How to Make a Drawstring Bag With a Header

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Make a Drawstring Bag With a Header
Make a Drawstring Bag With a Header (Image: Niesz at Flickr)

Drawstring bags can be made in any size and used for so many purposes. A larger bag works well as a tote bag, overnight bag or reusable grocery bag. A medium size bag made from bright fabric is a fun summer purse. And a smaller size bag created out of satin or velvet makes an attractive evening bag. Drawstring bags are easy to make and putting a header (ruffle) at the top takes only a few extra steps. For the purposes of these instructions, we will make a medium sized drawstring bag that is 10-inches wide and 12-inches tall.

Things You'll Need

  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Poster board
  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Cording

Purchase a ½ yard fabric and matching thread. Also purchase a pair of shoe strings (25-inches) or decorative cord (two 25-inch lengths, longer if you want a shoulder bag) for the drawstring. You may, however, sew your own drawstrings out of the bag fabric by cutting 1-by-25 inch strips. Press under the two short edges and then fold the strip in half lengthwise with the wrong sides together. Fold the long edges towards the center crease on both sides and press. Sew along the outer edge at both ends and along the pressed opening.

Cut out a pattern from poster board. It should be a rectangle measuring 10½-by-4 inches. Trace around the rectangle pattern on the wrong side of the fabric with a pencil or quilters blue pencil. Cut two rectangles.

Pin the two fabric rectangles together, right sides facing inside. Sew a ½ -inch seam around, leaving the top of the bag open as well as 2-inches at the top of each side. Press up from both sides to match the ½-inch seam. Turn the bag right side out and press. Press all the way up both sides. Fold under ¼-inch, toward the inside, press and sew each side of the bag. Fold again, toward the inside, about 1¾-inch, press and then sew each side.

String the cording, one on each side, in the bottom tube of fabric. Tie the two cord ends at each seam side of the bag in a decorative knot. The top tube will form the draw string bag header. Pull the cord on both sides forming a gather effect that closes the bag.

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