Friday, November 13, 2009

Frugal Friday Tutorial: Quick and Easy Drawstring Bag

My daughter's school has town every two weeks. During town the kids get to spend "town dollars" on homemade wares. These monies are earned throughout the year by participating in various classroom jobs and by running town businesses. I love town because it teaches responsibility, financial management and mathematics. It also encourages creativity and free-thinking.

Last week my daughter and I were trying to figure out what she should make for town. Looking for ideas we began pouring through my fabric stash. Most of my fabrics are thrifted material purchased on a whim; i.e. sheets, curtains, remnants, etc.

We pulled out a canvas shower curtain and inspiration hit -- drawstring bags! Now keep in mind -- this is the outer fancy shower curtain that does not get wet. We are not using the ucky gucky interior curtain (I do prefer my sewing projects to be mold free).

The bags were super easy to make and a huge hit. Now my daughter wants one of her own to carry her knitting in. So I whipped up another quick bag and decided to make a tutorial. This project only takes about 15 minutes and is perfect for beginning sewers. The possibilities are endless -- a knitting bag, a beach bag, a grocery bag, an overnight bag. It could even be the wrapping for a holiday gift (assuming your giftee isn't likely to peek).

In my neck of the woods a thrifted curtain costs around $6.00. A single curtain will make a minimum of two bags using this method with plenty of fabric left over for other projects.

How to make a quick and easy drawstring bag from a shower curtain:

1. Find a shower curtain (or other curtain) with button holes at the top.

The top of the curtain will be the top of your bag.

2. Lay the fabric out flat and cut a rectangle to the dimensions you want. Be sure to have an even number of button holes at the top of the bag.

This particular bag was approximately 20 inches by 35 inches.

3. Carefully cut the side seam off your rectangle. Cut the seam as close to the folded edge as possible without cutting into the folded edge.

4. Cut a small piece of the seam (~ 2 inches) to use as a loop.

5. Fold the fabric in half with right sides together. Place the loop approximately 2 inches from the bottom of the bag. Pin in place.

6. Using a machine sew the side and bottom seams. Don't forget to backstitch at the beginning and end.

7. Trim seams with pinking shears to prevent fraying.

8. Turn inside out.

9. Weave a ribbon in and out of the button holes. Pull one side of the ribbon down and through the bottom loop. Knot the ribbon ends.

10. Enjoy!


Happy Frugal Friday!


L.C said...

This look's like something I can do...I haven't sewn anything since junior high....I do have a sewing machine but I don't know how it work's (all the tension nobs and stuff.) Thanks for the idea.

Gayle said...

Very cool! What a great idea. Your school's town project sounds wonderful.

Mrs. E said...

Very clever! I love super easy, quick projects!