Over the holiday break I got to help my cousin use a sewing machine for the first time. People often ask about easy beginner sewing projects, and this is one of my favorites.
I've taught a lot of beginners to sew, and I love a drawstring bag as a first project. It's not too hard, it doesn't take too long, and you get something useful. If you know someone who might be getting a sewing machine for Christmas, this is a good project to pin for them. And if you read all the way to the bottom, I have a link for the diagrams and instructions in a printable version.
Finished size: 8 3/4”x12”
1/3 yd of fabric
Twill tape, cotton cording, or ribbon for strings - 1 yard
Cut your fabric into 2 pieces that measure 10 inches x13 inches (you will have extra fabric).
Turn a 10” edge under 1/4” and stitch down. Repeat on the other piece
Lay your two pieces on top of each other, right sides together, and stitch with a 5/8” seam allowance around 3 sides, stopping 2 inches below the top edge.
On the side seam, press the seam allowance flat, then turn the raw edge under toward the seam. Stitch into place around top opening.
Turn the top down 7/8 inch on each side and stitch bottom edge (the edge you stitched in the first step) to form casing
Cut ties into two 18” long pieces. Thread one through one casing, go across the gap and back through the other casing using a safety pin and tie ends together. Starting on the opposite side of the bag, repeat with the other tie. You should have two handles now, and when you pull both of them, the bag will close.
Now pat yourself on the back and find something to carry in your bag!
If you want these instructions in printable PDF form, click HERE.