Looking for a cute gift for your kids or another family? Sew up this applique-heart drawstring bag that doubles as a clever charades game!
Here’s what you’ll need!
* A piece of fabric cut to 9in high by 24in wide (23 x 61cm)
* A contrasting square of fabric cut to 5 1/2in (14cm) square
* 7/8-1in (22-25cm) -wide ribbon, about 16in (41cm) long
* 1/4-3/8in (6-10mm)-wide ribbon, about 30in (76cm) long
* Small piece of freezer paper that will fit onto the square, cut into the shape of a heart
* Another contrasting piece of fabric cut into the shape of a heart, about 1/4in (6mm) larger around than the freezer paper heart. I recommend placing your freezer paper heart on the back of the fabric and marking 1/4in around the entire heart, then cutting.
* Hand-sewing needle and thread
* Sewing machine, iron, and other general sewing notions
* Regular paper (or construction paper) and markers
Drawstring bag tutorial
To begin, iron the freezer paper heart to the back of your heart-shaped fabric, with the shiny side of the freezer paper facing the fabric. Next, press the edges of the fabric heart around to the back, over the freezer paper. Watch your fingers! I use a wooden stick to hold the fabric in place while pressing.
Find the center of your 5 1/2in (14cm) fabric square by folding in half, then in half again. Unfold. Place the fabric heart right side up onto the center front of the fabric square (below). Pin in place, then hand-applique using a blind stitch. Don’t be afraid of hand-stitching! It’s quite easy and relaxing. Really. I promise.
When you’re finished stitching, you’ll very carefully cut away the fabric from behind the heart, leaving a 1/4in (6mm) seam allowance all the way around. Don’t accidentally
break cut your heart! Now, pull out the freezer paper. At this point you might choose to back your square with another piece of fabric if desired, but I didn’t worry about it – that raw seam allowance won’t get much use.
Now, fold all edges of the square to the back by 1/4in (6mm). Topstitch the fold on the top of the square down, since it won’t be stitched to the bag later (lower right photo).
Next, fold your 9x24in (23 x 61cm) piece of fabric in half lengthwise, and crease to find the center. Open it back up. The fold will be the bottom of the bag. Position your finished square onto the front of the fabric, setting it about 5in (13cm) down from one raw short edge. The point of the heart should face the crease you made. If you place the square too far down, much closer to the fold, it will get lost once the bag is “boxed” later. Top stitch your heart square in place along both sides and the bottom.
Re-fold your fabric in half, right sides together. Now sew both long sides of the bag together with your sewing machine or serger, finishing the raw edges with a zigzag (or sewing a French seam) if you’re using a regular sewing machine. Be sure to backstitch at the top and bottom (right photo, below)
Now you’ll “box” the bottom of the bag. With the bag wrong-side out, pull one corner into a triangle shape, keeping the seam aligned with the fold line at the bottom. Measure about 1in (25mm) down from the point and draw a line perpendicular to the seam. Stitch on this line, backstitching at both ends (photo 3 below). Repeat with the other side. Trim the “ears” off, leaving a 1/4in (6mm) seam allowance, and finish the edge with a zigzag stitch – or don’t worry about cutting it the triangle off at all. Turn the bag right-side out if you want to check your work!
If you’ve sneaked peek from the right side…you’ve got to turn the bag inside-out again. Fold and press the top raw edge down by 1/4in (6mm). Stitch. Fold again by 1/2in (12mm), and stitch. Turn the bag right-side out.
Measure the width of the bag and multiply by 2. Add another 1/4-1/2in (6-12mm) to account for the folded edges of the bag. Cut your wider ribbon to this length. If using jacquard or natural-fiber ribbon (mine is from Renaissance Ribbons), zigzag the raw edges. If using a polyester ribbon, heat-seal it or use a seam-sealant. You may also choose to fold it under and topstitch.
Pin the ribbon all the way around the bag, starting in the front center. This will be your casing. Stitch only the top edge down, backstitching at both ends. Slip the narrow ribbon underneath, abutting the stitched edge. Pin in place so you won’t accidentally stitch into it when you sew the bottom edge. I prefer adding the narrow ribbon to the casing this way, rather than feeding it in with a safety pin later. 🙂 Now, stitch the bottom edge of the wider ribbon in place, all the way around.
You should be able to pull both sides of the narrow ribbon now, cinching the bag! You can tie it closed when you’re done. Now…make a game of it! Cut out a bunch of paper hearts. Keeping your youngest family member in mind, write a different movie/book title, or character name…or anything you’d like to be acted out – onto each heart. When it’s time for family game night, bring out the bag and play a kid-friendly game of charades, letting players reach into the bag during their turn!
If you’re giving this as a Valentine’s Day gift, fill the pocket with fun candies before handing it off. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed learning how to sew this drawstring bag charades game! Please follow me on Twitter for updates on new tutorials and tips from other bloggers, or click the BlogLovin’ button to the right and follow me there!