If you follow us on instagram you will have seen these Retro Drawstring Bags I have been making this week. I love a quick sewing project that provides an opportunity to combine different fabrics and trims. I needed a couple of small gift bags for some upcoming birthdays. They were so much fun to make and a brilliant way to incorporate those treasured scraps and lace motifs into a project. I used some fabrics from the Retro 30’s Child Smile Spring 2016 Collection by Lecien Fabrics. You can find a lovely range of small print retro fabrics at Sew Stitching Happy.
These lined drawstring bags measure 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches. They feature two co-ordinating prints on the outside of the bag separated by lace/trim. A lace motif has been added to the centre front for added interest. You can find lace motifs on Etsy (search for “lace motif”) or you can add a small patch or iron-on applique.
Pink and brown always work so well together and remind me of Neopolitan Ice-Cream. Vary the scale on the prints.
I love small fruity prints like this sweet print featuring apples, strawberries, and blossoms. I picked up this button trim on a holiday in Japan a few years ago – I love collecting supplies on my travels.
I love my Vintage French Mother of Pearl Buttons – old haberdashery supplies have so much history!
If you would like to make your own Retro Drawstring Bags, here are some instructions to get you started. Drawstring bags are an easy project. Due to their size, these ones are a little more fiddly when sewing the channel for the drawstring.
Materials (for one bag):
- Fabric 1: Cut 2 rectangles measuring 5 x 3 1/4 inches
- Fabric 2: Cut 2 rectangles measuring 5 x 4 1/4 inches
- Fabric 3: Cut 2 rectangles measuring 5 x 7 inches
- Trim or lace: 12 inches
- Cord: 30 inches
- Lace motif
- Place Fabric 1 and 2 together with the right sides facing, and one 5 inch edge aligned. Stitch together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Press seam open. Repeat for the other Fabric 1 and 2 pieces.
- Position the trim so that it is covering the seam between Fabric 1 and 2. Pin the trim in place and then stitch along both edges to secure. Repeat for the front and back of the bag.
3. Pin the front and back of the bag together with the right sides facing as shown. With a pin, mark 1 inch down from the top edge, and 1 1/2 inches down from the top edge as shown on the photo below.
4. Using a large cotton reel as a template, trace a rounded corner on both bottom corners and cut along the curved line to give the bag a rounded bottom.
5. Starting at one top edge, sew the sides and bottom of the bag. Leave a gap on each side between the pins. This will become the channel for the drawstring. Press and turn the bag.
6. Round the bottom corners of the lining. Stitch the lining together as shown, leaving a 1 1/2- 2 inch gap in the bottom for turning. (as shown by the pins in the image below).
7. Position the exterior of the bag inside the lining so that the right sides are facing and the top edge of the bag is aligned. Stitch around the top edge of the bag using 1/4 inch seam allowance. Carefully turn the bag out the right way through the gap in the lining. Press. Hand stitch the gap in the lining closed.
8. To stitch the channel for the drawstring, stitch around the top of the bag, 3/4 inch from the top edge. Sew slowly and keep manipulating the fabric. Sew a second line 1 1/4 inches from the top edge. Use the seam guide on your sewing machine throat plate as a guide or alternatively mark the line with a water soluble marker or hera marker.
9. Cut the cord in two pieces. Using a small safety pin, thread the cord through the gap in the side seam. Thread it right around the bag and out the same side. Repeat on the other side with the other piece of cord. Tie the ends of the cord and trim the ends.
10. Hand stitch the lace motif to the centre front of the bag. (You could also attach this at Step 2 if you prefer).
The options for embellishing these little Retro Drawstring Bags are endless. They are perfectly sized to hold small gifts or supplies. I love to use them to hold gift cards or small items of jewellery. Be warned – it is hard to stop at one! They are multiplying in my sewing room.
Check out our Christmas Retro Drawstring Bag, a variation of the Retro Drawstring Bag.