Monday, July 1, 2013

Drawstring Bag and Grommet Tutorial

Hey Lovelies! This morning, Miss V asked if I could make her a bag. She has been eyeing up the drawstring chevron bags I made a few weeks ago.  Lucky her (and me!) she got to browse my fabric stash and pick out some fabrics she wanted for her bag. She picked out a Japanese fabric I have had since our time in Japan, a Kokka floral design.

I have a TON of pictures for this tutorial and there are a few things I would change around because they did not quite work, so make sure to read under the pictures.

To start, you'll need fabric(s)  We chose 2 coordinating fabrics
handle rope or fabric
2 grommets
sewing machine with coordinating threads

I changed my mind on the rope for this bag and instead I cut 2 strips of the solid pink fabric and made them into straps instead.

Next, cut 2 rectangles for the exterior of the bag, 2 rectangles for the interior of the bag. I used 15 1/2" x 18"    Cut 1 rectangle which will be the grommet straps, I cut 3 1/2" x 13"

**Picture shows 2 grommet straps, I used only 1**

The 2 rectangles that will be the exterior, press the sides in and stitch. This is important for a professional finished looked because the drawstring will go through and this area will be exposed.

When I finished this, I actually placed my exterior fabrics on top of the interior fabrics and trimmed down the interior fabric.

Next up, the grommet straps. I folded both sides toward the center, folded one side one more time to cover up the unfinished seems and stitched down the center and then the sides.

After I stitched the center, I folded this in half and cut, so now I have 2 strips for 2 grommets.

I folded each of these strips in half again, stitched the sides together to add thickness, which you will need to get a nice tight grip with the grommets.

Just make sure whatever grommet size you use will fit perfectly on the strip.

I added the grommet strips about 3" up from the bottom of one side of the exterior fabric.

Miss V said she wanted ruffles, but if you don't want ruffles skip this next part.  Basically, to make ruffles work, you have to cut 2x's the width of the fabric. So this is 15 1/2" across, I cut strips at least 30" long with varying heights.   I stitched the sides on all the ruffles so hopefully prevent fraying of the fabric.  I then added a strip of pink fabric at the very top of the ruffles to conceal the ruffle trim at the top.  ***Any decorations that you want to add to the bag, make sure you add them to the exterior fabric that is NOT attached to the grommet strips. I did not do this and I had to cut the ruffles to expose my grommet strips (I was not happy with this mishap!)****

With right sides facing each other, it's time to attach the exterior fabrics together. You will stitch along 3 sides. To begin, fold down the top of the bag to as much as your rope or whatever sort of handle you will be using, requires. I folded my tops down about 3 inches. I lined up the front and the back because I wanted the tops to match.  I stitched part of the fold as well.

I like the "boxy" bottom look, so I lined up the bottom and side seems and basically sewed off the corners to make them flat.

Follow those steps again for the interior fabric.

snip this triangle off

Turn the exterior of the bag with wrong side facing out, turn the interior of the bag with the right side facing out and fold in the top just enough to cover the unfinished folded top of the exterior fabric. I like to do it this way because I am able to make sure there is an equal amount of fabric and the stitch line is straight. After you finish attach the interior to the exterior it's time to work on the grommets and drawstring.

For the Grommets, you'll need your hammer and a way to make a hole for the grommet to fit through.

Line up the grommet and press slightly so you can see where the circle cut needs to be.

My grommet set came with a nifty tool that cuts circles but you might have to just do this the old fashion way.

Stick the large grommet through the hole.

Attach the washer to the grommet....

Then use the nifty tool to hammer the grommet in place. Basically, what happens is the part of the bottom grommet that comes up through the hole will be bent over the washer to hold it all in place.

And there you have a grommet installation!

Now the handles. I initially had a rope picked out for the drawstring but I changed my mind and decided to go for the pink fabric.  Measure your bag and down to your grommets to make sure your bag will be long enough. For Miss V's bag, I made about a 60" long handle.

The handles need to go in opposite directions for this to work.  So I looped one at a time.

Next picture you'll see one handle is looped through the entire bag, meets on one side. You'll attach that through the grommet and make a knot and repeat to the other side.

Make sure your knot is large enough so it wont slip through the grommet opening.

And there you have it, a cute and chic drawstring bag!

Until next time, have a wonderfully creative day!

 ♡ ąlexąnʠяą


  1. That backpack is adorable! Thanks for taking the time to post a whole tutorial.