lined drawstring bag

Sewing skills project 2: Lined Drawstring Bag


Lined Drawstring Bag from School of Sewing by Shea Henderson

Project features:

  • easy-to-close drawstring
  • fully lined
  • boxed corners

Process notes


  • Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton in Poppy
  • Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton in a taupe shade (possibly Cobblestone)
  • Moda Fresh Air by American Jane in Light Blue
  • Marcus Fabrics Aunt Grace Ties One On #5369 in navy and white

Equipment and settings:

  • used 90/14 needle for everything but the drawstrings
  • for 1/4″ seams used J foot 5.5/2.5, following right edge of foot, thread tension 3.5
  • to edge stitch the lining opening closed, used R foot 1.5/2.5
  • for top titching the casing, used blue needle thread and white bobbin thread, increased tension to 4, stitch length 3.5
  • to topstitch the drawstrings, used edge joining foot 1.0/2.5, and  switched to 80/12 microtex needle


lined drawstring bag detail

This is a great little bag! The drawstrings are substantial, giving it a sturdy feel.

When the strings are pulled, the unfinished seam allowance in the casing can get pulled out, causing some unraveling. Plus it doesn’t stay as neat and tidy like I’d prefer. Finishing the seam allowance on the casing portion with a zig zag or serging and topstitching that portion down would help.

I ran into an issue with the way the instructions are written — in step 1 we’re to cut two 1 1/2″ squares from the corners of a 10 1/2″ side, and it says the bottom of the piece should measure 10 1/2″. But the piece was that wide to begin with, so removing 3″ would leave shorter 7 1/2″ sides. I emailed the author about it but hadn’t heard back. I forged ahead anyway and everything worked out just fine, so I think it was a small typo in steps 1 and 2. Or a difference in the way I interpreted the instructions.

UPDATE: I heard back from Shea and it was indeed the way I was interpreting the instructions. Once the corners are cut, the bottoms of the lining and exterior are 7 1/2″. The instructions say 10 1/2″ because the top edges and both edges of the accent piece are 10 1/2″.

I learned a good lesson in the importance of slowing down and reading the directions carefully. I was so excited to get started and see the finished bag that I forgot to make cut one of the drawstrings during the cutting stage (not a huge loss, but felt silly). And I didn’t take a moment to consider my bobbin thread color when topstitching the casing so had to rip out my first stitches and re-do that part. One of my goals during this experience is to slow down and enjoy the process of sewing, not just rush to the finish.

I’m really happy with the accuracy of my sewing in this project, which is a good step in the right direction.