Tuesday, June 20, 2017

For Barbara - how I lined my drawstring bag - a tutorial for you ;)

This is a throw-together tutorial to show my lovely friend Barbara, how I lined my fishy drawstring bag :D I posted my first bag here - the pattern is for a drawstring backpack and is unlined, but I turned it into a drawstring bag, fully lined, with no raw edges.  She wondered how I did it, so when I made my latest bag, I took some photos during construction.

This isn't a tutorial on how to make the bag - this is a mini tutorial on how I changed up the pattern to add lining to it.  If you want to make a similar bag, you can buy the pattern (see *note at the end of this post), or draft your own.  The pattern was inexpensive so I was happy to let someone else do the designing - I can barely draw a stick figure :D  And who doesn't love patterns you can download immediately?!  :)

OK - let's get started!

Step 1 - assemble the fish front and back - attach head to body, assemble and baste casings in place, stitch eyes on, and prepare and baste the fins and tail in place.  On my photo, the front is on the left, the back is on the right.

Step 2 - since the original bag is unlined there's no pattern piece for the lining.  I layered the back outside piece onto a double layer of muslin lining, and cut it out with my quilting ruler and a rotary cutter.  Of course I press everything first because I PRESS.  Or ... iPress ... haha.

Step 3 - pin  lining to the top of each of the pieced bag pieces - front and back.

Step 4 - stitch in place.  Press the seam open, but press so that the casing goes UP on one side, and DOWN on the other.  This will help eliminate bulk when the bag is assembled.

Step 5 - here's what you should have now - front and back, with lining attached to each.

Step 6 - layer the front and back pieces, RST.  When you're pinning, try to match intersections so that the finished bag will look nice :D  Use lots of pins - it does help keep things together nicely :)

Step 7 - mark a 3 or 4" area at the bottom of the lining, to leave open so you can turn the bag RSO.  Mine is marked with heat erasable marker, on the right of the photo :)

Step 8 - stitch around the outside, remembering to leave the opening in the bottom of the lining.

Step 9 - turn right sides out, and take the bag to your ironing board.  No, don't argue.  YOU MUST PRESS.  I have said so :)  Poke out all the little angles and corners with something (I use a crochet hook) and then press the bag flat.  Do a nice job, or bad karma will follow you!  :D  Of course, you'll press the raw edges (where you left the turning opening) under so you have a nice straight line.  Mine looks wavy, but it's not.  It's the angle of the camera - honestly!

Here's a close-up of the pressed outside ...

... and here's a close-up of the pressed lining.  Nice, eh?  Why yes - yes it IS nice!  :)  (Again, the wavy looking section at the right is PURELY the camera angle!)

Step 10 - tuck the lining inside the bag, and wiggle it around until it lays flatly.  This may take a bit of wiggling :)  It will actually get nice and flat, but will be bulkier around the outside edges, where the seam allowance is hanging out.  That's the nature of the beast :)

Step 11 - topstitch along the top of the bag, below the casing - this will give a nice finished look to the bag, and will ensure that the drawstring casing gathers nicely.

Here's another picture of the top of the bag so you can see how the casing looks when it's topstitched.

Not pictured - thread your drawstring (I use 2mm rattail - I get mine on Ebay), and tie the ends of the cord in a knot.  I add beads to mine because it looks pretty :D  When I'm cutting the rattail, I cut 2 pieces ... each piece is [2X casing length] + 10" .

And now, what you should be looking at, is ...

Step 12 - FINISHED BAG!  :)  We did it - and look at how nice the bag looks with all the pressing you did!  I know you didn't want to do it, but I'm glad you did ;)

I hope you've enjoyed my little lining tutorial - Barbara, I get naming rights on your first fish, LOL!

*Note - The designer (ThimbleChaser Crafts) has told me she's redoing some of the instructions because there were some things missing, but I haven't heard back from her that she's done so.  It was only a few of the steps that were missing, so I'm sure if you have any sewing experience, you can figure things out just fine - I had no problems :D


  1. Yeah! This is great. Now it makes sense. I have the pattern pieces sitting on the counter--right next to the harness stuff I am supposed to be working on. It will get finished soon. I was thinking that I needed some of these while camping. I will leave the "what for" part until I get them finished and do a few photos. Thanks for this. It really does help seeing steps. I am a visual learner for sure.

    1. Your visitor wants his harnesses (harnii?) - git 'r done!

  2. You're sweet to post this just for her! But we benefit, too!

  3. Boy you sure are a bossy teacher!!!! 😜

    I've seen lined bags done that way but I make the outside, make the inside (leave the birthing gap) then assemble them RST and then give birth! The only one I do *your* way is svetlana's one (http://sotakhandmade.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/drawstring-bag-tutorial.html?m=1)

    I guess it's like the square v triangle method of boxing a bottom - same but different!!!!

  4. Loving the fabric for this fish bag - blues and greens somehow seem underwater colours. I'd love to say I press every time I make a bag. I know I should, but....

  5. I think a lining makes things look so much more finished in the end! Great job!


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