Sunday, 17 August 2014

Tiny drawstring bags for Montessori reading materials

It started with a request from OneLittleImps' teacher last term to repair some aprons the kids use, and next I know I have agreed to make little draw string bags in pink and green and blue....

.. agreed to make 36 of the fiddly little suckers! LittleImp goes to a local Montessori school, and these little bags will hold the relevant colour coded levels of reading materials for her class room.

Here is how to make just one bag.

What you need - fabric & ribbon. This bag is pretty tiny - approx 5"x6". Obviously you can upsize the dimensions & still follow the same instructions below.

Cut a rectangle 5.25" x 13" from your chosen fabric.

Mark each end on both edges at two points as shown - at 0.25" and 1.25". These marks are on what will become the inside of the bag.

Fold over the first 0.25" as marked & iron a fold across each short end.

 Fold the bag right sides together, matching up the short edges.

Sewing machine time. Line up your needle with the 1.25" mark and straight stitch using a 1/4" seam down each long edge (to reduce fraying you can either use an edging stitch here as I have, or zig zag down each edge after the straight stitching).

Back to the ironing board. Fold back & iron the top 1" of raw edge as shown

Using a straight stitch sew down each of these side folds. The pictures show how I did this - sew down one side...

...then turn the fabric & turn & sew back up the other side (I also reinforced with a few back & forward stitches at the point where the side seams meet given these little bags will take a bit of use by little fingers).

 This is what it should then look like. Repeat on the other side.

 Back to the ironing board to iron down what will become the casing for the drawstring. Use the 1.25" mark as a guide & fold the edge down to meet this point (or there abouts) & iron the fold.

Repeat on the other side and then straight stitch each of these folded edges down, keeping your stitches close to the fold. Make sure to secure the stitching well at the beginning and end, again to withstand the forces of the drawstring pulling.

Snip all the loose/excess bits of thread. Turn bag right side out & use a sharp-ish object to poke out the corners.

Now for the ribbon. Cut 2x13" lengths of ribbon for each bag. Use a safety pin to then thread one ribbon through both casings. (If the ribbon starts to fray then try folding it over a few times before pinning it with the safety pin.)

Once you have passed through both casings then knot the ends of the ribbon together (as seen on the left side below). Take the next piece of ribbon & thread this through both casings, starting from the other (non-knotted) side, once all the way around join the ends of the ribbon & tie another knot. All done!

 Only 35 to go...