Black Friday Pattern Sale: 20-50% off

Friday, November 26, 2021

Happy Friday! I'm excited to announce the biggest sale I've ever had in my online shop! All patterns are 20-50% off now through 11/29/21!* No code needed, prices are already marked for your convenience! Shop Here.

Thank you for supporting my small business in any way this year! Whether you're buying a pattern, leaving a comment, pinning a project to Pinterest, or simply sharing my blog with a friend. It all allows me to continue to support my family. I'm grateful.

Happy Sewing!

*Pattern bundles are not included in this sale. Sale applies only to I have transferred UK + EU digital pattern sales back to my main shop!

Present Quilt Block Drawstring Bag Free Tutorial

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Happy Wednesday, and welcome to the second week of the Lined Drawstring Bag Sew Along! This week I'm very excited to share a tutorial for a present quilt block bag! I'll be updating the Sew Along Page each week 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

I drew a sketch of this bag a few years ago, but never got around to making it. This year when I was narrowing down ideas for the sew along, I knew it was finally time to try bringing it to life! This is a variation for the "Everything" size, which is the same as the tutorial size. One side of the Exterior Main will be pieced with patchwork, which looks like a present when a bow is stitched to it! I think this bag is adorable and would be great for gift-giving all year round!

If you're not sure where to start in terms of choosing fabrics, here are some tips. I started by choosing the present background, which is the wrapping paper. This is a good place to use a fun, multicolored, patterned fabric. From there I picked out a simple blender print for the present tie fabric to coordinated. For the Exterior Main, I went with a solid, so that the present really pops! Finally a simple dot for the Exterior Accent and Interior. For more tips on choosing fabrics for drawstring bags, see this post from last year's Sew Along: Tips for Choosing Fabrics for Drawstring Bags

Sewing Level: Beginner Friendly
Finished size: Approx. 10" tall, 7" wide, 3" deep

Present Quilt Block Lined Drawstring Bag Materials:
- 3 Fat quarters (18"x21")*
- 1 Fat eighth for present background
- 1/8 yard for present tie
- 2 yards of 1/2" twill tape, or 1/8 yd fabric
- Coordinating thread
- Handstitching needle
- Acrylic ruler
- Large safety pin
- Water soluble pen

*This tutorial is written for using a non-directional fabric for the Exterior Main.

Looking for supplies? Check out my Pattern Supplies and Resources post.

Present Quilt Block Lined Drawstring Bag Cutting:
From Exterior Main Fabric:
- Cut (1) 9”x10.5” piece
- Cut (2) 3"x5.5" side pieces
- Cut (1) 1.5"x10.5" top piece
- Cut (1) 3"x10.5" bottom piece

From Present Background Fabric:
- Cut (2) 2.5"x5.5" pieces

From Present Tie Fabric:
- Cut (1) 1.5"x5.5" strip
- Cut (2) 1.5"x21" strips

From Exterior Accent Fabric:
- Cut (1) 4”x21” strip
- Subcut into (2) 4”x10.5” pieces

From Interior Fabric:
- Cut (1) 12.5”x21” strip
- Subcut into (2) 12.5”x10.5” pieces

If using fabric for ties:
- Cut (2) 32”x2” strips

If using twill for ties:
- Cut (2) 32" pieces

Present Quilt Block Lined Drawstring Bag Instructions:
*Use a 1/4” seam allowance unless otherwise noted*

1. Before constructing the bag, we first need to make the pieced Exterior Main piece.

The present part of the Exterior Main is made of two 2.5"x5.5" present background pieces and one 1.5"x5.5" present tie fabric strip. Arrange them as shown above. Sew strips tigether along the long edges. Press seams open.

2. Sew the two 3"x5.5" side Exterior Main pieces to either side of the present block. Press seams open.

3. Sew the 1.5"x10.5" top Exterior Main piece to the top edge of the block. Press seams open.

4. Sew the 3"x10.5" bottom Exterior Main piece to the bottom edge of the block. Press seams open.

Refer to the free tutorial or the everything size in the lined drawstring bag pattern. Follow steps 1-8, then return to this tutorial.

5. To make the present tie, place two 1.5"x21" present tie strips right sides together. Sew along all four sides, leaving a few inches unsewn for turning. Turn tie right sides out, press well. Topstitch around all four sides, closing the opening. Carefully tie into a neat bow.

If you'd like, you could make the ends of the ties pointed or rounded. Trim to shape before sewing them together.

6. Turn bag right sides out. Handstitch the bow to the top of the present, using the opening in the interior of the bag to reach the wrong wide of the bag exterior.

For the remaining bag construction, refer back to the free tutorial or the everything size in the lined drawstring bag pattern.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! I can't wait to see the bags you make! Please share them with me on instagram @jenib320 + #lineddrawstringbag or via email (jenib320 @

Happy Sewing!

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

Monday, November 22, 2021

Happy Monday! With the Lined Drawstring Bag Sew Along well underway, I thought I'd share a bit about the bags I'm planning to make!

