Drawstring bags are SO easy to whip up, making them a great sewing project for a beginner. Whenever I have the need to pack a bag, whether it be for an overnight stay, a holiday, or travel, I keep my backpack or suitcase organised with drawstring bags in an assortment of sizes. I usually make them with a double drawstring so the top stays closed. Today's tutorial will show you how...
- Any reasonably sturdy fabric, but not too thick. Quilting cotton is fine. I made my bags with a furnishing weight cotton fabric - thicker than quilting cotton, but not a really heavy furnishing fabric.
- Cord or ribbon for the drawstrings. This post might give you some ideas - Creative, Money Saving Ideas for Drawstring Cords
Make the bag any size you want. I'll give you the dimensions for three bags...
- Two pieces of fabric: 11" x 13" (28cm x 33cm) + two pieces of cord, each 28" (71cm)
- Two pieces of fabric: 14" x 17" (36cm x 43cm) + two pieces of cord, each 35" (90cm)
- Two pieces of fabric: 14" x 22" (36cm x 56cm) + two pieces of cord, each 35" (90cm)
Approximate Finished Dimensions
- 10" x 11½" (25cm x 29cm)
- 13" x 15" (33cm x 38cm)
- 13" x 20" (28cm x 50cm)
Read all instructions before you begin.
All seams are ⅜"(1cm), unless otherwise indicated.
Basting (hand sewing with a long stitch), is a good way to hold seams together while sewing two pieces of fabric together. The fabric won't move, and you don't have to worry about keeping pins away from the machine needle. Another good alternative is wonder clips. If you do use pins, remove them as you sew - keep them well away from the presser foot - don't sew over them!
- Cut fabric to size.
- Individually neaten (zig zag or overlock) three edges. No need to neaten the top edge. Don't sew the two pieces of fabric together when neatening.
- Measure 2.5" (6cm) from the top edge and mark on the wrong side.
- Repeat for the second side.
- Place the two pieces of fabric right sides together.
- Starting at the first mark, sew down one side seam, across the bottom, and up the second side, stopping at the second mark.
- Backstitch when stopping and starting.
- Fold the top edge over ¼".
- Stitch or press.
- Finger press the un-sewn seam edges flat.
- Sew three lines of stitching to hold each seam in place - down one side to the join, across the join and up the other side.
- Sew back and forth across the join a couple of times.
The blue lines will give you a better idea of how to sew down the top of the seams for the openings.
- Fold the top edge over with a 1" (2½cm) hem.
- Finger press or press.
- Using a safety pin, thread the first cord through the entire drawstring casing. Both ends of the one cord will come out of the same opening.
- Repeat with the second cord and the second opening.
- Knot the ends of each cord.
That's all there is to it. You've finished!
If you'd like to box the corners, check out my Easy to Make Drawstring Bag tutorial.
The smallest bag fits my Summer sandals perfectly. For Winter boots, I'd need to make the bag larger.
I made five bags all up. I've run out of the right size piping cord, so need to buy more for the last three bags. Creative, Money Saving Ideas for Drawstring Cords will give you lots of ideas for materials to use for the cords. In this case, however, I'm using piping cord as it goes well with the fabric.
The largest of my bags is going to be used as a laundry bag for travel. For overnight stays, I use either my button up bags, or small drawstring bags, both made from pre-loved shirts.
How do you keep your bags organised when you are away from home?