Sewing on the pockets
Press the side seams of the bag in one direction. Turn the backpack towards the right side.
Fold the sides of the pocket pieces together and lightly press the vertical center of the pockets.
Line up that center fold of a pocket with one of the side seams. Pin the sides in place. Next, sew the sides of pocket to your backpack close to the pressed edge. Backstitch at the top of each pocket side.
Pin the second pocket in place and stitch the sides just as you did with the first one. Almost done!
Finishing the sewing
Fold one of the loops in half and pin it 3/4″ from the side seam on the bottom front side of the bag. Baste the loop in place.
Repeat with the second loop, folding it in half and basting it 3/4″ from the second side seam.
To finish up, fold the backpack right sides together and sew the bottom seam with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Finish the seam allowance and turn the backpack towards the right side. Give the backpack a good press on the edges.
Now it’s time to add the drawstring.
Threading the drawstring backpack
This is a little weird, but it’ll make sense as you’re doing it. Definitely this step is a lot clearer to see on the video. The threading happens about at 8’45”.
First, pass one end of the paracord through one of the bottom loops. I’m starting on the left side.
You can adjust the length to fit your child at this point. Cut off any extra cord. Melt the cut with a lighter so the cord doesn’t fray, then tie a little simple knot at the each end.
And you made your own DIY drawstring bag. They’re great all-purpose kid-friendly bags. I could see them holding stuffed animals and a change of clothes for sleepovers or for going swimming.
If you make up one with this tutorial, I’d love to hear about it!
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Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.