Drawstring bags were meant to be one of the easier projects I was planning to take on. It wasn’t.
I contacted Nina immediately after looking at the pattern I would be using, knowing full well I didn’t have the tools necessary for this item. I sped to her house, fabric and instructions in hand, and we settled in to begin our process. We quickly realized the instructions were poorly written and confusing, leading us to draft our own. It was lucky that Nina was so proficient in making drawstring bags because without her, I would have been completely lost. But then again, isn’t that what a mentor is supposed to do?
Even though we had a better idea of what we would be doing, I still managed to make laughable mistakes. First, it became apparent that my measuring skills were a bit rusty so I had to measure two different sizes of the bag. Then, I encountered difficulties using a zig-zag stitch (which has become my favorite for its inverted look but it definitely takes some getting used to). One of the more challenging elements of the project is the concept of hammering in the little circles that you thread the string into. You don’t have to add them, but they look nice and keep the bag more stable.
A few other tips: for an extra touch, add a straight, decorative stitch on each corner of the bottom of the finished bag; burn the edges of the string to keep them secure; and use a paperclip to thread the string through the bag. The zig-zag stitch is going to feel strange at first — you will probably want to try to straighten it out — but try to give the machine the reigns and let it sew freely.
This class was unfortunately much smaller than I had hoped — we had three students rather than our usual 6-7 — but we made do. Having fewer kids actually allowed us to have the one-on-one time we needed to make the best bags possible. The girls got a kick out of hammering the holes, and they figured out quickly that feather-light taps wouldn’t cut it to get the job done. The zig-zag stitch was a challenge for all, but after I explained that the machine could do most of the work, they let go and actually sewed some straight zig-zagged lines.
I used a different pattern for my bag, but they can come in any shape, size, or style. If you’re interested in making your own, follow the link below.