how to make a drawstring bag?

Drawstring bags are quick and easy to make. They require fabric, cord, a toggle if desired, and some straight stitching.

In this tutorial the dimensions are for a small drawstring bag that holds 5 of my Produce Bags that I take to do Fruit and Vegetable shopping, but you can change the size so that it is perfect for your needs.

Finished Size: 13cm wide x 19cm high (5 1/8″ wide x 7 1/2″ high)


Cotton fabric, cut in a rectangle of 28cm wide x 23cm high (11″ wide x 9″ high)
55cm of 3mm Cord (21 1/2″ of 1/8″ Cord)

Sewing Instructions

I have used contrasting thread to make it easier to see, I recommend you use a matching thread colour.

1cm (5/8″) seam allowances

Finish all edges, except top long edge, with an overlock stitch, zig-zag or cut with pinking shears. The top edge is left unfinished as it will be enclosed in the drawstring casing.

I used a selvedge edge so only needed to finish 2 sides.

Drawstring Bag - Overlock three sides

Fold fabric in half widthwise with right sides facing, so you end up with a rectangle that is 14cm wide x 23cm high (5 1/2″ wide x 9″ high).

On the long side with the raw edge make a mark 5cm (2″) from top edge.

Drawstring Bag - Mark 5cm from top

Sew from this marked position all the way to 1cm before the bottom corner, pivot and sew along the bottom of the bag, making sure you do a reverse stitch at the start and end of your stitching line to make it secure.

Drawstring Bag - Sew on two sides

Press side seams open.

Drawstring Bag - Press Open Side Seam

To create the drawstring casing turn under top long edge by 1cm (3/8″).

Drawstring Bag - Press Top Edge 1cm

Turn over again by 1.5cm (5/8″).

Drawstring Bag - Press Top Edge Again 1.5cm

Sew along folded edge of drawstring casing. As the opening is quite small for this drawstring bag it won’t fit around the free arm of the sewing machine, so you need to turn the bag to the right side. If you are making a larger bag then keep the bag with right sides facing.

Drawstring Bag - Sew Folded Top Edge
Drawstring Bag - Sewn Top Edge

Turn the drawstring bag so that it is right side out (if not already). Gently push out the corners.

Attach a safety pin to one end of the cord and thread it through the drawstring casing.

Drawstring Bag - Use Safety Pin on Cord

[OPTIONAL] Thread both ends of the cord through a toggle.

Drawstring Bag - Thread Toggle onto Cord

Finish cord ends with a few drops of Fray Check (affiliate link) or Fray Stoppa to stop them unravelling.

Drawstring Bag - Finish Cord with Fray Stoppa

Knot two ends of the cord together.

Drawstring Bag - Knot Cord

That’s it you have sewn a Drawstring Bag – Congratulations!

Drawstring Bag - Finished with and without toggle

This Drawstring Bag can be used to hold Produce Bags created in one of my other free tutorials.

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