1. Cut your fabric so that the length is twice the finished length plus 1 1/2".

Example: The finished width of my bag will be 12". So I will cut my fabric to be 24" plus 1 1/2" long... 25 1/2".

2. Cut your fabric so that the width is the finished width plus 1/2".

Example: The finished width of my bag will be 5". So I will cut my fabric to be 5" plus 1/2" wide... 5 1/2".

3. Serge or overlock stitch the raw edges. If you don't have an overlock stitch, you can sew a zig-zag stitch along your raw edges.

4. Fold the fabric in half... right sides together... wrong sides facing out... aligning the raw side edges and the raw top edges. The folded edge will be the bottom of your bag.

5. Press and pin if necessary.

6. On one side, sew all the way up the side edges with a 1/4" seam. Be sure to back stitch in the beginning and end of the stitching to lock the stitch.

7. Measure down the other raw side edge 3/4" and mark with a pin.

8. Sew a 1/4" to sew the other side seam... but this time stop at the pin mark. Be sure to back stitch in the beginning and end of the stitching to lock the stitch.

9. Fold down the top raw edge a 1/4" and press.

10. Fold down the top edge again 1/2" and press. The folded edge created in step 9 should align with the mark made in step 7.

11. Starting at the mark made in step 7, stitch around the bag close to the folded edge created in step 9. This will create the pocket for your drawstring.

12. Turn the bag right side out and press well.

13. Slide your drawstring through the pocket. You may want to use some wire and a safety pin to help pull the cord through the pocket.

And your done! Pull the drawstring to gather the opening closed and tie.

Once you have the basics down, the possibilities are endless. You can sew sequins and beads to the fabric. So fringe around the top edge. Glue a glittery snowflake... handstitch a design, cut out fabric in shapes and press them to the bag with web adhesive. Create the fabric with a crazy quilt technique or a simple patchwork style. Use fancy fabrics like silk, velvet or lace.

A drawstring bag is super easy to make. The fun is making the design your own. Spend the time in the details and you'll be sewing drawstring bags all the time.

And most importantly... have fun!

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Sewfunny said... (7/16/07 10:33 PM) Reply
It was very helpful to know how to estimate the material needed for this project.
sewbad said... (12/18/05 11:14 AM) Reply
I've been leery of starting a sewing project without help, so this will get me going. It lays the groundwork for basic seamstressing for me. Thanks.
jr said... (12/15/05 0:09 AM) Reply
Thanks Jennifer! My niece wants a drawstring bag for carrying shoes (she lives and works in NYC). I'm planning on adding some embroidery. Judy
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