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Rainbow Drawstring Bag

Today I am super delighted to have Julie from Sum of Their Stories guest blogging. Julie has a wide range of tutorials on her blog perfect to inspire creative minds. If you love bag pattern check out all my free bag patterns and tutorials.

Hi, I’m Julie from Sum of their Stories and I’m thrilled to be a guest here today with Vicky to help celebrate her 6th blog anniversary with her 12 days of Christmas.

Over at Sum of their Stories I share my enthusiasm for all things craft related, with a particular emphasis on upcycling, recycling and using what you have – a general ‘waste not, want not’ ethos passed down to me from my mum and grandmas. (Julie is a perfect person to guest post, our ethos is so alike!)

Today I’m sharing a tutorial to make a simple drawstring bag with a rainbow panel, a great way to use some of those scraps of fabric that we all struggle to just throw away (perish the thought!) I made this drawstring bag from an old man’s shirt and some bedlinen as well as the colourful scraps. You could use 2 shirts if that’s what you have. Perhaps I should just clarify at this point, it’s the shirt that is old, not the man it used to belong to – young men’s unwanted shirts work for this project too!

If you use shirts you can get one main piece from the shirt back and the 2 front pieces from the fronts or sleeves, if you use a shirt for the lining pieces you’ll need to have a join on one piece.

Rainbow Drawstring Bag

To make a rainbow drawstring bag you will need:
  • 1 piece of main fabric 27m x 30cm (10.5” x 11.5”) BACK
  • 2 pieces of lining fabric 27cm x 30cm (10.5” x 11.5”) LINING
  • 2 pieces of main fabric 27cm x 12cm (10.5” x 4.5”) FRONT
  • 7 pieces of fabric in the colours of the rainbow each 5cm x 10cm (2” x 4”) FRONT PANEL
  • 2 pieces of lining fabric 25cm x 8cm (10” x 3”) DRAWSTRING CASING
  • 2 lengths of ribbon or code each 70cm (27”) DRAWSTRING



First make the drawstring casing. Take the casing pieces and turn then stitch a narrow double hem at each short end.

Fold the pieces in half length ways, wrong sides together.

Mark and then stitch 2 rows of stitching, one 1cm from the fold and one 2cm from the fold.

Using a narrow 3/4cm seam allowance, join the small rainbow pieces in a rainbow order – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo (I used pink here!) and violet/purple. Press the seams open.

Join the rainbow patchwork piece to the front panels, right sides together so the panel is between the 2 plain pieces. Press the seams open.

Lay the front panel face up with the red on the left. Place one of the drawstring channels on top centrally with the raw edges together.

Place one of the lining pieces on top and stitch across the top.

Repeat for the back piece.

You should have 2 long rectangles like this.

Lining up the middle seams carefully lay them right sides together. The lining on the lining, the front on the back.

Stitch all-round the outside leaving an 8cm(3”) gap in the middle of the bottom of the lining. I always put vertical double pins to mark the gap so I don’t get carried away and stitch over it!

Trim the corners

Then turn right side out through the gap in the lining.

Stitch up the gap, either with a slip stitch or on the sewing machine.

Push the lining into the bag and then press with the iron.

Thread the two ribbons through the casing so they loop right round, one in each direction, fasten with a knot on each side.

Ta-dah! You’ve made a beautiful, useful little fully lined drawstring bag.

These bag turn out about 24cm x 27cm (9.5” x 10.5”) small but perfectly formed!

They are great for corralling all sorts of things, toys, game pieces, tools, undies etc. They make great craft project bags, particularly for things like crochet and embroidery.

I think they’d be a wonderful gift, you could fill them with a little treat or two and the wrapping becomes the present too!


It’s been such a joy to be here today, to help Vicky celebrate her 6th blogiversary and to share this scrap busting project with you.

If you are drowning under a mountain of fabric scraps and on the look out for great ways to make a dent in that stash you might want to check out my stash busting bunting too.


Stay tuned for the final great easy gift idea tomorrow – this post is one of a series of twelve DIY Christmas gifts.

In case you missed them:-

Gift 1 – Sashiko Cute Coin Purse

Gift 2 – DIY Felt Christmas Ornament Kits for Kids

Gift 3 – Bicycle Tyre Wallet

Gift 4 – Funky Felt Necklace

Gift 5 – DIY Leather plant pot holder

Gift 6 – Denim Embroidery Hoop Art Tutorial

Gift 7 – DIY Cafetiere Cosy

Gift 8 – Envelope Cushion with Pom-pom trim

Gift 9 – DIY Lunch Bag

Gift 10 – Leather Luggage Tags


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Pam @Threading My Way

Wednesday 21st of November 2018

Drawstring bags come in handy for so many things. A great little bag.

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