Pretty Drawstring Bag Tutorial

SONY DSCThis pattern is a real favourite of mine and have used it sooooo many times for a range of different types of bags. It’s really easy, quick and can be adapted to suit whatever size you want to make (or fabric you have spare!)

You will need:

  • Fabric for your outer
  • Fabric for your lining
  • Small piece Bondaweb
  • Coordinating ribbon
  • Coordinating thread
  • Chalk and a pencil
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine, pins and needles
  • Iron

SONY DSC1. Cut out your pieces of outer and lining.
Fold your fabric in half, right sides together and cut a rectangle (the size of mine is 14.5 inches x 11 inches). Repeat with your lining fabric so you have four rectangles in total.


2. Add your applique shape to your bag.
On the paper side of your Bondaweb, draw the shape you want to add to your bag – I’ve decided to draw a pair of pants!


Place your Bondaweb, glue side down (paper side up) onto the wrong side of a small piece of contrasting fabric – I’m using the same fabric as my lining. Press for a few seconds, until the Bondaweb sticks to the fabric.


Cut out your shape and peel away the papery backing of the Bondaweb.


Place your shape (pants) onto one piece of your outer fabric and press, so the shape sticks.
Using a contrasting colour thread and a small zig zag stitch on your sewing machine, stitch around the shape.


Tip: When you get to the corners of your shape, stop sewing, leave the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot up and spin the fabric to the direction you need to continue to sew.

Snip your threads to neaten.
Here, I’ve decided to add a little bow to my pants. I made the little bow from ribbon and hand stitched it to the outer fabric.




3. Sewing your outer and linings together.

Place one piece of your outer fabric, right sides together with a piece of your lining fabric.


Pin across the top (the short side of the rectangle).
Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew across the top, attaching one piece of your outer fabric with one piece of your lining fabric.


Repeat the above steps with the other outer and lining piece.
Press your seams open. You should now have two sides of the bag (made up of one outer and one lining).




4. Sewing your bag together.

With right sides together, place one side of the bag on top of the other, with the outers facing and the linings facing (so here we have the florals on top of each other, and the spots on top of each other).

SONY DSCLine up the seam and pin all around the bag.
Using a ruler, measure 1 inch either side of the seam line and make a chalk mark. Repeat this on either side of the bag.



SONY DSCStarting at the bottom of the lining, sew all around the bag, stopping and starting at each chalk mark (so you have a gap 2 inches wide over the seam line). Stop sewing about 2 inches before you get to where you started (so you have a gap for turning the bag the right way round). Stay stitch (sew a few stitches forward and backwards) at the beginning and at the end. Snip your threads.



SONY DSCTip: Use a larger seam allowance on the bottom lining of your bag – this way, the bag lining will fit better inside the outer.

Trim your excess at the bottom of your lining.

SONY DSC5. Turn your bag the right way round.

Press the seams open of the gaps you made in the bag.


Snip all four corners.


Pull the bag through the gap at the bottom of the lining.

SONY DSCTip: Use a pencil to poke out the corners.

Press your bag, paying attention to the gaps, so all the bits that need to be tucked in are!
Hand sew closed the opening in your lining.

SONY DSCPush the lining into the outer and press.

SONY DSC6. Finishing

Using a contrasting coloured thread, starting on one side of the channel (the bit where we will be threading the ribbon around the top of the bag), top stitch all around the top of your bag. Stay stitch at the beginning and end.

SONY DSCUsing a safety pin attached to one end of your ribbon, thread it through one opening at the side of your bag and all the way around the top of your bag, through the channel, and out of the other opening on the same side you started. Cut the ribbon and tie the ends together.



SONY DSCYou could finish here and have just one tie, I like to have two, one on either side, so I threaded another length of ribbon around the top of the bag, through the opening on the opposite side of the bag.

Beautiful! You’ve made a little pants bag.

This tutorial is really versatile; you can adapt the size, colours, applique shape and it can have a multiple of uses; I’ve made a number of these for underwear bags, smaller ones for gift bags and larger ones for laundry bags and even Santa sacks.

Use two contrasting fabrics on the outer and change the applique shape to suit…this bag below was for my mum who asked me to make her another after I gave her one for her birthday and she likes it so much!

Add a pocket…

The possibilities are endless!


Make lovely Lavender Bags…my DIY Tutorial.

