How to Sew a Drawstring Laundry Bag

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Keep organized and in style by making a drawstring laundry bag as decorative as it is functional. Use it for daily laundry, a vacation staple or give it away a housewarming gift for those headed off to dorm living or a first apartment.

Things You'll Need

  • Patterned utility fabric, 28 inches by 40 inches, 2 pieces
  • Medium-weight muslin lining, 28 inches by 40 inches, 2 pieces
  • Fabric scissors
  • Steam iron
  • Straight pins (optional)
  • Sewing machine
  • Coordinating spool of sewing thread
  • Jute rope, 72 inches or 2 yards
Learn to sew a simple drawstring laundry bag.
Learn to sew a simple drawstring laundry bag. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 1

Cut your fabric to size, and then iron each piece to flatten and free from wrinkles.

Utility fabric is a heavier-weight material, adding durability and shape to the overall bag.
Utility fabric is a heavier-weight material, adding durability and shape to the overall bag. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 2

Lay out a single piece of each the utility and muslin fabrics, overlapping one another with right sides facing out.

The muslin fabric will act as a bag lining and add visual interest.
The muslin fabric will act as a bag lining and add visual interest. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 3

Fold the overlapped pieces of fabric half an inch in from the edge along the two longer sides and one of the shorter sides. Iron the fold in place. Stitch along the center of all three sides of the folded fabric (leaving the mouth of the bag open), with a quarter-inch seam allowance, before removing pins.

Ironing a fold makes sewing the seam easier and can oftentimes negate the need for pins.
Ironing a fold makes sewing the seam easier and can oftentimes negate the need for pins. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 4

To create the channel for the drawstring bag top, fold and iron 2 inches of the fabric on the remaining, unstitched side.

Pay attention to the pattern, keeping it straight when folding the fabric.
Pay attention to the pattern, keeping it straight when folding the fabric. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 5

Stitch this fold, leaving a 1½-inch folded border. While sewing, backstitch along each side edge for added durability.

Choose a coordinating thread to tie into the fabric pattern.
Choose a coordinating thread to tie into the fabric pattern. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 6

Repeat steps two through five with the remaining two pieces of patterned and muslin fabric, and then piece both sets of fabric together, right sides facing in. Pin together the three sides surrounding the top channels for added security while sewing if desired.

Pay attention to the pattern, coordinating each side when piecing together.
Pay attention to the pattern, coordinating each side when piecing together. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 7

Sew along each of the three sides of the fabric, stopping just below the channel openings. Backstitch at each of the channel points for added durability.

Most sewing machines have a backstitching setting for a quick back and forth along the fabric edge.
Most sewing machines have a backstitching setting for a quick back and forth along the fabric edge. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 8

Neatly trim any excess fabric and loose threads along the sides of the bag, and then turn the entire piece right-side out, pressing along each inside corner to give shape to the laundry bag.

It's amazing how finished the bag will feel once turned inside out.
It's amazing how finished the bag will feel once turned inside out. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 9

String the jute rope through the top channels of the bag, tying a knot at each end when complete, to prevent it from slipping out.

Jute rope adds character and a nautical feel when paired with ticking patterned fabric.
Jute rope adds character and a nautical feel when paired with ticking patterned fabric. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 10

Pull the rope to cinch and close the top of the laundry bag — now it's ready for use.

Store the bag in a laundry room, use as a hamper or to carry to the laundromat.
Store the bag in a laundry room, use as a hamper or to carry to the laundromat. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

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