Sew Along: Lined Drawstring Bag Video Tutorial

Wednesday, November 25, 2020


Happy Wednesday! It's time for the second week of the Lined Drawstring Bag Sew Along! This week's post is a full video tutorial of making the lined drawstring bags. This video has been requested many times over the year, and I'm glad to finally have it available to you all. I hope it will be helpful!

I do have one small disclaimer: I am not a professional videographer, and this video is far from perfect. There are a few abrupt cuts and the angles aren't always the best, but I tried my best! :)

In the video I make an Everything Size bag (same as the tutorial size), from start to finish. You'll need to have either the tutorial or pattern handy when following along with the video:

Lined Drawstring Bag Tutorial
Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern


Watch the video in this blog post, or watch it on YouTube, here: Lined Drawstring Bag Video Tutorial

I look forward to seeing your projects! Please share them with me on instagram @jenib320 + #lineddrawstringbag or via email (jenib320 @ gmail.com)!

Happy Sewing

Sew Along: Lined Drawstring Bags I'm Planning to Make

Friday, November 20, 2020


Happy Friday! I thought it would be fun to share a few of the projects I'm going to be working on throughout the sew along! If you missed the first post, it went up on Wednesday and you can find it here: Tips for Choosing Fabrics for Drawstring Bags.

The project I'm most excited about is an advent calendar! I'm making 24 tiny size bags for that! I've wanted to do this for years and I'm glad it's finally happening. I'm making them 'easy going' style without an exterior accent, and will be using my Cricut Maker to cut vinyl numbers that I can iron on. I have all the fabric cut, next I need to tackle the vinyl!


I definitely want to make a patchwork gift bag with this collection of Christmas prints that my friend Jacey shared with me a few years ago. I'll probably add a few more fabrics into this mix, but I thought it would be fun to use up these scraps for a bag.


I started a scrap quilt a few years ago, but didn't get very far. I'm planning on adding to each block to make it the right size for a drawstring bag exterior. I think I have eight blocks, so I can make 4 bags if I want. I know it would feel really good to use up the blocks. And I also love the scrappy bags I make.


Lately I've been trying to use up some fabrics that have been in my stash for a really long time. This rabbit print from Creative Thursday was released in 2012, so I wanted to finally use it for something! Another gift bag seemed like a good solution.

I already know I'll be pulling fabrics for more bags along the way, this is just what I have planned for now, outside of the bags for the sew along posts!

Happy Sewing!

Tips for Choosing Fabrics for Drawstring Bags

Wednesday, November 18, 2020


Happy Wednesday, and welcome to the first post of the Lined Drawstring Bag Sew Along! I'm excited to kick this off by sharing my favorite shortcut for choosing fabrics. I'll be back later this week to share my plans for the bags I'm making during the sew along! I'll be updating the schedule post with all the posts so that you can easily catch up or reference these posts after the sew along ends!

I hope you'll sew along with us! Sew from the tutorial or the patterns:
Lined Drawstring Bag Tutorial
Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern
Lined Drawstring Bag Expansion Pattern

The methods and tips I'll be sharing in this post are simply things that have worked well for me when it comes to choosing fabrics for drawstring bags or other small projects. There is absolutely no wrong or right way to choose fabrics for a project or any rules for what kind of fabrics to use where. This is just meant to be a bit of guidance if you don't know where to start. Please feel free to experiment and play around with different combinations to figure out what appeals to you!

Recognizing Direction in Fabric Designs
Before we dive into my go-to method for choosing fabrics, let's talk a little about directional and non-directional fabrics as well as types of prints. The lined drawstring bag pattern & tutorial have cutting instructions written to accomodate directional fabrics for both the Exterior Main pieces and Exterior Accent pieces. Let's look at some different types of directional fabrics so that we're on the same page.


The fabric print above is a one-way directional fabric. It has a distinct top and a distinct bottom as well as distinct sides. That just means if it was turned a different way it could be upside down, or sideways. If you're using this type of print for the Exterior Main, you'll want to make sure the "top" edge of the print is touching your accent piece when you sew your pieces together.


The fabric print above is a two-way directional fabric. It has distinct sides, but the top and bottom are interchangeable. This means the piece can be turned two different ways and it will look right when sewn up!


The fabric print above is non-directional fabric. That means it has no distinct sides, top or bottom. It can be cut and turned any direction! This is the easiest type of fabric to use for drawstring bags, if you're nervous about getting your pieces laid out right.

Types of Fabric Prints
I'll be referencing focal prints, blender prints, and neutrals throughout this post. These can be a bit subjective, but here are some examples of what these look like to me for the purposes of this post:


Focal fabric: good deal of interest, typically larger in scale, often with multiple colors


Blender fabric: only one or two colors, typically smaller in scale and with a repetitive design


Neutral fabric: solids, linen, shot cottons, chambray, cork, etc.

