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This 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

The Cotton PAtchThis project is the fourth in a series using pre-cut fabrics and is kindly sponsored by The Cotton Patch - a specialist patchwork and quilting shop with a large range of pre-cut fabrics. 


Drawstring Bag Project

Sew a drawstring bag


Drawstring bags 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

Scissors

Sewing machine - with quilting and walking foot as desired

Iron & ironing board

 

Notes

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.

 

To Sew

Layer Cake squares for a bag project

 
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.

 

Laying out squares for a drawstring bag

 
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 sew with squares of fabric


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 Vlieseline to a sewn panel

 
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.

 

Create a casing for drawstrings


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.

 

Cut backing and lining for a 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.

 

Create a bag lining

 
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.

 

Making drawstrings on a bag

 
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.

 

Completing the outer 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.

 

Position lining for drawstring 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.

 

Secure casing to finish a drawstring bag


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.

 

Sew a useful drawstring bag

 

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For further projects using precuts, see our selection here

Sewing projects using precut fabrics