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How to Make a Drawstring Bag

How to Make a Drawstring Bag

I used  little drawstring bag tutorial as the base pattern to which I machine appliqued droplets of Liberty, adding a few hand stitches and some vintage ribbon & sequins for a subtle sparkle.



Here’s the droplets tutorial….

Embellish a Drawstring Bag with Droplets of Liberty


What you will need ::

Jeni’s drawstring bag tutorial (makes a drawstring bag with approx finished size of 10″ x 10″ with a 3″ depth/gusset) & fabric to make the bag as per measurements in tute.
Liberty Scraps
Paper backed iron on fusible webbing such  as Vliesofix or Bondaweb
Droplets template (or draw your own)
Embroidery floss or Perle 8 cotton thread
Some beads &/or sequins  to add a subtle touch of twinkle if you like!

+ your basic sewing supplies (sewing machine, iron, needle, scissors, pencil, tailors chalk, ruler)

How to ::

1. Print out the droplets template (pdf download here) or draw your own. With a pencil, trace the droplet designs onto the paper side of your fusible webbing. Roughly cut around pencil line leaving approx 1/4 inch space around the design. For my drawstring bag I drew 10 of each size.

How to Make a Drawstring Bag

2. Place the glue side (the non paper side) of the cut out fusible webbing on to the wrong side of your Liberty scrap. Follow the manufacturers instructions & carefully iron the droplet design in place.

When it’s cooled, cut around the pencil line.

Peel the paper away from the back of the fabric & you’ll be left with a gluey back ready to fix to the main fabric of your drawstring bag. Place to one side.

How to Make a Drawstring Bag

3. Using Jeni’s tutorial, cut your fabric for the drawstring bag. I cut mine as one whole piece as I didn’t want the accent piece distracting from the droplets but keep it in if you like by all means. I also cut my lining pieces at this point but didn’t attach them until after I had finished embellishing the main bag fabric so they weren’t in the way.

4. Using your ruler & tailors chalk, mark out some guidelines for positioning your fabric droplets. You don’t really want any droplets where the drawstring is or on the base. I marked my guidelines approx 4″ from either short end, and approx 3″ from the centre either way.

Next I marked some guidelines to place the droplets on so they were evenly spaced across the bag. I marked a line down the centre and then 2 lines either side of the centre line approx 2″ apart. This keeps the droplets within the seam allowances and when you come to sew the gusset in Jeni’s tutorial you won’t lose a droplet in the gusset!

How to Make a Drawstring Bag

5. Position your droplets (right side up) onto the guidelines you marked.

How to Make a Drawstring Bag

shuffle them around & when you are happy with their placement carefully iron in place.

6. Time to  machine applique!  If you can, set your machine to sew at a slower speed, shorten your stitch length a bit ( I set mine to 1.8) and attach your machine applique foot (it’s usually the short dumpy one with a wider opening).

You might prefer to use & be more comfortable with a free motion foot.  I am not very practiced with free motion and prefer the control of the applique foot but that’s just a personal preference so please use which ever foot & method you are more comfortable with :)

At your start point, lower your needle keeping a hold of  thread from the needle. Raise the needle, still holding the thread & gently pull the bobbin thread up through to the top of your fabric. Pull it all the way through and then bring both threads around to the back of the foot. This saves you getting any tangly bits on the back of your work.

How to Make a Drawstring Bag

Begin sewing, rotating your work as you go. Back stitch at the beginning and end point of each droplet.

There’s no need to cut  the  thread between each droplet, simply raise the presser foot and move across to the next droplet & keep sewing until you have sewn all the droplets.

How to Make a Drawstring Bag

Remove your work from the machine & trim off all those in-between bits of thread from the front & back.

How to Make a Drawstring Bag

7. Add some hand stitches. Using a hera marker, or tailors chalk mark some guidelines to hand stitch along. You can use a ruler if you like straight lines or just freestyle it  if you like a more relaxed look.

How to Make a Drawstring Bag

For my hand stitches (a simple running stitch) I used 3 strands of embroidery floss but Perle 8 would be really lovely too.  You can use a hoop if you like but as it is a fairly small piece  you might be moving it a bit. I found that a nice  plump cushion across my lap to rest my work on worked a treat!

How to Make a Drawstring Bag

As I was sewing down the rows,  I added in a few (about 6 or so on each side) randomly positioned opaque sequins. I’m not a blingy person by any stretch  but these just added a subtle little twinkle to the bag that reminds me of raindrops glinting in the sunshine after a summer shower.  You can add more or less or none or some little  tiny glass beads might be sweet too.

I attached the sequins with a french knot. Some I placed on the droplets & some in-between on the backing fabric.

How to Make a Drawstring Bag

Once you have added all your stitches and embellishments  it should look a bit like this…

How to Make a Drawstring Bag

At this point you can return to Jeni’s  tutorial, add your lining fabric and complete your drawstring bag.

How to Make a Drawstring Bag

I used Kona coal for the exterior of the bag and cut up a shirt I found at the opp shop for the lining – I’m not sure if it is, but it has the feel & look of a Liberty print, anyone familiar with it? – I love it anyway & it’s so pretty, there is something about a pink & grey combo….

The ribbon I used for the drawstring  is from a roll of vintage ribbon I scored at the opp shop too, it has a crinkly sort of texture to it & it’s not as dark or as salmony pink as it looks in the photos, it’s more of a vintage rose pink.

How to Make a Drawstring Bag

You might like to embellish something else with the Liberty droplets too ! perhaps a tote, or a zippy pouch or a kitchen towel or sewing machine cover or make an embroidery hoop or………

How to Make a Drawstring Bag


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