Fabric Selection Shortcut

My favorite method for choosing fabrics is to start with a single fabric and use it to choose the rest of the prints or accesories I'm going to use for a project. Here is my very loose formula for deciding what type of fabric to use where on my bags:

Exterior Main: Focal fabric or medium scale blender
Exterior Accent: Blender, small focal fabric or neutral
Lining: Neutral, small blender or small scale non-directional focal

Let's walk through a few of the example fabric pulls below:


For this fabric pull I started with the Exterior Main fabric, which is a one-way directional focal print. I used the colors in the focal print to choose the rest of the fabrics, which are all blenders. The blue print is the Exterior Accent, the orange is the Ties, and the peach is the Lining. I was sure to choose a light colored lining fabric since the Exterior Main has a light background; I don't want the lining to show through it!


For this fabric pull I started with the Exterior Main fabric, which is a non-directional small scale focal print. I used the colors in the focal fabric for the remaining parts. The orange small scale focal print is the Exterior Accent, the dark purple blender is the Ties and the light purple blender is the Lining.


For this fabric pull I started with the Exterior Main fabric, which is a one-way directional focal print. It has a limited color palette so I added in a few neutrals to this pull. The peach blender is the Exterior Accent, the cotton/linen neutral is the lining, and the natural twill tape is the Ties.

For this fabric pull I started with the Exterior Main fabric, which is a non-directional blender print. I paired it with two more blenders in the same black and white color palette. The black print is the Exterior Accent and the white print is the Lining. To add a pop of color I choose a rainbow paracord for the Ties.


For this fabric pull I started with the Exterior Main fabric, which is a one-way directional focal print. I found a second focal print in a very similar color palette for the Exterior Accent, and a purple blender that coordinates with both exterior prints for the Lining. The natural twill tape is the Ties.


For this fabric pull I used prints from a single collection, to make it nice and easy! I started with a two-way directional focal print for the Exterior Main. I paired it with a medium scale blender for the Exterior Accent and a small scale blender for the Lining. The yellow twill tape is the Ties.

For this fabric pull I started with the Exterior Main fabric, which is a non-directional focal print. I used colors in the focal fabric for the remaining parts. The pink blender print is the Exterior Accent, the green blender print is the Lining and the mustard paracord is the Ties.


For this fabric pull I started with the Exterior Main fabric, which is a two-way directional focal print. I paired it with two blenders that match the colors in the focal print. The red dot blender is the Exterior Accent, the cream blender is the Lining and the natural twill tape is the Ties. I coordinated the colors in this pull but also the theme, using a paper-like blender with an envelope themed focal print.

Using Different Fabric Substrates

I probably use quilting cottons 75% of the time when I make a drawstring bag. I have a large stash of options and they're easy to work with. The other 25% of the time I use other weights of cottons! Barkcloth, cotton/linen blends, light-weight canvas and chambray have all made their way into drawstring bags. They aren't too different to work with, the main thing to keep in mind is not to use something too heavy on the Exterior Accent. If the fabric there is too thick it could interfere with the drawstring closure. I don't typically use lightweight fabrics like voile or lawn, since they wouldn't provide very much structure. I've used knit fabric before, which actually worked better than expected. Find that tutorial here: Knit Drawstring Shoe Bag Tutorial


Cork is another fun option to really mix up your drawstring bag! I used it on this bag as a bottom accent (variation is in the expansion pattern). It was fun to work with and the result is so cute!


I hope this post is helpful when you're choosing fabrics for your bags! I can't wait to see the fabric pulls you all come up with for your projects! Please share them with me on instagram @jenib320 + #lineddrawstringbag or via email (jenib320 @ gmail.com)!

Happy Sewing

Lined Drawstring Bag Sew Along Schedule

Friday, November 13, 2020


Thank you for your excitment about the upcoming Lined Drawstring Bag Sew Along! I've been working behind the scenes this week and wanted to share what posts you can expect from me starting Wednesday, November 18th! I'll also be posting my progress on my personal bags throughout the sew along! Next week I'll share what I plan to make! Here are the posts I have planned for each week:

Week 1: Tips for Choosing Fabrics for Drawstring Bags
Week 2: Video tutorial for the Lined Drawstring Bag
Week 3: Brand new size bag, perfect for holiday gifting!
Week 4: Tutorial for adding an exterior pocket

Currently, Instagram isn't showing recent photos added to hashtags because of the U.S. election. I'm not sure when that will change, so in addition to using the #lineddrawstringbag hashtag on your sew along posts, please be sure to tag me (@jenib320) in the photo too so that I don't miss them! :)


As I mentioned in my annoucement post, this is a no-stress sew along. Let's just make some bags together! Sew from the free tutorial, the pattern or the expansion pattern! Both patterns are still on sale, 20% off through 11/20/20. Prices are already marked down. Shop here:

Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern
Lined Drawstring Bag Expansion Pattern

Happy Sewing!