Helping you create a home by hand.

How to Make Two Drawstring Bags from Two FQs

How to Make Two Drawstring Bags from Two FQs

Earlier this month, I posted about sewing drawstring bags that I filled with toiletries to donate to the local women’s shelter.  As I was sewing them, I took lots and lots of photos so that I could share a tutorial for how I made them.  Last Saturday, I finally sat down and went through over 200 photos I had taken, picked out the best, resized them and wrote this tutorial.

Affiliate Link Disclosure Notice

To make two fully lined drawstring bags you will need:

2 coordinating fat quarters

Fabric for lining and strings (I used Kona cotton)

Matching thread if you wish. (I was making 10 bags so I just used white thread for all of them.)

Quilting Ruler

Cutting Mat

Rotary Cutter

(*note that affiliate links are enclosed in the materials required)

To make the pattern for the bottom of the bag:

Fold over 4 ¼” of an 8 ½ X 11” piece of paper.

1. fold over about 4.25 inches

Make a pencil mark at 4” from the fold.

2. Make a pencil mark at 4 inches

Make another pencil mark at 7 ½” along the folded edge of the paper.

3. Turn paper and mark at 7.5 inches on folded edge

Using something round as a template (I used a small plate), draw a quarter circle from that bottom line.

draw a curve using a small plate

Now extend that line up to the pencil mark at the top of the paper.

5. Draw line to mark at top of paper

Once, I’d finished doing that I adjusted the curve until I liked the way it looked.

redraw the curve for bottom of the bag

Cutting instructions:

Fold each fat quarter in half so it is 9”x22”.  Trim off the selvedge and square up.

Trim off the selvedges

Measure and cut a 10″ strip.

Measure and cut a 10" strip

Next, turn the strip, measure 8″ and cut.  You will have two 8”x10” pieces of fabric.

Measure and cut at 8 inches to get two 8x10 inch pieces

Pin the pattern piece you created to the rest of the folded fat quarter.  Cut out.

Pin pattern piece to the uncut piece of fat quarter

Repeat the above steps with a second fat quarter in a coordinating fabric.

Using the pattern piece, cut 4 lining pieces.

You will now have the pieces you need to sew two drawstring bags, one the reverse of the other.

Photo of all the pieces cut out for two drawstring bags

To make the drawstring bags:

Pin one 8”x10” piece to the coordinating bottom piece.

Pin 8X10 strip to bottom of bag

Next, take them all to the sewing machine and chain piece the pinned pieces using a ¼” seam allowance.

Photo of chain piecing bag sections together

Remember those 10 bags I talked about making… here’s a photo of them being chain pieced.

Photo of ten bags being chain pieced.

Next, pin a lining piece to each of these and chain piece using a ¼” seam allowance.

Press the seam allowances in the same direction as pictured below.

Photo of bag pieces with seams pressed in the same direction

Pin together, matching seams.

Pin bags sections together and sew

Using pins… mark openings for the casing at 1 1/2″ and again at 2 1/2″ from the seam line as pictured above.  (I use pins with different colored heads so that I don’t miss them when I’m sewing.)

Using two pins… mark opening in the lining for turning.

Opening in the lining is indicated by double pins.

Pieces pinned and ready to sew

Sew all the way around, stopping and starting at the places marked by the pins, removing pins as you go. Back tack each time you stop and start.

Turn right side out and sew the opening in the lining closed.

Sew the opening in the lining closed

Push the lining down into the bag. The seams that you pressed in the same direction should now nest beside each other (one seam pointing towards the top of the bag and one pointing towards the bottom.)

Pin in place and topstitch 1/8” from seam.

Topstitch close to seam

Press well.

To form the casing for the string:

Sew 2.5” from top of bag.

Sew 2.5 inches from top of bag

If you look closely at the photo, you can see that I used a thick rubber band to make a seam guide at 2.5” from the needle.

Sew a second seam 3.5” from top of bag.  (I moved the rubber band over 1”.)

Stitch a second seam 3.5 inches from the top of bag

Photo of finished bags:

Photo of completed drawstring bags without drawstrings

To make the strings:

Cut two strips WOF (width of fabric) from Kona cotton (or fabric of your choice.)

Cut two 2 inch strips WOF

Press in half lengthwise.

Press strip in half lengthwise

Open up and press each side towards the center crease.

Press edges toward the middle crease

Fold in half and press well.

Press folded strip well

Sew close to the double folded edges.

Stitch close to the double folded edge

Next cut each string in half.

Thread the string through the casing starting at one side, all the way around and out the same side.

Next thread the second string through the casing starting on the opposite side, all the way around and out that side.

Knot the ends of the strings together.

Now you have two drawstring bags ready to gift or store treasures in.

Two completed drawstring bags ready for gifting.

Or if you’re sewing for charity like I was… ten drawstring bags which you can see in this post.

Edited to add:  I also made some quick, inexpensive Easter gift bags using this tutorial.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information please check my Disclosures and Disclaimers page. It doesn’t cost you any extra, but it does help support this site.


I would be so pleased if you chose to share by clicking on one of the buttons below!


  • Anna
    March 31, 2015 3:59 pm

    I love how you used a plate to get a perfect curve! I’ve never thought of making drawstring bags with different shaped bottoms before 🙂

  • Ana Love Craft
    March 29, 2015 7:02 pm

    Very pretty!Thanks for sharing tutorial!
    Hope you have a wonderful Easter!
    Hugs from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft

  • Laney
    August 31, 2014 5:55 pm

    Great tutorial. These bags look so cute!

  • Celtic Thistle Stitches
    August 29, 2014 6:39 am

    Great bags and a great tutorial too! Ten at once seems like a step too far though 🙂

  • Kelly Jackson
    August 28, 2014 11:50 am

    Thanks for the tutorial 🙂 Those bags would be great to use as gift wrap too….gift wrap that can be re-used over and over again.


Comments are closed.