Beginner Sewist
How to Sew a Drawstring Bag – Easy Sewing Project

How to Sew a Drawstring Bag – Easy Sewing Project

Would you like to learn how to sew a drawstring bag?

Of course you would! Well, you are in luck! Today’s post will show you how!

Drawstring Bag – A Beginner Friendly Project

I know I have a lot to learn when it comes to sewing, but I struggle with sewing with no practical purpose.

If I sew, even if the end product is imperfect, its needs to a functional.

Which is why I think a drawstring bag is the perfect project to start this blog off.

Drawstring bags are easy to customize and have a host of uses. In the past, I have upcycled an old tea towel to make a bread bag, made gift bags, and pouches to organize crafting supplies. All of these were drawstring bags of varying sizes.

Today, we will be making a smaller drawstring bag, which I plan to store my fabric mask in.

While the instructions I have provided today show you how to sew a drawstring bag via a machine, this project can easily be adapted to be hand sewn instead.

How to Make a Drawstring Bag

Supplies Needed

  • Sewing Machine
  • Needle size: dependent on fabric (I used 80/12)
  • Coordinating thread
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Marking Tool appropriate to use with your fabric (I used a water soluble pen)
  • Ruler/Measuring Tape
  • Fabric (I used a cotton Fat Quarter)
  • Cord/Ribbon (for drawstring, I used bias tape)
  • Safety Pin
  • Optional: Pinking shears, self-healing mat, rotary cutter, seam gauge ruler


1. Prep your fabric! Natural fabric has a tendency to shrink, so I washed, dried and ironed my fabric prior to starting this project.

2. Cut out a piece of fabric measuring in by 18 inches by 6 inches. Feel free to adjust the size of the bag so it suits your storage needs.

3. Fold your fabric in half so that the two loose shorter sides meet. If you are using a patterned fabric, make sure the back (the more faded/less vibrant side) of the fabric is facing the outside for now.

4. Draw a line 1/2 inch from the edge. This will be your seam allowance. I used a water erasable pen, but chalk will work too. You can use this line as a sewing guide too.

Pin your fabric here too, as it will help keep the fabric aligned for sewing.

Sew down the blue lines! DO NOT sew over the pins. Keep a pin cushion nearby so you have safely put your pins away while you sew!

6. Use pinking shears to trim edges to prevent the fabric from fraying.

Alternative Step: If pinking shears not available, press open seams, do a zig-zag stitch close to middle of each seam and trim excess fabric. This video by Made to Sew is an excellent guide on how to do this.


7. From the top of the bag, fold down 1/4 inch and press.

Tip: A seam gauge ruler is very helpful for this part, but not entirely necessary.

8. Fold fabric down another 1 inch and press into place. This will be casing for our drawstring.

9. Pin the casing to hold it in place, making sure you don’t catch the other side of the bag.

On one side, leave an approximately 1 inch opening. I used red pins to let me know where I should start and stop sewing.

10. Ensuring you only have one layer of fabric under the presser foot, slowly sew approximately 1/4 inch away from the edge (draw a line in this area too if you think it will help).

11. Using a safety pin, slip cord/string through. You can use whatever you have at hand for a cord (I used the around 20 inches of bias tape).

12. If you used chalk/water soluble markings, remember to give your bags a wash/handwash to remove markings.

Congratulations! You have now sewn a drawstring bag!

If you decide to make this, I would love to see! Please share it with me Facebook or on Instagram.

Happy Sewing!


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