Wednesday, 4 November 2015

A Little bit Fancy fat quarter drawstring bag tutorial

Here's a quick tutorial on a quick little drawstring bag, that is a little fancier than your usual pouch with a folded over edge. All it requires is a fat quarter of fabric (approx ) some ribbon and a sewing machine.

So you start with your Fat Quarter of fabric. If you are cutting from a larger piece of fabric, mine measures approximately 21 (once the selvedge is cut off) by 18 inches, but you could adapt this to nearly any size fabric. The finished bag will be about 10 inches wide at the top, and 14 inches from the top edge to bottom seam, which is about 11 1/2 inches from the bottom of the drawstring channel to the bottom seam.

Overlock or pink around the edges, cutting off the selvedge edge as you do. Then mark with a pencil/chalk/marker where the buttonholes will go. I make mine 1 inch long, starting 5 inches from the top edge of the fabric. the first is 1 inch from the edge, the next 2 are in the middle, 1 inch apart (so both are 1/2 inch away from the centre of the fabric) and the last is 1 inch from the opposite edge.

Sew your Buttonholes as you normally would. I zig zag down each side with my machine set on a width of 3 and a length of 0.2, and use a straight stitch on the short ends, going back and forth a couple of times.

Cut open your buttonholes

Then fold your fabric in half vertically. Sew up the open side and bottom with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Then fold down the top edge 3 1/2 inches

The fold under and pin the bottom 1/2 inch. Give these folds a good press, removing the pins as you go and turn right side out.

Re-insert the pins, but from the outside of the bag. You could just leave them on the inside and sew from there, but I think its gives a neater result to do the topstitching from the outside.

Stitch roughly in the middle of that 1/2 inch that you folded up, which should be just below your buttonholes. 

Then sew another line of stitching just above the buttonholes, creating your drawstring channel.

Cut 2 pieces of ribbon that are a few inches longer than the width of your bag doubled. Then, using a large safety pin (I like the big old fashioned diaper pins) insert the first piece of ribbon into the drawstring channel.

Go all the way around until you come out at the buttonhole next to the one you inserted the ribbon into.

Tie a knot securely in your ribbon, using either an overhand or reef knot.

Then repeat those steps with the other piece of ribbon and the opposite set of buttonholes.

Now you could just finish here if you like, but depending on what you plan on storing in you bag, you may want to box the bottom corners. 

Line up the bottom seam with the side seam and pin across. I pinned approximately 4cm down from the corner.

Then pin the other corner, trying your best to line up the side fold with the bottom seam and pinning in the same location to make the corners even

Sew neatly across, making sure the ends are securely back stitched

Trim the corners off (I use my overlocker for this)

Turn right side out and you have a very cute little drawstring bag.

Made up in some Christmas Fabrics, these would make perfect  Eco-Friendly, Re-usable gift wrapping! I'm thinking of making some Christmas ones up myself!



  1. That cat fabric is adorable! I love the project, too - I'll be keeping it in mind when I'm doing my best to avoid shopping for presents this Christmas.

    Katie @ Katie Writes Stuff

    1. Thanks Katie! I wish I had more of that fabric, it has taken me some time to decide on a project to use it for (as well as many other fat quarters I've amassed) I think I am going to be making so many of these out of Christmas fabrics