Last year I focused mainly on making an advent calendar. This year, instead of making one big project, I'm focusing on making a good stash of bags for gift wrapping. Almost all of my holiday bags are the "everything size" (same as the tutorial size). This year I'm going to make some larger sizes and a handful of small sizes from the pattern to to fill out my stash! I also used up almost all of my holiday fabrics back in 2019 when I made my Christmas Two by Four Quilt. So, I treated myself to some new holiday fabrics (from Stash Fabrics, here is their Christmas section) last month, and that's what I'm basing most of my bags around!

First up, I had to pick up this nutcracker and string light fabrics from Holiday Classics by Rifle Paper Co. I'm not usually big on metallics on fabric, but for Christmas I sometimes can't resist! I think this is going to be either a project or artist size bag. I'll probably use a matching solid for the lining.

This fabric pull is going to become another present block bag (I'm sharing this tutorial on Wednesday this week!). It features the garland print from Peppermint by Dana Willard. I tried to pull a slightly less Christmas-y color palette for this one.

This will probably be an artist size bag. The tree print is also from Peppermint by Dana Willard. I'll probably use the pink fabric as the lining and the blue as the accent. We'll see!

I haven't quite figured this bag out yet. I may use one of these options or none! I just love this cat fabric. It's from Meowy & Bright by Dear Stella. It will either be a project or artist size bag.

The next two bags will probably both be laundry size! I got some larger cuts on sale, so I've got enough! I love this cute print from Flurry by Ruby Star Society. For the accent I'm hoping to use up the rest of this print from an old Cotton and Steel collection.

Another large cut destined to become a laundry size bag. This Alison Glass print from her Holiday collection is adorable. Using one of her blenders for the accent seemed like a sensible choice!

A few years ago my Mom gave me this Cozy Christmas Panel by Lori Holt. I couldn't figure out what to use it for, so I decided this year I'm going to use it to make a bunch of tiny bags! I made a lot of tiny bags last year for the advent, but I have none for gift wrapping. Should be a good way to use it up.

Last but not least! My order from Stash Fabrics was tied up with this scrap of Love at Frost Sight by August Wrens. It's too cute to let it go to waste! So I'll use it in a bag somehow. Either a tiny size bag or perhaps in some patchwork on a larger bag.

I'll be making other bags for the sew along too, but these are my personal plans. If you want more information on the Sew Along and how to join in, see the schedule post. I'd love to see what bags you plan to make! Share them with me on instagram @jenib320 + #lineddrawstringbag or via email (jenib320 @ I'll be back on Wednesday with a new tutorial!

Happy Sewing!

How to Customize Wooden Beads with Paint, Stain, and Dye

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Happy Wednesday, and welcome to the first post of the Lined Drawstring Bag Sew Along! I'm excited to kick this off by sharing a few different ways to customize wooden beads to use on your drawstring bags! I'll be updating the Sew Along Page each week 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 wooden beads I used in this post are the same ones that I carry in my online shop. Of course you can use any unfinished wooden beads! The methods and tips I'll be sharing in this post are things that have worked well for me when customizing my beads. Please feel free to experiment and play around with different methods to acheive a look that appeals to you!

Shop for beads: Round Wooden Beads

In the process of preparing for this post, I experimented with four different methods for finishing wooden beads. You can of course use them as is! They will develop a nice natural patina over time if left unfinished. I'll be sharing my tips for using acrylic paint, dye, stain and clear finish on the beads.

Before You Start

You'll want to start by prepping your work surface. I used kraft paper to protect my table, but you could also use an old tablecloth or lay down some plastic. I found the easiest way to dry the beads for all four techniques was with some recycled materials. I repurposed some wooden chopsticks from takeout (skewers would work well too!), a piece of styrofoam and some masking tape. I'll show you my set-up:

Cut a piece of tape around 4-5" long. Stick one end to the chopstick.

Twist it up a bit so that it has some volume and wrap it around the stick. Slide the bead over the tape.

You'll want the tape to be around the size of the hole on your bead.

Now you can stick the chopstick into the styrofoam! This allows you to paint/dye/stain all sides of the bead without it getting stuck to your work surface while it dries.

Your beads could probably benefit from a light sanding before customizing them. I used 320 grit sandpaper on mine, but anything above 220 grit would be fine. I didn't spend more than 10-15 seconds per bead. Wipe beads clean before continuing.

Painting Wooden Beads

- Round Wooden Beads
- Paint (I used acrylic craft paint)
- Paint brushes

This customization was the most time consuming because for my beads I did multiple colors per bead. You could keep things simple and just use a single color! I painted two thin layers on each bead in one color. Then I painted a second color on top using a few different designs: simple stripes, dots (stamped on with the end of a chopstick), and splotches made with a paint brush. After completely dry, seal with a clear finish of your choice.

