Drawstring bags are great for school, the gym and day trips, and can be neatly stowed away when not in use. No matter what style you choose to go for, they are real eye-catchers! The easy drawstring bag pattern can be used with a fabric of your choice. Why not upcycle some old jeans? Or use clear vinyl to make a waterproof bag for those hot summer days by the pool or swimming lessons. So check out our drawstring bag pattern: free and incredibly easy. Now let’s get sewing!
Drawstring Bag Tutorial: Materials
- 0.5 m outer fabric and 0.5 m lining
- 3.6 m cord (5 mm diameter)
- Interfacing, if using cotton fabric - we used Vlieseline G700
- Sewing thread
- A leather label with your own design
Drawstring Bag Tutorial: Step by Step
The first step in this drawstring bag tutorial is to cut the pieces. You will need two 37 x 45 cm rectangles for the lining and two 8 x 35 cm strips for the drawstring. You can use the outer fabric for this, except if it is very thick (canvas, denim or similar), in which case the bag may be difficult to close later. You can use either your lining or a third contrasting fabric instead.
Also cut two 37 x 45 cm pieces from your outer fabric and a 10 x 16 cm piece for the drawcord tabs. If you like, you can also sew the outside of the bag using different fabrics. We upcycled an old pair of jeans for the bottom and reinforced the top with fleece, sewed the two parts together and edgestitched the seam. It is important that the finished pieces for the outside end up measuring 37 x 45 cm - don't forget to add a seam allowance!
Next is the drawstring tunnel. Seam the short ends by folding them twice 1 cm to the left, iron the pleat and topstitch them with a short edge. Then fold the strips wrong side to wrong side lengthwise in half and iron the pleat flat. Pin everything together on the long side with a small seam allowance and place one piece centered on the right side of each outer fabric piece. Pin everything together again with a small seam allowance.
Now the tabs for the drawstring: Fold the fabric in half wrong side to wrong side lengthwise and iron the crease. Unfold the tab, fold both raw edges towards the centre line and iron everything again. Then fold the tab again in the middle so that the raw edges are on the inside, iron everything flat and sew together along the long edges. Cut the tab in two so that you have two pieces of 8 x 2.5 cm each. Fold them in two and place them on the long sides of one piece of outer fabric 8 cm above the corners. Sew them on with a small seam allowance.
Sew the outside bag together right side to right side - except for the sides with the drawstring tunnel. Use a seam allowance of 1 cm and shorten the allowance at the corners afterwards, so that they can be shaped nicely when the bag is finished. Turn the outside bag right side out.
Next, close the lining bag right sides together. Again use a seam allowance of 1 cm and leave an opening of about 10 cm on the short bottom side. Lock your stitches before and after the opening.
Place the outside bag into the lining bag so that the right sides face each other and the side seams meet. Pin everything together with pins or clips - the drawstring must point away from the raw edge. Stitch it all together with a seam allowance of 1 cm and shorten the seam allowance afterwards, especially at the side seams.
Pull the bag through the opening and form the corners nicely with a pointed object. Press the seam allowance inwards at the opening and close it, either by hand with a ladder stitch or tightly with the sewing machine. Fold the lining inwards and iron again. Stitch the upper edge below the drawstring.
The next step is to thread the cord: You need 1.8 m of cord for each side, making a full loop through the drawstring tunnel and then coming out through the other opening on the same side. Repeat the whole thing on the other side and knot the ends of the cord together. Use a safety pin to thread the cord through the tunnel.
Finally, attach a nice leather label (if you have sewn a swim bag, you can use a woven label with text & symbol or a printed label, as it’s best not to get our leather labels wet). And that's the end of our Drawstring Bag Tutorial!
We hope you enjoyed this drawstring bag pattern free tutorial and we would love to see your creations on social media. Find more tutorials on our blog.
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