Friday 29 March 2013

Embroidered Drawstring Bag...

Here's another project I sewed when I was in Primary School (roughly ages 8 - 11). I thought I had previously found all of my school sewing that was hiding in cupboards, but this little embroidered drawstring bag surfaced not so long ago. It's completely sewn by hand. 

I'm guessing I did the embroidery first. I have no idea what embroidery thread I used, but it wasn't the embroidery floss that you have to separate into strands. It was more like the Perle thread that now-a-days comes wound in a ball. It did, however, come wrapped like embroidery floss, with two little paper tubes at either end to hold it together. No matter how hard I try, I always end up with a tangled mess of knots. 

My father must have taken pity on me, as he made me this wooden spool to wind the embroidery thread onto. For sentimental reasons, I kept this wooden spool, even though I gave away many of my sewing supplies. The thread that you can see, dates back to when I was in my very early teens.

After the embroidery, it was all stitched together by hand. The finished bag only measures 4.5" x 4.5", so it's only quite small. I'm pleased I found this bag, because this is how I remembered being taught to sew seams. This bag confirms I was remembering correctly.
  • With right sides facing, sew fabric together.
  • Turn under each side of the seam to form a hem.
  • Baste to hold in place.
  • With small stitches, sew the hem to the fabric.
  • Remove basting stitches.

And the photo above shows how it looks on the right side. You can see all the stitches joining the hem of the seams to the fabric. It doesn't make for a very neat appearance. 

When we later progressed to sewing clothes on a machine, we were still taught to make a hem on either side of the seam, but we didn't stitch the hem to the garment. As we were sewing on a treadle machine, I'm guessing there was no way to do a zig zag stitch. You can see an example of a plain seam finished by turning a hem in my seams tutorial.

The hem was again stitched with those tiny stitches. It looks like the thread is embroidery thread, too, which is rather thick to be hemming with. I have no idea why we were taught to use such small stitches, but if Mrs Club wanted tiny stitches, that is what we did. Somewhere along the way, I learnt to use a longer stitch to hem. Maybe my mother taught me, or perhaps it was when I went to High School and had a different teacher.

Last thing was to make the drawstring, which is just a VERY long running stitch with 2 strands of thread and knotted at the end. Not surprisingly, after all these years, one of the threads of the drawstring has broken. I'm debating whether to redo it, or whether to leave it as it is.

I don't think I've ever used the bag for anything. It's now in my sewing room and I'm thinking I may just use it after all these years.

Four years of sewing lessons with Mrs Club certainly got me off to a good start with sewing.

... Pam


  1. Sweet! Wish our schools taught things like embroidery.

  2. see, you were a sewing pro even back then! The embroidery is so neat!

  3. Very natural and pretty embrodiery. The traditional craft should be going on. Such pretty things to own.

  4. Great find Pam, my first sewing project was an apron!

  5. Wow, Pam! I'm impressed. No wonder your work is so got a young start and have obviously loved sewing a long time. I think you should definitely put this sweet bag to use now.

  6. What neat stitching, my school sewing was nowhere near as good.


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