05 Dec

Rainbow Drawstring Bag

I’m fascinated by the bottoms or sides of bags that have the little sewn-in triangle thingie to poof the bottom out a bit and give it more shape. I think I cracked the code today! If you want the triangles to be on the bottom of your bag, you need a bottom seam, and if you want the triangles on the side of the bag, you need side seams. Why this was not immediately obvious to me, I don’t know.

What I do know is that I made a pretty cool drawstring bag with triangles on the bottom today and I’m willing to share. These instructions make a good sized bag — just a bit smaller than a plastic grocery bag. It’s great for holding odd shaped gifts or kids’ toys.

First, cut about 19 fabric strips 2.25 inches wide by 20 inches long. Mine are arranged in a rainbow, but you could, of course, use whatever you want. Sew them all together on their long sides, using a .25 inch seam allowance. Press your seam allowances open. Cut a piece of lining fabric 13 inches wide by the width of your sewn stripes. Sew the lining piece to one short end of your stripes. Press seam toward the lining fabric.

Fold in half lengthwise and sew up the long side creating a tube. Press the seam open. Fold the lining fabric down to meet the bottom of the striped section, allowing about 3 inches of stripes to fold over as well. You should have a tube with the right sides of your fabrics showing both on the inside and the outside. It will be folded at one end and raw edges at the other.

Trim the bottom of the strip section straight if you haven’t already, and press the upper fold in place.

At the bottom end, tuck in about 2 inches of both inner and outer layers, as shown, making sure that all the raw edges are even. Do this on the other side as well. Pin in place.

Sew the bottom shut through all layers. Use an overlock or zig-zag stitch to keep the seam allowance neat and tidy.

At the upper edge, sew “in the ditch” where the stripes meet the lining fabric. This will be the lower seam of your drawstring casing. Be sure to use something nice in the bobbin as well as the top thread since this will be what shows on the front.

Turn your bag right side out and stitch again a presser foot’s width or more (the thicker your drawstring the wider the casing should be) toward the fold side of the first line of stitching.

Now your casing is done and your bag bottom has those pretty triangles giving it a nice full shape.

Cut two lengths of cord twice the width of your bag plus a little more. I used ribbon here and though it looks nice, it doesn’t draw up in the casing as nice as a pretty cord would.

Using a seam ripper, cut open two seams on opposite sides of the bag, between the casing stitching. Do not cut open the seams on the interior of the bag. Using a safety pin, thread one drawstring through one hole, past the other and back out the original hole. Knot the ends together. Thread the other drawstring in the same manner, through the other hole on the opposite side of the bag and knot it’s ends together.

Find something wonderful to put in your bag, pull the drawstrings to close it and admire your work!

11 thoughts on “Rainbow Drawstring Bag

  1. That is so cool and so pretty. Mia would love one. Someday, I will do other sewing again. I have had a desire to whip up more mod table runners!!

  2. great point and great tutorial. it is great to share those special tips that make things clear. i once had a drawing teacher who taught me to draw by simply showing me my errors. silly things i was just missing the point of. teaching should be like that. thank you.

  3. I just made one of the bags following your tutorial and I really like it. I should have listened better and made the casing for the drawstrings wider but it will be ok when I get the proper drawstrings. Right now I have yarn in it.

  4. Me too, I just made one today for a Christmas gift and I love it. Thanks for the great inspiration and tutorial. I blogged about it and linked to your post to spread the word. I think I’m finally getting in the mood for Christmas.

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