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Drawstring Backpack

Drawstring Backpack

September 12, 2014 /

sew drawstring backpack

Backpack bag can be easy and quick to sew. This drawstring backpack takes only about 30 minutes to sew. Sew a couple of them to use as activity bag for kids to bring out, be it for games, art & craft class, music class or tuition. It is great as a laundry bag, shoe pouch, etc…. Add embellishments to customize each bag to it’s specific usage or activity.

drawstring bag pattern

I used thin nylon/polyester fabric I bought from a Japanese Dollar store, Daiso, exactly the same material I used to sew the Strawberry Reusable Grocery Bag (pattern & tutorial). You may use other similar fabric like cotton and coated fabric if you can’t find the exact one. The size is 12 1/2″ x 17 1/2″, you can easily change the size you want to sew a smaller (lunch bag) or a bigger one.

sew easy activity bag

Since it is so quick to sew, you can easily sew many to giveaway to other kids as souvenirs or goody packs. I am thinking of making a few goody bags to giveaway during my son’s birthday, with the name of his classmates on the bag and lots of treats inside.

sew kid activity bag

My kids love the drawstring backpack to bit and can’t wait to put their weekend enhancement class materials into it. Here they are, proudly carrying the Mama’s handmade drawstring backpack to the class.

sew quick bag

Drawstring Backpack

Difficulty: Beginner
Finished size: 12 1/2″ (W) x 17 1/2″ (H)
Download: Drawstring Backpack Sewing Pattern

1. Fabric – thin Polyester or cotton or coated fabric, 20″ x 40″
2. Cord, 63″, 2 pcs

1. Sewing machine, with normal foot
2. Matching thread
3. Pencil or pen
4. Ruler
5. Scissors
6. Tools for turning or tweezers
7. Clips (if you are using polyester) or pin

Seam Allowance: 3/8″ and 1/2″ (included in the pattern template)

Note:You may use cotton fabric or coated fabric if you can’t find the same material I am using.


sew-drawstring-backpack-1Download the drawstring backpack pattern from the link above.
Prepare all the materials needed as listed above. Draw the pattern on the wrong side of the fabric, cut them out, you should have 1 long piece and 2 small pieces of fabric now.
I used 2 different color cords so that you can see clearly how they were put together in the bag. Burn the ends lightly to prevent fraying.


sew-drawstring-backpack-2Fold the small piece of fabric aka the holder for the cord end into halve with right side facing each other.
Stitch a line 3/8″ away from the edge (left in the pic).
Turn it right side out and topstitch near the edges (right in the pic).
Repeat to make 2.


sew-drawstring-backpack-3Neaten the raw edges on the 2 long sides of the bag fabric. I fold and sew it with a straight line.


sew-drawstring-backpack-4This is the markings of the cord holders position which is 1″ from the folded line (the base) of the bag.


sew-drawstring-backpack-6Fold the bag into halve with right side facing each other, align and clip.
Fold the cord-holder into halve too, and place it on marking, with the folded edge facing inside.
Repeat the same on the other side of the bag.


sew-drawstring-backpack-5Clip if you are using polyester fabric or coated fabric. Pin or clip if you are using cotton.


sew-drawstring-backpack-7Stitch a straight line from bottom to top but stop at the 2 3/8″ marking from top edge. This 2 3/8″ is reserved for the drawstring pocket.
Repeat the same on the other side of the bag.


sew-drawstring-backpack-8Press seam open all the way up.
Turn over and topstitch around the un-sew seam. This is the opening of the drawstring pocket.
Repeat the same on the other side of the bag.


sew-drawstring-backpack-9Fold the 3/8″ seam allowance at the top of the bag, crease it.
Fold again to align the crease edge to drawstring pocket line.
Sew along the line to create the drawstring pocket.


sew-drawstring-backpack-10The bag is done on the sewing part, it should have a drawstring pocket on the top and 2 cord holders at each side near the bottom.
Insert the cords into the drawstring pocket in 2 circuits, as shown in the picture.


sew-drawstring-backpack-11Insert the cord ends through the holder and tie a knot.
Repeat the same to the other cord.


sew-drawstring-backpack-12Here it is after pulling the cords to draw the string and close the bag.
The cords extended to the bottom become the backpack straps.


sew kid activity bag


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