How to make a drawstring bag
As I mentioned the other day in my hard candy jewels post, Jo and I have done a lot of projects for Little Jo’s birthday party this year. While I’m still not ready to tell you the theme (but soon, I promise!), I would like to show you another one of those projects. Jo wanted to give each of the kids a goodie bag, so I whipped some up drawstring bags pretty quickly on the sewing machine. In keeping with the party’s color scheme, the bags were hot pink with a teal lining.
We’ve told you about drawstring bags before, like when we made 50 of them out of denim or when we showed you how to make a fur-lined velvet Santa bag, but since these goodie bags for the party were super simple, and the others had been more elaborate, I thought it was worth explaining the basic process again. So here’s how you make a lined drawstring bag.
First, figure out how big you want the finished bag to be, then use those measurements to determine how big to cut the fabric. Double the width of the bag and add one inch. Then add one inch to the height of the bag. In other words, for a 7″x9″ finished bag, your fabric will be 15″ wide (7×2=14; 14+1=15) and 10″ tall (9+1=10). You’ll need two pieces of fabric this size — one for the outside of the bag and one for the lining. They can be the same color or different colors, as you wish.
For our bags, I cut a 15″x10″ piece of hot pink satin fabric for the outside of the bag, and another 15″x10″ piece of bright teal for the lining.
Start by placing the two pieces of fabric right sides together, and pin along the top (widest) edge. Sew a seam along the pinned edge.
Open the sewn piece up and place it face up on the table, with the lining half at the top. Fold it over from right to left, making sure the finished side of the fabric is on the inside.
Pin along the long left side and along the bottom, then use the sewing machine to sew along those two edges.
Now flip the bag inside out, revealing the finished side of the fabric.
Next you need to close up the bottom of the bag’s lining, which was the teal side for me. Grab the open end with both hands and use your index finger to push the sides in about a half an inch. Push the cut ends down until you can’t see them and pinch to hold in place.
Secure the pinched seam with a row of pins. Now you can do a slip-stitch to close the seam or — since it’s just the inside of the bag anyway — just sew it closed with a quick row of stitches on the machine.
Now shove the lining down into the bag, pushing the seam you just sewed down to the bottom of the bag.
Next stabilize the top of the bag by pinning around the edge, making sure that the outer and inner layers of fabric are lined up nicely. Then, using the free-arm on your sewing machine, sew a row of stitches about one inch from the top of the bag.
Then sew a second row of stitches next to the first one. These stitches will form the channel for your drawstring. The spacing will depend on how wide your drawstring cord is. For my thin cord, I left a gap of about 1/4 inch, but for wider cords, you might want to go up to 1/2 inch.
To open up the channel to allow the drawstring to enter, use a seam ripper to cut away at the thread right at the seam, making a hole just big enough to slip a safety pin into. Then put a small safety pin on the end of your drawstring cord.
Stick the safety pin into the hole and use it as a sort of handle to feed the drawstring all the way through the channel and out the other side.
Pull the cord through and even it out, cut to an appropriate length, and tie a knot in each end.
This is a simple drawstring bag that can be made with just about any fabric, in any color, to suit any occasion. You can easily vary the size, too!