Gifts I've made, Tutorials
Comments 20

Draw String Bags & Production Line Sewing

Pump bags… Party Bags…. Could even be made as a smaller version for a bridesmaid in pink….. They’re the good old draw string bag!

I was asked by my bestie if I would make some party bags for her son’s 7th birthday party. They needed to be big enough to put a small Easter in, and a few other little goodies.

‘Course I will’ I heard myself saying before I’d asked how many.  30? ….’yeah, no worries’ (T-H-I-R-T-Y……my brain was shouting…..!)   …oh well. In for a penny in for a pound!

So here’s how I made them. A little tutorial so to speak. This could be useful if your making 1, a hundred and 1, or any number in between. The secret is to be organised and do it in bite size stages

I started with 5 metres of a stable Jersey knit (cotton, or any fabric t that presses well will do). It turned out there was 6 metres, and I did need the extra metre!

I planned to make mine 10″ wide and 12″ long. They turned out 11 x 13 as I was generous with my seam allowances.

I also had elasticated cord and toggles.  We allowanced 75 cm per bag. Sorry for the use of imperial and metric – I’m bi-metric! (A bit like bi-lingual but not as clever!).

#pumpbagtutorial 1 #pumpbagtutorial 2 #pumpbagtutorial 3 #pumpbagtutorial 4

To manage the fabric fold it long ways into half then half again.  I then cut strips with my rotary cutters 15″ and ended up with 14 strips that were the full width of the fabric.

#pumpbagtutorial 6

#pumpbagtutorial 7

From each strip I cut off 28cm which left 122cm.  I then cut each of the 122cm strips in half which was to be become one bag – the easiest way I found to do thing was to fold it in half then slice off close to the fold with the rotary cutter.

#pumpbagtutorial 8

#pumpbagtutorial 9

Each piece was folded in half, right sides together ready to sew.

#pumpbagtutorial 10

After each was sewn, a new neat pile was made – this part was the worst – it was so boring and took about 1 hour 15 minutes!

#pumpbagtutorial 11

Press open just the top few inches of the bag and add a small piece of iron on interfacing – this is where the button holes will be stitched.My interfacing was 2 inches at the narrowest part and I applied it 2 inches below the top of the bag – this made folding the top over and pressing easier.

#pumpbagtutorial 12

Mark 2 dots where you will place your botton holes. Mine were 1/2 inch from the seam.

#pumpbagtutorial 13

Below are the 30 bags all pressed, interfaced and awaiting buttons holes.

#pumpbagtutorial 14

#pumpbagtutorial 15

#pumpbagtutorial 16

#pumpbagtutorial 17

Onces all the button holes have been added they’re ready for the cord to be added BEFORE sewing the top of the bag down.

#pumpbagtutorial 18

Add the cord, inserting it through the button holes and pin it in 3 places to ensure it doesn’t get in the way of the next part.

#pumpbagtutorial 19

#pumpbagtutorial 20

#pumpbagtutorial 21

Stitch just below the button holes making sure the corn is out of the way.  Add the toggles or tie a knot in the cord before this stage to make sure the corn doesn’t disappear!

#pumpbagtutorial 22

Sew all the way round and tah-dah……. finished!! No need to mess around threading the cord after!

#pumpbagtutorial 23

Me after a very long day……nearly finished!

#pumpbagtutorial 24

Charlie – the birthday boy – thinks they make good hats too!!

#pumpbagtutorial 25

Hope you find this helpful if your planning on making pump bags!

This entry was posted in: Gifts I've made, Tutorials
Tagged with:


I sew and play golf. I blog about my sewing as I don't think you'd want to read about my golf. It's bad enough watching it on telly! Contact me via email -


    • There’s not many friends who I could spend a whole day sewing for! Initially I said how about I make you a frock and you come and decorate, but as she rides horses and plays golf she doesn’t have much need for a frock!

    • The kids loved them, even the girls! Harrison has taken his skiing and keeping his ski gloves and goggles in his.

  1. Wow I hope the boys like them after all your hard work – I’m sure they do!! They’re fab! I need to get cracking with my daughter’s totes – I’ve cut out the IKEA fabric lol! 10×12″ (I think) funnily enough the same size as your bags! I may make A (not multiples!) drawstring bag like this in the future 🙂

    • They loved them, and so did the mums. Not sure the teachers will if they take them to school, they won’t know who’s is who’s! 😀

  2. Fiona M says

    They’re great, and will be useful for years to come too, I like that!

    • They turned out better than I thought. When I get over the shock I might make some out of denim for home, then they’ll be unisex as I’m sure we’ll all find them useful!

  3. Great tutorial – looks like the production line was extremely efficient. The perfect gift for little boys:)

    • I should’ve made us all a shopping bag for yesterday while I was at it! They’d have had to be a lot bigger tho – especially for you & Katharine, lol 😀

  4. Pingback: Lekala 5963 with a touch of Liberty | T H I M B E R L I N A

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s