Thursday, February 25, 2016

Sewing for My Guys

At my house, conversations about crafts often go like this ...

My 7-year-old son: “Mom, can I have some string?”

Me: “Sure. What are you going to do with it?”

My 7-year-old son: “I’m making nunchucks.”

Sigh. Nunchucks are a martial arts weapon. I’m pretty sure I didn’t know what they were when I was 7 (or 27, for that matter).

Given that exchange and many others like it, I was encouraged when my oldest showed interest in my Lizzy House stash recently. There was hope for a crafty relationship with him yet! So I made him and his brother these sweet pouches, which held their Valentine’s presents ...


I used a well-loved tutorial: the Lined Drawstring Bag Tutorial from In Color Order. It had been on my must-sew list for years, so I was happy to give it a try. Everything you’ve read about it is true: It’s an easy, well-written (free!) pattern.

In the samples designer Jeni Baker made for her tutorial, she used all sorts of cute things as the drawstring, like measuring tape ribbon and handmade fabric ties. I used not-so-cute shoelaces because, as I’ve mentioned, my boys are hard on everything—including their clothes, my house, and me (my injuries speak for themselves!)—and the laces are the most durable thing I can think to use.

To be honest, there is a lot of crafting going on by little hands at my house.
Oh, look: these Minecraft-inspired Perler Bead projects include weapons.
(Heaven help me!)

How about you? What have you had success with in your own drawstring bags? Do you have a go-to ribbon? Hmmm ... and if so, do you use Fray Check on the ends? As for me, I’ve also used faux leather cord, but it wasn’t as malleable as I’d like. I am open to suggestions!

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday, Let’s Bee Social, and Needle and Thread Thursday ...

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18 comments:

  1. I use twill tape--it comes in different width and colors and is economical.

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  2. I have made a ton of these drawstring bags over the years and have never thought to use shoe laces! Most of the time I make the fabric ties but I have used gross grain ribbon and sewn bias tape together as well and I just trim the ends and leave them like that. I like the fabric ties best because they snug up the bags tighter. I'm thinking shoelaces will do that as well and I can't wait to try them!

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  3. Nearly all of my drawstring bags were originally made to hold knitting projects - if I have ribbon that coordinates I will use that for the ties (I melt the ends with a lighter) but I've also used a crochet chain made out of coordinating cotton yarn that has held up over the years. I keep thinking I need to make a small bag for my son to keep toys in for restaurant trips/long car rides.

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  4. I can't help you with the drawstring bags, unfortunately, as I've never made one. But those perler bead keychains are the bomb! (See what I did there?) And is that captain america?!? I can't wait to show these to my guys! They are going to flip! Such a great idea. And I love those drawstring bags. A great little valentine, indeed!

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  5. I run of yards and yards of striped fabric through the bias tape maker so I have plenty on hand for whenever I need it. Dk Blue or black stripes go with everything...well, so far. I have also used cording which works well.

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  6. I love the lines drawstring bag pattern! I've made tons (and they make a great guild swap item!)
    I really love using twill tape for the ties, if it's cotton twill tape I'll fold over the tiniest bit and sew it so it doesn't unravel, but if it's polyester then I'll hit it with a flame really quickly to melt it all together. I've also don't the bias tape but it feels like so much work, but if there's no twill tape in the house then it's good in a pinch (because of course there's always extra fabric in the house...)

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  7. I'm all about the twill tape. Man, I love that stuff. I've never thought to use fray check though. Man, what is wrong with me? Why wouldn't I use it???? :) NEXT TIME. Usually, I just fold down the ends and sew across.

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  8. Your bags are awesome! I've only ever used twill tape for the ties, but shoe laces sound like such a good idea!

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  9. Those drawstring bags would be great for holding nunchucks! :)
    Shoelaces sound like a great choice for hardiness. I use ribbon, but I can imagine small boys would destroy that in record speed.

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  10. You say nunchucks and all I can think of is paper towel rolls held together by string and I just laugh and laugh. As for durable and indestructible, I am not there in my life yet. Although you could get those heavy duty clamps and make forts from your quilts then sit under it and talk about the magic of moda? They might pretend to listen as they comprehend how awesome a quilt fort is.

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  11. I made my first drawstring bag from Jeni's tutorial just last month... I've now made 4 total. I opted to make my own fabric ties. I find them a lot more durable than ribbon (it always seems to end up shlumpy). But now I'll be looking for fun shoelaces to jazz things up!

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  12. I recently discovered that tutorial, and it's awesome. Your bags are very cute. I like the idea of using shoelaces.

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  13. I have yet to make Jeni's drawstring bag, I need to though. Yours are so pretty! Making nunchucks, that's so cute!

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  14. I haven't made any drawstring bags... But yours are both adorable! I love your fabric choices, Michelle. Boys? Hmmm.... I think Chelsea of Patch the Giraffe has the right idea.

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  15. Those drawstring bags are lovely. And even houses with just girls in are not immune to weapons - all thanks to Minecraft!!

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  16. Haven't made these yet but they are on my list. I'm thinking of the twill tape.

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  17. I haven't made one yet either! One day it will happen! I do fray check my ribbons when used in bags, especially twill tape. Shoelaces are a great idea actually!

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  18. No attempt at the cute drawstring bags. But my son did help do a little quilting when he was in elementary school. Fast forward and he actually attempted to make his own window covering for his first home. (And he was very proud of it.) Amazing to me.

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