I can’t believe we are thinking about back to school already…it’s been such a bizarre year! Back to school may mean the return to school for your kids, you if you are a teacher or nursery carer or just marking the start of the Autumn and a new begininng!
When it comes to Autumn I get excted about the prospect of cosy evenings snuggled up with a hot drink doing some mindful stitching or making some new garments with more of a winter feel.
This year it’s also going to be about getting organised and trying to get back into some sort of routine.
I’ve been scouting Pinterest for a useful bag to store projects or for my daughter to use for school (PE kit etc) and have found some really gorgeous drawstring cotton bags. I’ve adapated the design slightly and come up with a good sized bag perfect for carrying a few craft bits, knittong, make-up, school stuff or just for your wallet keys, face mask etc! It’s an adaptable pattern and could also be used for a lunch bag with some wipe clean fabric.
You will need:
1/2 metre fabric for lining and main body of bag. I used the same fabric for both but you could make the top drawstring part of the bag from a contrast fabric.
1/4m iron on interfacing (I used a heavy weight one as I wanted a very structured bag but be mindful this created very thick layers to work with whilst sewing!)
28″ of 25mm webbing or similar
64″ cotton cord
Cut the fabric as per the template below and use a 1cm seam allowance unless otherwise instructed…
Pin outer bag fabric with right sides together and stitch along long bottom edge. Press seam open.
Press interfacing to wrong side of outer bag fabric. the interfacing is slightly smaller than the main fabric
Once you have ironed on the interfacing, fold this piece in half with right sides together and stitch down each short side.
Now we are going to make some box corners. Pinch the corners making sure the seam line down the side of the bag matches with the fold line along the bottom .
Measure 2″ up from the point and mark a line across the corner. Pin in place and stitch across this line and trim the excess away. Repeat for the side.
That is your outher bag ready for the rest of construction! Give the seams a little press and marvel at those box corners…so very satisfying!
Take your two pieces of webbing and pin to the outer bag 3″ in from each side seam on both the front and the back and stitch in place using a small 0.5cm seam allowance.
Now to prepare the lining. Fold the lining piece in half with right sides together and stitch down each short side, leave a gap of 3″ in one of the side seams, this is where we will turn our bag through later!
Prepare the box corners in the same way you did for the outer bag in steps 4 & 5. You don’t need to turn the lining right side out as it will be attached to the main bag as it is.
To make the top drawstring part of the bag. Fold each piece of bag top fabric in half length ways with wrong sides together and give them a good press with a hot iron
Pin the two top pices together with right sides facing and at each short end mark a 1″ point either side of the centre crease you ironed into the fabric in step 10. This will become the channel for the rope later. Stitch down both sides leaving this 2″ gap open on each end.
Press the seams open and top stitch down each side of the seam you have just sewn, close to the edge, to make a neat opening for the cord to go through.
Fold the channel in half with wrong sides together and the raw edges meeting and press.
Mark a line 1″ from the top fold (where the holes for the cord are) and stitch all the way round, this will be the channel for the cord.
Now we are going to attach the channel we just made to the main bag. With right sides together pin the cord channel to the bag making sure to match the side seams. Stitch al the way around.
Now to add the lining! Pop the bag inside the lining, right sides together and pin the raw edges. stitch all the way around using a 1.5cm seam allowance.
Turn the bag through the hole we left on the lining. Stitch the gap closed. Give it a press and then top stitch all the way around the bag just below the handles to hold the layers neatly together.
Add the cord drawstring by thread through one of the pieces starting at one end (I used a safety pin to help puch it through) then do the same on the other side of the bag and tie both ends in a knot.