How To Make A Lined Drawstring Bag: Creating a lined drawstring bag is a delightful and practical sewing project that combines functionality with style. These versatile bags can serve a multitude of purposes, from holding your favorite jewelry and cosmetics to carrying small essentials like snacks or toiletries. Whether you’re an experienced seamstress or a novice, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of crafting your very own lined drawstring bag.
The beauty of making a lined drawstring bag lies in the creative freedom it offers. You can choose fabrics that resonate with your personal style, play with colors and patterns, and even add embellishments for a unique touch. It’s an ideal project for beginners looking to hone their sewing skills while producing a functional item.
Throughout this journey, you’ll learn essential sewing techniques such as cutting fabric, sewing straight seams, and threading drawstrings. Plus, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the art of sewing as you witness your creation come to life.
So, whether you’re crafting these bags as charming gifts, practical organizers, or simply as a way to express your creativity, let’s dive into this sewing adventure and guide you through the process of making beautiful and functional lined drawstring bags.
What are drawstring bags called?
Cinch bags—also known as drawstring bags or gym sacks—are an easy and convenient way to carry gear, clothes, shoes and more. Because these bags are less structured than backpacks, they can more easily accommodate bulky objects like sneakers.
Drawstring bags are often known by a variety of names and terms depending on their size, purpose, and regional variations. Here are some common names for drawstring bags:
Drawstring Pouch: This is a generic term used to describe small to medium-sized bags with a drawstring closure. They are versatile and can be used for a wide range of purposes, including storing jewelry, coins, or small items.
Cinch Bag: These are typically larger, lightweight drawstring bags often used as gym bags, backpacks, or for carrying casual items. They have a cinch-style closure and are popular for their simplicity and ease of use.
Duffle Bag: Some larger drawstring bags with a cylindrical shape are referred to as duffle bags. They are commonly used for carrying sports equipment or clothing and may have additional features like pockets or handles.
Backpack: Drawstring backpacks are lightweight, often made of fabric, and have shoulder straps that can be adjusted by pulling the drawstrings. They are popular for casual outings and as gym bags.
Pouch: A drawstring pouch can refer to small bags used for organizing or storing small items like cosmetics or toiletries.
Tote Bag: Some tote bags feature a drawstring closure at the top instead of fixed handles. They are convenient for carrying items like groceries or beach essentials.
Shoe Bag: Drawstring bags designed to hold shoes are often called shoe bags. They help protect shoes during travel or storage.
Mesh Bag: Some drawstring bags are made of mesh material, making them suitable for carrying wet items like swimsuits or beach toys.
What material is drawstring?
Drawstrings come in all shapes and sizes. They can be made from a twisted or braided cord, grosgrain or satin ribbon, twill tape, or self-made from cotton or knit fabric.
Drawstrings used in bags, clothing, and other items are typically made from a variety of materials, each with its unique characteristics and purposes:
Cotton: Cotton drawstrings are soft, comfortable, and easy to work with. They are commonly used in casual clothing, like hoodies and sweatpants, as well as in drawstring bags. Cotton drawstrings can come in different thicknesses.
Nylon: Nylon drawstrings are strong, durable, and resistant to moisture. They are often used in sportswear, backpacks, and outdoor gear. Nylon cords can withstand more wear and tear than some other materials.
Polyester: Polyester drawstrings are known for their strength, durability, and resistance to moisture and UV rays. They are commonly used in sportswear, swimwear, and bags.
Satin: Satin drawstrings are smooth, shiny, and often used in more decorative or elegant items, such as eveningwear, lingerie, and gift bags. They are less durable than some other materials.
Leather or Suede: Leather or suede drawstrings are used in fashion items like hoodies and handbags, adding a luxurious and rustic touch.
Paracord: Paracord drawstrings are made from lightweight and strong nylon cords, originally designed for use in parachute suspension lines. They are commonly used in outdoor and survival gear.
Elastic: Elastic drawstrings are stretchy and are often used in activewear, like athletic shorts and swim trunks, to provide a snug and adjustable fit.
Braided Cord: Braided cords can be made from various materials, including cotton, nylon, or polyester, and are used in a wide range of applications, including drawstring bags and clothing.
Are drawstring bags safe?
Draw String Purse or Bag The drawstring purse is one of the easiest styles for pickpockets to steal from. Some thieves call it “the pickpocket’s best friend.” Why is this? Simple mechanics really, in many cases drawstring purses are backpacks, which make the removal of items from within even simpler.
Drawstring bags are generally safe to use but should be used with some precautions, particularly when they are intended for use by children. Here are some safety considerations:
Cord Length: Ensure that the drawstring cords are not excessively long, especially on bags intended for children. Long cords can pose a strangulation risk if they get caught on playground equipment or other objects.
