How to Sew a Drawstring Bag (Easy Sewing Tutorial)

Learn how to sew a drawstring bag with this very easy sewing tutorial. Make it fun and unique to match your personality.

2 cute hand sewn drawstring bags.

Let me walk you through how to sew a drawstring bag in this easy step-by-step tutorial. Learn to create a simple and colorful drawstring satchel with colorful fabrics you will enjoy using and looking at. 🌈✂️

Why You Will Love This Project

This fun project is easy and quick to create! It’s perfect for your own personal uses, such as storage and organization. It’s also great to make as part of a coordinated gift packaging to hold something special.

This is the perfect project for both beginners and experienced sewers.

You can also repurpose fabric scraps for this project, which I especially love as I become more and more conscious about my footprint on this planet!

Lastly, it’s a budget-friendly craft that lets you make beautiful items for yourself and others.🌟✨

Enjoy choosing fabrics that reflect your style and personality, turning a simple bag into a distinctive accessory! Mix and match the fabric patterns and colors for additional pizazz.

Whether you’re making them for yourself or as handmade gifts, The result is a practical accessory and a tangible expression of your creativity. You gain the nice little gift of accomplishment when you finish a cute little sewing project, even a small one like this!

For more beginner sewing, try Easter basket cover, cute dog bandana, and an eye pillow with lavender

Materials

You’ll need a few basic materials to sew handmade DIY decorative drawstring bags. First and foremost, gather some fabric of your choice—pick vibrant colors or patterns that reflect your style. 🌟🎨

Fabric(s) quilting cotton works great
Matching thread
Sewing
scissors or
Rotary Cutter Olfa cutters are my favorite!
Drawstring
, ribbon, twill tape, or handmade ties
Sewing Straight Pins

Safety pin
Iron
Sewing machine

How to use Drawstring Bags

DIY decorative drawstring bags offer endless possibilities for creative expression. These versatile bags can be made in different sizes, personalized with vibrant colors, with unique patterns, and imaginative designs for so many occasions. They are an easy project, too!

Use them as charming gift packaging for special celebrations like birthdays or weddings, adding a personal touch to your presents.

They also make for stylish and eco-friendly alternatives to traditional gift wraps.

Embrace your artistic side by crafting these bags as party favors, creating a sweet and memorable takeaway for guests.

Add a fabric strap handle, and voila, you’ve got an adorable purse. (This satchel would be cute on a smaller scale paired with a dress for an event or wedding!) Pair it with this DIY dress, easy wrap skirt or a cute sleeveless top.

Additionally, these bags can serve as convenient and stylish organizers for small items like jewelry, accessories, or travel essentials.

Variations

Try these creative ideas to change up this simple sewing project!

Fabric Mix
Play with different fabrics, mixing and matching colors and patterns to suit your style.

Eco-Friendly or Upcycle
Try using eco-friendly materials or upcycling old fabric for a sustainable twist. Use mismatched fabrics for a playful vibe. Create a patchwork masterpiece by combining smaller fabric scraps into a vibrant mosaic of colors.

Sizes and Shapes
Experiment with various bag shapes and sizes, from traditional rectangles to squares or rounds with curved bases. Personalize further by incorporating pockets or appliques.

Closure Styles
Get creative with how you close your drawstring bag! Try closures like toggles, buttons, or even snaps for added flair. It’s the small details that will elevate the overall look.

French Seams
Opt for French seams on your drawstring bag for a clean and polished look. This type of seam encloses raw edges, preventing fraying and adding a professional touch.

Embellishes or Decorative Stitches
Add adornments like buttons, beads, or embroidery for an extra touch of charm. Use your sewing machine’s decorative stitches to personalize your drawstring bag and showcase your creativity.

Topstitch
Topstitching adds a beautiful finish to your bag. Stitch around the top edge to secure the flange and give your bag a polished appearance.

Step by Step Instructions

Learn how easy it is to sew an easy drawstring bag with these quick directions below.

Preparing Inside of Bag

1 Select and Cut Fabric
Choose colors or patterns you like. Prepare a safe, flat surface area to work and cut your fabric. Start by cutting two identical rectangles of fabric for the front and back of your bag. My large bag fabric pieces were 11.5 x 19, and my smaller bag was 7.5 x 11 inches.

Confirm that your pattern is facing correctly before cutting the fabric if it has directional prints.

Also, pay attention if there are pattern markings on the material you want to show up or center on the front or back, etc.

