Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Easy drawstring bags

I've been working on some easy drawstring bags lately.  I've done large versions of these before, with vinyl windows, as a way to contain toys.  These were the same idea, but without the window, making them pretty quick and simple.

This was inspired by Thing 1's invitation to a birthday party involving a Pokemon tournament.  I thought it would be good for him to have a pouch of sorts to hold his cards, so that he didn't have to take them in a ziploc bag.  I had Pokemon fabric leftover from his lunch bag, so I pulled it out and used it to make a simple bag.  (IIRC, I cut the pieces 9 inches tall by 7 inches wide.)  This is lined with white muslin or broadcloth - I don't remember which I had on hand - and then a casing was made from extra wide, double fold bias tape (unfolded), and a drawstring from single-fold bias tape (folded in half and stitched).  This works great as long as the kid doesn't have a huge collection of cards.  (Full disclosure - this had plenty of room until Thing 1 came home from the party with double the number of cards he had taken.  So now I've made him another one (no picture yet) with boxed corners and plenty more room!)  This is actually the second one I made - as a gift for one of Thing 2's friends.  The casing/drawstring color was customized to the child's favorites.  Add a pack or two of cards, and your gift is done!

For the Pokemon party Thing 1 was invited to, the birthday boy requested no gifts for himself - instead he wanted donations for the Boy Scouts' April Showers campaign.  I thought that was really neat, but I also wanted him to have something he could keep.  However, I wanted to honor the request and so make his "keepable part" very simple and useful.  I thought that a simple drawstring bag would serve as the gift bag and then be kept for whatever he wanted to store in it.  And since this child LOVES animals - especially snakes and lizards - I thought that some simple appliques would make it more fun.  I went to Google Images and found some coloring pictures of lizards and geckos and those two that I thought would be easy enough to applique.  A little Heat-n-Bond Lite and some straight-stitching around the edges, and voila!

I'm going to remember this for the future - muslin or thrifted sheets for the bag, to keep it low-cost and lightweight, and a simple applique or two to snazz it up a bit.  For this one, I think I had made my own bias tape for the casing, but used premade for the drawstring.  Oh, and when I make single-fold tape for the casing or double-fold tape for the drawstring, I often cut it on the straight grain, because it doesn't need that bias stretch.  Just whatever is quicker/easier.

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