Cord Stops or Locks: Some drawstring bags come with cord stops or locks that allow you to secure the cord at a specific length. These can be safer than loose cords.
Supervision: When children are using drawstring bags, especially younger ones, it’s essential to supervise them to prevent accidents and ensure the cords are not wrapped around their necks.
Avoid Neck and Waist Use: Discourage wearing drawstring bags around the neck or waist, as this can increase the risk of entanglement.
Check for Recalls: Be aware of any product recalls related to drawstring bags, especially if you are purchasing them for children. Manufacturers may issue recalls for bags that do not meet safety standards.
Educate Users: Teach children about the potential hazards of drawstring bags and how to use them safely.
Choose Child-Friendly Designs: When buying drawstring bags for children, look for designs and features that are age-appropriate and minimize safety risks.
Can I wash my drawstring bag?
Can You Wash Drawstring Bags? It’s recommended that you hand wash a drawstring bag if it’s printed with a custom design on the front. On the other hand, if your bag isn’t adorned with any graphics or embellishments and is made from a safe material like nylon, you can wash it in cold water with a good detergent.
Yes, in most cases, you can wash a drawstring bag. However, the washing instructions may vary depending on the material and construction of the bag. Here are some general guidelines for washing different types of drawstring bags:
Cotton or Fabric Bags: Cotton or fabric drawstring bags are often machine washable. Turn the bag inside out to protect any printed or decorative surfaces. Use a mild detergent and wash in cold or lukewarm water on a gentle cycle. Avoid using bleach. After washing, reshape the bag and allow it to air dry to prevent shrinkage or damage.
Nylon or Polyester Bags: Nylon and polyester drawstring bags are typically machine washable. Use a mild detergent and wash in cold water on a gentle cycle. Avoid using bleach or high heat settings in the dryer, as it can damage the material. Air drying is recommended for these bags to maintain their shape and integrity.
Canvas or Denim Bags: Canvas and denim drawstring bags can often be machine washed. Follow the care instructions for cotton bags, as canvas and denim are typically made from cotton fibers. Be cautious with bags that have leather or suede trim, as these materials may not be suitable for machine washing.
Mesh Bags: Mesh drawstring bags, often used for laundry or beach gear, are machine washable. Use a gentle cycle and cold water to prevent damage to the mesh. Air drying is the best method to preserve the bag’s structure.
What materials are needed to make a lined drawstring bag?
Creating a lined drawstring bag requires a few essential materials that are readily available at most fabric and craft stores. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:
Exterior Fabric: Choose a fabric for the outside of your bag. Cotton, canvas, linen, and even lightweight denim are great options. The fabric should be durable and reflect your style.
Lining Fabric: You’ll need a fabric for the bag’s interior lining. Cotton or a complementary fabric to the exterior works well. It adds a nice finish to the inside of the bag.
Drawstring Cord or Ribbon: This is what you’ll use to cinch the bag closed. Options include cotton cord, satin ribbon, or even paracord, depending on your preference and the bag’s purpose.
Thread: A matching thread to sew the bag’s seams is essential. Ensure you have enough for both the exterior and lining.
Sewing Machine (optional): While you can hand-sew your bag, a sewing machine will make the process quicker and more efficient.
Sewing Notions: You’ll need pins to secure fabric pieces together, fabric scissors for cutting, and a measuring tool such as a ruler or tape measure.
Iron and Ironing Board: These are useful for pressing seams and giving your bag a polished look.
Safety Pin or Bodkin: This tool will help you thread the drawstring through the casing.
Pencil or Chalk: For marking your fabric if necessary, particularly when cutting and sewing.
What are the key sewing techniques required for this project?
Crafting a lined drawstring bag involves several key sewing techniques that, when mastered, will open the door to a world of sewing possibilities. Here are the essential techniques required for this project:
Straight Stitching: This is the most fundamental sewing stitch. You’ll use it for joining fabric pieces together. Ensure even seam allowances to maintain the bag’s shape.
Backstitching: At the beginning and end of each seam, backstitching locks the stitches in place to prevent unraveling. It’s a critical technique for securing your seams.
Pinning: Using straight pins to hold fabric layers together before sewing is essential for accurate and neat construction. Pin parallel to the seam allowance to avoid distortion.
Creating a Casing: To thread the drawstring, you’ll need to create a casing. This involves folding and sewing a channel or tunnel along the top edge of the bag. Learning to sew a straight, even casing is crucial.
