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!


Pinocchio and Robot.

There is always going to be new babies and, like my previous post, it’s lovely to give a gift that is personalised making it a little bit special.

Because I like to make items for people that are tailored to what they ask for but also made to suit the little person, I like them all to be a little different. While I’ve made a number of similar pandas and bibs before (they seem to be pretty popular), I am always asked to pop their name, date of birth and/or weight on their somewhere.

For a recent baby gift set that I made, there was the said popular panda and bib (still mega cute though), there was also a little laundry bag for baby’s little mits, booties and baby grows. As far as laundry bags go, they’re nothing special, so I thought I would jazz it up with of felt applique.

This [always my favourite] Japanese printed fabric, which I got from Etsy,  has little robots printed (as well as Pinocchio…cute!) so I decided to pick out the robot and use this as my applique shape. I used felt which I find really nice to work with, also adding a bit of a different texture to the fabric item. I finished off my robot by added some buttons for buttons.

Wild Week.

He loves his Uncle Pete already.

Just under two weeks old and my new nephew, Jacob, finally has a name and I, finally, have finished his nursery bits.

So, it’s been a bit of a full on week with some ups – bagging myself my second wedding fair (woo!) and my friend booking her wedding venue – only the glamest castle in bonnie Scotland. And then there was one major down – my sewing machine breaking!

Serious bad timing – although, don’t reckon there would ever be a good time for my beloved machine to break! After the hyperventilation, and a trip to the magic machine fixing man in the market later, I was back in the game.

So, for the baby, or my sister Alex I guess to be more accurate, delivered to the door next weekend (because I need another excuse to visiti!) will be: a nappy stacker, bunting, laundry bag and mini laundry bag (so the little booties and mits don’t get lost in the washer).

As I mentioned in a previous post, I struggled to find some nice jungle print so I used a combo of green prints including spots from Clarke and Clarke (to match the curtains I made before he was born), checks from Laura Ashley, and some super cute green and brown ‘In the Wild’ animals from Fabric Rehab, jazzing them up with Ric Rac and some little applique elephants that I made for the laundry bag. I hope Alex and the little man likes them.

Oooh, and, as well as these bits, I have added some more items to the gallery.