Hello there!  I have a fun project to share with you today.  I had some fabric scraps leftover from this project.  I enjoyed this fabric so much that I wanted to share a tutorial with some of the fabric scraps for an embroidered, drawstring bag.  This bag could be enjoyed as a reusable gift bag or it could be used to hold a knitting project (or crochet, hand embroidery, etc.).  

Supplies

  • 4 pieces of fabric, 13.5” x 13.5” Christmas Calico Fabric/Grey

  • 2 pieces of 7/8” wide metallic grosgrain ribbon, each 15” long

  • 2 pieces of Christmas Cotton Herringbone Trimming, each 30” long

  • Red embroidery thread

  • 3.25” wood embroidery hoop

  • 90/14 Universal needle

  • Clover Seam Presser

  • Matching thread

  • Bodkin, Iron

  • 1, Handmade Wood Button

  • Merchant & Mills Leather Sewing Needle Wallet

  • 0.6mm Merchant & Mills Glass Headed Pins 30 mm

  • Milward Magnetic Pin Dish

  • Fray Check

Embroidery:

I love the bottlebrush tree design on this fabric!  To add some extra details, I thought it would be fun to embroider little ornaments on two trees on the outer fabric (one tree on each side).  

For the embroidery I used three strands of embroidery floss.  I used the colonial knot for the tree ornaments.  I like the colonial knot as it stands out well on fabric.

I loved this little embroidery wallet that Minerva carries from Merchant & Mills.  

The wallet comes with a cute pair of scissors, needles, and a threading wire.  There are “pages” of felt inside the needle book to hold needles. The leather outer portion of the wallet is quite stunning.

I wanted to note NOT to use the included threading wire with three strands of embroidery floss.  I did, and I broke the wire. The threading wire is meant more for finer sewing threads (the three strands of embroidery floss that I used was too thick for this threading application).

I used glass head sewing pins for this project.  I love using glass head sewing pins as they don’t melt when ironing.  I find it handy to iron while the sewing pins are in place.   

I also enjoy using a magnetic pin dish to hold sewing pins.  The magnet is quick for me to pick up a dropped pin off the floor.  I also find it quicker to “grab” sewing pins as I take them out of the fabric while sewing seams.

I decided to add a fun “handmade” wood button to the bag as well.  I thought it was a unique detail to add and to continue the red embroidery thread color pallet.  I hadn’t yet sewn a button like this with a graphic included in the attachment holes. This detail was fun to add to the project.

I also wanted to note that the Clover Pressor tool was handy to use with small seams (as this project includes a ¼” seam allowances).  I found it handy to pre-press the seam flat with the pressing tool and then iron the seam. The pressing tool helped to open up the seam without the iron to prevent burning your fingers (if you hold the seam open with your fingers as I tend to).

Bag Sewing Directions

With the four pieces of fabric, 2 will be the outer sides of the bag and the other 2 will be the lining.

All seam allowances are ¼” unless otherwise noted.  Forward and backstitch along each seam line to secure stitching.

Attach outer grosgrain ribbon:

  1. Lay the grosgrain ribbon 1 ¼” from the top edge of the fabric and ¾” from the edges.  Fold both ends of the grosgrain ribbon underneath the ribbon so that the edges are not raw.

  2. Use pins to hold the grosgrain ribbon in place.

  3. Using a 1/8” seam allowance, sew along the top and bottom edges of the grosgrain ribbon (in two parrallel lines).

  1. Repeat steps 1-3 for the second outer fabric piece.

Assemble bag:

  1. Lay the two outer fabrics right sides together (with the trees running the same direction).

  2. Sew the bottom edge of the fabric.  Iron this seam flat.

  3. Open the outer fabric.

  1. Lay one piece of the lining fabric along the top edge of the outer fabric (with the fabric print running the same direction in the lining and outer fabric.

  2. Sew this seam and iron flat.

  3. Repeat steps 4-5 to attach the second lining piece to the second outer piece of fabric.

  4. You will now have all four pieces of fabric attached together in one long rectangle.

  5. Lay the fabric with the right sides together.  The sewn, bottom edge will be where the fabric is folded together.  

  1. Pin along the side and the top edge of the fabric.  Mark a 4” opening at the top edge of the fabric. This will be used later to turn the bag right side out.

  2. Starting at one side of the 4” opening (at the top edge of the fabric), sew along the top and side of the bag.

  1. Going back to the other side of the 4” opening (at the top edge of the fabric) sew along the other top edge and other side of the bag.

  2. Lay the corners flat and sew a 4” line along each of the four corners of the bag (this step will “box” the corners and allows the bag to stand up on its own).

  3. Trim the triangles off of the four corners of the bag. 

  4. Turn the bag right side out.

  5. At an 1/8” seam allowance, sew the 4” hole in the lining closed.

Finishing the bag:

  1. At a 1/8” seam allowance, top stitch the edge of the bag.

  2. Using a bodkin, feed one of twill tape pieces through both sides of the grosgrain ribbon.

  1.  Repeat step 2 on the opposite side of the bag with the second piece of twill tape.

  2. Knot both ends of the twill tape.  Trim off the ends of the twill tape edges and finish edges with fray check.

  3. Enjoy the bag for yourself, your crafting, or to share as a gift for a friend.

This project would be cute to use up those fabric scraps that you’ve been saving.  I can see making these and creating “kits” for friends that want to get into a new craft.  Piecing together this drawstring bag with yarn, knitting needles, measuring tape and a darning needle would make a fun knitting kit.

My main purpose for this project was to use for knitting project bags (to hold my knitting projects).  After I completed this bag, I filled it with hand knit Christmas gifts that I need to hand sew in labels.  I like to “kit” up projects like this so they’re portable and easy to grab on the go.

I hope you enjoyed this project.  Thank you for reading!

Rachel (@oakbluedesigns)  

www.oakbluedesigns.com