Drawstring Bag with Strap Tutorial

How to sew an easy drawstring bag / Sewing tutorial for beginners.
To make the pouch, follow the directions below. Click on each picture to enlarge to full scale.  I think the photos do a good job of explaining the process, which in turn enabled me to keep wordiness to a minimum.

I hope you enjoy this project, it was a fun one to make. There are so many uses for a pouch like this. I came up with mine because I wanted to have something nice to use for storing all the cables from my camera, ipod, and cell phone. It sure beats looking at a tangled pile of cords on the desk!

If you would like to add embroidery, now is the time to do it. For the acorn, I used all 6 strands of embroidery floss and stitched the outline using a back stitch.


click on acorn line drawing to enlarge. Print, rescale if necessary, trace, and transfer to pouch.

In the photo above, you see I am using a seam stick to press the seam open. It acts much like a seam roll, just smaller. By using it, you avoid pressing marks into the fabric from the edges of the seam allowance. It also helps when you need to press a small area and want to avoid crushing and pressing creases into other parts of the project.

There is a lot going on in this step. You first want to line up and pin the seams in the center. You are actually putting the outer part of the bag to one side and the lining to the other side. Where they meet in the middle will become the top edge of the pouch. Press the entire thing flat, especially the folds on either end.

Now you need to mark the areas that will become the openings for the drawstrings. Measure one inch away from the center seam in BOTH directions. Using a pencil or another transfer tool, draw a line in the seam allowance so you know where to stop and start stitching. Also, you want to mark an area in the lining so that you have an opening for turning the pouch right sides out. A 3 inch space should be adequate.

Next, you want to mark and cut the corners of the pouch. You will be marking a rectangle, not a square, because there is seam allowance on the sides but not the bottom. Look at the photo and note the way the rectangle is drawn. Cut the rectangle.

Finally, stitch the side seams. Remember to back stitch at the marks to keep the seam strong at those points.

Now that the side seams are stitched, the next step is to square off the bottom. To do this, you will pinch the corners and match the seam line to the crease. Open up the seam allowance with your finger, you will be pressing the rest of it next, so just open up the very end so that you can line up the seam with the crease. Pin and then stitch. Repeat for the 3 other corners

Now it's time to do some pressing. Flatten the bag out as shown, carefully lining up both sides. You will be able to press the side seam open and not crush the bag because the back and front are aligned neatly. Press the seam allowances very well.
To ensure that the allowance stays put at the openings, you may want to hand stitch them down to the seam allowance that runs below. It is optional. Once the pouch is turned right sides out, a line of stitching will secure it.

Carrying strap: CLICK on the Photos

Don't forget to sew up the opening in the lining.

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