I’ve written many a DIY blog posts over the past couple of year but for other blogs, so I thought it’s time to add something of value for my own blog readers by posting some on here. Some will be repeats of those I’ve posted elsewhere but I will also add new ones when time allow.

I’ve started here with a nice simple tutorial for lavender bags; these are easy to make, can be made with any pretty fabric and size, decorated, and make lovely little gifts (perfect for Mother’s Day).


You will need:
● Pretty Fabric
● Pretty Ribbon*
● Paper template (I’ve made mine 3” square but it’s up to you on the shape and size of
your bags)
● Dried lavender
● Coordinating thread
● Tailors chalk or pencil
● Pins
● Scissors


I’ve written this tutorial based on the use of a sewing machine. However, these lavender bags
can also be made by hand sewing, just allow for more time.
*The ribbon I have used in this tutorial is available to buy from Wedding in a Teacup.

1. Cut your fabric
● Fold over your fabric, right (patterned) sides together and pin your template to the fabric.
● Using tailors chalk or a pencil, draw around the template.

● Remove the template, but place a pin in the fabric to hold the two pieces together while
you cut.


● Cut our your lavender bag shape from your fabric. You should now have two pieces (one
for the either side of the bag).


2. Sew your lavender bag together.
● Pin right (patterned) sides of your lavender bag together.
● Using approximately ¼ “ seam allowance, sew around three sides of your fabric.
Tip: When you get to the end of one side, leave the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot and
spin the fabric to continue along the next side.


Tip: Most sewing machines have a reverse function, at the places you start and end your
stitches, sew a few stitches forward and back – this will help to keep the stitches in place when
you come to turn the bag the right way out.
● Turn your bag the right way out and press. It may help to poke the corners out with a


3. Fold the top seam.
● On the open side of your bag, fold the fabric approximately ¼” inwards and press.


● Half fill your lavender bag with dried lavender.


4. Making your bag loop.
● Using some pretty ribbon*, cut approximately 12cm (or longer if you prefer your loop to
be larger), fold the ribbon in half and place the ends in the open edge of the bag.
● Pin this open edge of the bag together making sure to catch the ends of the loop.

5. Finishing your lavender bag.
● Topstitch a few millimeters across open edge of the bag closed making sure to sew over
the loop ends. Add a few reverse stitches at the start and end of your run of stitches to
ensure these are secure and don’t come unravelled.




As I mentioned above these make great gifts, for any occasion (although probably mainly for the ladies in your life), are perfect as little wedding favours or just to keep your undies drawer smelling delicious!
I often make a few in one go as they come in very hand as little additional extras to accompany birthday or Christmas pressies, and you can decorate them to match decor or personal likes. (Take a look at the little selection I made just before Christmas…which I’m still giving out now!)

Mollie Makes Wedding…Crafty Give-Away!

I’ve been a big fan of Mollie Makes, having a subscription to the monthly magazine since it was first published. From crafty projects (all kinds not just sewing!), interviews with creative people, book and product reviews, to info on events, shops and workshops, this magazine is full of inspirational content, all packaged up on beautifully designed and textured pages full of colour and gorgeous imagery.

So you can only imagine how excited (and honoured!) I was when about a year ago an email arrived in my inbox inviting me to submit a DIY project for the Mollie Makes new book ‘Wedding’, due to be published in February 2014.


After seeing my post featuring Annabelle’s quilt, I was asked to submit ideas based on this design, with my suggestions of colours and fabric choices, to the team to review and decide if they wanted my project to be part of the book.


Long story short…they liked my ideas (yeahy!) and after sending over copy and images for the tutorial, a year later – taaa daaa, the book is now available to buy in shops and online, and my Machine Appliqué Photo Album Cover tutorial, complete with mug shot and biog, is in actual print!


And, even better…I have been given an additional copy to give away! If you are a crafty bride-to-be, know someone is, or are helping someone else create their wedding, this book is a must!

If you’d like this copy, please email me at by Monday 31st March with a brief explanation of why you need this book in your life.


A randomly selected lucky person will then receive the book and one of my ‘Mr and Mrs’ bunting banner which I’m throwing in for good measure! Good luck x

Featured on Adore by Chloe

I met Chloe off of ‘Adore By Chloe‘ last October when I exhibited at the Save the Date Magazine Wedding Event with a Difference at the Round House in Derby. Chloe was sponsoring the ‘Creative Corner’ of the event.

