I love drawstring bags, they are useful for holding a multitude of things. Just lately I've been making them to hold travel art kits, marbles and lego. Make them slightly larger and they are perfect for book bags, shoe bags or makeup. They make great wrapping for a handmade gift, as well as being a good present in their own right.
The pattern I use is adapted from Pink Penguin's patchwork bag. I like the way it is lined, that it's reversible, that there are no raw edges showing and the neat way the drawstring casing attaches which means all the seams are hidden away inside.
Although you can use two cords to draw it in, I usually make do with one. In fact I have always meant to experiment with joining the two top casings to make one long one. Next time!
A few months ago when I was making a big batch of marble bags I photographed the steps to share a tutorial and then promptly forgot about it. I rediscovered the pics recently and here it is - perfect timing with Christmas so close to make your own marble or treasure bags. A fat quarter of the main fabric is all you need. I have fat quarters of both prints in the shop. Or if you want to buy the bags readymade, marble bags and lego bags as well as marble starter kits with Alisa's beautiful instructions and including marbles and chalk they are there too.
Cut all the pieces for your bag.
2 x outer fabric, I've used my marble fabric here.
2 x lining, I've used plain calico for practicality, but the bags are reversible so it would be nice to use a patterned lining too.
2 x drawstring casing - I like to use a contrast fabric, here its my big bricks lego fabric.
I modified the size of these bags so I could cut two panels from a fat quarter.
The outer and lining pieces are 7 3/4 inches square.
The casing pieces are 8 x 2 inches.
Turn the ends of the casings over 1/4 inch and press. Turn the folded edge 1/4 inch again and press.
Fold in half lengthways and press again.
Sew around three sides of the main fabric, right sides facing each other.
Sew down two opposite sides of the lining fabric. (You could sew three sides leaving a gap at the bottom for a smaller seam if you were going to make these reversible but I like how quick and easy and neat it is to sew one seam at the end.
Turn the main fabric right sides out. Pin the casing fabric with open ends facing up on to each side of the main bag.
Sew the casing to the main fabric using a small seam, less than 1/4 inch. Trim threads.
NB. It is quickest to use your free arm on the sewing machine and sew this in the round.
Put the lining, wrong sides out, over the main bag (right side out) and pin along top open edge all around. I've folded it back at the bottom so you can understand the placement better. Casing stays as sewn flat against the sides of the main bag.
Sew 1/4 inch or slightly larger seam around the top with seams open out as shown in second photo.
Pull the lining forward and press with the lining sitting out and casing facing up.
Fold edges of lining under to form base seam of lining and pin. I prefer this method as it is quicker and gives one continuous seam.
Push lining into bag. Press again.
Thread some cord through the top casings using a safety pin to pull the cord through the casing. You can either use one or two drawstrings on your bag, I always stop at one but two is nice too. I've used cord, cotton tape and fine rope for cording. You could even sew your own cord.