DIY Easy Fish Shaped Drawstring Backpack – the Fishpack!


This fun pattern mashup is the height of summer sewing! You can sew a cute drawstring backpack that’s in the shape of a fish.


This is an easy project – perfect for a confident beginner. Or a quick 1 hour project for a sewing fiend. 🙂


It all starts with the pattern for my DIY Fish Shaped Laundry or Beach Bag.

This tutorial was so popular that I got to go on It’s Sew Easy TV and show how to make it!

You will need:

  • the free downloadable pattern

  • 1 yard of fabric (you can use 1/2 yard each of two different fabrics like I did)

  • 4 yards of 1/4” soft cotton rope or ribbon, twill tape, or other drawstring choice (or you can make your own drawstrings using the instructions in this drawstring backpack tutorial. Make them 66” long.)


Get started by cutting out your fish pieces and the drawstring casing pieces as specified in the pattern. The long strips at the far left of the photo are for fabric ties.

I didn’t use them on my green fish backpack (I used soft cotton rope) – but feel free to make your own ties if you want. 🙂

In addition, cut 2 squares 3” x 3” to make the drawstring backpack loops.

Fold the squares in half, press. Open and fold the raw edges to the center, press. Then fold in half and press again to make 3/4” x 3” strips. 

Topstitch along both long edges of the strips.




Follow the pattern instructions through Step 2 of ‘Sew the Fish Body.’

Fold each of the 3” strips in half. Secure the ends to one of the fish pieces about 1/2” above the narrow part of the tail. Sew them securely using a 1/4” seam allowance.


Following the pattern instructions, place both fish body pieces right sides together and sew around the edges of the bag.

Cut two 66” long pieces of drawstring material (or sew them using the pattern instructions).

Thread a drawstring through one casing and then back through the casing on the other side. A bodkin really helps with this.


Push one string through the loop. Tie both ends together.

Repeat one more time on the other side of the bag with the other drawstring.


Now send somebody fishing! ❤️

Thanks for reading my tutorial (and watching the video!). Make sure you check out all my other Free Sewing Patterns too.


Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