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How to Sew a Drawstring Laundry Bag

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How to Sew a Drawstring Laundry Bag

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.

DIY Laundry Bag

Drawstring Laundry Bag Tutorial

These instructions make a generous 28″ X 40″ laundry bag with a drawstring closure.

Fabric for Drawstring Laundry Bag

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)
  • Thread
  • A ruler
  • Scissors
  • 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):

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 Around Edges

Zig-zag stitch, or serge, along the side and bottom edges to keep them from unraveling. Leave the top edge raw.

Fold Bottom and Side Seams in One-Half Inch

Then, fold the side and bottom seams in 1/2-inch …

Hem the Sides and Bottom With a Quarter-Inch Seam Allowance

and hem them in place with a 1/8-inch seam allowance.

Fold the Top Down to Create the Drawstring Channel

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 Along the Bottom of the Drawstring Channel

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.

Pin Both Sides of Laundry Bag Together Right-Sides Facing

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 Laundry Bag Right-Side Out

Flip the bag right-side out, when you’re done.

End of Drawstring Channel

Now, all that’s left is to insert the drawstrings!

Stick Packing Tape on End of Rope to Make It Easier to Insert

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.

Insert Rope in One of the Drawstring Channels

To insert the first drawstring, just feed it into one of the drawstring channels (it doesn’t matter which one) …

Feed Drawstring Through Until It Comes Out the Other Side of the Channel

and continue feeding it through, until it comes out the other side.

Insert Drawstring Into Second Channel

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.

Drawstring Laundry Bag

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!

Top of Laundry Bag

Here’s how the top of the laundry bag looks, when it’s cinched tight.

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