How to Sew a Drawstring Laundry Bag
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This drawstring laundry bag will easily hold two loads of laundry, and has reinforced seams to ensure it’s up to the task. Use it to keep dirty laundry off the floor. Then, use it to lug everything to the laundry room or laundromat. If you’re looking for a gift for a college kid, this would be a great one.
Drawstring Laundry Bag Tutorial
These instructions make a generous 28″ X 40″ laundry bag with a drawstring closure.
What You’ll Need:
- (2) 29″ x 42-1/2″ pieces of fabric (canvas, denim, twill or another sturdy fabric)
- (2) pieces of rope or cord for the drawstring (at least 64 inches-long)
- A ruler
- A safety pin or packing tape
- Sewing pins or sewing clips
- A sewing machine (This is the machine that I have)
Optional (but nice to have):
- An air or water-soluble marker
- A self-healing cutting mat
- A rotary cutter (This is the one I have)
- A bodkin
What You Do:
Both sides of the bag are going to be identical, so perform all of the steps below on both pieces of fabric.
Zig-zag stitch, or serge, along the side and bottom edges to keep them from unraveling. Leave the top edge raw.
Then, fold the side and bottom seams in 1/2-inch …
and hem them in place with a 1/8-inch seam allowance.
To create the channel for the drawstrings, fold the top edge down 1/2-inch. Then, fold it down another 1-1/2 inches.
Sew across the bottom of the channel, 1/8-inch from the edge. Then, go back and sew 1/4-inch from the bottom of the channel. This will help to reinforce the seam.
Now, pin both sides of the laundry bag together, right-sides facing. And sew a 1/4-inch seam around the bag, starting just below the drawstring channel on one side, and ending just below the drawstring channel on the other side. BE CAREFUL NOT TO SEW THE DRAWSTRING CHANNEL CLOSED. You’ll find yourself doing a bunch of seam-ripping is you do.
Since the top of the bag is going to see lots of use and abuse, I recommend reinforcing the first inch of the side seam that runs immediately below the drawstring channel. Just sew back and forth over the seam several times, so it won’t be likely to rip open.
Flip the bag right-side out, when you’re done.
Now, all that’s left is to insert the drawstrings!
You can use nylon cording or cotton rope to create the drawstrings for your bag. I opted for rope, since I had some on hand.
To make it easier to insert, I wrapped a bit of packing tape around the end of the rope. This made it a bit stiffer.
If you’re using nylon cord, use a bodkin, or a safety pin, to help you feed the cord through.
This laundry bag has two drawstrings – one on each side – so the bag can easily be cinched shut or pulled opened.
To insert the first drawstring, just feed it into one of the drawstring channels (it doesn’t matter which one) …
and continue feeding it through, until it comes out the other side.
Then, insert it into the other channel on that side, and feed it through, until it comes back out on the side you started on.
Tie the two ends of the drawstring together to keep them from pulling all the way through the channel. Then, repeat the process on the opposite end of the bag. And you’re done!
Here’s how the top of the laundry bag looks, when it’s cinched tight.
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