how to sew a drawstring bag

How to Sew a Drawstring Bag

Elevate your gift-giving or personal storage game with this easy-to-follow guide on how to sew a versatile drawstring bag. Suppose you are interested in producing a fashionable tote, a practical bread bag, or a unique backpack. This guide will guide you through the sequential steps to transform your fabric concepts into tangible products.

  • It is essential to clearly understand the basic materials and tools required for creating a drawstring bag through sewing.
  • Learn how to cut the fabric pieces and prepare them for assembly.
  • Discover the secrets to creating the perfect drawstring casing and channel.
  • Master the art of sewing the bag’s body and lining, ensuring a professional finish.
  • Explore creative ways to customize your drawstring bag with unique design elements.
  • Gain confidence in your sewing skills and unleash your inner crafter.

Ready to dive into the world of handmade drawstring bags? Let’s get started!

Understanding the Essentials

Crafting a drawstring bag can seem challenging, but with the right materials and some practice, you can make these versatile accessories with ease. Let’s start by collecting the necessary items you’ll need.

  • Fabric (cotton, linen, or any medium-weight material) for the outer bag and lining
  • Drawstring cord or ribbon
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • To complete the task, you will require a ruler or measuring tape. Additionally, scissors and pins will also be necessary.
  • Optional: fusible interfacing for added structure

Once you have all the necessary supplies, it’s time to dive into the cutting and preparation stage.

Cutting the Fabric Pieces

Begin by measuring and cutting the fabric pieces for your drawstring bag. For the outer bag, you’ll need two rectangles of equal size, and for the lining, two matching rectangles.

When determining the dimensions, consider the desired size of your finished bag. A typical size for a standard drawstring bag is approximately 12 inches wide by 15 inches tall. However, adjust the measurements to suit your preferences or intended use.

When cutting the fabric, including seam allowances in your measurements is essential. A standard seam allowance of 1/2 inch is a good starting point. This will ensure a clean, professional-looking finish.

Creating the Drawstring Casing and Channel

Creating the Drawstring Casing and Channel
Photo credit: pexels

One of the critical features of a drawstring bag is the drawstring! To create the casing and channel for your cord or ribbon, follow these steps:

  1. Fold the outer bag fabric’s top edge by 1 inch, wrong sides together, and press to create a crease.
  2.  Unfold the fabric and fold the top edge again, this time by 2 inches. Press to create a clean, crisp fold.
  3.  Stitch along the lower edge of the 2-inch fold, leaving a 1-inch opening on one side. This will form the drawstring channel.
  4.  Thread your drawstring cord or ribbon through the channel, securing it at both ends.

You can start assembling the bag with the drawstring casing and channel in place.

Sewing the Bag Body and Lining

  1. Stitch the outer bag pieces’ sides and bottom while keeping the right sides together. Use a 1/2-inch seam allowance for this step.
  2. Repeat this process with the lining pieces, leaving a 4-inch opening at the bottom for turning the bag later.
  3. Carefully turn the outer bag right side out, then insert the lining into the bag, aligning the top edges.
  4. Stitch the top edges of the outer bag and lining together, encasing the raw edges.

Customizing Your Drawstring Bag

Now that you’ve mastered the basic construction let your creativity shine! Consider adding unique design elements to make your drawstring bag genuinely one-of-a-kind:

  • Incorporate contrasting fabric panels or trim for a bold, eye-catching look.
  •  Experiment with different drawstring materials, such as twill tape or grosgrain ribbon
  •  Add a pocket or two on the exterior or interior for extra storage.
  •  Try a French seam finish for a clean, professional appearance on the inside.

The possibilities are endless! Embrace your sewing skills and let your style shine through.


Is it possible to utilize any sort of material for a drawstring bag?

While cotton, linen, and medium-weight fabrics are popular choices, you can experiment with various fabrics, including canvas, denim, or even lightweight upholstery fabric. Just be sure to choose a sturdy material to hold its shape and withstand daily use.

Do I need a sewing machine to make a drawstring bag?

While a sewing machine will make the process much more accessible, it is possible to hand-sew a drawstring bag. This may take more time and effort, but it’s a great option if you don’t have access to a machine.

How can I make the drawstring bag adjustable?

To create an adjustable drawstring, make the channel slightly longer than the bag’s width. You have the option to adjust the drawstring, making it tighter or looser based on your personal preference or the contents you are carrying. This feature will help you to accommodate different items or adjust as per your liking.

Can I use a pre-made drawstring, or do I need to make my own?

You can certainly use a pre-made drawstring for your bag, such as a cord or ribbon. This can save time and add a unique touch to your creation. Alternatively, making your drawstring from fabric scraps or cording can be fun to personalize your project.


Unleash your creativity and start sewing your very own custom drawstring bags today! If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out. Happy crafting!


Main image: pexels

Priti Nandy
Priti Nandy
Articles: 249

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