Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo

Santa’s velvet drawstring pouch

by: Chica

Santa’s velvet drawstring pouch
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Remember earlier this year when Jo and I made 50 little denim bags for a local event? I promised you then that I’d give you a tutorial on them around Christmas time, and here it is!

Our first bags were made of denim and cotton, but for these, I decided to go with fabrics that are pretty much the opposite of that. I used luxurious red velvet, shimmery white satin, and fluffy white fur (fake, of course). It’s all so tactile and wonderful, even in a pile of supplies. Also in that pile are some gold jingle bells and black cord, which will be used for the drawstring.

These bags can of course be made with other fabrics (like fleece or cotton) and can really be made in any size you want, once you’ve learned the technique. For this tutorial, I’m aiming for a finished bag that’s somewhere in the 7″x9″ range, which is a perfect size for a small gift or decoration.

To make that size of bag, you’ll need a 7″ x 15″ piece of velvet, a 10″ x 15″ piece of satin, and a 3″ x 15″ strip of fur. If at all possible, cut the fur so that it runs lengthwise along the strip (not crosswise). This will make the trim look much better, in my opinion.

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

Now lay the velvet on the table, face up, and put the fur on top of it, face down. Line up the top edge of the fur with the top edge of the velvet. Pin it in place, doing your best to tuck those pesky fur hairs down and out of the way as you go.

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

Sew the edges together with the sewing machine. Then open it up and lay the whole piece flat on the table.

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

Now place the white satin on the table, face up, and put the sewn-together velvet/fur piece on top of it, face down. So that means that the plush side of the velvet and the shiny side of the satin are touching each other. Got it? Pin the top edges together and sew with the machine.

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

Now lay the whole sewn-together piece out on the table, facing up. As you smooth it out, be sure to take a moment to enjoy running your hands along all the soft fabrics! Now fold the whole piece in half by bringing the right edge over until it lines up with the left edge. The fur/velvet/satin side should be on the inside of this fold.

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

Pin the edges together and sew in place with the machine. While you’re at it, sew the bottom edge shut, too. That’s the red end, NOT the white end!

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

Here it is all sewn up. Now flip it inside out and marvel at the cuteness! And it’s still got so much more cute to go, too.

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

Now you want to make sure that your lining is the right length to suit the bag. This will vary depending on your seam allowances, so I find it’s easiest to just measure. Measure from the bottom of the red part of the bag to the seam between the fur and the satin (see yellow marks in photo on left). Then transfer that same measurement to the lining, measuring out from the seam between the fur and the satin (see yellow marks in photo on right). Mark this spot with a pin.

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

Now we need to take care of those nasty edges on the lining. Grab the end with both hands and use your fingers to tuck the edges down inside, making sure the fold lines up with your pin marking.

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

When you get it where you want it, pinch it to hold it in place, then secure it with a row of pins.

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

Now you need to sew the seam up. You could be fancy and do a slip-stitch so that the stitches don’t show, but let’s be honest… it’s just the inside of the bag, right? The BOTTOM of the inside, in fact. I just run a row of stitches along the edge and I don’t care if anybody peeks inside and sees them!

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

Then just tuck the lining down inside the bag and again, marvel at the cuteness.

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

We’re not quite done, though. We need a drawstring, and that drawstring will need somewhere to go. With your sewing machine in free-arm mode (most will have a way to remove the bulky piece from the machine so that you have a thinner arm suited for sewing tight sleeves or tubes), slip the bag on. It’ll be tight, but it should fit.

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

Then sew a row of stitches at the top edge of the red, as close as you can get to the fur trim. Go all the way around the bag. Then do it again, about a half inch below that. You’ll find that these rows of stitches also help to hold the lining in place down inside the bag.

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

The channel is there for the drawstring now, but there’s nowhere to put it! Find the side seam on the bag and look at the area between the two rows of stitches you just sewed. Use a seam ripper to carefully open up the seam, making a hole that you can stick the cord into.

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

Try not to cut the fabric, because velvet has a tendency to unravel on the edges. As soon as you have the opening big enough to stick something in (like the other end of your seam ripper for example), you’re set.

