Stitched Up: Drawstring Book Bags

Older Boy’s new teacher: All the children must have a book bag this year for returning their library books.

Practical parent me: FFS really?  All they ever have in their normal bag is a snack.  Putting the library book in each week is an event!

English teacher me: But this is a great contribution to the noble cause of promoting literacy – Older Boy will learn to value and treasure books!

Practical parent me: Good point.  We can use my Waterstones canvas tote.

English teacher me: Or…if he picks out some fabric and helps to make his own special bag, he’ll value it even more.

Aspiring sewist me:  Oooh….sewing time!

Parent buddy: Where can I get a book bag?

People-pleaser me: Well, if I’m making one I can just as easily make two.  It’s just sewing together rectangles after all.

Addicted-to-stitching me:  Now that I’ve cut the fabric I’ll surprise them with personalised names stitched in!  Just a few minutes’ extra work…

Perfectionist me: …and this one should really have a lining to be durable enough…

Brain-switched-off me:  Oh that’s right, you have to leave a gap to turn out the lining.  Wish I’d remembered that before I had to unpick this seam twice.


Show-off Blogger me:  Tah-dah!  Here are some book bags I made!

Book bags with books
Very satisfying.  The kids seem pretty pleased with them too.  My favourite part of this is knowing that in its previous life, the green fabric chosen by Older Boy covered the nap-time pillow he needed when he first started school.  Now we’re looking forward to pressing it into service tomorrow morning.

Younger Boy’s teacher hasn’t asked for one, but I suspect someone might get a bit jealous…maybe I’ll be cutting out a couple more rectangles next week.

Here are some specs for any interested parties:

Fabric – classmate’s choice was multicoloured wax cotton bought in Uganda; white lining left over from taking up an Ikea curtain; green cushion cover, zip removed from one of the sides, so very little actual construction needed.

Stitching – used a Frixion pen to write the names directly onto the fabric, then mostly backstitched with black perle floss;  stitched panel positioned using Steam-a-Seam then topstitched in place.

Google ‘drawstring bag tutorial’ for a plethora of online instructions.


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