The week before last, I offered to sew 30 calico drawstring pouches for the computer lab at school – for laptop mouses and cords.
This is the technique I used to sew the bags – using one piece of fabric – easy and very quick. If you can sew a straight line on a sewing machine, you can sew one up in under 15 minutes. Perfect for gift giving, or storing odd bits and pieces. Make them small for gifts, or large for toys and sleepover sacks!
1. Decide on a size for your finished pouch
Add 2cm to the width (for side seam allowances) and 14cm to the length (to allow for the folded section at the opening). You must be able to fit the opening of your pouch around the throat of your machine
My finished pouch measures approximately 15cm wide by 21cm high. I cut my fabric 64cm (25″) by 18cm (7″)
2. Fold fabric in half right sides together. Sew each side seam using a 1cm seam allowance as shown below
Finish raw edge with an overlocker or zigzag stitch if desired
3. Fold down the opening approx 1cm (1/2″) and press. (This is to enclose the raw edge inside the bag)
4. Fold down the opening again, this time approx 6cm (2 1/2″). Press and ensure side seams match
Match those side seams and press!
5. Place opening around the throat of your sewing machine as shown below. Sew a straight line around the bag approx 1cm from the edge
When you reach the point where you started, back stitch a few times to secure your stitching
6. Repeat Step 5 again, this time around 1.5cm from your initial stitching
Your drawstring will be threaded between these two stitching lines, so do not sew them too close together
7. Trim threads and turn your bag inside out, poking out the corners if necessary. I use a knitting needle – pointy yet blunt = perfect!
You have a bag!
8. Using a sharp, small scissors (embroidery scissors or thread snippers are perfect) cut two small slits on the outside of the bag between your two stitching lines. Be careful to only cut through the top layer of fabric
One on each side of the side seam. See below for more detail:
9. Cut 2 lengths of ribbon approx 50cm (20″‘) long. Attach a safety pin to one end and insert through the slit on the right hand side of one of the side seams
Continue around and when you reach the opposite side seam, exit on the left and insert back through the right. Continue again until you reach your starting point. Tie the two ends in a knot
10. Repeat with the other length of ribbon, but begin on the opposite side seam to before. It can be a bit tricky to wriggle the safety pin around the second time
11. And you’re finished! Now feel free to marvel at how easy that was!
For a PDF/printer version of the tutorial, please click here
If you’re up for more of a challenge, the customisation options of the drawstring bags are endless! Here are 3 others that I whipped up:
If you would prefer a lined or more fancy version of a drawstring pouch/bag I recommend these two tutorials which I’ve used the in past, using different techniques:
Hobo Sack at MADE
Pretty Drawstring Pouch at A Spoonful of Sugar
Let me know if you have any questions, or if there’s any glaring errors in the tutorial, I thought about getting my husband to test it out, but decided against it 😉