Quality quilting fabrics UK
Bespoke fabric printing
The Quilt Shop UK
The Fabric Loft
Discount Fabrics Ltd
Jersey fabric stockist
Live fabric sales
Oakapple haberdashery modern quilting fabrics
Sewing pattern printing
Pound Fabrics UK
J & P wholesale sewing supplies
Sustainable fabrics

Drawstring Bag Project

Drawstring bag project

This drawstring bag project has been designed by Laura Strutt, a designer maker and the author of a number of craft books. For more details on Laura’s books visit Amazon Author Central

This project is kindly sponsored by The Cotton Patch – a specialist patchwork and quilting shop with a large range of pre-cut fabrics. 

Drawstring bag projects are quick and easy to make plus they are so versatile that you’ll find lots of use for them! Worked with Layer Cake squares for the front panel and fully lined, this bag is great for stowing the kids’ sports kits, or for toting books – or fold into your handbag for a ready-to-use environmentally friendly shopping bag!

You will need…

Cotton + Steel Collective Layer Cake  – from The Cotton Patch

Print cotton for lining – 24in x 30in

Chambray for bag back – 12in x 14in

Vileseline F220 – 12in x 14in

Solid cotton for drawstring casing – 20in x 6in

Grey cording for drawstrings – 90in

Pins & quilt clips

Rotary cutter, ruler & cutting mat


Sewing machine – with quilting and walking foot as desired

Iron & ironing board


Finished size – 11in x 13in.

 1/4in seam allowance is used through out unless otherwise stated.

You could use Charm sqaures in place of cutting up Layer Cake squares.

TIP: Be sure to check that there are no twists or tangles in the cord when it is inside the casing before it is stitched as this will be the position of the drawstrings on the finished bag.

TIP: When sewing the upper seam to fasten the casings and secure the lining and bag outer, you may find removing the sewing machine base – so you’re working with just the free arm – makes working this seam easier.


Easy bag making projects for beginners

To Sew

1. Select & trim Layer Cake squares

From the Layer Cake select three squares in a range of tones of a shade – this bag blends silvers and grey with accents of gold and pink. Using the rotary cutter and ruler slice the squares in half and then in half again to create four x 5in squares. Set aside three squares of each design so that you have nine squares in total.

Simple patchwork bag for beginners

2. Create strips

Arrange the trimmed Layer Cake squares into your preferred design of three squares by three. Working with a 1/4in seam join the squares to make three strips of three squares. Neatly press the seams to the side.

How to do patchwork

3. Create the front panel

Working with each strip in turn, join the strips together taking a 1/4in seam allowance. Neatly press the seams to create the front panel.

Adding interfacing

4. Complete the front panel

Centre the pressed panel and with a rotary cutter, ruler and mat trim the panel to measure 11.5in x 13.5in. Trim a piece of Vileseline F220 to 11.5in x 13.5in and fuse to the wrong side following the manufacturer’s instructions.

How to make casing for a drawstring

5. Create the drawstring casing

With a rotary cutter, ruler and mat, trim the pink cotton into two strips measuring 9.5in x 2.5in. Working on each strip in turn, fold 1/4in along each of the short ends to the wrong side and press. Secure in place with a line of top stitching. Align the two long sides and fold in half, press to neaten. Repeat to create second drawstring casing.

How to sew a lined drawstring bag

6. Prepare the backing and lining fabrics

With a rotary cutter, ruler and mat, trim the chambray to measure 11.5in x 13.5in and set aside. Trim the lining cotton to create two pieces measuring 11.5in x 13.5in.

Hemming the lining of a drawstring bag

7. Create the lining

With the right sides of the two pieces of lining facing, pin in place and then with a 1/4in seam allowance join around the two side seams and the base of the lining with a straight machine stitch. Leave 1/2in at the start and end of the seams unstitched. Clip the corners to neaten and fold over and press 1/2in along the top sides of lining to the wrong side. Set aside.

How to make drawstrings

8. Create the drawstrings

Trim the cord to create two 45in lengths. Holding both pieces together, align one end to the lower corner of the patchwork front panel and pin in place. Working within the seam allowance, work a few lines of stitches over the cords to hold them in position in the corner. Repeat to secure the cords onto the opposite bottom corner, ensuring that the cords aren’t twisted.

Beginner's sewing project - learn to sew a drawstring bag

9. Complete the outer bag 

Position the chambray back panel onto the patchwork front panel and pin in place – the drawstrings will be neatly sandwiched at the lower corners. With a 1/4in seam allowance join around the two side seams and the base of the bag with a straight machine stitch. Leave 1/2in at the start and end of the seams unstitched. Clip the corners to neaten and  turn through to the right side and press. Fold under and press 1/2in along the top sides of bag to the wrong side.

How to add lining to a bag

 10. Position the lining

Slide the lining inside the bag outer, ensure that the side seams are neatly aligned and that the wrong side of both the lining and bag outer are facing. Pin at the sides seams to hold in position.

How to make a drawstring bag UK

11. Secure the casing and complete the bag

Working on the front and then the back of the bag in turn, ensuring that there are no twists or tangles in the drawstring, place one of the casings around the string with the drawstring pressed firmly into the upper fold.

Slide the drawstring casing in between the bag outer and the bag lining – the string will be secured within the casing – and pin in place. Repeat with second casing and drawstring before stitching around the entire upper opening of the back to secure the casings in place and join the lining and the bag outers together.

How to make a drawstring bag UK

 Website: www.madepeachy.com

Twitter: @madepeachy

Instagram: @madepeachy

Facebook: madepeachy

Pinterest: @madepeachy

For other free sewing projects using precut fabrics by Laura take a look at our half square triangle baby quilt project (uses a jelly roll), folded pocket wallet project (uses charm squares) and this cutting mat workshop bag (uses charm squares).