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

Grab your black cord (or ribbon), which needs to be about a yard long. Stick a safety pin in one end of it, which will help to feed it through the channel. (Remember our post about that?) The tape you see on the end of my cord is because I used twisty cord that unravels if it’s not glued or taped, and I hadn’t glued it yet. Stick the pin into the hole you just made and start feeding it into the channel.

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

Once you get all the way around the bag, your pin will come back out the same hole in went in. Pull it through, take the safety pin off, and even up the length of the two ends, and trim them as desired.

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

Those ends are ugly, though. They need something sparkly and pretty. Gold jingle bells will do the trick! Depending on the size of your cord/ribbon and the loop on the bell, you can either tie, sew, or glue one bell to each end.

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

Now your bag is ready to stuff with goodies, then just pull the string and tie it in a bow. By the way, did I mention how pretty the shiny satin lining looks?

Santa's velvet drawstring pouchSanta's velvet drawstring pouch

Don’t even try to tell me this isn’t the cutest thing you’ve seen all day, because I don’t think I can believe you!

Santa's velvet drawstring pouch

The potential uses for these little bags are endless. Favors. Alternative stockings. Gift packaging. Place settings. Do you have any other ideas? Please share with us in the comments!

Santa’s velvet drawstring pouch
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17 comments so far:

  • 1
    Anne 12/10/2009 at 9:55 am

    Oh, the possibilities!! Great gift packaging for premium tea bags, or perhaps flavored hot chocolate paired with some candy canes?

    I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-fur-trimmed-velvet-drawstring-bag/2009/12/10/

    –Anne

  • 2
    Chica 12/10/2009 at 10:10 am

    Mmm, hot chocolate and candy canes! Thanks for the link, Anne :)

  • 3
    Amanda 12/10/2009 at 10:28 am

    That is so DARLING!

  • 4
    Lauren 12/10/2009 at 11:31 am

    I’m making this for my neighbor’s girl for her doll. I’ll make a little hat too!

  • 5
    Chica 12/10/2009 at 12:16 pm

    Amanda, thanks!

    Lauren, what a sweet idea. We’d love to see the hat after you’re done!

  • 6
    Rachel 12/15/2009 at 9:58 pm

    AWW! I love it! Thanks so much for yet another great project, I’ll be linking.

  • 7
    Lisa 12/21/2009 at 10:04 pm

    So cute! You could do a wine bottle bag with the same style as well!

  • 8
    Chica 12/24/2009 at 12:57 pm

    Lisa, I love that idea!!

  • 9
    Mercy 08/17/2010 at 5:37 pm

    Dios los bendiga por darnos a conocer tantas cositas tan utiles para la casa y para regalar. No tengo palabras para agradecerle a Dios por haberlos encontrado en mi camino.Gracias y les deseo muchos ‘exitos.MERCY.

  • 10
    Jo 08/17/2010 at 10:22 pm

    Mercy, nuestras espanol no es bien! Pero, nosotras comprendemos que digas. Gracias por vistas nuestras Web site!

  • 11
    Bruce Lee 11/16/2010 at 5:30 am

    HEY! MY NAME IS BRUCE LEE! I LIKE THIS BAG VERY MUCH! :D

  • 12
    Catherine 12/05/2010 at 7:53 pm

    I made these last year to put in gift cards for my nieces and nephews- the bags were bigger hits than the gift cards! Instructions are easy and the bags come together very quickly. Thanks C & J.

  • 13
    Jo 12/05/2010 at 8:47 pm

    So glad they were such a hit with your family, Catherine!

  • 14
    Jackye 11/13/2012 at 11:43 am

    Hello, I love this project. I will be using it this year…it’s just perfect for gift cards and candy canes.

  • 15
    Ann Naro 11/14/2013 at 12:14 pm

    W as a purse for Christmas. will be making this bag for my great grandaughter for Christmas this year. Thanks Ann

  • 16
    Luke 01/04/2016 at 5:18 pm

    So cute! Maybe you could do a little pillow for your room or couch?

  • 17
    Chica 01/06/2016 at 6:28 pm

    Luke, that’s a fun idea!

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We are two best friends sharing our creative journey. You never know what we will be into each time you visit. We could be throwing a unique party, refinishing a flea market find, or whipping up a new cupcake recipe. We invite you to join us for the ride as we tackle life one project at a time!

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