If you have been crafting with Tshirts it is likely that you have sleeves leftover. Grab some and make a few drawstring bags. They can be used for a small gift, children’s treasures or whatever.
First choose the sleeves to make your bag. You’ll need at least one for the bag and another for the drawstring. One sleeve can make enough drawstrings for 2 – 4 bags.
Make a template
Make a template for your bag. Most sleeves have enough room for a 6 x 6 square or a 5 x 5 square. Whatever size you decide is OK, try to use up as much of the sleeve as possible.
Place template on the sleeve.
Place the template on the sleeve. Align one side with the fold, another with the casing on the hem. The pre-made casing will be use for the drawstring.
Chalk, marker or pen can be used to mark the edges of the template, then remove it to cut out the bag. Remember to only cut two sides because the finished bag will use the fold as one side.
Cut along the chalked line with scissors or a rotary cutter. Remember do not cut the folded line as this will be one side of the finished bag.
Almost ready to sew
Remove a small amount of fabric above the casing stitching line and about 1/4″ wide. This removes the seam allowance since this part of the bag will be unstitched and where the drawstring will be.
Sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Start sewing at the bottom of the casing, remember to backstitch. Sew all the way to the corner lift the presser foot with the needle down and turn.
Shown stitched by machine to the edge of the fold and ready to turn inside out. Remember to backstitch. Do not cut anything from the corners.
Turn the bag
Turn the bag so that the stitching is on the inside. Do not trim anything from the corners as this will weaken them. You could also give a light press at this time.
Find the halfway point of the casing. Snip the casing to the stitching line exactly halfway from the sewn seam. This will be for the drawstring.
making the string
You can use any leftover part of a t shirt as long as the strings you make are at least double the drawstring. This picture shows the sleeve being cut into 1″ strips for the drawstring. For thicker drawstrings make them wider.
Firmly grab each end of the cut strip and create the drawstring. It will curl and form a sturdy Tshirt string. The casing can be saved for another project.
stretch it again
One more time. Firmly grab each end of the second cut strip and pull it into the drawstring. It will curl and form a sturdy Tshirt drawstring. You can cut the rest of the sleeve at this time and put those pieces aside for the next bag.
Using a safety pin, thread the Tshirt string into the casing starting through one side and out the other, then back again. Tying a knot with the two ends when you are finished.
The second string goes in the opposite direction, using the casings again. Start from the opposite side as last time, go through the casings and knot the two ends on the opposite side.
This picture shows the two drawstrings before they are pulled to close the bag. You can see how the two strings use the same casings, but in opposite directions. Each knotted end is at the other strings middle.
Now when you pull on the two knotted ends they close the top of your new little bag. Good job! Next time put a decoration or pocket on the bag before you sew it together.