It is so easy to sew simple drawstring bags – perfect for gift wrapping. I am going to show you how, and just as importantly how to use the materials to hand. Today I am using a former table cloth and doilies to make beautiful gift drawstring bags.
Naturally, you can use any material to hand but personally, I love these beautiful colors, this deep red table cloth, and my inherited doilies beautifully offset each other. The vintage doilies were passed down through the family. I love how they have a new lease of life. It’s a moment to pause and appreciate the lovingly handmade doilies.
How to source vintage doilies
Firstly ask your older members of the family, they may surprise you with a stash in a draw. Alternatively, vintage doilies can be found in vintage shops, thrift stores (charity shops), online selling platforms.
How to clean vintage crochet doilies
Before we sew up the beautiful gift bags let’s clean the doilies. I suggest soaking in a stain remover for a few hours, before washing either by hand or on a gentle wash cycle. before placing in the washing machine I suggest placing in a linen bag to add a little protection in the machine.
Easy Drawstring Bag Tutorial
I have made three different sizes, once you have the hang of making this simple sewing project you can easily adjust the size of the gift bags. The simple design showcases the vintage doilies.
- For the largest finished drawstring bag measuring 16″ wide and 17″ high, you need two pieces of fabric measuring 17 1/2 by 22″
- For the medium finished drawstring bag measuring 13 by 19 you need two pieces of fabric measuring 12 by 16
- For the smallest finished drawstring bag measuring 8 1/2 by 12″ measuring you need two pieces of fabric measuring 9 1/2 by 15 1/2″
- Vintage Doilie (mine vary in sizes)
- Sewing Tape 1/2″ wide 5m for the three bags. Large bag two pieces 48″, Medium bag two pieces 33″ each, small bag two pieces 27″
Cut out your bag pieces, two per bag. Scissors are good but if you have a quilter ruler and rotary cutter I find this gives me more accurate measurements. If you wish to finish your seam allowances now is the time to do so with either an overlocker or a zigzag stitch (I have to admit I didn’t bother but wish I had!).
Place your doily onto one of your pieces, midway between the two sides of the fabric and a few inches up from the bottom. I did this by eye but feel free to measure.
Hand stitch with a toning thread into place.
Place the fabric right sides together. Measure down from the top 4 1/3″ and 5″, mark these two points with taylors chalk. I have chosen to mark across the fabric using a quilters ruler as a guide. This is going to be the position of your sewing tape channel for gathering the top of the bag.
Sew the side seams and bottom seam with a 5/8″ seam allowance, down the sides, with the exception of the marked gathering channel. I like to mark this with pins as a visual prompt as I sew so I don’t forget to stop!
Fold over a 1/2″ seam allowance across the top of the bag and press (you fold the right side of the bag into the wrong side of the bag).
Fold over a second time so this first fold is along the 5″ marked line. Give this a good press.
Machine stitch along the edge of this fold, creating the bottom line of stitching for the sewing tape channel.
Machine stitch a parallel line of stitching 3/4″ up, thus finishing the sewing tape channel.
Turn the bag the right side out. Cut two pieces of sewing tape, ribbon or piping. Using a safety pin thread through the sewing channel from one side all the way round. Repeat with the second piece from the opposite side.
Lastly, tie knots in your two ends.