Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Embroidered Drawstring Bags Underway!


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This week in my kids’ embroidery class, we began our second summer project, embroidered drawstring bags. I picked out five colors of cotton broadcloth, and four patterned cottons to use as lining.

The embroidered design will be worked on the front of the bag only, since we don’t have time to do a front and back pattern. So I drew up four patterns, which I will scan so you can see them, and I’ll work up a short tutorial so you can see how easy it is to put together a lined drawstring bag, with “finished” seams on the inside.

I searched all over online for just the right pattern, but I didn’t find anything that was exactly what I wanted. There was one pattern in particular that caught my eye, and I remember liking it, but I can’t find the website! So I stuck with the simple rectangle, folded in half, with the lining tucked in, and actually, I like this pattern better. It’s the perfect size for the kids to embroider, without being too big to take too long.

This is basically what the bags will look like when completed, although I’m going to do double drawstrings, so that they are easy to open and close. They’ll have two strings coming out on the other side of the bag as well, then. They’ll also be embroidered! This was just the sample I worked up to make sure the idea would work!

This is the lining in the light pink bag – I love the bright fabric! For the casing for the drawstring, I worked a backstitch around the bag in two parallel lines, so you’re seeing the back side of the backstitch inside the bag there.

I think my favorite part of the bags so far is the fabric!

I’ve got a light blue with a purple and light blue flowered lining (although most of the linings can be mixed and matched).

Then there’s a light purple with a yellow lining, with little purple flowers and pink roses.

And the same lining looks great with the dark pink bag, too! I also like the bright yellow and pink lining in the light pink bag above, with the dark pink.

I’ve got an aqua broadcloth as well, which looks incredibly good (believe it or not!) with the purple flowered lining.

My 13-year old niece helped me pick out the lining fabrics, which was good. I didn’t want to end up with anything “fuddy duddy” that the kids wouldn’t like! She did a great job, and the kids are really excited about their last project.

The designs I drew up are relatively simple – a wreath of lazy daisy leaves and flowers, to put their initials in; a row of daisies; a geometric “sampler” type pattern for the girls who like to dress things up a lot (and who spend time at home stitching!); and a pattern of random circles (worked in buttonhole wheels and stem stitch, etc) with lazy daisy flowers, to match that bright yellow lining on the bag above. I think (I hope!) they are all quick to work – and I think they are, as most of the kids not only traced all their patterns in class today, but got a good bit of stitching done.

Only two more weeks of classes (two a week, for two different age groups), so all in all, this summer, we will have had nine weeks of classes, or 18 classes altogether. Not bad!

I can’t wait to take photos of the whole display of completed bags and notebook covers! It should end up being 76 completed projects! WOW!


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(2) Comments

  1. Great! Definately scan in the patterns, I would love to do this one with my little sisters. Love the fabric colors and patterns, your niece has a good eye!

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