Just before Christmas, Chloe then email to ask if I wanted to feature a couple of DIY tutorials on her blog. I was really honoured that she’d asked me as there are some truely lovely content that get featured on her blog that’s all do to with creative and DIY weddings.

I decided for my first tutorial to do Hen Do Flower Rosettes; something that I first made over a year ago now for my friend Sarah’s hen do. You can see the full blog post, as well as lots of other fab posts over on Chloe’s website.

I have yet to do the second post, which will be some kind of bridesmaid bag…

Featured in Save The Date Magazine.

It’s lovely to see that my little tutorials are getting used by lots of brides to be.

Last week saw my Pom Pom tutorial featured in Save the Date Magazine‘s first issue of the year, alongside some other beautiful content. The feature shows all the stages of how to make a Pom Pom, as well as a lovely big picture of our very own wedding, displaying the Pom Poms in all their colourful papery gorgeous-ness.

In October of last year, I took part in my first ever fair – a wedding fair too! Abbi and Lydia, the lovely ladies of Save the Date, invited me to hold a stall at their ‘Wedding Event with a Difference’ fair. After seeing all the crafty things that I had made for my own wedding earlier in June (seems like such a long time ago now!), they thought I would fit right into the fair’s Creative Corner.

The fair was one of the nicest I’ve ever seen with some really unique and individual companies exhibiting, providing great inspiration and ideas for the browsing brides. So I was thrilled when they emailed me just before Christmas to ask if they could feature my tutorial in their magazine.

Whether you are a bride or not, I recommend you take a look at their mag…you can view it online at: There is some really lovely content and beautiful images, and I also hear they are hosting another fair in April which any bride to be would be mad to miss!

How to make a drawstring bag.

I recently completed a part-time course in screen printing. Whilst the course was really good, I was not! However, my designer friends: Rose, Nat and Jenny were naturals!

Having been donated a sewing machine by her gran, Jenny’s been practicing making her screen printed fabrics into little drawstring bags…with not much success by the sounds of things. I’m absolutely not doubting Jenny’s ability, more the pattern she is following!

So here you go Jen, while my screen printing may be poor, I can sure help out with the sewing side with this really easy how to.

How to make a little/or big (it’s up to you) drawstring bag…

You need:

  • A pattern (i.e. rectangle piece of paper) to whatever size you want your bag to be (mine is 12″ x 10″) so my bag will be slightly smaller if I take into account a seam allowance.
  • Piece of fabric for your outer bag (flowery)
  • Piece of contrasting fabric for your lining (stripy)
  • Two bits of ribbon (or extra fabric if want matching) for your drawstrings
  • Thread and a sewing machine
  • Ruler and chalk/something to mark on the fabric
1. Cut your fabric.
Using the pattern, cut two pieces of your outer (flowery) and two of your lining (stripy) so they are all the same size.
2. Sew outer pieces to lining.
Place one piece of the outer fabric, right sides together, to the lining fabric.

Pin and sew across the top (the side with the narrowest width), I left about 0.5cm seam allowance.

Iron out the seam.
3. Place bag sides together. You should now have the two sides of the bag, with outer joined to lining. Like this…

Place the two pieces right sides together with the same fabrics together (so flowery on top of flowery, and stripy on top of stripy). Pin the two together at the middle where the outer joins the lining.

4. Mark the channel for your drawstrings. From the seam line connecting the outer and lining fabric, measure 1.5cm, make a mark. Then, from this line measure another 1 cm (this distance can be larger depending on how big you want channel to be), mark on the fabric.

Do this either side of the seam line, and both edges.

Pin the rest of the fabric together, so the two outer fabrics together and the two lining fabrics, just so it stays still while your sewing around the whole thing.
5. Sew the bag together. Start from the bottom of the lining fabric, and sew all around the bag, stopping at your first [drawstring channel] mark (1), then starting again at the second mark (2). Sew across the seam line and stop again at your third mark (3), starting again at the fourth (4). And continue around until you get to the marks on the other side (do the same here). So you are leaving a small gap on the outer and lining fabrics on both sides of the bag. These are the gaps your drawstrings will feed through. I think the photos below will help make this clearer.

Stop just before you get to where you started sewing, leave a small gap of about 1-1.5 inches at the bottom of the lining – this will be where you turn your bag inside out.
Iron out the seams.
6. Corners. At this point you could leave it as it is and jump to the turning the right way round stage (Point 7). However, I like to put corners in the bottom of my bag; the next few steps show you how to do this…
At each corner, from the seam, mark about 1 inch (again this can be different depending how big you want your corners to be).

