Drawstring Bag Tutorial

It's a simple drawstring bag, but I'm going to show you in detail the way I do it. I like to enclose each raw edge of a seam allowance for durability. No overlocker/serger needed, just a straight stitch on the sewing machine and an iron for pressing.

I thought I'd post this here for anyone wanting to make drawstring bags as part of the effort to help the NHS staff here in the UK. They use these bags to place their used scrubs in and carry them home with, instead of plastic bags. There's been a huge demand for them in the last few weeks.

Although, as I said, it's just a neatly made drawstring bag that you can make for any purpose or anyone, anywhere in the world.

You will need two 45x45cm squares of cotton or linen fabric and 2m of some sort of tape/string/ties. You can play with these measurements depending on the fabric amount you have and your requirements. 

Place the two squares of fabric right sides together. Mark a 2cm seam allowance and pin the sides starting 5cm away from the top edge. You need to sew from the 5cm point (making sure to back stitch a few times here) and all the way down. 

Press the seam allowances open.

Fold the raw edge of the seam allowance under...

...and press.

Repeat on the other side so you end up with all the raw edges of the side seam allowances turned under and pressed flat. 

Stitch near the folded edges.

Turn the bag right side out and pin the bottom raw edges together.

Stitch with a 5mm seam allowance. 

Turn the bag to the wrong side, pick the corners out and press flat.

Sew the bottom seam again with a 1cm seam allowance. If you haven't noticed, you just did a french seam. 

Now you need to create the drawstring channels. Press first 1cm then 2cm of the top edges to the wrong side. This will line up with the start of the side seams.

It will look like this from the sides.

Stitch all around just under 2cm from the folded edge making sure to catch the first folded edge underneath. 

You can reinforce the middle with a tight zigzag stitch if you like.

Attach a safety pin to the end of one string (tape/tie/cord, whatever you have) and insert it through all the way around. Tie the two ends together into a knot. You can stop right here or insert another piece of string from the opposite side. I find having two strings helps, especially if you're trying to avoid touching the bag when pulling the two strings from either side. 

If you decide to use use a second string, just start inserting it from the other side, all the way around and then tie the two ends together into a knot. 

That's it, a neatly finished and durable drawstring bag! 

I hope you will find this useful.

Dhurata x

1 comment

  • Thanks for the free patterns for face mask and bags , they are great might try the eye pillow too! Hope you are all well in Chichester. Love to do some more sewing in your studio sometime. Many thanks, Justine

    Justine Spick

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