Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tutorial - Making a drawstring backpack

Aaahh... camp time. An embroidering Mommy's dream time. (Honestly, EVERYTHING nees a name? How can I beat that!)

Off to camp she goes tomorrow- for the first time. They have to bring a little drawstring bag to carry their water bottle/sunscreen/etc around with them, so I whipped these up for her and her friends.
I'm going to give dimensions, but I made these for girls under 7. You might want to make yours a wee bit bigger if it is for someone larger.

First, you'll need a piece of fabric, in a rectangle shape. I used a piece of Michael Miller Dumb Dot pink, measuring 14" tall by 22" wide. Fold this in half horizontally, and work on one side first.
If you want to put the name on it, do that first.

Then working just on one half, make two button holes 1.5 inches down from the top. Make these close to the edges of the 1/2- as they will be on the top edges of the finished bag.

Next, finish the raw top edge. You can either turn it under and stitch it, or run it through your serger. This will not show, it's just to make the bag wear better.

Now. fold the bag in half, right sides together, and serge or seam and finish the edge.

Now you have a tube of fabric. Turn under 1 inch of the fabric (with your finished edge turned underneath.) This will make a casing for the drawstring that has a button hole on each side. Stitch the casing close to the edge. Make sure you catch the turned under fabric, and that your button hole is in the casing, not below it.

Cut two small squares of interfacing and fabric, and place these in the bottom corners. This will reinforce the corners and make them stronger for the grommets.

You can tack them down with stitches, or a tiny bit of fabric glue to hold them in place.

Stitch the bottom seam, catching the squares of fabric. Then, turn your bag inside out.
You now have a small pillowcase!

On the bottom corners, put in grommets.
Now, you're ready to add the straps! The straps can be made of anything, but I prefer multicorded braid. You will need two pieces, each twice the height of the bag + the twice the width of the bag. (For these bags, it takes 2 pieces, 1.5 yards each.)

Starting on the right side of the bag, feed the cord through the button hole, and back out the same button hole after going around the casing. There is a button hole on the other side, but do not go out that button hole. The string should start and end on the same side.

Repeat this with the other side. This means when you are finished, there will be two drawstrings at the top, ending on opposite sides.

Even out the cord, and pull both ends through the grommet at the bottom and tie a knot. (The knot should be on the pretty, embroidered side of the bag.) Do this on both sides.

That's it! Super simple!
Wouldn't those be a cute little take home gift from a slumber party?

MaryKay is slowly trying to dig herself out from under a mountain if fabric, one tutorial at a time.

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