How to sew a drawstring bag

Drawstring bags are versatile and easy to make, making them a great project for both beginner and experienced sewers. This guide will show you how to create a durable and stylish drawstring bag, step-by-step, using simple sewing techniques and materials.

How to sew a drawstring bag

Sewing a drawstring bag is an easy sewing project that can be completed in less than an hour. Drawstring bags are versatile and can be used for everything from carrying gym clothes to storing arts and crafts supplies. With just fabric, thread, a drawstring, and basic sewing skills, you can create a custom drawstring bag.

Gather Materials

To make your drawstring bag, you will need:

  • Fabric: Cotton or canvas work best. Make sure you purchase enough fabric for the size of bag you want to make. About 1/2 yard is needed for a medium-sized bag.
  • Thread: All-purpose thread that matches your fabric.
  • Drawstring: Get a drawstring that is long enough to thread through the casing and tie at the top.
  • Scissors: for cutting fabric.
  • Sewing machine: A basic machine will work.

Prepare the Fabric

Before sewing, prep the fabric:

  • Wash and iron: pre-wash and iron the fabric to pre-shrink it and remove any creases.
  • Cut fabric: Using scissors, cut the fabric to the desired dimensions for your bag. A good size for a medium bag is a rectangle 18″ x 15″.

Sew the Side Seams

Sew the side seams of the bag first.

  • With the right sides facing, align the long edges of the fabric together.
  • Starting at the top edge, sew down the length of the fabric with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.
  • Repeat with the other side.

Create the Casing for the Drawstring

To create a channel for the drawstring:

  • At the top edge, fold over 1/2 inch of fabric and press with an iron.
  • Fold over another 1 1/2 inches and press again.
  • Topstitch close to the folded edge to form the drawstring casing.

Create the Bottom Casing

Make a casing at the bottom too.

  • Just like the top, fold over 1/2 inch, then 1 1/2 inches along the bottom edge, and press.
  • Sew the pressed edge in place, close to the fold.

Attach Drawstring

Thread the drawstring through the top casing.

  • Cut the drawstring several inches longer than the width of the bag.
  • Attach a safety pin to each end of the drawstring to aid in threading it through the channel.
  • Feed the safety pins and drawstring through the top casing.

Sew the Bottom Seam

With the side seams sewn, sew across the bottom:

  • Line up the side seams and the bottom raw edges.
  • Starting at one side, sew across the bottom with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.
  • Backstitch at each end for durability.

Finish the Bag

Finish sewing the bag.

  • Trim off any loose threads and clip corners at an angle to reduce bulk.
  • Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the bottom casing.

Insert Drawstring

Thread the drawstring through the bottom channel.

  • Insert safety pins attached to the ends of the drawstring into the bottom casing.
  • Feed it through all the way across.
  • Remove the safety pins and knot the ends so the drawstring stays in place.


Sewing a simple drawstring bag is an easy, customizable project for sewers of all levels. In just an hour or less, you can have a handy bag to use for organizing, storage, or even as a gift. Get creative with different fabrics and decorative trim to design bags for any purpose!

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