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How to Make a Draw String Bag, Toy Sack - Free Pattern

Updated on July 16, 2014

You can use this sack in so many ways! The appliques you decide to put on the outside of the sack is all up to you. I used stars because when I made it my daughter was 3 or 4, and I intended for it to be used as a toy sack. But over the years my daughter has used it on many occasions for overnight camping trips, sleep overs, and of course a toy sack for all her stuffed animals.

For a Large Bag You will need:

2 yds. of denim fabric, for strength, on the outside.

2 yds. of a complimentary fabric for the inside, I used a crimson red, crushed velvet fabric..

Felt , as much as you need-The applique stars are made of a felted fabric, I used the pre-cut squares you can buy in a pack. But there are many felted fabrics to choose from. The bolted felt is better quality and you can buy a wool felt, which is wonderful, but you have to buy larger quantities. It really depends on what you are planning to applique. You make the decision. It is really easy to cut and sew felt, because it doesn’t fray and it is thick enough you don’t have reinforce it with another fabric or a fusible web.

2 - 1 yd. draw string – You can make this out of the denim you have or buy one pre-made. I like to make my own. You want it to be reasonably strong. Measure the width of your bag, and times by 2. (The string will go through both sides.) Cut 3in. by whatever the width of your bag is. Fold and iron each long side in towards the middle, wrong side to wrong side. Then fold and iron again, folded edges should be touching. Sew edges together and your string is ready to use.

2 yds. x 4in. of complimentary fabric – This will be used 3 in. from the top of the bag for the draw string insertion.

Let’s get started!

1. Attach the fabric for the draw string – you will be using your 2yds. x 4in.

complimentary fabric.

a. Fold and iron each long edge of your fabric in towards the middle ½ in., wrong sides together.

b. Fold iron and sew the top and bottom edges of your long fabric, wrong sides together.

c. Pin your fabric straight across the top of the bag 4 in. from the top and 4 in. from the side. Make sure your strip is straight across and not diagonal in any way.

d. Sew across each edge leaving the sides open.

2. Attach the appliques to your outside fabric – You can make your own or you can make stars like I have done.

a. Make your pattern using regular paper.

b. Pin the pattern to the felt and cut.

c. Once your felt is cut, pin the pieces to the outside fabric of your bag and sew them on using a zig zag stitch to the outer edges.

3. Fold and iron the top and bottom edges of your large fabrics – You are going to do this to the inner lining and the outer fabric of your bag.

a. Fold and iron the top edges of your fabrics ½ in., wrong sides together.

4. Sew the inner and outer fabrics together – This is where your large fabrics really need to be the same size.

a. Pin the top edges of the outside fabric together with the inside fabric, wrong sides together.

b. Lay the fabrics flat and make sure they are the same size.

c. Pin the bottom edges together, making sure they align perfectly.

d. Pin the sides of the fabrics together, again making sure they align perfectly.

e. Sew the edges all around your two fabrics; which will give you one fabric.

5. Sew the sides of your bag together

a. Fold the right sides of the outer side of your bag together, meeting at each top edge.

b. Pin the sides of your bag together.

c. Sew the sides together. I usually stitch twice to make the bag strong. Then use a zig zag on the fringe to avoid fraying.

6. Insert draw string – I like to attach a large safety pin to the edge of my draw string to pull it through.

a. With one of your draw strings, pull it through one side and also through the opposite side.

b. With your other draw string, start at the opposite end of the first draw string and pull it through both sides. You should have a string to pull on both sides.

c. You are done, enjoy your bag!


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