Monday, May 13, 2013

drawstring bag {a tutorial}

 Hello, happy Monday to you all. As promised, I'm back with a tutorial for a drawstring bag. I love these bags, they're quick to make, don't use up too much fabric (just two fat quarters is all you need), and are a wonderful way to keep things organized.

To read more on how and why I came up with these bags, you can click here

Enough talking, though. Let's start, shall we?

Materials needed:
1 FQ main fabric for the exterior
1 FQ fabric for the lining
2" x 17" strip of solid fabric for the casing
50" 2mm leather cord or ribbon for ties

for the label:
leather scrap about 1.5" x 2.5"
1/2" wide cotton webbing 2.5" long

you will also need leather hole punch if you're making labels

step 1: cutting fabric

from the main fabric cut two 8.5" x 10" rectangles
from the lining fabric cut two 8.5" x 10" rectangles
from the solid fabric cut two 2" x 8.5" strips for the casing
cut the leather cord in half to have two 25" cords

step 2: making the label

With your leather hole punch, first punch 3 equally spaced holes on each side of leather base about 1/4" from the edge (these are the holes for attaching label to the bag).

Also, punch out 2 more holes about 1/2" from each edge (these holes are to attach cotton webbing to the leather).

Fold the two short edges of the webbing under and press. Attach the webbing to the leather label using strong thread of you choice ( I used perle cotton).

At this point, you can use stamps, fabric markers, or pens to write on your label or leave it without any writing (as I did here) and stamp/ write on it later. Please set the label aside for now.

step 3: making the casings

Fold the short edge of the casing 1/4" in, press.

Fold over one more time and press again. Repeat with the other short edge.

Topstitch along both short sides, fold in half and press. Make second casing the same way and set both aside for now.

step 4: attaching label to the front exterior panel

Find the middle of one main exterior panel and center a leather label 2" from the bottom.

Stitch the label in place using perle cotton or some other strong thread.

step 5: attaching casing and lining to the exterior panels

Center one casing along the top edge of exterior panel, pin, and stitch in place using 1/8" seam allowance.

Place one lining panel on the flat surface, right side up. Place the exterior panel with the attached casing on top, right sides are touching. Pin along the top edge (where the casing is).

Stitch in place using 1/4" seam allowance and press as shown in the above picture.

Topstitch along the exterior panel using 1/8" allowance.

Repeat the whole step with the second exterior panel, casing and the lining.

step 6: finishing up the bag

Place the 2 panels from the previous step on top of each other, right sides together. (make sure your lining is on top of lining and exterior panel on top of exterior)

Line the panels up and pin all the way around.

Using 1/4" seam allowance, stitch all the way around the panels, leaving about 4" opening in the lining (that's where you turn your bag right side out).

Press the seams, clip the corners, and turn the bag right side out through the hole in the lining. Smooth out the corners and seams with your fingers and stitch the opening closed. Now push the lining inside the exterior panel. Looking good, isn't it? All you need to do now is thread the leather cord through the casing and you're done.

step 7: leather cord ties

Attach your leather cord or ribbon to the safety pin and pull it through both front and back casing. Tie the two ends together in a strong knot. 

Thread the other leather cord the same way, only starting on the opposite side of the casing so the final knots will be one on each side.

To close the bag, pull both knots in the opposite direction. 

Congratulations, you're all done. Now, wasn't that fun? Any questions or comments? please let me know. I'd love to hear from you. Svetlana


  1. Thank you so much. I love the label. I can't wait to make some of these.

  2. Thank you soooo much for this tutorial! I have absolutely loved seeing these little bags that you have made. Now I am off to make some of my own!

  3. Thanks, I have to try this pattern ;-)

  4. Very cool! Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Super!! Thanks so much! I can think of a million uses for these lovely bags.

  6. I love your wee labels on these :o)

  7. Great tutorial! Do you get your leather cord online?

  8. ohh, too cute, thanks for the tutorial! Can't wait to make some of these for cute gift bags :)

  9. I loved your previous drawstring bag so much that I'm going to have to make some of these as well!!

  10. cool, thank you. I can imagine a lot of them: for the little balls for the marble run or any other toy collection and much more. I don't have any leather on hand but I think felt will do it, too. Have to check whether my stamping pad is workable for stamping permanent letters.

  11. This is great: a car collection,a camera, hair accessories, etc. Thanks this should keep
    me busy making gifts for the grandkids!

  12. This is one of the best tutorials I have read for the drawstring bag. I love that it has a casing that is less fiddly than most which involve turning down a portion. Now I want to make lots of bags!

  13. Thanks Svetlana! Great tutorial! Ciaooo Pia

  14. I love all your little bags, thanks for sharing!

  15. I clicked here from Hadley's - lovely little bag, thanks for sharing. I've pinned it so I can fins it again, I hope that's ok

  16. These are so easy to put together and surprisingly hold quite a bit of stuff.
    They are easy to customize too.
    Thanks for the tutorial.
    Here is mine:

  17. Wonderful!!!! Always had problems with the casing cause I made it from the exterior fabric. (Not apart). Thanks a lot!

  18. ıt ıs a wonderfull working.I liked yor blog very much.I am from Turkey. Ihave got a small blog.I am waiting for you..:)))

  19. This is the best tutorial. Good photos and great directions.

  20. Thank you for your lovely tutorial!
    I made 4 bags, nearly like this, but did it the HARD way.

  21. This bag is fabulous! I made one for a Halloween swap I was in, and it turned out really great. I love that this is a basic tutorial and that there are a lot of ways to customize it. I'm sure I will be making many more of them in the near future with Christmas coming soon!

  22. Awesome tutorial, I just made one and I love it . Thanks for a great tutorial.

  23. I am making these but don't understand the casing. I get the folding of the short edges but don't understand how to do the long edge. Can you explain it a little more in depth for the direction following challenged?

  24. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I have never quite understood drawstrings, and you have made it clear to me. I love the little tabs you put on the ends, rather than just knotting the cords. It is very finished looking. I’m going to make a birthday gift bag for a friend! I will tell my friend Jordan L. about this. Thanks.

  25. That's what I was looking for just yesterday! Thank You!

  26. Creative ideas - For my two cents , if someone wants a NY DTF MT-50 , my assistant found a sample form here

  27. I've been wanting to make some of these for knitting project bags! Thank you for the tutorial.

  28. I just made my first using your tutorial, and it won't be my last. Thanks so much.

  29. Hi I just posts to ask you a few or a couple questions if you don't mind me asking.

    1.Firstly Can you make this drawstring bag non-lined; but on a smaller scale like a kid-size version.

    2.Secondly Can I substitute the leatherette for making holes for a hold punch if I want to add labels on it just asking. Thanks for your help in this in advance & i look forward to your reply as soon as possible. Tafs.

  30. Thank you for this excellent tutorial. I apologise in advance for my beginner's question. Please advise the finished size of this bag? Thank you again for your great tutorials.

  31. Professionally written blogs are rare to find, however I appreciate all the points mentioned here. I also want to include some other writing skills which everyone must aware of.

  32. Professionally written blogs are rare to find, however I appreciate all the points mentioned here. I also want to include some other writing skills which everyone must aware of.


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