Friday, 19 June 2015

DIY: How to make a tote bag into a drawstring

how to make a tote bag into a drawstring bag

Today's post is another little DIY I came up with recently.  When I was testing out some fabric dye a few months ago, I got a plain tote bag to dip dye with the tshirt, just to see how it turned out.  Because the colour of the dye was a pale blue, it's not terribly noticeable on the white fabric, but I liked it anyway.  Still, a tote bag isn't exactly something I'm short on at the moment...  When I was at Edinburgh Yarn Festival I saw some great drawstring bags for holding a knitting project or yarn stash, and I filed away the idea for later, thinking how easy it would be to make my own.  And it really is, especially since I cheated slightly.  Um, pattern hacked that is.  That's the one.  Read on for my super easy tutorial...

Supplies list
- Tote bag (mine was £1 from Tiger)
- Unpicker/small scissors
- Thread
- Ribbon (2 x lengths measuring the circumference of the bag plus about 12 inches)
- Safety pin
- Sewing machine
- Iron

sewing drawstring bag panel

1 - Make sure the bag is ironed flat before you begin, especially the handles.  This will make things immensely easier in the sewing stage.

2 - Unpick the handles from the body of the bag.  They may also be stitched under the hem - I just cut them off here to avoid more unpicking and re-sewing.

3 - This part is optional, but I turned down the top hem once and sewed around the top stitching, just to hide the holes from where the handle was unpicked.

4 - Take each of the handles and pin them in place along the width of the bag, lined up with the top stitching.  Fold each end under by approximately 10mm.

threading ribbon drawstring safety pin

5 - Stitch each strip in place along the top and bottom edges.

6 - Now take each length of ribbon in turn and, using the safety pin to pull it along, thread it through the end of the strips and back to the start.  The second ribbon should start on the opposite side from the first one.  Take care not to twist it.

7 - Tie off the ribbons with a knot and trim any excess.

handmade DIY drawstring bag wool needles

8 - Stuff your bag with wool and you're good to go!

Bias binding works just as well for the drawstring, but I didn't have a chance to make or buy any at the time.  Using ribbon from my stash kept costs down and the only expense I had was what I paid for the bag initially.  Not a bad money saving (and speedy) project!


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