Sewing Project – Draw-string Gift Bags

When I bought my stash of material back from holiday I knew one of the first things I wanted to do was make little draw-string bags for Christmas gifts – my aunt gave me a tie-die one at least a decade ago that I still use all the time, so that was my inspiration. They are really simple to make from a rectangle of material, but of course I have made it far more complicated than needs be because there were some new things I wanted to try out…!

First job is to cut the material. I’ve just bought a rotary cutter and cutting board to speed up this progress (and make it more reminiscent of cutting pizza, which is always good!)



The rotary cutter makes lovely straight lines, voila:


Cutting another piece of material the old-fashioned way 😉


Here are the rectangular pieces cut, pressed in half and pinned:


Now, since I don’t have a serger, I’ve been wanting to try out a good zigzag stitch that would keep the seams from fraying – this is the one I chose…



It makes this funky little outline which I love:


Just to be on the safe side, I sewed the zigzag and then trimmed the seams back to the stitching (there’s probably a better way to do this)


Next step: press the seam flat and then fold down the hem/encasement for the drawstring:


Then unfold the hem and, below the fold, sew vertical button holes either side of the main seam. The bag I based this on doesn’t have the holes button-holed so it’s not strictly necessary, but I think it adds that extra touch, and I sure need practice on my machine’s button-holing function…


Finished button-holes – need to feed the ends through and tie off on the inside.


Then gently cut open the button holes with some nail scissors


Then fold the hem back down and sew round, and feed through some ribbon (safety pin on the end!) and tie the ends together.

And voila: little gift bags!



I had a lot of fun choosing different kinds of ribbon!


I can’t wait to give these away – must admit that one has already found its way on to the bed-post for keeping night-time bits and bobs, they’re surprisingly useful and now I keep finding places around the house where a little bag would be useful!


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