Our little one has a thing for collecting rocks. Everywhere we go, she’s on the hunt. Gravel driveways: Beware.
She likes to shove them in her pockets, but quickly runs out of room after just a few minutes of collecting.
Then she’ll put them in pockets and other hidden crevices of our clothing. Of course, I don’t find them until it’s too late.
My poor washing machine has been taking a beating.
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Sewing Level: Novice
I am no sewing expert.
In fact, these bags are one of the first projects I attempted on my sewing machine. To say a beginner can make these is an understatement.
And once you make one, you’ll want to make so.many.more.
Not only are they amazing for collecting rocks, I can dream up about a million other uses for them. You can make these in any size you can dream up. I’ve used them to store toys, cosmetics, cards, craft supplies, clean diapers. I’ve even used them for even wrapping gifts.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Fabric (1/4 or 1/2 yard, depending on the size of the bag)
- Trim (ribbon or other cord – I used clothesline)
- Rotary Cutter
First: Figure out the dimensions you want to make. I made a size small bag today, but you can make these in any size.
I’ve made them in a few sizes so far. Here are the different dimensions and measurements:
- Finished Dimensions: 5 1/2 inches wide x 3 3/4 inches tall x 2 1/2 inches deep
- Materials Needed: 1/4 yard fabric, 2 yards trim
- Cut fabric into a 6″ X 12″ rectangle, then fold together to make a 6″ square
- Draw your line for the gusset 1″ up from the point of the corner
- Cut a 20″ piece of trim
- Finished Dimensions: 8 1/2 x 6 1/4 x 2 1/2 inches
- Materials Needed: 1/4 yard fabric, 2 yards trim
- Cut fabric into a 9″ X 18″ rectangle, then fold together to make a 9″ square
- Draw your line for the gusset 1 1/2″ up from the point of the corner
- Cut a 26″ piece of trim
- Finished Dimensions: 17 1/2 x 13 3/4 x 6 inches
- Materials Needed: 1/2 yard fabric, 3 yards trim
- Fabric Size: Cut fabric into a 18″ X 36″ rectangle, then fold together to make a 18″ square
- Gusset: Draw your line for the gusset 3″ up from the point of the corner
- Trim Length: Cut a 26″ piece of trim
Some of the measurements will depend on the bag size. These are in italics in this post. Some measurements are the same regardless of the size of the bag you choose to make.
Let’s Do It!
Today, I’m making a small bag, so I cut my fabric into a 9″ X 18″ rectangle. If you’ve chosen to make a different sized bag, simply substitute the measurements in italics for the measurements of the bag you want to make.
Fold the fabric in half, hamburger style, with the pretty sides of the fabric touching each other. If you’re working on the small pouch, you should have a 9″ square now.
Now find where the two open sides meet. Measure 2″ from the edge where the fabric meets and draw a small horizontal line in pencil.
Be sure to draw the line up from where the edges meet. Don’t be like me and draw the line in every corner until you find the right one.
Sew along the edge with 1/4 inch seam allowance. I line my fabric up with the edge of the presser foot, like so:
You’ll want to slow down as your needle nears the line you’ve drawn.
Stop once your needle hits that line. Use your reverse stitch button a bit to make sure your stitches stay in there.
Repeat on the other side – voila! Your edges are sewn.
Once the two edges are finished, grab your iron.
Warm it up and start ironing a 1/4″ hem along the opening of the bag. I usually just eyeball it by by folding the fabric right at the stitches.
Focusing on just one side of the bag, the two sides get ironed first.
Fold up a 1/4 inch hem along the bottom edge and iron again:
Once you’ve got the three edges ironed, fold your fabric up another 3/4″ and iron again. This will be the channel for your drawstring.
Sew along that edge. You want your line to be close to the edge of the folded fabric so you capture the ironed hem, but not too close to the edge. Your seam allowance should be around 1/6″.
Woohoo! Channel complete!
Now, repeat the process on the other side.
Gusset It Up
What is a gusset anyway? I was nervous to make something so fancy, but trust me: it is so simple to do and it makes the bag seem that much bigger.
Simply fold the bag in half so that the sewn edges line up, like this:
Then fold the corner down so that it meets the sewn channels and creates a triangle.For the small bag, measure 1.5″ from the tip of the triangle and draw a little mark. Then line your ruler up with the edge of the bag (hopefully better than I did) and draw a straight line across, making a triangle.
Sew right along that line.
Cut off the excess material.
BOOM. You just made a gusset. Now do the same thing over there on the other side.
Thread the Cord
Now it’s time to thread the cording through the channel to create your drawstrings. Attach whatever cording you’ve chosen to a paperclip as best you can.
Push the paperclip through one channel, then back through the other. Leaving the tails about 5 inches long, snip the extra cord.
Make a knot.
You can add another cord with a knot on the other side so your bag has two drawstrings, if you like. I’m trying to keep it simple for Baby Bear, so I stopped at just the one on this bag.
And, you’re done!
Baby Bear is so excited to go rock hunting with her new storage bag.
What will you use yours for?