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.

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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3. Sewing your outer and linings together.

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

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Snip all four corners.

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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.

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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!

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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).

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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

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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.

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

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

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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.
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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.

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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.
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● Turn your bag the right way out and press. It may help to poke the corners out with a
pencil.

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

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● Half fill your lavender bag with dried lavender.

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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.
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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.

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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!)

Nothing better than ‘making your own’…right?

You may or may not know that I run another crafty business which, instead of making things for people, I like to think I’m helping people to get into the fab world of sewing and making things for themselves!

Well, a pretty new and exciting part of my business, Love Me Sew, is the launch of ‘Make Your Own’ craft packs…lovely boxes which contain everything you need to make up a complete item; including fabric, thread and other relevant haberdashery items, and a template and instructions designed and written (as well as packaged up!) by yours truly (with the help of my glamorous assistant’s Mr C and Winnie dog).

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photo (59)

photo (58)The packs were officially launched in October 2012 with Love Me Sew being invited to pitch the packs to a panel of John Lewis buyers as part of a Start Up business scheme, where we were selected to be one of 11 finalists from over 400 applicants! (Woweee I did say!)

SONY DSCCurrently, Love Me Sew ‘Make your own’ bunting and ‘Make your own’ phone case are stocked in six lovely retail outlets in Yorkshire and the North East, and are hoping to increase this number over the coming months.

IMG_0672I’ve just finished writing the patterns and instructions for another three packs – two general, one special edition – to be launched in time for Easter, which will also be available to buy from the Love Me Sew online shop (which currently sells lovely fabric if you fancy having a browse!). Here is a sneak preview (even the Love Me Sew blog and Facebook followers have not seen this!).

SONY DSCIf you like sewing and crafts yourself, and fancy keeping up with everything Love Me Sew, please follow the blog (I often post tutorials on here too!) and Facebook as I’ll be posting updates on how the packs are doing, and maybe encourage you to try one too…
(P.S If you do, I’d love to hear some feedback to make sure I’m getting them right for fellow crafters, and suggestions on future packs is always welcome!)