simplest drawstring bag ever

N will begin kindergarten at the local waldorf school in early september. (yes, she’s only 4.5, but they do a mixed age K class, so this is her first of two years in kindergarten.) anyway, about a week ago, we got a letter in the mail from her teacher with instructions for how to make a bag in which to store her spare clothes at school.

now, for a momma like myself who really cannot sew is a very beginning seamstress, this is rather daunting. it’s funny to me that the waldorf school assumes the parents can all sew — and also great that they emphasize it because really, coming from a long line of fiber artists, i really should know! luckily, i inherited a sewing machine from my artsy (and adventurous) friend who moved her family to bali last year. (thank you, linds!) so i busted that out and gathered my supplies.

when we made our seasonal placemats a couple weeks ago, N and i placed the fabric order (together at the computer screen – i know, steiner) on spoonflower. N could not resist one of the fox fabrics we saw on there, so i bought a yard of the fabric, not knowing what exactly we’d do with it. well, here is the answer — time for a foxy spare clothes bag! the directions were simple (thankfully!) first cut fabric to 16″x32″ — easier said than done when you don’t have a cutting mat thingie or a rotary cutter, but i managed some diagonal approximations of straightish lines. fold fabric in half, right side facing in.

sew up the two sides of the bag, leaving the top open.

okay, i didn’t cut it straight AT ALL but whatever. it’s inside the bag, right? is this where you all put the pins when sewing?see, i need help.

fold in the open side about 2″ and pin. sew along the fold to create a casing for the drawstring.

insert a string, rope, ribbon, or braided cord through the casing at the top. i quickly realized that a huge crochet needle would be my best friend in this task.

pull together, tie into a bow (or wait until you get into the classroom to see where the hook is and how long the string is supposed to be, then cut it and tie a bow 🙂 ) insert spare underwear, socks, pants, t-shirt, and hang bag in kindergarten classroom.





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  • amy

    okeydoke, you need to start Googling–anything you need to know, sewing wise, you can find online, often with a video. The pins (since you asked!) go perpendicular to the sewing line, and you take them out as you go. (Don’t try to sew over them. A broken needle isn’t worth it.)

    When I first started sewing, I borrowed a copy of Amy Karol’s Bend the Rules sewing from the library. (Any decent sewing book will have a basics section.) Oh, and a safety pin is good for inserting drawstrings.

    When I attended parent-child Waldorf group with my boys, the assignment of hand-sewing a pillow (for each of them!) brought me to tears. When I attended with my daughter years later, I was the only one there who knew how to thread a needle, practically. But my own handwork–knitting, sewing, embroidery–brings me such happiness. Waldorf is smart to stress it. Our local school has a handwork group for parents–maybe yours does too? It might be a good place to learn.

  • Cute bag. Love the fabric. I made one of these a few years ago as a first time sewer and it was a nice little project to ease me into sewing.

  • Love this!!! It’s super cute. I’m a very beginning seamstress too…I’d like to help my boys make bags of their own. =)

  • Very nice – you’ve convinced me I might be able to give it a go (I’m no good at straight lines either…)