Topstitching: Topstitching adds a decorative and functional element to the bag. It helps secure the casing and lining while providing a polished finish. Maintaining even spacing is key.
Clipping and Notching: When sewing curved or angled seams, such as at the corners of your bag, you may need to clip or notch the seam allowance. This prevents puckering and allows the fabric to lie flat.
Threading a Drawstring: A safety pin or bodkin helps thread the drawstring through the casing. This technique requires patience and precision to avoid snags.
Pressing Seams: Properly pressing seams with an iron helps set stitches and gives your bag a professional appearance. Pressing open seams also reduces bulk.
How do I attach the lining to my drawstring bag neatly?
Attaching the lining to your drawstring bag neatly is a crucial step to ensure a polished and professional finish. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you achieve this:
Cut Lining Fabric: Begin by cutting your lining fabric to match the size and shape of your bag’s exterior fabric. It should be a mirror image of the outer fabric, with the same dimensions.
Fold Lining: If your lining fabric has a right and wrong side, fold it in half with right sides together. Align the edges and corners precisely.
Align with Bag Exterior: Place the folded lining inside the bag exterior, matching up the top edges. The right sides of the lining and bag exterior should be facing each other.
Pin Layers Together: Carefully pin the lining and bag exterior together along the top edge, ensuring that the fabric layers are aligned and the corners match.
Stitch the Top Edge: Using a 1/4-inch (6 mm) seam allowance, sew along the top edge where the lining and bag exterior meet. Be sure to backstitch at both ends to secure the seam.
Turn Right Side Out: Gently pull the lining through the opening of the bag, turning the entire bag right side out. Push out the corners to create a clean shape.
Press and Fold: Use an iron to press the top edge, ensuring a crisp and neat fold. The lining should now be neatly enclosed inside the bag.
Topstitch the Top Edge (Optional): To keep the lining in place and add a decorative touch, you can topstitch along the top edge of the bag, about 1/8 inch (3 mm) from the edge.
What types of drawstrings work best for this project?
Choosing the right drawstring for your lined drawstring bag is essential for both functionality and aesthetics. Here are some drawstring options that work well for this project:
Cotton Cord: Cotton cord is a popular choice for drawstrings. It’s soft, durable, and easy to thread through casings. Cotton cord comes in various thicknesses and colors, allowing you to match it to your fabric or add a contrasting pop.
Satin Ribbon: Satin ribbon adds a touch of elegance to your bag. It’s smooth, silky, and comes in a wide array of colors and widths. Ribbon is easy to thread and ties into beautiful bows. It’s an excellent choice for decorative or gift bags.
Nylon Paracord: Paracord is incredibly durable and can withstand heavy use. It’s often used for sporty or outdoor-themed bags. Paracord comes in various thicknesses and colors, offering versatility.
Twisted Cord: Twisted cords, often made from a combination of materials like cotton and polyester, have a unique texture and appearance. They can add a decorative element to your bag while remaining functional.
Leather or Faux Leather Strips: For a rustic or bohemian look, consider using leather or faux leather strips as drawstrings. They provide a natural, earthy feel and can be knotted or secured with beads for added style.
Elastic Cord: Elastic cord is an excellent choice if you want a snug, stretchy closure for your bag. It’s often used for small pouches or bags that need to cinch tightly.
When selecting a drawstring, consider the bag’s purpose and your personal style. Ensure the drawstring is long enough to comfortably close the bag and tie into a bow or knot. Additionally, double-check that the drawstring you choose is compatible with the size of the casing you’ve created.
Crafting a lined drawstring bag is a fulfilling sewing project that combines practicality with creativity. Through this journey, you’ve learned not only how to make a functional bag but also how to master essential sewing techniques and make design choices that reflect your unique style. From selecting the perfect fabrics and drawstrings to sewing straight seams and creating a neat lining, you’ve gained valuable skills that extend far beyond this project. These skills can be applied to a wide range of sewing endeavors, from creating clothing to crafting home decor items.
A lined drawstring bag serves as a versatile accessory, ideal for organizing your belongings, gifting, or adding a personalized touch to your daily life. Whether you’ve chosen a sleek satin ribbon drawstring for an elegant feel or a rugged paracord for outdoor adventures, your bag reflects your preferences and needs.
As you embark on future sewing projects, remember the satisfaction that comes from crafting something with your own hands. The joy of turning fabric into a functional item is a rewarding experience that continues to inspire creativity and innovation.
So, keep exploring, experimenting, and embracing the art of sewing. With each project, you’ll further refine your skills and create beautiful pieces that leave a lasting impression. Happy sewing, and may your lined drawstring bags accompany you on many exciting adventures!