Sew a Simple String Drawstring Backpack

  • 01 of 09

    Gather Your Supplies

    A Finished Drawstring Backpack
    A Finished Drawstring Backpack. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to

    Here's a free pattern for a simple drawstring backpack. This light-weight backpack is perfect for day trip toting and gym clothes. Make a couple to keep in your luggage. They take up very little space and solve the inevitable problem of packing the extras you always come home with. Gather Your Supplies

    • 1/2 yard of nylon, ripstop or comparable light weight fabric.
    • 2 grommets or eyelets -- test for 2 of the string you choose going through the opening
    • 1 package Extra Wide double fold bias tape.
    • Cord -- approximately 4 yards - Backpack Alternative Straps for Style and Comfort
    • Thread


    • 2 - 15" X 18" rectangles
    • 2 -- 16" X 3" rectangles
    • 4 - 4" Squares
    Continue to 2 of 9 below.
  • 02 of 09

    Placement of Folded Squares

    Placement of folded squares when sewing a drawstring backpack
    Placement of Folded Squares. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to
    Fold the 4" squares in half to form triangles.Place the folded squares on the right sides, at the bottom corners of the bottom 15" edge, of each rectangle piece.Pin and baste in place.
    Continue to 3 of 9 below.
  • 03 of 09

    Place Right Sides Together and Sew Seams

    Place Right Sides Together and Sew Seams
    Place Right Sides Together and Sew Seams. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to
    Place right sides together, sew both 18" edges and the bottom 15" edge using a 1/2" seam allowance.Finish the seam allowance with a zig zag stitch or serger.Set aside.
    Continue to 4 of 9 below.
  • 04 of 09

    Hem the 3" Edges On Drawstring Casing & Form Tube

    Hem the 3" Edges & Form Tube
    Hem the 3" Edges & Form Tube. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to
    Hem the 3" edges of the 16" X 3" rectangles by turning under 1/2" and 1/2" again. Top stitch in place.Fold in half length wise, with wrong sides together.Baste the 16" raw edge to form a tube.
    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Attach the Drawstring Casing

    Attach the Drawstring Casing
    Attach the Drawstring Casing. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to
    Align the basted edges of the tube with the right side of the top raw edges of the body of the bag, placing the hemmed ends at the side seams, butting the ends of each tube to the other tube. Baste in place.
    Continue to 6 of 9 below.
  • 06 of 09

    Attach the Bias Tape

    Attach the Bias Tape
    Attach the Bias Tape. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to
    Open one edge of the bias tape, turn under one end and sew it to the seam line using the fold line as a guide, overlapping the turned under end.
    Continue to 7 of 9 below.
  • 07 of 09

    Stitch the Bias Tape & Top Stitch

    Stitch the Bias Tape & Top Stitch
    Stitch the Bias Tape & Top Stitch. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to
    Refold the bias tape to enclose the seam allowance. Stitch the folded edge to the body of the bag. Top stitch near the seam line, to reinforce the seam.
    Continue to 8 of 9 below.
  • 08 of 09

    Attach Eyelets

    Tool to attach eyelets
    Attach Eyelets. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to
    Turn the bag right side out. Push the bottom corners all the way out. Place one triangle piece on each side of the bag.Place a grommet or eyelet through the reinforced bottom corners of the bag, going through all layers, approximately 1” from the corner. (If you are using an eyelet, make a tiny hole where you want to place the eyelet to allow the punch through all the layers before squeezing the eyelet into place.)The photo is the tool used to attach eyelets to the bag. The tool comes with eyelets and assorted snaps. Dritz® Gripper Plier Kit For Assorted Snaps
    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Place the Strings

    Photo showing drawstring placement.
    Place the Strings. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to

    Divide the cord in half, creating two equal pieces. Starting at one top end, place the cord through both tubes, coming out at the opposite end and then through the eyelet or grommet.
    Knot the cord on one side of the bag.
    Repeat from the opposite end of the tube for the other cord. Adjust the length of the cords to your comfort.

    More Bag, Tote & Purse Projects