As previously mentioned on my blog, myself and my daughter just love Belle and Boo and Mandy Sutcliffe’s beautiful illustrations and when my daughter started ballet last term, I decided to add to my Belle and Boo fabric collection and buy some of the Belle and Boo Ballet print cotton poplin to make a ballet bag for her.
Today, we set about making a drawstring ballet bag, and what follows is a guide to how we made it in 16 simple steps!
Supplies you will need to make a fabric drawstring bag:
- Sewing Machine
- Two pieces on cotton fabric (12″ x 14″)
- Small scrap of fabric
- Two pieces of cord (58″)
- Paper clip
How to make a drawstring backpack
Cut out your two pieces of 12″ x 14″ fabric and set aside.
Print or draw a letter of your choice on plain paper, then pin it to scrap fabric or similar (I used some scrap Liberty print fabric I had in my scrap bag) then carefully cut out the letter.
Pin the Letter onto the middle of one of your 12″ x 14″ pieces of fabric.
Carefully sew around the letter.
On the front piece of fabric (the one with your letter), fold and iron 1/4″ around three sides of your fabric, leaving one side. Then sew around the three ironed sides. Now repeat with the back piece of fabric for your bag.
On both front and back pieces of fabric, measure 2 1/2″ from the top of the side you left unpressed and mark with a pencil. Fold 1/2″ and then fold another 2″ to meet the pencil mark you made.
Iron this fold and sew to the very edge of the seam.
Repeat step 7 on the back piece. These are the loops that you will slide the cording through to pull the drawstring/backpack closed.
Take both pieces, front and back, and lay them with the printed side together and pin, make sure you line up the loops at the top opening. Sew the two pieces together, starting right below the top loops.
Turn the bag inside out and iron it.
Cut your cording to length; I purchased my cording from LoveKnitting, they have lots of lovely colours to choose from. I also ordered a lovely deep pink, however I didn’t really feel it worked with the delicate Belle and Book fabric. You can be as muted or bold as you like.
Attach a paperclip to the end of one of the two 58″ cording. Starting on the right loop, thread towards the left until the cording comes out of the left hand side.
Carry on threading it through the back piece starting at the left side so the string ends up coming out of the right side of the back piece of your bag. Both ends of your first piece of cording should now be hanging out of the right side of your bag. Even them out and tie together at the end with a knot.
Repeat step 12 with the second piece of cording, this time threading from the opposite side. Both ends of this piece of cording should come out on the left side.
Now turn the bag inside out for the last time. Unpick a few corner stitches from the bottom of the bag. Place both knotted cords into the bag and bring them through the corner on the same side. Sew diagonally across the corder to secure the cord in place. Go over it a few times and then repeat with the other corner.
Turn your bag the right way and pull the cords to close the bag. Tada! Your drawstring backpack/ballet bag is complete!
My daughter absolutely loves her Belle and Boo ballet bag and has been strutting around with it on her back, packing and unpacking it over and over. There are so many lovely ballet bags on the market, however, this fabric simply couldn’t be more perfect for this use, and I also feel that we have made something together that she will hopefully remember when she’s older.
This is a nice small project to do with little people and this size would also be ideal for a small persons boot bag, swimming bag… all sorts. I haven’t made the tidiest of jobs of this; if I hadn’t had my little assistant with me, then it would have probably taken no time at all to make a very tidy job of it.
I am planning on setting up a little shop in the next few weeks, selling bits and pieces we make, so if anyone is interested in one of these ballet bags, do get in touch and I can contact you when I’m all set up and running.
Please Note: I have not been paid for this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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