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French Seams Drawstring Bag Tutorial

 Let´s make a pretty drawstring bag with french seams!
I know there are some tutorials out there already but i hope you´ll find my order of steps a bit easier than the others, too :-)

The trick is to sew the tunnels before sewing the bag body - way less fiddling with tiny seams for the tunnels..

step 1: assemble your fabrics. you will need 3 pieces of the same size (i used 9 1/2"x7" in two designs which gives me a 8"x8" bag in the end) for the body of the bag and one long piece for the strap: 2" wide and about 3x as long as the wide side of your bag fabics (i took a 30" piece)

step 2: sew one long side of two fabric pieces LEFT sides together, as close to the edge as you can.

step 3: now flip the sides over to get them RIGHT sides together like you are used to. press to get a nice flat side.

step 4: here comes the french part.. sew a 1/4" (or even a bit more) seam over/next to the underlying first seam. the first seam should be tucked right away in this seam: you´ll have a "normal" seam on the right side and this slightly wide, but clean seam on the left side/the inside.

step 5: repeat for the other side. now you have a long rectangle as body of the bag with one piece of fabric being the bottom. mine measures about 19"x9,5".
To give the sides a nice look on the outside, iron both french seams on the left side to the bottom fabric and topstich them.
Now your rectangle should look like this:

step 6: to make the two tunnels on top of the bag mark on the left side of the fabric on each corner DOWN 2 1/2" and TO THE MIDDLE 1/4". then cut a tiny little bit in the 1/4" mark, this will help you find the mark when folding the fabric over.

step 7: fold over the marked corners, fingerpress and sew as close to the edge as possible.
Then fold over the top sides of the fabric for about 1/4" - i draw a line on the fabric 1/2" down from the top and then fold it over. iron the seam in place (picture).
Turn the ironed seam over to the 2 1/2" marks to get a tunnel. sew close to the bottom edge of the seam. 

step 8: now we are sewing the bag - fold the rectangle over, LEFT sides together, sew close to the edges, start on the 2 1/2" mark. Do this on both sides, and don´t sew over the tunnels!!

step 9: turn the bag over, iron it and sew french seams again - about 1/4" from the sides, RIGHT sides together. again: don´t hit the tunnels, start/end right before them.

step 10: turn over the bag again - tada, here it is, in all it´s beauty!! 

step 11: now the drawstring. (it´s like making bias tape)
use the 2"x30" fabric strip, fold it on the long left sides together, iron it. Now you have a marking right in the middle. fold each long side to this marking and iron it. Then fold in a little part of the short sides, iron them, too. You should have a 1/2"x29" long strap. topstich all around. 

step 12: with a safety pin pull the strap through your tunnels, tie knot at one side.

and you´re done!! 

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