Monday, September 20, 2010

Reversible Drawstring Cloth Bag Tutorial

For those of you who didn't see this tutorial on my sister's blog, I wanted to share it here.  Hope you enjoy making it!

I love making cloth bags. They are so useful for so many things. Instead of buying wrapping paper every time we have an occasion to give gifts, I use cloth bags. The best part is, I use them again and again. At Christmas, all of our gifts are wrapped in cloth bags. It makes cleanup a breeze, and saves us money every year. You can also use these cloth bags for birthday presents or baby shower gifts, or any other occasion you can think of. It makes the gift even more special.


So, I normally make my gift bags a single layer, much like a pillow case. However, I got the idea to have a reversible bag. This way, you can change things up for variety and still have your bag look just as good on the inside, as it does on the outside. Let's get started. First, you need to pick out two coordinating pieces of fabric and some cording (you could also use rope or ribbon). You can make these bags any size you want, but for purposes of this tutorial, cut out each of your fabrics 18 x 22 inches. (Don't cut your cording yet.) (Follow all of these instructions for BOTH pieces of your fabric!)


On the long side (22 in) of each of your pieces of fabric, fold down the top 1/2 inch and press it flat. Then, sew across it, making a nice even hem.


Now, fold your fabric over itself, with right sides together, like you are turning back a page of a book. There should be a fold on the left side, with the top hems aligned together. You are going to sew around the bottom and side of your material, starting 3 inches down from the top. You will also need to leave a gap along the bottom (3 inches) so you can turn it right side out later on (but only on your "lining" fabric. The outside fabric does not need the opening for turning) Make sense?


Clip your corners!


Iron your seam open, along the side of your bag, up to the top (even the 3 inch gap that you haven't sewn.


Sew along your open seam, at the top of the bag. It should look like a V when you are done sewing it. Keep your needle in the down position, when pivoting the fabric across, then up.


Fold down the top of your bag about 1.5 inches. This will be your casing for your cording. Make sure it's even, all the way around. Iron the fold to make it easier to sew.


Start sewing around the top of the bag. It should look like this, on your sewing machine.


Sew around the top, with your presser foot against the left hand edge of the fold, or you can follow your previous stitching line.


By now, you should have done all of these steps with both pieces of your fabric. At this point, you should have two bags that look like a pillowcase. One of them should have a gap at the bottom of the bag, which we will call your "lining" fabric. Keep your lining inside out, and turn the other bag right side out. Place the outer bag inside the lining bag, with right sides together, lining up the bags so that your casing edges match up. You should see the wrong side of both bags, looking at the outside, and the inside, of your bag, because the right sides are together.


Position your bag, once again, to your sewing machine, and sew along the top of your bag.


Remember that opening at the bottom of your "lining"? Grab hold of the inside bag (which will become your outer bag) and pull it out through the opening, essentially turning everything right side out.


It should look like this now...two bags joined at the tops.


Stich your hole closed with your favorite hidden stitch, and then push in your "lining" into the outer bag, then iron the top seam so everything is nice and even. Now, measure TWO strands of your cording (3x the width of the bag), attach one end to a safetyp pin, and thread it through EACH layer (lining and outside) of your casings.



Tie ends together and thread it through the casing so you don't see the knots. You are done with your bag! Simply pull ends to cinch bag closed.


Fill bag with treasures for your cute baby.


You can use these bags for lots of things. If you make a bigger bag, you can fill it with laundry!


There's no limit, to what these bags can hold. Well, I wouldn't fill it with spaghetti, or soup, or water...but you get the idea. Enjoy your reversible bag!


Dan and Katie said...

I love it! I have started making a lot of bags like that with extra material here and there...all of my christmas material is still waiting to be made into bags. I better get a move on!


That is so cool....maybe you can teach me how to use the sewing machine and I can try to make it!

Nicki said...

And I totally love that orange material!! Some day I hope to have just a little bit of that creative streak that you have, maybe just as much as you have in your pinky, that would be good for me:)

runningfan said...

Hey, that's one stylin' laundry bag! :)

Mike and Laurel said...

Thanks for sharing! I've been wanting to do this for awhile now. Loved your Christmas bags!

Mandi Buchanan said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial!! I made a bunch of these for my kids for Christmas and it was a kit. They currently contain barbies, dress-up clothes, volleyball essentials and blocks. Thank you so much!!!!

Shannon said...

How do the directions change if I just make a single layer bag instead of a reversible one?

shaina said...

Shannon, you simply make one, instead of two, and skip the step where you sew the two together.

megs12e said...

This is awesome! Thanks!