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Tutorial Tuesday- Personalized Drawstring Bag

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hooray! A new tutorial to share. I actually made these little drawstring bags over a month ago for party favors at my son's third birthday, but they ended up being such a hit I thought I'd pass them along. This one is super easy & uses simple techniques. The size can be adjusted for your purpose...and there are so many ways to use these bags- I can see them filled with bath & body products for girlfriends, sweets on Easter, hostess gifts, mini ones as tooth fairy pockets.....

Let me first say I wish the photos turned out better, but this is what we get in foresty, gray Oregon in January....next house will have tons of natural light. Anyhow, hope it's clear & please let me know if you have any questions (or, gasp! find any errors!) 

One piece of fabric 10" x 26"  (I used muslin but look forward to some bright ones next time) 
String/Cord/Twill Tape: two pieces 25" each (though I made do with one piece) 
Fabric Marking Pen 
Pinking shears
Thread (I like a contrasting color) 
Fabric Paint & Stamps (optional- to personalize) 

Step 1:  Fold over 1/4" of fabric at each long end. (right side up, fold toward wrong side).  Press.

Step 2: Fold fabric in half, right sides together with pressed top edges aligned at top. This creates the "bag". On wrong side of fabric, mark 2" down from folded edge and 1/2" in from sides. 

Step 3: With a 1/2" seam allowance, sew from bottom of folded bag *stopping* at the little mark you made. Backstitch. Do this on both sides. 

Step 4: With pinking shears trim the seam allowance you just created. This prevents the bag from fraying. 

Step 5:  This is just a little tricky. But you can do it. At the top of the bag fold back the seam about 1/4" inch starting at that same little dot you made. This is kind of a diagonal fold. Press down. Do this for both sides. 

It should look a bit like this. 

 Step 6: Now to make the little "tunnels" for your cord. This is what makes it a drawstring bag. Be sure that whatever cording/string material you are using fits inside these tunnels. With your bag still wrong side facing out, fold over top again, meeting up (generally) with that little dot.  Press well- it will make your sewing easier. 

Step 7: Sew the tunnels. You will be sewing from the wrong side, so your bobbin thread will actually be the one to show once turned out. I think the contrast is cute. Sew close to the pressed edge, being careful not to catch the flap of the other side. Be sure to backstitch at the ends well to ensure your tunnels are secure. 

Should look a wee bit like this. Sewn on both flap. Trim threads. 

Step 8: Turn bag right side out. Press. 

{now is the time to personalize if you'd like - follow directions on fabric paint. I used air drying washable fabric paint. Some require heat settings. I wanted these simple but hope to experiment a bit more} 

Step 9:  Thread the cord. There are many tools out there that would've been helpful. A crochet hook maybe? Well, I was pressed for time & just made this wonky little hook with an unfolded paper clip. It worked! Run string through one side of tunnel, making sure to keep the other end out. Keep working the string around to the second tunnel, bringing it back out so the two ends meet.  Repeat for two strings, starting at the other side. Knot ends.

{note: I only used one string...partly because I initially measured incorrectly! I also wanted the string to be a little shorter, so as not to be a choking hazard for wee ones...} 

Step 10: Fill with goodies!  
I included a cute little coloring book from Kitty Baby Love and a box of crayons. 

Happy sewing! 


thelittlereddoor said...

those are so darling! lucky kids. thanks for sharing with us :)

yeevon said...

Awesome and looking gorgeous :D Thank you so much for the sharing!