Tutorial Tuesday: drawstring bag

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

monkeys on the bed!

Welcome to my second Tutorial Tuesday (this time with button-thanks Monkey's on the Bed! I have 1 hour until it is no longer Tuesday, so let's see how close I can cut it, shall we?

Today's tutorial is for a drawstring bag. After I made all the reusable produce bags last week, I found it annoying to keep track of all of them when i went to the store. So, I decided to make a bag to carry them in. Actually, I originally made one for my clothes pins, but decided that it would also work perfectly for the produce bags, so this is drawstring bag #2-and, the bonus is since I had already done it once before, it went a lot faster the second time around!

Step One: Cut out 2 pieces of fabric into a rectangle. Mine is roughly 21.5" long and 13" wide. Make whatever size you like. I have 2 pieces of fabric because I made a lining, but don't feel like a lining is necessary. I just like how it looks.

Step Two: Pin the 2 pieces together, right sides facing.

Step Three: Sew fabric together along the long edge of the rectangle. I used a 1/2" seam allowance.

Step Four: Trim excess along the seam allowance.

Step Five: Turn the fabric right side out. Fold under the unfinished edges and pin.

Step Six: Sew pinned edges closed. I used 1/4" seam allowance.

Step Seven: Lay fabric lining side up on the table. Fold the corners down on both short ends into a triangle. They are pinned in my picture just for the picture, but you don't need to pin anything here since you will be pinning after the next step.

Step Eight: Fold down end over the triangles and pin into place (imagine this is like wrapping the ends of a present, only flatter). Sew the edge down, following your stitches from before when you sewed the end closed.

Step Nine: Fold the fabric in half so the ends meet, right sides in. Pin the sides of the bag together.

Step Ten: Sew sides closed. I used 1/4" seam allowance. Stop sewing when you get to the folded edge (marked with an arrow in the picture).

Step Eleven: Turn your bag right side out.

Step Twelve: Cut 2 pieces of ribbon, about twice the length of the width of your bag, plus around 3-4 extra inches (so, mine was about 30" long). Pin a safety pin to one end of the ribbon. Thread ribbon through tunnel created by sewing top of bag down. Follow arrows in picture.

Step Thirteen: Repeat step Twelve, but start threading the ribbon on the opposite side of the bag (see pick below).

Step Fourteen: Tie a knot in the ribbon ends on both sides.

Step Fifteen: Woohoo, you're done! Admire your work.

Step Sixteen: Fill bag with whatever you choose and cinch closed!

I hope that is clear. It is late at night, so if something is confusing, let me know and I will try and clarify...I hope you get some good use out of this tutorial! Let me know if you try it!

Be sure to stop by Monkey's on the Bed for more Tutorial Tuesday ideas!


  1. awesome! i love it! You've inspired me to not hate my sewing machine and try this project :)

  2. Awesome! Will plan to do some while my mom's in town. Perhaps you can come over and we can play with zippers???


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