Simple Drawstring Bag
I’m going to make a simple but secure drawstring bag with no seam at the bottom and french seams down the sides to make sure that it holds together securely when used + abused by family life. This type of bag is great for keeping soft toys or PE kits in. You could also make one out of mesh fabric to use for bath toys or as a laundry wash bag, or use waterproof nylon fabric for a dirty washing/nappy bag. My one here was originally meant to be a gift bag, but in the end I decided not to use it – I think it’ll end up as DD’s soft toy bag.
This bag took me less than an hour to make using a sewing machine, and is very easy. Happy sewing!
Materials I Used:
Cotton fabric (I used a soft old duvet cover I found in a charity shop), approx 18″ x 47″. Use stronger canvassy fabric for bags carrying heavy things (like shoes), or mesh fabric for laundry bags etc. This made a bag approx 16″ x 22″ – change length/width as required.
Cord or ribbon
Spring toggle to fit cord
Here’s how I did it:
I’m going to use french seams for this so that the raw edges are hidden inside the seam, and to make the seam stronger. Fold the fabric in half, right side out and pin and sew the two sides together about 5mm from the edge. Leave about 2″ un-seamed at the top of each side.
Now turn the whole thing inside out (so now it’ll be wrong side out) and pin and sew the sides again, about 10mm from the edge. Again, stop the seam about 2″ from the top of each side.
You’ll now have seams which have the raw edges hidden away inside them – stronger and neater than ordinary seams (see pic of the inside of the seam below) 😀
At the sides where you didn’t sew the seam, fold the fabric like it is for the seam before folding it down. Pin and sew this in place (sorry, no pic for this bit – it’s basically sewing all raw edges at the side into the inside so at the end they’ll all be hidden away).
Now fold over the top edge of the fabric by about 10mm all around. Pin and sew.
Then fold it all down again by about 1″. Pin and sew again to make the channel for your cord (I used two rows of stitching here 3mm and 6mm from the folded edge for strength and to hide the raw edge inside the channel).
Here’s both sides done, from the top, and the side of the bag:
The bag so far:
My bag will have one drawstring with a toggle to tighten it and close the bag. Take your length of cord/ribbon and thread it through the channels. The easiest way to do this is to fasten a safety pin to the end of the cord and use that to push the cord through the channels.
Now push the ends of the cord through the toggle:
Knot the ends of the cord together to that the toggle doesn’t fall off and to stop them unravelling. Your bag is now done!
To use this as a gift bag, I took a plain piece of dense cotton and wrote a birthday message on it using permanent marker pen. I then folded over the edges and pinned them down before pinning and sewing the whole piece to the bag. And now the bag is finished and ready for a gift!