Make your own drawstring bags to store items, use as a wrapping for a special gift or as a reusable bag while shopping. This is a perfect project for beginner sewists and is super quick and easy! You can make simple drawstring bags in any size you’d like. We’ll show you how in our step-by-step tutorial on how to make a simple drawstring bag.
A quick and easy sewing project perfect for beginners! Learn how to make a simple drawstring bag.
- Fat quarter of fabric for the bag
- 1/8 yard fabric to make flat cording OR 1 yard of 1/8-inch ribbon or cording for the ties
- Sewing machine
- Ironing board
- Bodkin or safety pin to thread cording in casing
- Rotary mat and cutter OR fabric scissors to cut fabric
- Start by cutting your fabric. From the main bag fabric, cut one (1) piece of fabric that is 13-inches wide by 26-inches tall. If you are making your own cording, cut two (2) pieces of fabric that are each 1-inch by 28-inches long.
- Start by sewing your side seams. Fold the main bag fabric in half lengthwise, right sides together, so that it is now 13-inches wide by 13-inches tall with a fold for the bottom. Mark 2-inches down from the top raw edges. I marked this with pins.
- Sew from the marked 2-inch mark down to the fold on both sides of the fabric with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.
- Clip the seam allowance to the seam at the 2-inch mark so that we can make the casing for the drawstring.
- Fold and press 1/4-inch from the top of the bag. Press the seam allowance on the side seams AND above the clipped edge.
- Fold the top of the bag down to just below the clipped edge in the seam and press. Topstitch along the along the lower edge to make the casing. I used my topstitch foot which is the #10 foot for Bernina. I moved the needle two positions to the right for a nice straight stitched line.
- Here is a close up of stitching around the bag. Stitch right over the side seams, leaving the casings open. Here is another close up of the stitching.
- Your bag is done! Turn it right side out and press. Now you are ready to add your drawstrings. If you are making your own cording, check out our article on how to make flat cording. For this drawstring bag, I started with 1-inch wide fabric. I pressed both edges in 1/4-inch, then folded that in half forming 1/4" flat cording. I then topstitched it with my topstitch foot.
Lay your bag flat. If you want longer drawstrings, just cut your cording longer. You'll want your cording to be longer than your bag laying flat. I like to make mine about 4-inches longer than the flat bag. This gives you enough to knot the cording and have a little extra space. The cording needs to go all around the bag, so for the 12-inch finished bag, we'll cut the cording at 28-inches. (12" + 12" " + 4")
- If you are using ready-made cording, all you need to do it is cut two pieces at 28-inch lengths. Now we are ready to thread the cording through the casings. Thread your cording into a bodkin or pin a safety pin at the end of your cording to make it easy to get through the casings. Here I'm starting to thread the cording through the first casing.
- When you get to the other side, turn around and go through the casing on the other side of the bag, making a loop.
- First tie is done. Now, start at the other side of the bag, where the loop is and thread the second tie through the casing.
- Again, turn and thread back to the beginning.
- Both ties are in the casing! Make sure you have a loop and loose ends on each side.
- Tie the ends of the cording and your simple drawstring bag is complete!
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Drawstring bags are so simple to make. Here are some finished pictures of a double drawstring bag.
Browse through more bag sewing projects on Create Whimsy.