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Soccer Mom: Drawstring Backpack Tutorial





2 boys standing wearing drawstring backpacks DIY Drawstring Backpack Tutorial - Blue Susan Makes

Today I'm sharing a tutorial on how to make an easy to sew drawstring backpack.  We need a few of these over here to pack shoes, shin guards and a change of clothes for the days we go straight from school to soccer.  

Of course you can just buy one for pretty cheap but where is the fun in that?   Plus I wanted a pretty one for me that I can put my keys and phone in when I have to coach.  You just can't buy one like this....



3 handmade drawstring backpacks -DIY Drawstring Backpack Tutorial - Blue Susan Makes




While I was at it I stitched up a couple for the boys as well.  I'm sure there are other tutorials out there for these, but here is my take on it. I put a little pocket inside mine too!  You can't buy one with pockets on the inside. Customizing your pockets is the best thing about making your own bags.



Inside pocket view - DIY Drawstring Backpack Tutorial - Blue Susan Makes



DIY Drawstring Back Pack Tutorial


To make one you'll need:



Sewing Instructions


1.  Make a casing along each short end:  

First, fold the side seam allowance to the inside 1/2 inch at each corner. Press with a warm iron about 1 1/2 inches away from the top.   Next, create the casing by folding the top edge over 1/2 inch and press, then fold it over 1 inch and press (I made the casing in the picture too narrow and had to unpick it and redo it for the strings to slide through easily. oops!)  Topstitch along the folded inner edge. Backstitch at the beginning and end.  Repeat for other short side.



Hem the top - DIY Drawstring Backpack Tutorial - Blue Susan Makes






Partially cut through the seam allowance just below the casing seam. Repeat on all four corners. 


Hem the top - DIY Drawstring Backpack Tutorial - Blue Susan Makes




2. Make the pocket: 

Fold pocket fabric in half, matching the short ends with right sides together. Sew around all three sides, leaving an opening for turning. Turn inside out and press, making sure the raw edges of the opening are tucked inside. Topstitch along the top edge of the pocket if you wish.



Sew the pocket - DIY Drawstring Backpack Tutorial - Blue Susan Makes


Position the pocket about 7 inches down from the top of the casing on the interior side of the fabric. Pin in place. Topstitch along the sides and bottom of the pocket about 1/8th inch from the edge.









Sew the pocket - DIY Drawstring Backpack Tutorial - Blue Susan Makes




3. Sew the Side seams:  

Fold body in half lengthwise, matching the casings and pin the side seams.





Sew the side seams- DIY Drawstring Backpack Tutorial - Blue Susan Makes



Starting at the bottom fold, stitch along side seam with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, hold clipped edge open at the top and stitch as close to the casing as you can. Back stitch a few times.






Sew the side seams- DIY Drawstring Backpack Tutorial - Blue Susan Makes





 Serge or zigzag along raw edges of the sides seam to finish the seam if desired. Turn the back pack right side out and press flat pushing out the corners in the bottom.








serge the side seams - DIY Drawstring Backpack Tutorial - Blue Susan Makes





4.  Add the Grommets:

 I used a Dritz Grommet pack that came with a setter.  To set the grommet, position it in the corner and trace inside the center.  Cut a hole just big enough for the male grommet to fit through.  Position the female grommet on top, set the black circle on the bottom and the Setter on the top.  Pound it with a hammer until it stays together well.






How to insert a Dritz grommet - serge the side seams - DIY Drawstring Backpack Tutorial - Blue Susan Makes



Pretty soon you'll have the grommets set like this and you'll almost be done!


How to insert a Dritz grommet - - DIY Drawstring Backpack Tutorial - Blue Susan Makes





5. Insert the Strings:  

Use a safety pin to thread one string through one casing and then the other.  Then thread the other string through both casings starting on the opposite side.   


add the strings - DIY Drawstring Backpack Tutorial - Blue Susan Makes








add the strings - DIY Drawstring Backpack Tutorial - Blue Susan Makes






Lastly, thread both ends of each string through the grommet and tie a knot.






add the strings - DIY Drawstring Backpack Tutorial - Blue Susan Makes





That's it! You're done!
I made a couple for my boys too and here they are in action.




Boys play fighting  - DIY Drawstring Backpack Tutorial - Blue Susan Makes


If you make one using my tutorial I'd love to see it. Tag me @bluesusanmakes  #BSMdrawstringbackpack on Instagram or Facebook. This tutorial as a part of our I am a Soccer Mom series. Check out my other posts for more tips and tutorials to get you through the season.





I am a Soccer Mom series - DIY Drawstring Backpack Tutorial - Blue Susan Makes





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