how to make a drawstring bag from fat quarters

As much as I am trying to avoid it, term is about to start. Big M will be starting year two next week, and Little M will be starting Reception. I can’t believe I have such grown up girls already. The other week we bought Little M’s first school shoes, and pumps for PE. We suddenly realised that she needed a PE bag too. Last year I would have bought one there and then, but then I remembered I sew now. I decided I would make the M’s a bag to hang on their pegs with their sports stuff in. They chose some fabric each and I set about trying to work out how to make a drawstring bag from fat quarters.

Originally I was going to use one fat quarter folded in half, but then we decided that that would be too small. Instead I used two fat quarters and did the following…

First up, iron the fabric. Until I started sewing I rarely used our iron. Now it is a semi permanent feature of our dining room and I have even splashed out on a new ironing board cover.

With right sides together pin along the two short sides and the bottom edge. On one of the short sides measure and mark about 4cm down from the top.


Start sewing from the mark you have just made. Sew continuously down the short side, along the bottom and up the second short side, making sure to back stitch at the beginning and end. I used a 5/8″ seam allowance, mostly because that has become habit. Because this is a bag and exact sizing isn’t important, I guess you could use any allowance that you fancied. You could even rebel and go with 1/4″. IMAGINE!!!

Once you have sewn the three sides, press open the side seams, including the top 4cm that you did not sew.


At the top of the first side seam (the bit you didn’t stitch together) sew from the top to the start of the seam. This will give a neater finish to the drawstring opening.


At the top, fold and press 1cm in.

Fold again and press so that the top of the side seam now becomes the top of the bag. Sew around the whole top of the bag close to the first fold.


Cut a piece of ribbon or cord twice the width of the bag. Thread through the top of the bag.


Tie the ends in a knot.

Et vóilà: a drawstring bag ready to fill with PE kit and hang on a peg.

drawstring bag made from fat quarters IMG_2153

From start to finish, each of these drawstring bags took no more than half an hour to make. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.


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