Drawstring Pouch Sewing Tutorial

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links.  For more info, see my disclosure policy.

I have such a fun little tutorial for you today! My girls’ dance recital is coming up and Natalie and her friends like to give “cast gifts” to each other. We came up with the idea to make small drawstring pouches to hold their hair pins and other hair accessories. (If you have a dancer in the house, you know how important these things are and how hard they are to corral!)

We based our little pouches on one I made probably 15 years ago to hold my jewelry when I travel. That one has pockets for necklaces and things inside, but we don’t need pockets for this purpose.

If you’d like to come back to this idea later, I’d be happy for you to pin this next image on Pinterest! And don’t forget you can follow me over there too, I’m always pinning the best of the best sewing inspiration.

How to sew a drawstring pouch, by Nikki Schreiner of PIn, Cut, Sew Studio.

This is a very easy project! We made 11 total and it really didn’t take very long at all.

Supplies:

  • Two coordinating fabrics in at least 1/2 yard cuts OR two coordinating fat quarters. Fat quarters come precut 18”x18” and often come in a set like this super cute one. If you go with 1/2 yard cuts, you can cut three pouches per fabric. If you like the fabrics we used in the photos, we got most of them at Hobby Lobby (like the cute strawberries!)

  • Cording or grosgrain ribbon. I recommend grosgrain over other options of ribbon because it’s strong enough to hold up to lots of use. Here is the cording we used, it’s only $1.99 per spool at Hobby Lobby (although it’s on sale this week for .99!) and it’s the perfect size.

  • Fray Check.

That’s it! Let’s get started.

Instructions:

First things first, you’ll need to create a pattern. I taped two sheets of printer paper together and used a protractor to create a half circle pattern, 13” in diameter. Then, cut out your two circles (one for the outside, one for the inside) by folding your fabric and placing the straight edge of your pattern on the fold.

Drawstring Bag tutorial by Pin, Cut, Sew Studio.

Next, place your circles right sides together and sew around the edge with a 1/4” seam, leaving a couple inches open for turning.

Turn your circle right side out through your opening and press the edges, using a chopstick or turning tool to get the edge perfect by running it along the inside of the circle. Press the opening edges in as if they’d been sewn.

How to make a drawstring bag, a tutorial

Now you’re going to make three rows of top stitching around your circle. The first will be edge stitching, 1/8” from the edge, which will sew shut your opening. The second will be 1” inside from the edge. The third will be 1/2” away from the second, or 1 1/2” from the outer edge. Your casing for the cord is between this second and third line.

Pouch sewing tutorial

You’re done with the sewing part! To cut the holes for your cord or ribbon, find opposite sides of the circle by folding it in half and pressing a line. You’re going to use sharp small scissors to cut slits in the 1/2” casing. You’ll have four slits total, one on each side of your pressed line and on both sides of the circle. Use Fray check to keep those slits sturdy and let it dry for a couple minutes.

Drawstring pouch tutorial

Now for the cords. You’ll need to cut two pieces of cording or ribbon, each one 24” long. This is the trickiest part if you’ve never made this kind of bag where the drawstring pulls from both ends. To thread the first cord through, tie a knot in one end and put a safety pin through the knot. Begin by inserting the safety pin in one slit and thread it all the way around to the other slit on the same side as you started. Remove the safety pin, tie the ends in a knot and trim. For the second cord, do the same thing, but use the slits on the other side of the circle. This will be a little harder since your first cord is already in place and the bag is gathered up, but you can do it!

How to make a drawstring pouch, a sewing tutorial by Nikki at Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

When you’re done, open and close the bag using the strings a few times to even out the strings and that’s it! Natalie’s ballet recital has a Candyland theme, so we chose fabrics with treats on them, super fun. I was browsing Amazon though and I think Art Gallery’s Summer Side line of fabrics is so cute (especially the little sunnies, oh my gosh) and would make great little bags!

Drawstring bag sewing tutorial by Nikki at PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

Of course, you can use these little pouches for lots of things other than hair accessories. Use it for a first aid kit for your purse, maybe? Give them as gifts with little goodies inside? Or use it in your sewing room, so store little things like your Wonder Clips or your quilting safety pins.

What would you use yours for? I’d love to hear about it and if you make one, I’d love to see! Just tag me on Instagram :)

How to sew drawstring pouches, a sewing tutorial by Nikki at Pin, Cut, Sew Studio
Comment

The Maker's Tote: a pattern review

It had been a long time since I'd made a bag, much less two of the same pattern! I wanted to make a special gift for a friend, though and had pinned this Maker's Tote pattern by Noodlehead recently and I knew this was what I wanted to make. 

Luckily, my Hawaii fabric store sells a lot of Cotton & Steel prints! I picked out a few favorites and got to work. Here is how my first version, the larger option, turned out! 

I absolutely love it and what's more, I loved making it!! There was nothing frustrating about this pattern, everything fit together just like it was supposed to. This is pdf pattern and you don't even have to print and tape a bunch of pieces! She includes measurements for cutting, so you will need a rotary cutting set. And there is a template for rounding the corners. 

And the inside!! Let's admire these fab pockets, shall we??

So many great pockets! There's also a zipper pocket on the back exterior that I don't have a photo of. The purpose of this tote is obvious by the name, I think. I made my friend the large one because I think she'll use it mostly for larger projects, like quilts (it's that big!) She'll be able to tote projects around and work on them anywhere. 

DSC_0013.jpg

A few things to note. First, I added the little tab on the end of the zipper. The pattern calls for a separating zipper, but it's really not necessary that it separate, a normal zipper will work as long as it's long enough for the bag to still open fully. Second, the pattern calls for fusible flex foam in the interior. I don't have access to that here, didn't have time to order it, and I like to use what I have on hand anyway. I just used cotton batting. It worked fine, although I'm sure fusible flex foam is a great product. 

I made little zipper pulls from the selvedges because Cotton & Steel makes their selvedge edges too cute to scrap!  

Since I loved how this one turned out so much, I decided to get to work right away on one for myself! I chose the smaller version this time, because I want to use it for knitting and crochet projects, which are what I work out when I'm waiting at dance or golf. 

I chose another great Cotton & Steel print and then made it work with fabrics from my stash. I LOVE IT! I've used it quite a bit already and shamelessly showed it off to everyone I saw, ha! 

I used a few products making these that I think you'll find useful. (FYI these are affiliate links).

  • YYK handbag zippers. These zippers are the absolute best!!! They have come in handy time and time again and they come in beautiful colors. 
  • Babyville snap plyers and snaps. Another investment that has been well worth the money, I use these snaps on everything. Again, so many pretty colors. 
  • I can't say enough good things about sewing clips, they're so useful! Definitely used them a lot in this project. 
  • And here is that fusible flex foam that I didn't use this time, but would love to try next time.
sewing clips! 

sewing clips! 

That's all! I wasn't given this pattern or asked to review it, I just really love it! I know I'll try more Noodlehead patterns in the future because this one was such a delight to sew :) 

Oh look, I found a photo of that zipper pocket! A tad blurry, but that's ok. 

Cheers! Happy sewing :)

 

Comment