Monday, January 25, 2010

Tutorial: Drawstring bag

A drawstring bag is really simple to put together, there are a whole slew of ways to construct them, and there are a million uses for such a bag.  This version is reversible, lined so that there are no raw edges visible, and the casing is reinforced to that there isn't fraying when the cords are cinched or pulled open.

Assumptions (unless noted): Seams are 1/4", sewing is done with right sides together, backstitch each time you sew

Supplies: two pieces of fabric large enough to make your bag body, cording (I chose macrame, but ribbon, leather lace, twill tape, etc will work nicely), safety pin, thread, rotary cutter and/or scissors

To figure out the size of your fabric: Take a loose measurement of the item you want your bag to hold.  I wanted a ball of yarn, needles and my half finished hat that measured about 8"x8" when I put in on my cutting mat.  I added two inches to each side of the measurements to allow for cinching or bigger projects, so my bag sides will be 12"x12"

1 piece bag outer (width equals your project width, length is project length time 2) I cut mine 12"x24"
1 piece bag inner the same size as the outer
2 pieces cording the width of your bag times 3 (mine was 12*3=36")

Step 1: Fold bag pieces in half lengthwise.  Measure 1.25" from the top and mark.  Measure 1" from that and mark again.  Do this on both sides of the bag outer and bag inner.  This will be your casing.

Step 2: Sew from the top of the bag down to your first mark.  Pick up the needle and sew again from the second mark to the bottom of your bag.  Again, do this on both sides of the bag outer and inner.

Step 3: Press seams open making note of holes that were left for casings. 

Step 4: Stitch a box around the hole, catching both seams.  This is the step that will reinforce the casing so that the ends don't poke out. (White thread used to be visible in photo, use coordinating thread)

Step 4 1/2: From the outside, it will look like this.  And, yes, do this for both holes in the lining and bag outer.
Step 5: Turn bag inner right side in, and leave bag outer right side out.  Place bag inner inside of bag outer so that the right sides are facing.  Make sure that the holes for the casing line up.

Step 6: Stitch along the upper raw edges of the bag.  Leave a two inch opening for turning. 

Step 7: Turn bag right side out so that the bag outer and bag inner make a long rectangle. 

Step 8 (Sorry! No photo): Shove bag inner into bag outer, then press the opening shut and stitch either with your machine (like I did) or blind stitch it closed with a handsewing needle and thread. 

Top of casing

Bottom of casing

Step 9: Again make sure that the holes for the casing are lined up, and stitch all the way around the bag right at the top of the casing holes.  Stitch all the way around the bag again at the bottom of the casing holes.  Your drawstring casing is now complete. 

Step 10: Insert one edge of a drawstring cord into one of the casing holes.  Thread it all the way around until it pokes back out of the casing hole right next to the one you started with.  Tie both ends in a knot.  Repeat this step but insert the cord into the OPPOSITE side of the bag that you put the first cord in.  Tie another knot in this cord.

Step 11: Pull each side of the cord, and your bag should cinch together.  Fill bag, pull closed and tote around.  If you get tired of your bag, you can pull it right side out and by just flipping the cord around, you'll look like you've got a whole new sack!


1 comment:

  1. Great tutorial, thank you! At the last second, I made very hastily-planned and put-together gift bags for everyone at Christmas... wish I'd had this then. ;-) Next year!!


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