At your corners, pinch both sides of the fabric and open out, so your marks touch.

Draw a line across the corner, and sew, snip the end.

Do the same to all four corners, and they should end up looking something like this…

7. Turn the bag right way round. Through the small gap you left in the lining, turn the bag the right way round.

You should have something like this…

8. Hand sew the little gap in the lining. And fold the lining into the outer. Iron.
10. Finish your drawstring channel. Match up the two holes on either side (remember those gaps you left when sewing around the bag?). I use a pencil or the end of an unpicker to make sure they match up. Pin to hold in place.
Now, top stitch all around the top of the bag; once above your holes and another below.

Mines a bit wobbly!

11. Thread your drawstrings. Your nearly done! Pop a safety pin in the end of one of your drawstrings (this makes threading it through much easier!) and thread into one of the holes in the side of the bag, thread all the way around until you come out of the same hole.
Repeat on the other side using your second drawstring (I’ve used a different colour ribbon to show this a bit clearer).
Tie a knot in both ends of the drawstrings.
Ta da…you have one completed drawstring bag!
Hope this is clear, please ask me any questions if you get stuck along the way x

Save the date…

So a few people have been asking how we did our Save The Date – another easy and cheap DIY. Here’s another tutorial from Pete…

“To make the save the dates, you have to first need to make the signs…We painted our signs but I guess you could print some out, or just hold up plain pieces of paper an add the text on the computer.

Next, take four funny pictures! It’s best to take your photos against a plain wall so that they look most like a photo booth.




When you’ve got your images, You need to make them square. You can crop them in Paint on Windows or Preview on the Mac.

To arrange the photos into the photo booth shape, you could do it in a graphics programme, but Word will do just as well. Open a new Word document and just drag your images in.

In order to arrange the images freely in Word, you need to stop them being fixed to the text. Right-click on the image, choose Format Picture and under either Layout or Text-Wrapping (depending on your version of Word) and then choose Behind Text.

Now that you can drag your pictures around, re-size them all to about a fifth of the width of an A4 page and then drag the four pictures above each other, leaving a gap between each one and a bigger gap at the top and bottom.

To get the most out of your paper, copy the four images across so you’ve got five lines next to each other, and you’re done!

Print them out on photo paper for that photo booth feel, and you can always print something on the back if you want to put some more text.”

Polaroids – the easy way

As well as the Pom Poms, our polaroids have been pretty popular and received a lot of comments from people wanting to know how to do these after our wedding featured on Rock My Wedding.

Since it was Pete who made these, I asked him to write up a little how to…

Well, I guess the easiest way would be to use a polaroid camera, but here’s how to adapt your photos into cool vintage polaroids.

These polaroids were great as personalised placecards and as hanging decoration.

Here’s a simple how to.

You need:

  • Lots of photos – get stalking Facebook!
  • Poladroid
  • Something to edit your photos – I used the built in Preview on the Mac but Windows Live Photo Gallery or Paint will do just as well.
1. Preparation
  • If you’re creating lots of polaroids, arrange your photos into folders – this helps you to sort through the polaroids for printing later on.
  • Open Poladroid and set the preferences – I preferred it without blur effect to give crisper photos, having stripes on the paper gives it the proper polaroid feel and vignetting puts the faded border round the picture that gives that instant processing look.
  • Finally, set it to save your polaroids in the same folder as the original file, then all the organising you’ve done won’t be wasted
2. Get snappin’
  • Start dragging in your photos. Poladroid only takes ten at a time, then you’ve got to shut it and reopen the program again. If you get bored waiting for the photos to process, you can shake them about on the screen to speed up the process, just like a real polaroid!
  • Now to check how your photos turned out. If your polaroids all look fine, you’re done! Otherwise if a couple need editing, carry on to part 3.
3. Editing your photos
  • The majority of my pictures came out fine, but a few needed editing – the image that comes out of a polaroid camera is almost square, so if you’ve got portrait oriented photos that are taller than wide, it may end up chopping people’s heads off! Similarly if you’ve got photos where the subject isn’t in the middle, you may need to edit those.
  • Here’s one that has a lot of background to edit out. Open your original photo in your editing program, select an area slightly higher than it is wide, and crop the photo – it doesn’t matter that it’s not the exact shape of the polaroid, Poladroid will sort that out for you. Save your photo and pop it back through poladroid.

