DIY Drawstring Bag


Hi everyone,

I hope you’re all enjoying the summer! I am off on my holidays next week and I wanted to whip up a simple drawstring bag to keep everything tidy in my suitcase. I couldn’t find quite what I was looking for online, most of the tutorials had no instructions for finishing the inside cleanly. So I thought I’d write my own! It is really quick and easy and leaves you with a lovely neat finish inside and out.

Let’s get started…


You’re going to need:
– two rectangles of fabric for the body of the bag (mine are 36cm x 30cm)
– two rectangles of fabric for the drawstring casing (mine are 8cm x 30cm)
– two lengths of ribbon double the width of your bag (mine are 60cm long)
– scissors
– pins
– sewing machine
– iron


Step 1: Pin the two large pieces right sides together and pin around three edges, leaving the top open. Sew together using a 1.5cm seam allowance, pivoting at the corners.


Step 2. Using an overlocker or a zigzag stitch, finish the three edges you have just sewn. Don’t clip the corners, we’ll keep these for strength.


Step 3. Finish the short edges of the drawstring casing pieces, and fold these edges in 1.5cm and press before stitching in place.


Step 4. With wrong sides together, fold the casing pieces in half lengthways, and pin to the top of the bag, right sides facing. The raw edges should be aligned at the top. Pin and sew with a 1.5cm seam allowance.


Step 5. Finish the seam allowances all together with an overlocker or zigzag stitch.


Step 6. Press the finished seam allowance down onto to the inside of the bag and press.


Step 7. Pin in place and from the right side of the bag, topstitch around the top of the bag, a few milimetres away from the seam. Similar to an understitch, this holds the seam allowance in place on the inside of the bag.

Step 8. Using a safety pin to help guide it through, insert one length of ribbon in one end, bringing it all the way back through to where it started and tie. Repeat with the other length of ribbon from the opposite side.


And there you have it!


So quick and easy you’ll be whipping them up for the whole family in no time. Make them in all sorts of sizes – great for suitcases, gift bags, tidying children’s rooms, laundry bags, PE kits and much more!

20 thoughts on “DIY Drawstring Bag”

  1. Alisa M says:

    I’m going to make so many of these. They are so cute and can be made for anyone.

  2. Karen Eastwood says:

    Super easy to make. I made 6 in one evening!
    I made them out of nylon type fabric for reusable vegetable bags.
    Thank you for the pattern.

    1. Alex - Sew Over It says:

      Aw yay that’s so fantastic to hear!

  3. Joanne says:

    I will be making these in Christmas fabric as they are ideal for me to put gifts in.

    1. Alex - Sew Over It says:

      Ah yay that’s brilliant! So glad it was helpful!

  4. Hannah says:

    Loved making these for my nephews. I added on a letter to personalise them, and some wooden beads on the draw strings! Thank you

    1. Alex - Sew Over It says:

      Oh those are so sweet!

  5. Amy says:

    My dad has asked me to make a bag like this to store his head phones which are 20cm x 20cm – what measurements for the fabric would you suggest?

    1. Alex - Sew Over It says:

      It’ll also depend how deep they are. I’d recommend laying some fabric over them and using that to help you work out how wide and long it needs to be. Then adding seam allowance, plus a little bit of ease so he can easily get them in and out of the bag. Hope that helps!

  6. Cybèle de Jong says:

    This pattern is perfect for storing our uniforms when travelling to and from work. I’m a healthcare worker and in the current crisis we are required to change at work. I’d been trying to work out a pattern in my head for a drawstring bag that can go straight in the washing machine. I might well be making this one this afternoon!

  7. Jeanette says:

    I made 44 laundry bags for local nurses ‘ uniforms – the whole lot goes in the wash.

  8. Rach says:

    Great make! I’ve made a couple for my daughter as washbags for her uniform – she’s a vet nurse and needs to keep working during lockdown, but also needs to stash and wash her uniform separately to the rest of the laundry…these are a cute way I can help out, so THANK YOU!

  9. Jon says:

    Thank you for these instructions. It was pretty simple, even for somebody who’s never sewed anything before! I needed something to keep my laptop’s headphones tidy whilst working from home and this was ideal. This isn’t going to be the last thing I make during lockdown.

    1. Alex - Sew Over It says:

      Ahh fantastic! Well done, it looks great!

  10. Sandra says:

    What width ribbon should I buy please?

    1. Alex - Sew Over It says:

      Totally up to you! Most standard ribbon widths will work – it depends on personal preference 🙂

  11. Olivia Hoddy says:

    How do I see the casing pieces on to the top of the bag without seeing the top of the bag together?

    1. Alex - Sew Over It says:

      You shouldn’t be pinning the casing to both layers – just one casing piece pinned to either side of the top edge. Then you can sew around the whole top edge in one go, attaching both casings. Hope that helps!

  12. Julie says:

    Great pattern. I made one to put my bbq accessories in. Didn’t have any ribbon but used some cord from an old GAP shopping bag. They are so useful and easy! Will definitely do more.

  13. Maili Konczak says:

    Thank you for this pattern, it’s so easy to make. I’ve been making little bags to go with the masks I’ve made, so that they can go in the bag and then in the wash without being touched.

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