Dyeing Wooden Beads

- Round Wooden Beads
- Rit Liquid Dye
- Small plastic containers
- Plastic spoon
- Rag or paper towel

In a small container, mix 1/2 Tablespoon of liquid dye with 1/2 cup of hot water. Add beads to the dye mixture, they will float. Careful flip beads periodically to ensure that both sides dye evenly. Let beads sit in dye for 15-20 minutes. Remove and let dry completely. They'll lighten in color as they dry. Repeat as necessary to acheive desired color. (I did two dips in dye for my beads!). After completely dry, seal with a clear finish of your choice.

Rit has a dedicated post on using their dyes to dye wood and wicker. You can find it here.

Staining Wooden Beads

- Round Wooden Beads
- Wood Stain
- Rag
- Foam brush (optional)

Apply wood stain to beads with a foam brush or clean rag. Leave stain on for several minutes, then wipe away excess stain with a rag. Let dry competely. Repeat as necessary to acheive desired color. After completely dry, seal with a clear finish of your choice.

Sealing Wooden Beads

- Round Wooden Beads
- Clear finish of your choice (I used Shellac)
- Small brush or rag

I recommend applying a clear finish to any beads that you customize with paint, dye or stain to lock in your hardwork. Or apply clear finish to the plain beads! It is a great way to add a little shine to them. The finish you choose will have different application instructions, be sure to follow them for wood. Personally, I prefer Shellac because it dries quickly and applies easily. You could also use a spray-on finish. Be careful with water-based finishes because it may smear your paint job!

I hope this post is helpful and has given you some ideas for customizing your bags with beads! I can't wait to see the bags you make! Please share them with me on instagram @jenib320 + #lineddrawstringbag or via email (jenib320 @

Happy Sewing!

2021 Lined Drawstring Bag Sew Along Schedule

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Thank you for your excitement 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 17th! I'll also be posting my progress on my personal bags throughout the sew along! Here are the posts I have planned for each week:

Week 1: How to Customize Wooden Beads with Paint, Stain, and Dye
Week 2: Present Quilt Block Drawstring Bag Tutorial
Week 3: Reusable Gift Tag Ideas for Drawstring Bags
Week 4: How to Use Trim or Ribbon to Embellish Your Drawstring Bags

Each week's post will go up on Wednesday! I'll update this post and the Sew Along page with the links as we go.

We'll be using the #lineddrawstringbag hashtag on Instagram to share our progress. Be sure to tag me too, @jenib320. Not on Instagram? That's okay! Feel free to sew along and if you'd like, share your bags with me via email!

As I mentioned in my announcement 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 on sale, 20% off through 11/19/21. Prices are already marked down. Shop here:

Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern
Lined Drawstring Bag Expansion Pattern

Don't forget to pick up some supplies too!
Cotton Twill Tape
Round Wooden Beads
Nylon Paracord

Happy Sewing!

October Monthly Report

Monday, November 8, 2021

It's time for the October monthly report. See past reports here.

This was one of my best months for finishing things! I bound up my Kaleidoscope Quilt early in the month. Just need to get photos of it!

I also finished my indigo courthouse steps quilt! I picked this one back up in June (read more about it here). It's been in progress for a long time, so I was really happy to finish two long-term quilt projects in October.

The bulk of the other sewing I did was some Lined Drawstring Bags! I chatting in depth about this one in this post: Halloween Treat Bag & My Spooky Village

I also made six additional tiny sized Lined Drawstring Bags to make a little Halloween countdown. You can ready more about that in this post: Last Minute Halloween Countdown Project.

Not only did I finish two quilts, but I picked up my yarn-related projects for the first time in months! I finished this Astra hat (pattern* by Ambah O'Brien) for Michael that I started in the Spring. You can read more about it on my Ravelry page here: Astra Hat II.

I also finished weaving the scarf that I had on my loom! I had a little trouble with this yarn, so I made it a little shorter than I originally intended. Still turned out nice though! Looking forward to making time for more weaving this winter.

To keep myself accountable for my stash goals, I track my yardage for fabric and yarn each month. Read more about how I track here. Here is how I did in October:

October Fabric
Used up: 27 yard
Brought in: 5 yards
Net: -27 yards
Year to date: -59.25 yards

October Yarn
Used up: 496 yards
Brought in: 0 yards
Net: -496 yards
Year to date: -2319 yards

Bought some fabric this month! I picked up a bunch of holiday fabrics from Stash Fabrics. I have slowly used up most of my Christmas/winter fabrics so it was time to add to it a bit. Thankfully my intake was greatly offset by the fabrics I used up. This was my most productive month of 2021!

Picked up this cool vintage Singer Pinker from Ecoworks. I'm excited to display it alongside my miniature sewing machine collection.

Not a lot of baking this month, but I did roast some pumpkin seeds. One of my favorite snacks!

We said goodbye to the garden this month. It's always a sad few days for sure. It was my very best year for growing dahlias, I already can't wait for next year.

Have a Great Month!

*Note: Any links marked with an asterisk in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click through and buy something, I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.