You’re done! I made around 150 of these, and it took me a couple of evenings.”

Thanks Pete x

Simple but so effective! My Pom Pom tutorial.

Since having our wedding featured on Rock My Wedding (twice! In Part 1 and Part 2 – actually think this deserves a post on its own as I am pretty excited about this!), there were loads of comments and I received a few emails asking how to make the Pom Poms. Didn’t I say they were easy, looked ace and everyone loves them!

So I decided to write a little ‘How to’…

You need:

  • Eight sheets of tissue paper per Pom Pom (I used paper of size 75cm x 50cm but you can use any – this just determines the end size of your pom pom, the bigger the tissue paper, the bigger your pom pom!). You can use sheets of the same colour – or you can do a multi-coloured one if you like!
  • Florist Wire (I just bought some off the internet although I reckon string tied nice and tight would do the same job.)
  • Scissors
  • Nylon Thread (if you want them to look like they are floating! If not, string will do)
1. Get foldin’
Lay the eight sheets of tissue paper together on a flat surface. Starting at one end, fold the paper (all sheets) to roughly 3.5 to 4cm wide (this doesn’t have to be that accurate). Continue folding the paper like this, one way then the next, into concertina folds.
2.Get securin’
Once you have your paper all folded, wrap the florist wire or sting around the centre to secure it.
3.Get snippin’
Get you scissors and trim the ends so they are more rounded than square – you might get sore hands a little doing this as it can be a bit tricky cutting through the thickness of the folded paper! Don’t worry either if it is  not super neat as you can’t tell once they are all puffed out.
4.Get puffin’
Start in one side of the centre tie and open the folds out – a bit like a fan. This just makes the next bit a little easier.
Gently peel each layer of tissue paper open, away from the next layer until you have completed one side.
These can tear really easy – don’t worry too much though as you can’t see small tears once all the layers are puffed out.
 Do the same for the other side.
5.Get hangin’
Once all the layers are puffed out and you have made some final tweaks to the layers (imagine a hairdresser fluffing with your hair!) you are ready to tie the nylon thread or string where the centre is tied (I have used a purple ribbon in these photos just so you can see it better) – this is were florist wire might be easier to use.
Your pom poms are now ready to hang up!
I often find videos easier to use when it comes to tutorials, so here is the video that I used to help me make these the first time around – Making Martha Stewarts Pom Poms:

Tartan Toppers

I’m busy making some (very rushed) cake toppers as I have the girls coming over tomorrow to celebrate my friend Lindsay’s 30th. I have yet to make the cakes… I actually wanted to make similar things for cupcakes made for our wedding, but made little flags instead out of scraps. Pretty simple – I have added a very amateur ‘how to’ below.

Lovely Linz - cake topper and for real.

But, turns out, after the exciting events of this evening, we have another celebration! One of my best friends has just told me she is engaged! Woop –  didn’t I say I loved a good engagement, I can’t wait to hear the story.

After being with her partner for eight years (I think! It has been so long I have forgotten), she has had plenty of time to think about how she wants her wedding. And, having been friends since we were 11 (that’s a mighty 19 years, jeeze!) I think I know her pretty well so  I think hearing what she has in mind might not come as too much of a surprise but I still can’t wait!

I think it will be a different style to ours but I hope she still lets me make the tartan bunting we have previously discussed (I didn’t get the title ‘Creative Director’ amongst our group of friends/hen-do organising committee for nothing you know!).

How to make simple cake toppers

You need:

  • Cocktail sticks
  • Fabric Glue
  • Fabric – I used tartan – in keeping with the Scottish theme for the B2B (bride to be) and felt.
  • Scissors
I ended up making two different types: one for Linz and another for Laura.
  • Cut desired shape of cake topper – I used hearts cause a) we love Lindsay and b)engagements are obviously all about love. (You need two per topper)
  • I had printed some pictures of Lindsay’s face which I cut out and stuck on top of one of the pink felt hearts. I did the same for the tartan hearts, only this time cutting and sticking a heart shape piece of tartan fabric instead of the picture.
  • Then using the fabric glue, just sandwich a bit of the cocktail stick between the two bits of felt, leaving enough of the cocktail stick to poke into the top of the cupcake.
(Told you it was amateur!)

Tartan Toppers