A few weeks ago I taught a class at a retreat or Baby Lock Sewing Machine Ambassadors to make these simple lined, Heart Drawstring bags.
At the event, we made about 50 of them to be filled and donated as Smile Bags to Operation Smile. All of those in attendance were experienced sewing machine users, but not everyone had ever made a quilt block! I was so proud of those advanced garment sewists (with skills way outside my wheelhouse!) for learning to make a quilt block and add it to a good cause. More on that even below.
Since preparing and mocking-up these bags, I thought they would be a fun project to share with you too! They’re a super quick finish (especially for you experienced quilt-block-makers) and would make a sweet gift or storage bag. You could even substitute any 8″ x 8″ finished quilt block to make lots of different variations. (You could also make them even more quickly by not using a quilt block – just a fun, one-fabric bag.)
Instructions for making an 14″ x 14″ lined, fabric drawstring bag:
- 18 ½” x 18 ½” rectangle
- 8 ½” x 12½” rectangle
- 2 ½” x 12½” rectangle
- 4” x 8 ½” rectangle
- 2 squares 4 ½” x 4 ½”
- 4 squares 2” x 2”
- 2 rectangles 4 ½” x 8 ½”
- 14” x 30½””
- 1 yard
**(If you choose to make a bag without a quilt block, substitute main fabric with 18 ½” x 30 ½” piece of fabric)
Fabric used is the butterfly print from Gingham Girls.
8″ x 8″ Heart Quilt Block (8 ½” x 8 ½” unfinished):
Draw diagonal lines across print squares and place 2” x 2” squares in top corners of red 4 ½” x 8 ½” rectangles and 4 ½” x 4 ½” squares over bottom half of rectangles with lines going in these directions.
(Side note: when working with directional fabric, place print pattern sideways, so that when it’s folded back, it will be going in the right direction.)
Sew seam along drawn diagonal lines. (My Destiny machine has a nifty laser guide beam that marks the lines for me!)
Trim ¼” seam allowance away from all seams and discard remnants.
Press seams going in opposite directions on both heart-halves (going toward the red on one side and away from the red on the other side) so that seams will nest when sewn together. Sew heart together down center seam. Press seam open.
Use a ¼” seam allowance throughout.
Sew 4” x 8 ½” piece to right side of heart. Press seam away from heart. Sew 8½” x 12½” piece to top of heart unit and 2½” x 12½” piece to bottom. Press seams away from heart unit.
Sew 18 ½” x 18 ½” piece to left side of heart unit. Press away from heart. You will have 18 ½” x 30 ½” bag exterior piece.
Match up exterior piece 14” x 30½” lining fabric right sides together on top of exterior/heart piece, matching up bottom corners. Starting at the top of the lining piece, sew three matched up sides together using a ¼″ seam allowance. (See black lines for guide. This is the first step to a ‘french seam’ where the raw edges will be hidden.)
Turn over. Fold back top edge of outside fabric ½’’, press, and sew down along fabric edge.
Turn bag right-sides out and press edges. Press back seam-allowance on the edges of the outside fabric on both sides and stitch down.
Fold down top sewn-edge of outside fabric to overlap ¼” with top edge of lining fabric to create the casing. Pin in place to make sure the top edge of the casing is square with the sides of the bag.
Sew folded fabric to the lining fabric (see bottom arrow). I just stitched right on top of the hemmed edge. Backstitch at both ends.
Press top edge and top stitch right at the edge of the casing and again ¼” way down from the top (top arrow) to finish the top edge of the bag. Be sure to leave casing ends open!
Fold bag in half lengthwise with lining fabric facing out. Starting right below the casing, back stitch and sew down the side, pivot, and sew bottom of bag together. (See black lines for stitching diagram.)
Turn bag right-sides out. Using a safety pin, on one end of the string or ribbon, thread through casing.
This will create a bag that is roughly 14″ x 14″.
(NOTE: If you would like you bag a little “box-ier” at the bottom you could use the steps in this Fat Quarter Bag tutorial for creating a gusset, or box bottom.)
One more quick word about the Common Threads event. At this event Baby Lock brings together a wide variety of people from the Sewing industry – fashion designers and garment sewers, machine embroidery specialists, fabric companies, magazine publishers, quilters, and just all-around talented, creative people, to create an environment where we get to learn from each other. The coolest part was that at some point, everyone was trying something new and outside their comfort zone. Which was awesome, not only because it was a great chance to learn cool new things, but it created an environment where it felt safe to try new things and ask for help when needed.
For example, I learned how to draft my own leggings pattern and sew them up on a serger! I’ve always been in awe of, if not a little intimidated by sergers. As I was serging my leggings I felt a lot like Bob Wiley (from What About Bob) and kept thinking, “I’m Serging! I’m Serging! I’m a Serger! I Serge! And I’ll tell you what! Those leggings turned out SO comfy and fit perfectly!
We also learned how to make these fancy fabric baskets from the super talented and enthusiastic Nicci Brazzell. It was so much fun!
I feel SO lucky to get to work with a company like Baby Lock. This is the second time I’ve been able to attend this event and both times I’ve come away so impressed, not only with the quality of their products, but with their employees and the company as a whole. I have been sewing on a Baby Lock sewing machine (I’m currently sewing on a Destiny II) for 3 years now and have loved it. If you’re looking for a new machine or feel like it’s time for an upgrade, definitely visit your local Baby Lock dealer. There are machines available in every price range and for every level of sewing-lover. They will definitely help you find the perfect one for you.