Apr 7, 2007

How to make a lined, drawstring bag

Thanks to Karla Norgaard for submitting this tutorial! Questions? Email Karla at knorgy(at)earthlink.net. To submit an idea/tutorial, email instructions and photos to montessorirevolution(at)gmail.com

This bag can be used for many different applications in the
classroom. This one is for a mystery bag. I also made a set of 4
smaller bags to hold fraction operations.

1. First decide what size you want your bag to be. I am making a
mystery bag for toddlers. My measurements are 9" wide by 9" tall. I
will also make a 3/4" casing for the drawstring and I will add 1 1/2"
above the drawstring for a gathered top. The total measurements for
my finished bag will be 9" x 11 1/4". (See diagram under "patterns" at the Yahoo group.)

2. Now we need to find the measurement for the raw fabric pieces. Add
1" to your width for seam allowances (10"). Double the height, then
add 1" for seam allowances (23 1/2"). My raw fabric will measure 10"
x 23 1/2".

3. Iron your fabric. Measure and mark the wrong side of the fabric
with a chalk pencil and ruler. Cut 2 pieces of fabric to your size.

4. Place your fabric with right sides together on a table or hard
surface. Measure 9 1/2" from a short end of the bag toward the
center. Mark fabric near the edge of the fabric. Repeat for the other
sides, for a total of 4 marks. (Note that 9 1/2" is the measurement
for my bag. You will mark your bag at 1/2" more than the height of
your bag.)

5. From each of the 4 marks you just made, measure and mark another
3/4" toward the center of the fabric. There will be a total of eight
marks. You will not be sewing in between these marks. I like to mark
with a pencil in between these marks to remind me not to sew in these

6. In the center of one of the short ends, mark a 4" space which you
will leave open for turning the bag right side out.

7. Pin all around the fabric.

8. Sew 1/2" seam all around except between the sets of marks. Make
sure to backstitch before and after each opening. There will be a
total of five spaces where you will not sew.

9. Trim the threads at each of the five openings. Clip the corners.

10. With the bag flat on an ironing board, turn the top flap of each
seam allowance toward the center of the bag and press. After all four
sides are pressed, flip the bag over and repeat.

11. Use the 4" opening to turn the bag right side out. Use a closed
pair of scissors to gently turn the corners.

12. Topstitch close to the edge of the side with the 4" opening.

13. Turn the topstitched seam into the bag until it reaches the
bottom of the bag.
14. Make sure the drawstring holes in the side seams line up. Pin in
15. Stitch around the circumference of the bag from the top of one of
the drawstring openings to the other to create the drawstring casing.
Stitch back and forth several times at each opening to reinforce the
seam. Repeat for the bottom of the casing.

16. Cut 2 lengths of ribbon, each about 3 1/2 times the width of your
bag. Approximately 32" for my bag.

17. Attach a safety pin to the end of one ribbon and thread it
through both sides of the casing. Repeat for the second ribbon, this
time start threading from the opposite side of the bag. You will be
left with two lengths of ribbon hanging out of each side of the bag.

18. Burn the ends of the ribbon to prevent fraying. Tie the ribbons
together. If your ribbon is thin enough (or your beads are big
enough) you can add a bead to each end before tying the ribbons

19. Pull on both ribbons at once to close the bag.

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