Monday, June 14, 2010

SIY (sew it yourself) Drawstring Toiletries Bag

*** ((headband giveaway HERE & another giveaway/interview/feature HERE!)) ***

this is an item my mom requested that i make for her, so i snapped some photos along the way so i could share with you how i did it! i winged it, but i'm pleased with the results.

*note/question: anyone know if there is a better needle to use for oilcloth or laminated cotton? at points i felt like it was a disaster with my regular needle*

what you'll need:
half a yard of laminated cotton or oil cloth (depends on how wide the bolt is)
matching thread
coordinating fabric for the drawstring
scissors or rotary cutter
an 8" bowl or whatever size you prefer. 
optional (i opted for no): lining vinyl.

(( p.s. don't you hate it when you get home & your fabric is cut all wonky? ))

step 1: trace & cut out your 8" circle for the base

step 2: cut out your rectangle for the "body" of the bag

i cut mine to be the comparable to my vera bradley bag

-i made mine 26" long and 15.5" high. ready for some old school calculus? (i don't remember if its actually calculus where i learned this, but i do know mrs. carey taught it to me haha thanks val!)
if you are using a different size bowl, measure it, and use this formula:

Circumference = Pi (3.141 592 653 589 793...) * Diameter (length across)

ok, moving on

step 3make tiny tiny tiny slits on the bottom of one of the long sides of your rectangle. 

step 4: cut out your drawstring. mine was 2" by 29"

(( at this point, you should have these pieces ))

step 5: head on over to the iron, fold the edges in, press.
 and then fold it in half again, press.

step 6: sew a stitch down the side 

step 7: ok, still at the sewing machine, take your base & your body pieces. take the edge that you snipped and (right sides facing) pin them together. ( i don't pin. *gasp*)

stitch around the edge, going slowly to make sure the edges are lined up. the snips will help you curve the rectangle around the circle with somewhat clean seams.

you will have a teepee at this point. 

step 8: snip any major excess and then sew up the edges of the rectangle to close the bag. 

(( i also reinforced the seam here.))

go back to where the rectangle meets the base and close up any holes. 

step 9:  turn your bag right side out (can you see it coming together!?) and fold down the top 2" towards the inside.
 hem/stitch it, and then sew again about 3/4" above that.

step 10: i cut a square (don't judge me) in the front and put my drawstring through the casing

make a knot with the ends of the drawstring and fill it up with shampoo & hairspray!

boom! you're done. :)



  1. You are so creative! Especially to do that on a whim! I'm so impressed!! Great job!

  2. i wish I had that seamstress instinct in me! jealous!

  3. Pretty cool.
    I sew with my hands. I wish I had a machine.


  4. That's cute! Hey - speaking of sharing tutorials - have you popped over to to see what other folks are stitching up and sharing?

  5. i wish i could sew. you make it look so simple!

  6. I love this bag! I'm such an impatient sewer though! Thanks for the tutorial! I'm sure I can get through this one!


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