Monday, December 31, 2012

Drawstring Bags

One of my favorite things to do lately is sew these small drawstring bags- perfect for gift-giving and holding your small little trinkets. I made one for my friend to hold a pair of sunglasses that I got her, and today I'm working on one for a friend who just had surgery. Note that you DO NOT need a sewing machine to make these, for they are as easy to make by hand than with a machine. Oh and I took pictures from two different times that I made these bags, so stick with me between all these different pictures. I hope you all are inspired to make more of these little bags for all your little goodies! :)

 Fabric- measure to a size that will fit whatever you are going to put in the bag + 1 to 1 1/2 inch.
Example: for my friend's bag, I had to make the bag big enough to hold a pair of sunglasses then add one extra inch of fabric in order to be able to fold it over (see end picture); the fabric came out to be two squares that were 6in x 6 in

String- you have a lot of flexibility with the string and what material you want to use: for this bag that I am making, I chose to use a thin white yarn, but you can also use friendship bracelet string, lace,ribbon, twine... whatever floats your boat!

Simple as that, you just need two main materials for this project(minus of course the thread and needle). Now comes the fun part!

First, before you sew anything, iron your material. This will get rid of any creases in the fabric and make it look nice and smooth.

Next fold over the top 2 cm on each square of your fabric from the out in. See below photo for better explanation:

Iron down the folds so that they stay down. Sew at the bottom of the fold and voila! You have now made a hole for your draw strings to pass through! Do this twice, once for each square.

 Now turn your fabrics so each fabric side,or right side, is facing the other. Align one of the edges of your fabric with the edge of your pressure foot. This will give you a clean 3/8 seam allowance. Now sew until your reach about a 1 cm to 1/2 cm to the edge of you fabric. Lift up the foot, leaving the needle in the fabric, and turn the fabric. Now place the foot back down and sew along the horizontal edge of your fabrics. Once you are 1 cm to 1/2 cm to the end, lift up the foot and repeat what you did before to turn the fabric. 

Continue sewing until you've reached the fold in the fabric. DO NOT SEW INTO THE FOLD or you will have closed up the whole... No bueno. Once you have reached the fold, be sure to backstitch in order to guarantee that your ending stitches down unravel.

If you want to sew by hand, follow the above steps: sewing along the outside of the two fabrics, leaving about 1 cm of space between your stitches and the edge of the fabric; but don't worry about raising your sewing foot and so forth for you just need to change the direction in which you are sewing. Easy peezy!

Now to make the draw strings:
I like to braid the string that I'm using inorder to make a stronger drawstring, but you can also use friendship bracelets as drawstrings, or if your string is thick enough, you can just leave it by itself! Be sure, no matter what you are doing with your string, to burn the ends so that the string doesn't fray. Oh and remember to make the drawstrings about 2 inches longer on EACH SIDE of the bag in order to have enough string to pull.

Once you have finished making your drawstrings, the easiest way to pull them through the holes is to stick a clothespin in close the knot in the string and push the pin through the hole. It may take a while, but once you have found a rhythm of pushing the fabric forward and pulling the pin, it becomes much easier. Now knot the two strings on either side and pull! Your bag will start to come together! 

There you go! You have just made your very own drawstring back! Give yourself a round of applause! I hope you all are off to a great week and a happy New Years!


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