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How To: Make A Drawstring Bag

A few weeks ago on our Calico Laine blog, we covered how to make an easy peasy tote bag that would be perfect for all kinds of purposes - beach visits, shopping trips, or even as a unique gift for a friend, a handmade bag is both thoughtful and practical, and it can be personalised in any way at all to make it truly special. In today's blog, I'll be covering how to make another kind of bag - a drawstring bag, perfect for uses such as gift bags, dust and scratch protectors or even as a gym/swimming bag, depending on the size that you make it. I chose to base this tutorial on making a larger size of drawstring bag, which will be great for storing things like children's school sports kits or keeping items clean and safe while out and about.

You will need:
- 0.5 metres of fabric (we suggest our cotton plains and prints)
- Some cord (minimum of 1 metre; make it as long as you like)
- A matching reel of thread (we recommend Gutermann Sew-All Thread)
- Dressmaking pins
- A ruler or tape measure
- A large safety pin

Step One
First, take your fabric and lay it flat. Mark a rectangle measuring about 95cm by 40cm using your ruler or tape measure and pins (you could also use tailor's chalk for this if you find this method easier). Cut your rectangle out.

Step Two
After cutting your rectangle, fold the two shorter sides inwards by 1cm. Pin these down, sew them and iron flat.

Step Three
Fold one of the longer sides inwards by 1cm, but do not sew it yet. Instead, iron it flat, then turn it over once more by 2cm. Iron flat again and pin into place. Sew along this folded edge as close as you can to create a channel for where your cord will go.

Step Four
Fold your rectangle in half so that the corners meet, and pin into place. Now comes the part where it starts to look like a bag! Sew along the bottom edge of your bag (where you have not sewn anything at all yet), and up the side that is not folded. Make sure to stop sewing just before the place where you made your 2cm turn over in the last step - this is very important, as you will sew up your cord channel and your bag will not work if you do not stop sewing your seam here.

Step Five
Turn your drawstring bag right side out. Take your safety pin and push the sharp point through one end of your cord, refastening the safety pin afterwards so that your cord is threaded onto it. Feed the safety pin and the attached cord through the channel you made in your bag until you reach the other end.

 Step Six
Trim your cord to your desired length (for a child's bag, we do not recommend making it much more than the length of the bag for safety reasons) and knot both ends together. Your bag is now finished!

These bags can also be customised and embellished with names, patches and anything you can think of. Knowing how to make a drawstring bag can be a real money saver as well, as they are popular for use with children's items such as toys with lots of pieces (Lego, jigsaw puzzles, etc), and when buying them from a store the price can soon add up!

If you decide to try your hand at making a drawstring bag, be sure to show us a photo on our Facebook page! We love to see what our customers come up with.