Simple Drawstring Bag – Free Sewing Pattern and Tutorial
Need to know how to make a drawstring bag for a gift bag, knitting or crochet bag, lunch bag… lingerie, shoe, make-up, jewelry, coins, maybe a small drawstring backpack, or little bag for any other reason?
Sew up a delightful Drawstring Ditty Bag! This easy unlined drawstring bag tutorial is great for beginners and experienced crafters. It also gives instructions to make an optional sturdy false bag bottom that you can make so that your little bag always keeps that cute shape.
UPDATE: This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The blog post below is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The PDF download for $2 is totally optional.
Each bag uses 2 (or 3) fabrics (if you count the false bag bottom), and can be cinched up with your choice of drawstring materials. I used pretty leather cording and pony beads, but you could also make DIY drawstrings or use narrow ribbon or cotton rope.
Don’t skip the false bottom – it adds such a cute and professional touch!
The finished dimensions of the bottom of the bag are 6” x 8” and it stands about 9” tall.
Are you ready for this easy sewing project?
Make an Easy Drawstring Ditty Bag!
You will need:
1/4 yard of fabric for the bag front/back/bottom (FQ friendly!)
1/4 yard of fabric for the sides (FQ friendly!)
60” of drawstring material of your choice (leather cording, narrow ribbon, 1/4” cotton rope, or 1/4” double fold bias trim that has been sewn together along the edges)
2 pony beads for embellishment (optional)
For the false bag bottom, you will need:
1/4 yard Peltex 72F ultra firm double sided fusible interfacing
a 10” x 14” scrap of fabric
Of course I always love to use fabric scraps from previous projects, but for this one I cut new pieces.
For the bag front/back/bottom, cut:
2 rectangles of fabric that are 11” x 8 1/2” for the front and back
1 rectangle of fabric that is 6 1/2” x 8 1/2” for the bottom
Tip: if you are using non-directional fabric (and not a FQ), you may cut one continuous piece that is 8 1/2” x 27 1/2”. Then skip Step 1 of ‘Sewing the Bag’ below.
For the bag sides, cut:
4 rectangles of fabric that are 11” x 3 1/2”
For the bag false bottom piece, cut:
2 rectangles of Peltex 6” x 8”
1 rectangle of fabric that is 10” x 14”
Start by making the false bag bottom using my free tutorial.
Sewing the Bag:
1/4” seam allowance allowed
1. Pin and stitch the 8 1/2” edges of the bag front, back, and bottom pieces right sides together with the bottom piece in between the front and back pieces. Finish the seams with a serger or zig zag stitch.
Tip: This will make a long 8 1/2” x 27 1/2” bag body piece. If you cut this long piece to begin with, you can skip this step.
2. Pin one of the 11” x 3 1/2” side pieces to a corner of the bag body piece as seen above.
Sew the layers together along the long sides only.
3. Repeat to sew all of the bag side pieces to the long bag body piece.
Finish the seams with a serger or zig zag stitch. Press the seams toward the bag body.
4. Topstitch 1/8” away from the seams on the side pieces.
5. Working on the inside of the bag, measure 2-inch down from each corner and place a pencil mark on the side piece.
6. Finish the remaining long edges of the side pieces with a serger or zig zag stitch. If you can’t see your pencil marks that are 2-inch down from each corner, re-mark them.
7. To make the casings, fold both top edges down by 1/4” and press, and then by another 1/2” and press well.
8. Fold the bag at the bottom, placing the top and side edges together.
Pin the sides from the pencil mark down.
9. Stitch the bag sides together along the finished edges, sewing from the pencil mark down. Stop at the corner and backstitch (do not turn).
10. Press the side seams open, continuing up to press the finished edges at the top (the 2” that are not sewn) to the inside by 1/4” too.
11. Flatten each corner and pin the side to the bag bottom (right sides together). Pin and stitch. Finish the seam.
Make the Drawstring Channel and Add the Drawstring:
1. Sewing on the outside, stitch a scant 1/4” away from the pressed edges at the top sides of the bag.
You can simply sew down one side, pivot, sew across the seam, pivot again, and sew back up to the top.
2. Working from the inside, re-fold the pressed casing (or re-press if needed).
Stitch the casing along the long edge only sewing close to the fold. Repeat for both the front and back casings.
3. Cut two 30” drawstrings with scissors. Use a bodkin to thread one drawstring through one casing and then back through the other casing so that both ends of the drawstring are on the same side of the bag and about the same length.
4. Thread both ends through a pony bead (optional) and make a knot close to the ends.
5. Repeat on the other side of the bag with the remaining drawstring,
Insert the false bottom and your Drawstring Ditty Bag is done!
Now you know how to sew a drawstring bag! If you make this free pattern, please tag me on Instagram @SewCanShe and let me know what you are using it for!
Check out all my other Free Sewing Patterns too if you’re looking for more sewing projects!
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. 🙂
Thanks Caroline! I like how the pattern is FQ friendly.
That turned out super cute, Caroline! It would make an excellent gift bag, because then you’d be giving two presents in one! Thank you for all the work you put into this, and for sharing the pattern and tutorial with us. I think I’ll make one to put my mom’s birthday gift in this year!
Obrigada por compartilhar…
Estou há muito tempo procurando um tutorial de saco sem forro.
Todos os que eu já vi tinham dois tecidos.
Para o uso como Pacote de Presente este modelo ficou muito especial.
Tutorial perfeito pois explica com todos os detalhes como fazer o acabamento do saco.
Mais uma vez, obrigada por compartilhar
Bjks e [ ]s
Thank you for this pattern… it’s just what I’ve been looking for. I have a question, though, about the false bottom fabric dimensions: I keep looking over the instructions, and it seems like the fabric should be cut 14" x 18". I’m having a hard time visualizing getting this to work with a 10" x 14" piece of fabric. Is there something that I’m missing in understanding this?
Thank you so much for all your generosity in sharing patterns and ideas,
Did you read the tutorial for the bag bottom? If you lay the two 8” x 6” pieces of peltex side by side they will take up 8” x 12”. The fabric piece needs to be larger than that by 1” all around. So I cut mine 10” x 14”. Hope that helps!
Caroline, thank you! I was doubling both dimensions, and then adding the overlap… silly me! I made the bag bottom… and it’s perfect! Now… onto the rest of the bag.
Thank you for this pattern. I am teaching After School students (grades 4-7) to machine sew. We had some donated fabric and I wanted easy straight seam projects to start with. This will be perfect. Thank you again.Nancy
I love this. I can think of so many uses for it. I’ll be making some very soon. Maybe even for Christmas. They’d be good to put the gifts in, too. And a gift itself. Can’t wait to get started. I love making gifts.