How to Make A Reversible Drawstring bag


A couple of weeks ago I shared a story on Instagram. It was about the making of the packaging for a custom order of baby booties. And lots of people messaged me to find out more about it. So I decided to write a blog post 

I can’t begin to tell you how many iterations I’ve gone through. It’s been years of trial and error. And has developed as I’ve learnt more about sustainable design.

The packaging started off as an origami box made with tracing paper. Then I decided to use various versions of gift boxes. And paper bags. Not loving these options I went back to making the origami boxes but with kraft paper instead. But I still wasn’t happy with it. So it was back to the drawing board for me.

I knew I wanted something that people would keep after they got the booties and not get thrown away. I wanted it to be used over and over again. I also knew that I wanted to use recycled materials that would be easy to find.

After brainstorming with a friend I decided to make a little reversible drawstring bag. So far I’m much happier with this form of packaging for my baby booties. Because I can use thrifted fabric or old clothes from my “make” box. And I can resize the pattern to suite the booties. Also you can use the bag for loads of things not just for baby 

If you’d like to make your own drawstring bag here are my instructions. You can adjust the measurements for what you need.

Materials You’ll need to make a Reversible Drawstring Bag:

  1. Fabric for lining
  2. Fabric for outside
  3. String / ribbon for the drawstring
  4. Sewing machine
  5. Serger (optional)
  6. Scissors
  7. Pins
  8. Ruler & chalk
  9. Seam Ripper

Instructions to make a Reversible Drawstring Bag:

Step 1: Using the diagram below work out your measurements. You can draw out a pattern on paper first if you’d like. But if you’re confident to mark up it up directly onto the fabric that’s cool too. Your actual pattern will be cut on the fold so you’ll only need half of this diagram below. See step 2.


Step 2: Cut 2 pieces of fabric on the fold (1 x Lining and 1 x Outside). Remember the depth (h) measurement needs to be halved.


Step 3: Place the outside fabric and lining together with the wrong sides facing out. Serge / sew the bottom and top together. You should have a one piece of fabric that makes a “loop”.


Step 4: Fold in half and line up the side seams of the outside fabric. Pin sides together. Serge / sew.


Step 5: Line up the bottom sides seams of the outside fabric. So that they make a neat edge. Serge / sew both sides


Step 6: Repeat step 4 for the lining fabric.


Step 7: Line up the bottom sides seams of the lining fabric. Serge / sew one side. Serge / sew halfway down the other side. Leaving an opening to turn your bag. You’ll sew this closed in step 8.


Step 8: Turn your bag inside out so that the right sides of the fabric are now facing the right way round. Pin the bottom side seam of the lining. Sew closed.


Step 9: Tuck the lining into the bag. Top stitch all around the top of the bag close to the edge.


Step 10: Leave a 1.5 – 2 cm gap from the top stitch and sew all around the bag. (this is the channel for your drawstring)


Step 11: Use a seam ripper and unpick the sides seams of the outside fabric.


Step 12: Thread through your ribbon. Tie ends


The next time I make the packaging I think I’ll make a video to explain the process a little better but for now, I hope this tutorial comes in handy 😁