Easy Calico Drawstring Bag

Easy Calico Drawstring Bag

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I first made these calico bags as a substitute for Christmas stockings one year to put my family’s presents in. They’re so versatile and can be used for gifts, as a backpack, carry bag or even as a laundry bag.

Calico is an unbleached, unprocessed cotton that is inexpensive and often sold in bulk rolls. I love the natural colour and the texture it gets from the un-separated pieces of husk that may still be present. The rope I used is also a cotton rope and is very easy to bend and tie. Keep reading to learn how to make your own easy calico drawstring bag!

You will need:

Material – Calico or other
Sewing Machine or Needle and Thread
Safety pin
Embroidery thread (optional)

Cut two rectangles out of your material that are 35 x 40cm. Cut another two smaller pieces approximately 3 x 5cm each.

Drawstring bag calico material

Fold the two smaller pieces lengthways with the right side of the fabric facing inwards. Sew down the long side. Use a safety pin on one end of the piece to push the material back through the opening, so that the hem is now on the inside. Iron them flat.

Drawstring bag tube

Lay the two 35 x 40 cm rectangles on top of each other with the right side of the material facing inwards. Fold the two smaller pieces of material in half and pin them in between the two bigger pieces, at the bottom corners of the rectangles. You will want to have the ‘loop’ end facing inwards too.

Pinning a drawstring bag

Hem around the outside of the material so that you sew into the hem the two smaller pieces. Leave the top side plus about 5cm down each side un-hemmed for later.

Fold down the un-hemmed edge of material and sew a hem on both sides. Now, fold each end over and sew across so that there are no rough edges left showing.

Hemming a drawstring bag

Fold down the top hem once more until it meets the sewn edge. Sew along this line so that you form a ‘tube’. Turn your bag right -side-out and give it an iron.

Tube for drawstring bag

Cut two lengths of rope that are approximately 135 cm each. Push one end of the rope through one side of the tube, and then back around through the other side. Do the same with the other length of rope, but starting from the other side of the bag.

Push one end of the rope through the loops on either side and then tie the two ends together. You should now be able to pull on the rope to ‘close’ your bag!

Final drawstring bag

Drawstring bag final closed

Optional: I used a needle and some embroidery thread to embroider on my bag after drawing an outline in pencil. Of course I couldn’t go past my blog name – Dossier! You could also get creative with it – sew beads or buttons, embroidery or even use a permanent marker to decorate your bag!

Dossier embroidery on drawstring bag

Drawstring bag behind

Calico bag steps

DIY calico drawstring bag hanging

Calico drawstring bag standing








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