My girls started Ballet three weeks ago, I never realised that ballet bags where such an necessity, I’ve been stuffing pumps in my pockets during the Saturday morning rush. I decided this week to make them up something a little more practical. Voila, the drawstring bag. Izzy loves her so much she wanders round the house with it on. These are actually really easy to make, and of course because you’re making it yourself it can be in any fabric, any colour and completely customised. I’ve gone with some beautiful printed leftover canvas cottons I had in.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Fabric. How much depends on how big you want your bag. Mine measures up at 13″ x 11″
- Dressmakers pins.
- Tape measure.
- Fabric shears.
- Rope. Again, This depends on how big your bag is. General rule of thumb is double your width & height + a couple of inches extra.
And here’s what you need to do.
First, cut out your fabric. This is all based on how big you want your bag to be. Mine is 10″ by 12″. But don’t forget to add your seam allowance. Half an inch on each side, so add one inch in total to your measurements. You need two of these pieces, so in total a pice of fabric measuring at least 22″ x 13″.
This next step is optional depending on whether you own an overlocker or not. If not its okay, I’ll explain what you need to do next after this. If you do, simply Pin an inch or so down from the top of your fabric. If you have thicker rope than pin a little further down. This is going to make up the hoop your rope will eventually be threaded though. Once marked of with a pin, you need to overlock round from the first pin, up and across the top and back down stopping when you get to your second pin over on the other side.
Next, fold over the overlocked edge, turning it into the inside, Pin and machine sew on the smallest stitch. Only sew down to where your overlocked fabric ends (so the 1″-2″ you marked of with your pin earlier). Leave the the top, right now we just want to sew the sides.
Now its time to sew the top down. Placing your fabric pattern side down, fold over the overlocked edge, bringing it down to where you marked with your pin earlier. Pin both pieces to fabric together at the bottom, creating a loop.
If you don’t have an overlocker just do the last two steps with a double folded edge or a pinked edge. Before sewing together. You need to have both pieces of fabric finished like this.
Now its time to attach both pieces of fabric together. First pin them together just under the bottom of your looped bits. The overlocked line at the bottom will be your starting point for sewing when you’ve finished pinning and bring it to your machine.
When you do come to sewing, you’ll need to leave a space near the bottom (not directly at the bottom). The photo below will show it better, but it needs to be an inch or so un-sewn. These will be the gap to thread your rope through later on.
Once sewn up, you’ll see why you started from the bottom of your loops rather than straight from the top. You now have gaps to thread your rope through.
So, now your two pieces of fabric are sewn together, you can turn it all the right way round and give it a good iron.
Now we can move on to threading your rope. All together I bought 84″ worth of rope. This needs to be cut into two equal pieces, so 2x 42″.
Grab your first piece and attach a safety pin through the end. Now thread it through one side, pull it all the way through.
Now, thread it back through the front, bringing the end of the rope all the way back. Both ends of rope should meet together at one side.
Grab your second piece of rope and repeat the last step again, this time starting at the opposite side. Once you’ve threaded both pieces of rope, you should have two looped pieces of rope hooked round the top of the bag, and two loose ends hanging from each side.
If you pull the loose ends on either side, the hooped rope will tighten.
Now its time to attach the loose ends. Turn your bag inside out, making sure the loose rope stays on the inside.
Push the ends of the loose thread, through from the inside to the outside using the gap you left before. pin it and sew over it a couple of times.
Your Drawstring bag is essentially done, just one last thing to do and thats neaten it all up. Keeping it inside out you can either use an overlocker, pinking shears or the double fold and stitch method.
Turn it out and thats it! Your drawstring bag is done.
I made another one up so both girls now have fancy new ballet bags to use this weekend.
The little woman pretends.