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The only Bag Sewing Patterns You’ll Ever Need: Part 1 of 2

Hi Reduction Rebels! Did you know September is National Sewing Month? I just found out when I read it on a Joann’s coupon mailer. Well, that was enough to get me moving on my favorite sewing project tutorial – bags. There are two kinds of bags I make all the time:
1. Drawstring bags
2. Tote bags

I’m going to start with my drawstring bag sewing instructions.

Eve of Reduction drawstring shoe bags

Sewing machine
Stitch ripper
Cord – 2 pieces cut to the circumference of the bag opening + about 3″
Lighter or Match to singe the ends of the cord
Safety pin

Step 1: Two panels of fabric cut to the size you want your bag to be + 1″ added to width and 3″ added to length.

Step 2: Place the fabric with print side face each other. Sew around three edges, leaving the top open.

Step 3: Fold back the seam fabric – butterfly style – on the top right and left sides. You may want to use an iron to crease them down. You’re then going to sew the seam flaps down for the first five inches. It should look like a three-sided rectangle: down 5″, cross over the seam and go back up 5″.

Step 4: Fold the top opening over 1/2″ and sew a hem. Fold the top opening over again, this time matching the top edge to the bottom of where you sewed in step 3. Sew here. This will create the casing for the drawstring.

Step 5: Turn your bag inside right. You’ll notice there is no opening for the string to go in. Use your stitch ripper to open up the seam that’s in between where you sewed seam flaps down. Do this to both seams (right side and left) only on the outside of the bag.

Step 6: Cut your cords and singe the ends with a lighter so they don’t fray.
Tip: Home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot sell reasonable sized spools of cord in an array of colors for around $3.
Attach a safety pin to the end o the cord to help push it through the casing. The ends of one strand should meet out one opening and the other cord ends out the opening on the other side of the bag.

Stay tuned! Next week I’ll post the tote bag tutorial so you can make a bag like this…

messenger-style tote bag

Eve of Reduction: Free Seasonal E-Newsletter; Extra tips and wit on Facebook; Reduction Beauty on Pinterest ; The debut DIY lifestyle book (includes 10 upcycling tutorials); and the guide to creative streams of income ebook (only $2.99).

I’m Cristin Frank (AKA Eve). I love all things frugal and crafty. My mindset is always on upcycling, repurposing, reducing waste and saving money – and Eve of Reduction is my roadmap. You might also want to check out my book, "Living Simple, Free & Happy."

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  1. Eve of Reduction Round-Up: DIY Back to School Supply Projects - August 8, 2013

    […] 1. Sneaker or Gym bag: A simple drawstring bag is all you need to keep your sneakers, PE uniform and deodorant stick organized. Get the free sewing pattern here. […]

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