Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Handmade Homewares - Drawstring bag tutorial

Hello lovely people and thanks for your comments on my handmade drawstring bags from my linky party post - linking and entries for the giveaway closes tomorrow so make sure you check out the post if you missed it!

Today I'm going to show you how to make these bags. They're a really practical thing to have and one of my favourite, super easy handmade homeware items. I love drawstring bags, because they can be rustled up in next to no time and they're just so darn useful!

I use them as dust bags for shoes or handbags and to stow all sorts of things out of the way. You can keep them super simple like the one I'm going to show here, or if you're going to use this bag to hang somewhere visible, then you might like to 'dress it up' by using a patterned fabric, adding some sort of embellishment, using a fancy cord for the drawstring, by screen printing the fabric or whatever your imagination comes up with. For this bag, I've used calico, but you could use other sturdy fabrics like cotton drill or similar.

To get started, you need to take whatever you're going to keep in the bag and sit it on a piece of newspaper to make a pattern. For this example, I'm going to create a basic calico shoe bag.

**Tip - if you're making several at a time for shoes or handbags, then compare a few different sizes and make it big enough to fit all the shoes or bags in to save yourself time on making multiple patterns.

Measure around the item and don't forget to allow a bit extra for the seams (an inch either side should be sufficient.) You'll also need to allow a little extra at the top. I usually fold it over to hide the edge of the fabric, then fold again leaving around an inch to thread through the drawstring.

Once you've got your pattern, fold the fabric so you can place one end of the paper at the fold, pin the pattern in place and cut around it.

I then take the piece of fabric and do a zig zag stitch the whole way around (you could use an overlocker/serge the edges also).
Next, fold the fabric in half and stitch together the length of the first side. If you're using a patterned fabric, make sure you pin the patterned sides facing each other and sew on the wrong side.
On the second side, start stitching around two and a half inches from the top (opening end) of the bag down to the fold.

Once you've done that, fold and iron the zig zag edge just out of the way and fold the fabric again to roughly an inch wide. At this point, you should see that the lower edge of the fold lines up with the point at which you started sewing together the second side of the bag. Make sure you also tuck the edge seams under so that they don't show when the bag is finished, as in the picture below.

Next, stitch the whole way around at lower part of the folded top seam to create the drawstring section and you're just about there.

The last thing you need to do is turn your bag in the right way and thread through some cord for the drawstring.

And voila! You've now finished your very own, super simple drawstring bag.

If you have any questions let me know and also let me know how you go if you try this out!

Have a lovely day!


Kellie Collis said...

Great tutorial! These are lovely shoe bags. Have a beautiful day, Kellie xx

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

These are sooooooo lovely! Thanks, Melissa, for the tutorial. Isn't it amazing how different they look with different prints? I love your florals!!