Tutorial: How to make a drawstring bag

When I started selling my woolies on Etsy, I wanted to create packaging that, like my knitting, would be beautiful, functional and good for the earth (I make all my bags out of upcycled clothing or leftover scraps of fabric).  My kiddos had me knitting oodles of little drawstring bags for their collections of rocks, Yu-Gi-Oh cards, trinkets and pirate money.  I loved knitting these for my boys but knitting them for gift bags was out of the question.  I started scouring the Internet for tutorials on how to sew drawstring bags, but none of them were quite what I wanted, either too complicated or time consuming.  In typical sittingtree style, I made up my own pattern.  Feel free to modify it anyway that suits your needs, and I'd love to see your results!

First decide how big you want the bag to be. 
*For the height, add 1 1/2" to the top and 5/8" to the bottom.
*For the width, double the size and add 1" to each end.  If you have a serger or don't care about neat edges you could just add a standard 5/8"

Next, fold over the ends 1/2" and press, then fold over again and press again.

Next, fold and press top down 1/2" the. fold and press again to create a pocket for string.

Stitch along edge of the top fold to create pocket

Fold bag in half, with right sides together.  Starting just below the drawstring pocket, sew down the sides and across the bottom. (don't make my mistake of sewing the pocket closed!)

Turn bag right side out and press

With a large blunt needle, feed cord through pocket, fill with treasures, and tie shut!
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Tea for Two

In a mad new year's cleaning frenzy, my mom has periodically been bringing over gifts from her basement and my past! Last night she treated us with a bag full of play dishes from when I was a little girl. Miniature Corningware, Tupperware, and an endless supply of Holly Hobbie plates. Cole and 
Luke served popcorn and tea while my Mom and I told them stories about when I was young.
My grandfather made me this beautiful cabinet when I was about Cole's age.  It has been well loved!
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budding tailor

Today was a day to celebrate! 

For many years Cole has sat on my lap feeding my fabric through the sewing machine or burrowed under the table pushing the peddle.  However, today Cole declared he was ready to sew his own work.  I reminded him of the few finicky parts of the machine and away he went spending the afternoon making bags of every size from the scrap bag. 

I am a proud recipient of a business card holder that I have been talking about making for weeks now!!
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Staying on task..... hmmm, no.

I have one last order to fill this week and as usual, I'm finding a thousand other crafts I have been wanting to learn instead of finishing my work!  I've been longing to learn quilting forever and  this great tutorial for a recycled bath mat from Sew Liberated seemed like it would be a worthy first project. http://sewliberated.typepad.com/sew_liberated/2007/11/recycled-bath-m.html  
If I had actually read the tutorial, I might have known to pin all pieces and then sew, but who wants to follow the rules.  My squares don't always line up and and the edges curl up a bit (kind of like me some days) but as the monkeys discovered this evening, IT WORKS and will be much loved!

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The dishes will wait.

These are my absolute favorite days.  After Mike left, the boys crawled into bed with me and stayed there until long after the sun came up.  We ate some hearty oatmeal and headed out to the sledding hill with a few good friends.  Home to "snoogle" and read books on the sofa.  Bean and veggie spread for dinner (no dishes needed!) then off to dreamland.  Fortunately, we have a lot of these days.
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