How to Make a Cute DIY Drawstring Tote Bag (Free Pattern in 2 Sizes)

Made by JOJO
by Made by JOJO
10 Materials
30 Minutes

Today, I'm sharing an easy drawstring bag sewing pattern that you can use to sew a lined drawstring bag. I’ve got two sizes that are perfect for yourself or to give as gifts. Let’s get started making a DIY drawstring tote bag!

Tools and materials:

  • Outer fabric (preferably linen)
  • Lining (preferably cotton)
  • Waxed cotton cord
  • Wooden beads
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Marking pen
  • Sewing machine
  • Coordinating thread
  • Iron

This bag comes in 2 sizes. Cut the outer fabric, straps, and lining for your bag.

Small drawstring bag sewing pattern

Drawstring bag sewing pattern (small size)

For the smaller bag, you’ll need one large piece of the outer fabric and lining that’s 9½ X 10 inches folded.

Cut the small corners as shown in blue. Cut 2 straps 2¾ X 11 inches long. Cut the waxed cotton cord to be 21¼ inches long.

Large drawstring bag sewing pattern

Drawstring bag sewing pattern (large size)

For the larger bag, you’ll need an outer fabric and lining that’s 13½ X 13¾ inches folded.

Cut the small corners as shown in blue. You’ll need to cut two straps that are 3⅛ X 13¾ inches. Cut two pieces of waxed cotton cord at 28½ inches. 

Making straps for the DIY drawstring bag

1. Make the straps

Fold the straps down ½ on either side along the length of the fabric. Press down these folds.

Folding and clipping the straps

Fold the strap in half. Clip in place. Sew along the length on both sides as close to the edge as possible. Fold the straps into thirds to get a sense of the center.

clipped straps ready to sew

Fold and clip the center third in.

How to make straps for the DIY drawstring bag

Stitch in place leaving the ends wider.

Attaching the straps to the DIY drawstring bag

2. Attach the straps

Fold your outer fabric in towards the right side to determine strap placement. Place them on the right side, attaching the raw end of the strap to the top edge of the lining.

Clipping the straps onto the bag body

Clip to both sides.

How to make a lined drawstring bag

3. Attach the lining

With the straps clipped in place on the right side of the fabric, lay the lining with the right side facing down. Align the edges of the lining to the fabric.

How to sew a lined drawstring bag

Adjust the clips to include the lining so the straps are still clipped in place. Place another clip to secure the fabric.

Sew across these seams with a straight stitch, remembering to backstitch at the beginning and the end.

Sewing the DIY drawstring bag to the lining

4. Sew the bag together

Separate the lining from the outer fabric. Flatten the center seams.

Measuring and marking the pattern

Use your ruler to measure 1¼ inches from the center seam and then ⅞ inches from that measurement on the outer fabric as shown at both the top and bottom. Mark these measurements.

Clipping the side seams, ready to sew

Clip the side seams. Sew the side seams leaving these spaces unsewn on the outer fabric at the top and bottom.

Leave about 3 inches on the lining unsewn so you can flip the bag to the right side once it is sewn. Sew with a straight stitch.

Flattening the side seams

Flatten the seams. Clip the ends of the side seam.

Clipping the corners together

Clip the corner together on one side from both the outer and lining fabric. Sew across in a horizontal line, backstitching at the beginning and the end.

Using an awl while sewing on a sewing machine

Once that side is sewn, clip and sew the second side in the same way.

Pulling the outer fabric right sides out

You’ll have what looks like a ball. Look for the space you left in the lining and pull the outer fabric through to get the bag right side out.

Clipping the top of the bag ready to topstitch

5. Finish the bag

Clip the top side seams. Sew a topstitch across the top of the bag in coordinating thread. 

Easy drawstring bag DIY

Use your ruler to measure down the 1¼ inches and ⅞ inch measurements you left unsewn before.

How to make a drawstring bag

Mark these measurements.

Sewing a channel for the drawstring

Sew across to create a channel.

Hand-sewing the gap closed

Take out the lining of the bag and stitch up the space you left to flip the bag out.

Pulling the drawstring cord through the channel

Place a safety pin at the end of the waxed cotton cord. Pull it through the channel. When you reach the end, pull on both ends.

Adding wooden beads to the cord ends

Place a wooden bead on both cords and pull the cords out. Make a tight knot. Take the second cord and pull it through going in the other direction. Follow the same technique.

Pulling on the drawstring cords

Pull on both cords to create and secure your DIY drawstring bag!

DIY drawstring tote bags

DIY drawstring tote bag tutorial

I hope this tutorial helped you learn how to make a drawstring bag.

Please let me know in the comments how helpful you found this drawstring bag sewing pattern and if you made this bag for yourself or as a gift. Thanks for joining!

Suggested materials:
  • Outer fabric (preferably linen)
  • Lining (preferably cotton)
  • Waxed cotton cord
See all materials

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Join the conversation
  • Made by JOJO Made by JOJO on Mar 04, 2022

    Enjoy sewing!

    If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

    Thanks! 😄

  • Ashley Meyer Ashley Meyer on Mar 28, 2022

    Cute bags...what is the sewing with an awl picture???

    • Made by JOJO Made by JOJO on Mar 28, 2022

      The outer fabric and the lining are sewn together to make the bottom of the bag.

      My video will help. 06:45 ~

      If the answer is not what you want, please ask again.