In my last post (here) I showed you how to make pattern weights. Today I’m going to show you a simple way to make a drawstring pouch to store those pattern weights in.
Drawstring pouches are quick and easy and can be made in just about any size. They can be made in many types of fabric from quilter’s cotton to velvet and everything in between. They don’t use much fabric. You can dress them up or leave them plain, add applique or lace. You can add a lining or leave them unlined. You can choose to box the corners or leave the pouch flat. Drawstring pouches are extremely versatile and easy to make.
I use them for everything. They can hold a lot. They make a great gift just by themselves, or the perfect eco-friendly, reusable wrapping!
Since this drawstring pouch was to be part of a birthday gift I wanted to put in that little bit of extra effort and line the pouch. I love the look of the drawstring with a coordinating lining and I wanted that type of finished interior.
This is a simple way to make a drawstring pouch—not the only way!
What you are going to need to get started:
2 coordinating fat quarters (a fat quarter is the name for another type of pre-cut fabric. For the pattern weights we used charm squares which are 5 inch squares. A fat quarter usually measures 18 X 22 inches in size but it can vary slightly.)
3/8 inch ribbon (we will be making a 3/4 inch casing so the ribbon needs to be narrower in width. Length will need to be at least 35 inches.)
Pins, scissors, safety pin or bodkin of some sort, chopstick or other blunt object, rotary cutter, acrylic ruler, and cutting mat. (The rotary cutter, acrylic ruler, and cutting mat are optional.)
Step one Press your fabric to take out the fold lines. Put the right sides of the fabrics together. Both selvedges should be together. It is not always easy to see which side has the selvedge but it will be one of the two shorter sides of the fabric. Our exterior fabric and our interior fabric will be cut to measure 12 X 20 inches. Remove the selvedge by cutting 1 inch from the edge. Now measure over 20 inches and cut. Square off you bottom edge and measure up 12 inches. Make your final cut here.
Step two Your pieces should already be wrong sides together. If you are using a directional print make sure you know which side is up. You will use a ¼ inch seam allowance to sew the top of the pouch together. This will be along the top edge of the 20 inch side. Press this seam to the lining side of the fabric.
Step three Fold your piece in half the long way. Match the seam you just made first and pin the piece together working out from there. You are going to sew a long tube. Leave a three inch opening in the seam of the lining fabric. We are also going to leave a ½ inch opening in the seam of the exterior fabric for the drawstring ribbon. The beginning of the gap should start ¼ inch down from the seam. I like to mark the beginning and end of my openings so I remember to stop, back stitch, and move the fabric ahead to the end of the opening. Back stitch again at this new beginning.
Step four Press the seam you just made open. At the top and the bottom of the small ½ inch opening in the exterior fabric you will reinforce the beginning and end of the opening by making a line of stitching across the seam (this will be like the letter T across the seam. I like to also do a couple of lines of zig zag stitches.)
Step five Use a ¼ inch seam to close off both ends. Press everything flat to set your stitches. Clip the four corner to reduce bulk. Be careful not to cut through the stitches. Turn the bag right side out through the opening you left in the lining fabric. Use a blunt object to poke out the corners. Roll the seams between your thumb and index finger to create sharp seams. Press the seams.
Step six Push the lining down into the pouch. Carefully roll the edges of the top seam and iron in place. Sew a line of top stitching around the top of the pouch ¼ inch down from the edge. Repeat the top stitching 1 inch down from the edge. You have now created the casing for the drawstring. Use a safety pin to guide the ribbon through the casing. You can feel the safety pin with the attached ribbon and guide it along the casing. Once the ribbon is through the casing determine the desired length and cut the ribbon. Tie a knot in each end of the ribbon.
The pouch is done. It is the perfect size for the 6 pattern weights and will keep this great new sewing tool all together in one place.
What else could you fill it with?
The drawstring pouch is so versatile. You can use them for gift bags, makeup bags, laundry bags, travel shoe bags, jewelry bags, toy bags – you get the idea!
What uses can you think of for the drawstring pouch?