Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Drawstring Bag: Picture Tutorial

To make a drawstring bag you will need the following materials:

* Material of your choice - You need twice the width & twice the length + seam allowance + 3inches - of the size you want your bag 
     (I cut the one for this tutorial 28X31 inches and it is 13.5X12 inches finished)
* Rotary cutter and mat or scissors
* Ruler or tape measure
* 2 safety pins
* tool to turn drawstrings right-side out (can use a chopstick if you don't have the tool with a hook)
* Thread and bobbin of your color choice
* sewing machine :)
* scissors to snip threads

1st step is lay your fabric out and fold it right sides together width-wise.

I also cut 2 strips 1.5 inches wide each.  For the drawstrings.  Using a rotary cutter and a ruler makes is straight and easy.  You don't want to see my scissor cut for a long strip! LOL  :D  (it is now a 28X28 inch square, with 2 1.5X28 inch strips)

Next I sew this side seam up with the overedge stitch on my machine.

Now you have a "tube".  Keep the seam lined up and put wrong sides together.  Top meets bottom, making it a double thickness tube with right sides showing inside and outside.  

This picture is attempting to show the "tube" being sewn at the edges that will make the bottom of the bag.  Again I used the overedge stitch.

Now fold the overedge stitched edge again and sew a straight line, then sew a zig zag line.  This will re-inforce the bottom of the bag :D

Ok, now it should look like a bag with only 1 opening! :D
Next is creating an easy casing to hold the drawstrings at the top.  I made buttonholes, you could also use grommets if you prefer.  Mark your place with white chalk.  I made 4 total.   My casing is 1.5 inches wide, I want my buttonholes to be in the center of the casing, so I measure accordingly and place each buttonhole about 1.5 inch from each side.  you will see 2 in front and flip it over and see 2 in back.  They should line up, but they don't have to be perfect, don't worry it will still work, we just need a hole to get the string into the casing and out of it.  :D

Yes, it looks low, but we will be folding down the top over the buttonhole to make the casing. :D    This shows the marking for one buttonhole, next make  a buttonhole on each marking, making sure you don't do it through all 4 thicknesses!! Only make the buttonhole through 2 thicknesses (think tube, well with the bottom closed! LOL)

Take a seem ripper and open up the buttonholes :D

OOps, my buttonhole was longer than my marking. :D

Next fold down the top 1.5 inches for the casing!  Make sure the bottom seam raw edge is toward the outside, and you fold the top towards the outside so when the casing is sewn and we turn it rightside out it will be neat on the outside with only 4 buttonholes showing at the top. :D

Ok, now onto the drawstrings!  almost done! Woo Hoo!!!!
Take a strip and fold it right-sides together, making a long strip.  I used a straight stitch, then went back over with a zig zag stitch.  
Do this to both strips.

Now turn them right-side out.  I use this cool little tool with a hook at the end.  Makes it a lot faster and WAY less frustrating! :)

Make the other drawstring the same way. 

Time to put them in the casing!  1 at a time.
I put a safety pin at the end to feed it through the casing.

Starting at a side, (this would be close to the seam for one side) feed the string through the long part of the casing to the button hole on the other side. (I safety pin the other end of the drawstring to the bag so it doesn't get lost in the casing.) Pull out the string on the other end and feed it through the hole that will be really close to it.  then feed it through to the last hole.

Sew both ends together, overlapping about 3/4 inch.  I just zig zag stitched up & down left, right, middle to secure it.  :) 

Pull  the string tight.  rotate it so the "ugly" join is in the middle. :) 

Now make the 2nd drawstring the same way & finish it the same way.  

Each side should look like this:

When you want to close the bag, pull on opposite strings and it will cinch closed!  Like this:

I put a knitting project in this one to demonstrate.  I am using cable needles and pull the knitting to the middle of the cable, then let the needles hang out so my knitting won't fall off the needles in the bag.  :D 

For the lining, you could use a different fabric, it doesn't have to be the same as the outside.  you can also use different fabric, or even rope for the drawstring.  Use your imagination!  have fun with it!! :D

I made this in a larger (much larger) version for a washable dirty clothes bag for traveling!  Woo Hoo!!

I also made a small one to carry my phone in because my skirts don't have pockets.  Very convenient!!  I didn't do drawstring, but made 1 long strap to tie around my waist.  I can tuck the ties into my skirt and either  tuck the pouch and phone in my skirt to hide it, or leave them showing. :D


Happy sewing!!!


Karen Leigh Wills said...

ok so I'm really missing my sewing machine now. Adding Sewing machine to my wish list for 2012 now. ;-) hehe

You're always such an inspiration to me. Luv ya

Shannon L. Fowler said...

Thank you! :D Hope you get a machine!! Luv ya too!!! :D