If you are making your own drawstrings, as I have, use one of these super easy tutorials. DIY Fabric Tie Instructions or DIY Knit Ties Tutorial

With the right sides of the fabric together (wrong sides facing out), align them and clip (or pin) them together. Measure 2.25 inches from the top on both sides, and mark it with a clip, pin, marking pen, or pencil.

I placed mine 2.25 inches down from the top, then again 1 inch further down to allow for a 1-inch wide cord casing. You can make this wider or narrower to fit the scale of a smaller or larger bag, or drawstring.

2 Sew edges
Starting on one side of the bag, straight stitch around the perimeter (the side seams and bottom seam) using a 5/8-inch seam allowance. Stop at the marked casing openings on both sides of the bag. Backstitch in all four of those spots to reinforce the edges of the opening. This will make it stronger in the stress points. Leave the top of the bag open.

3 Iron
Press open the seams. This is optional but will improve the look and finish of your bag.

4 Pay attention to the casing
Press around the drawstring casing, leaving it open.

Drawstring Casing and Finishing

5 Finish and Fold Top Edge
(Not pictured) Clip the seam allowance and both bottom corners at an angle to reduce bulk. Be careful not to get too close to the stitching. Finish with a serger or pinking shares if desired.

Serge or use pinking shears to finish the top raw edge of the bag. Then, fold the fabric edge (top edge of the bag) over to cover the drawstring location by approximately 1/4 inch.

6 Create Casing for Drawstring
Sew along the top and the bottom of the casing, catching both layers of the folded fabric. This leaves a small tunnel to thread the drawstring. Your free arm on your machine is perfect for this task.

7 Turn
Turn the bag inside out. Press bag and folded edges flat. Use a safety pin to thread the drawstring or ribbon through the casing.

Thread a drawstring cord or ribbon once around and tie the ends together on one side. Repeat with the other drawstring on the opposite side.

8 Tie Knots at Ends
Tie knots at the end of your ribbon or cord to secure it. If desired, add decorative elements like buttons or beads.

That’s it! You’ve now crafted a handmade decorative drawstring bag with a stylish flange top.

FAQs

How do I choose the right fabric for my drawstring bag?

Pick a fabric that suits your style and is sturdy enough for your needs. Cotton or canvas fabrics work well for beginners.

Can I sew a drawstring bag by hand if I don’t have a sewing machine?

Yes, you can use a simple running stitch or backstitch to sew the bag by hand. It may take a bit longer, but it’s doable.

How do I prevent fraying edges on my drawstring bag?

Use pinking shears to cut the fabric or apply a thin glue line along the edges to prevent fraying.

Are drawstring bags easy to make?

Yes, drawstring bags are generally considered easy to make, especially for beginner sewers. The simplicity of the design, with minimal seams, makes it a popular and perfect DIY project.

What string to use for drawstring bag?

For drawstring bags, it’s common to use sturdy and durable cords or fabric strings. Cotton, nylon, or polyester drawstrings are popular choices, as they offer strength and flexibility. Choose a material that complements the fabric of your bag and provides the necessary stability for secure closure and comfortable carrying.


Expert Tips

Below are sewing techniques that will guarantee your fabric drawstring bags have the best-finished results.

Pre-Wash Your Fabric
Always pre-wash your fabric to prevent any unexpected shrinking or color bleeding after you’ve sewn your drawstring bag.

Iron Before Cutting
Iron your fabric before cutting to ensure a smooth, even surface. This makes the cutting process more accurate and makes your finished bag look neater.

Measure Twice, Cut Once
Double-check your measurements before cutting the fabric. Precision at this stage ensures your bag pieces fit together seamlessly.

Press as You Go
Press seams and folds as you progress through your project. This simple step enhances the overall neatness and professionalism of your handmade drawstring bag.

Test Stitch on Scrap Fabric
Before sewing your bag, test your stitch settings on a scrap piece of fabric to ensure proper tension and stitch quality.

Reinforce Stress Points
Strengthen the points where the drawstring attaches by backstitching, sewing a square or an “X” shape. This prevents the fabric from tearing under tension, making your drawstring bag more durable.

More Easy Sewing Projects

Get inspiration and a free tutorial in each of these posts.

Make a Basket Liner
Easy Pillow DIY
Table Runner Project
Easy No-Sew Tablecloth DIY

I know you will enjoy learning how to sew a drawstring bag! It’s a great beginner project. They make wonderful gift bags, too!

Please let me know how the project goes in the comment box below. I love to hear from you. Be sure to subscribe or follow me on social media for more inspiration!

xo,
Cindy

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