FREE Quilting Patterns, Tutorials, Magazine

1 easy way to add a drawstring to a fabric gift bag

Yesterday on QUILTsocial I used the Dreamweaver XE to sew simple French seams in my embroidered gift bag. Today I’ll finish up the bag by adding a drawstring closure.

The Dreamweaver XE
The Dreamweaver XE

First it’s necessary to finish the top edge of the gift bag.

Fold the top raw edge of the bag over ½” and press.

Fold the top edge of the gift bag over ½" and press. 1 easy way to add a drawstring to a fabric gift bag
Fold top edge and press

Now, fold the top edge over another ½” to encase the raw edge. Press and then either pin or secure using Wonder Clips and then topstitch close to the inside folded edge.

Fold, press and clip
Fold, press and clip

To figure out the length of fabric needed to make each drawstring casing, measure the width of the gift bag and add 1″. Use this measurement to cut two pieces of fabric 2½” wide. My bag measures 18″ wide, so I cut two pieces of fabric 19″ x 2½”. This width of fabric will work well for the the ⅜” ribbon that I’ll be using. If your ribbon is any wider than ¾”, you’ll probably need to cut your two pieces of fabric a bit wider.

Measure width of bag
Measure width of bag

Fold the long edges of the drawstring casing into the middle of the back and press, then fold the two ends over ½” twice and press.

Fold all edges to back
Fold all edges to back

Topstitch each end of the two drawstring cases using the “J” foot on the Dreamweaver XE from Brother.

Topstitch each end
Topstitch each end

Center one casing on each side of the bag, 2¼” down from the top edge and pin in place.

Pin in place
Pin in place

Topstitch along each long edge of the drawstring casings with a narrow seam. Make sure not to catch the other side of the bag in the stitches.

Topstitch long edges
Topstitch long edges

Each end of each drawstring casing should be open to allow the ribbon to be threaded through.

End of casing
End of casing

Cut two pieces of ribbon that are twice the width of the bag plus 8″ long. Since my bag is 18″ wide I’ve cut my two pieces of ribbon so that they are each 44″ long (2×18″+8″).

Cut ribbon
Cut ribbon

I’ll use my very handy UNIQUE loop turner to thread the ribbon through the drawstring casing. I love this little tool! So much easier than using a safety pin hooked onto the end of the ribbon and then pushing it through the casing!

The loop turner
The loop turner

Push the loop turner through the casing from one end to the other and then hook the end of the ribbon and pull it all the way through the casing.

Hook the ribbon
Hook the ribbon

Pull the ribbon through the second drawstring casing (on the other side of the bag) and then knot the two ends together.

Knot the end
Knot the end

Thread the second ribbon through both casings in the opposite direction so that the two ends of that ribbon are knotted on the other side of the bag.

Cinch the drawstring bag by pulling on both ends of the ribbons.

Cinch the bag
Cinch the bag

Here’s the finished drawstring gift bag, sewn and embroidered with the Brother Dreamweaver XE.

The finished gift bag
The finished gift bag

Now that my bag is finished, I don’t know if I’d really want to give it away! Maybe I’ll use it as a shoe bag – it’s just happens to be just the right size.

Thanks for joining me this week – I hope you’re enjoying learning about all the great things that the Brother Dreamweaver XE can do. I sure am! See you in a month.

This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4: 7 simple steps to sewing French seams

I have been designing and publishing quilt patterns for the last 16 years under the business name Fairfield Road Designs. My patterns range from fusible applique and piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle. You can see all of patterns on my website www.fairfieldroaddesigns.com.

1 Comment

  1. Susan Spiers

    Great idea & so simple! Thank you, Susan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

It may take up to 24 hours for your comment to appear above.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.