Awhile ago (oh my, has it already been more than a month? time flies when you are having fun!) Tracey over at ozcountryquilting mum asked me how I constructed these little drawstring bags. I said I would put another one together and take some photos and post them. Well, I've finally gotten around to doing it! But, I did have a bit of a quandry -- I made the bags from a pattern I found in a Quilts and More magazine. Copyrighted. Not able to publish all of the info to my blog. Crap. (btw -- if anyone is interested in copyright issues and how they can impact creativity and the sharing and creation of new ideas I HIGHLY recommend this book. Surprisingly readable and available for a free download. And yes, I am a geek like that). So, what's a girl to do? Well -- while the exact measurements are copyrighted material -- the general methods for putting together a round bottomed drawstring bag can't really be. I mean, really, they've been around for ages and ages -- soooo -- do some math, make some adjustments -- and come up with a tutorial to create one of your own in any size you please! Works for me!
Materials required: Depends on the size of your bag really. Two fabrics, enough of each to get the size rectangles and circles you need. For the measurements given here -- two pieces of fabric 14" x wof. 2 yards of cording. Pretty thin stuff -- think I'm using 5/8" cotton stuff. General sewing supplies.
All seams are .25" unless otherwise noted.
1. Determine the finished size of the bottom you want. This can be any size circle really. For this project, I chose an 8" finished circle. Add .5" to the finished size. Cut one circle this size (8.5" here) from each of your two fabrics. (and yes, I did partially choose this size because it's the largest one my nifty new circle rotary cutter can make)
2. Here's where the math comes in. You need to determine the size rectangles you need to cut to make the tube that will be the walls and body of the bag. To do this, you will need to calculate the circumference of the unfinished circle you have just cut. The formula for determining the circumference of a circle is:
C = d * pi (or 3.14159 -- sorry -- don't know how to get the nifty pi sign into blogger)
So for my 8.5" unfinished circle: C = 8.5 * 3.14159 = 26.7"
Take this number and divide by 2. (13.35" in this case)
Round this number down to the nearest .5 inch. (for my sample I did NOT do this -- I rounded down to the nearest .25 inch. It worked, but I had to take some tucks when I was sewing the bottom to the lining. So, do as I say, not as I did). Add .5 inch to that number for seam allowances. (or, well, just round up to the nearest .5 inch and that is the cut width of your rectangle -- duh!) So -- for this project, the number is 13.5" for the width of your bag body pieces.
There -- maths all done!
3. Determine the height of your bag. This one is pretty arbitrary and really depends on what you want to fit into the bag. For this particular project, I needed something that would hold wooden train pieces that dd is going to be getting for her birthday (yes, the need for this bag is entirely practical as I don't really want to trip all over them). I decided to cut the pieces at 12" knowing that .5 of that would be taken up in seam allowances and another 1.75 would be taken in the drawstring portion. The other bags are smaller -- smaller base, shorter length, etc.
4. Cut 2 rectangles from EACH fabric the size you need. (in my case -- 13.5" wide by 12" high)
5. Pin the 2 outer bag rectangles rst and mark a line 1" from the top, and 1" below that. Sew the seams on both sides, leaving openings between the two marks, backstitching where you have to break the sewing line. Press the seams open. (and yes, yes, yes -- that is actually my lining fabric -- again, mistakes may have been made, not saying they actually WERE mind you, but do as I say, not as I do)
6. Sew the short sides of the lining rectangles rst, leaving a 3" or so opening for turning the bag. Press the seams open.
7. Take one of your circles and fold in half rst and finger press along the diameter. (this step is not strictly necessary -- but it makes lining up the circle with the tube much easier!)
8. Line up the fold marks with the seams on the bottom of the bag body tube and pin in place. Continue pinning around the circle, lining the edges of the circle with the edges of the tube. Pins should be placed so that the circle is on the bottom when you sew.
9. Using a .25" seam allowance sew the circle to the tube, removing pins and sliding bulk as necessary. Repeat steps 7-9 for the outer bag. Turn outer bag right side out.
10. Place outerbag inside lining bag rst. Matching raw edges and seams, pin together and sew using a .25" seam allowance. Turn the bag through the opening in the lining (you did remember to leave an opening for turning didn't you? I'm only asking because the first time I made one of these I might have forgotten that step for one of them...just maybe mind you). Press the seam at the bag opening.
11. Topstich .75" from the opening of the bag. Topstich another line 1" below the first. (now, again, this assumes you want a .75" 'ruffle' at the top of your bag. These are the measurements I used -- and they work well for a smaller bag -- the larger bag I made here, I might actually choose a larger ruffle -- but that also means you will have to adjust where you leave your openings for your casings in step 5)
12. Slipstitch lining opening closed. (or, if you're like me and figure oh well, it's a lining -- pull the lining partially out and use the machine to quickly run some stitches over it to close it up)
13. Cut your cording into 2 yard long pieces. Using a bodkin (or the ever useful safety pin) thread one of the pieces of cording through the casing you created in step 11. The cording should enter and exit in the same hole. Tie knots at the end of the cording (or be creative and decorative) to secure and keep from fraying. Repeat for the other side.
14. You're done. There is no step 14 -- or, maybe, step back and marvel at the adorable little round bottomed drawstring bag you have created secure in the knowledge you can create one in any size you desire in approximately the time it takes a toddler to take a nap. Yeah, make that one step 14.
Hope you enjoyed my little tutorial -- if you make a bag using these instructions, please let me know. I'd love to see a photo of successes and/or hear about any problems I haven't thought about.