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Versatile drawstring bags

Updated: Sep 26, 2022

  • Drawstring bags are easy to make, carry, use and customize.

  • They can be repurposed and reused over and over again.

  • They are washable and environmet friendly compared to plastic or paper bags that are usually used once and thrown away.

  • They are great for organizing small items, packaging and packing.

  • They are very suitable for various school uses such as packing lunch, separating used excercise cloths from the clean one in the gym bag or organizing and storing drawing supply or other small items.

  • Once you make one you will be hooked and get creative with it. You can make it light and simple (ideal for dry lavender in closet) or lined and decorated and customised with applique or Inktense pencils.

  • You can repurpuse old clothing, use leftovers, fat quarters or even orphan blocks.

  • Bags made from Orphan block are great for gift wrapping.

  • Dated prints or used linens are perfect for lining the bags.

Supplies needed for a 10" tall, 7" wide and 3" deep bag

  • Main fabric: 17 ½" x 10 ½" rectangles (1 piece)

  • Accent fabric: 4” x 10 ½" strips (2 pieces)

  • Interior fabric: 12 ½" x 10 ½" rectangles (2 pieces)

  • Twill tape or ribbon (½" wide) or cotton string approximately 1 ½ yard


  • Sew the pieces into one continous strip and press the seams

  • If you use orphan blocks or directional fabric you can sew the blocks into two separate exterior rectangles of 9" x 10 ½" then sew the two rectangles together with the seam on the bottom

  • Fold the strip in half, right sides together and align the seams

  • Sew along the sides and leave a 3" long opening on the bottom (for turning the bag inside out) of the lining and two 1" opening on the accent fabric for the string

  • the 1" opening for the string can be in the center of the accent fabric or slightly closer to the main fabric

Box Corners

  • Press either corner into a triangle

  • Mark a 3" long line 1 ½" away from the tip of the corner

  • Sew along the line and trim off the corner ¼" away from the seam line

  • Finish all corners in the same way

  • Turn the bag inside out through the 3" long opening and gently push out the corners

  • Close the 3" long opening on the lining

  • Nestle the interior into the exterior and press along the top edge

  • Mark a horizontal line at the top and bottom of the 1" opening

  • Sew along the lines and the top edge

  • Cut the ribbon or string in half

  • Attach a safety pin to the end of either ribbon and insert the safety pin into one of the side openings

  • Push it through all the way to the other opening

  • Repeat with the other ribbon

  • Tie the ends together in a tight knot on either side

You can get the pear templates by buying my "Share the Pears" pattern:

The pattern contains the templates and instructions to make placemats, table runner and a throw size quilt

Visit my fellow designers' pages for more ideas for September projects

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