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June 14, 2019 3 min read

Today there are dozens of sizes of drawstring bags available, as well as different cord lengths. This can make it difficult to find the correct size you'll need, and this goes double if you're making your own cinch bag.

Bag Size

The first thing you'll have to do is estimate the size of the largest product you want to put into your drawstring backpack. As a general rule, you want to add at least 0.5 inches up to 2.0 inches larger in size than the largest items you want to carry. This will give you enough room to pack your things in without feeling constricted.

The same goes for the length of the drawstring bag. You want to have at least two inches of room to maneuver your things around. So you start by estimating or measuring the size of the largest objects and purchasing a bag that is two inches or more longer than your object. This allows you to have enough space to cinch the bag closed safely.

Drawstring Length

Most drawstring lengths are standard, and it will take some maneuvering to shorten them. You can get a general idea of how long you want the drawstring to be measuring your torso length and comparing it to the drawstring length. To get your torso length, start by finding your C7 vertebra, or the bony spot where your shoulders and your neck meet. You can tilt your head forward to feel this area better. Next, slide your hands down until they're resting on the top of your hip bones. Point your thumb backward and draw a line across your back to the center of your spine. Have someone measure the distance between the C7 vertebra and the line that was formed across your hip bones. This is your torso length, and you can compare it to the drawstring's length to get the correct fit.

Make Your Own Drawstring Bag by Hand

If you'd rather make your own cinch bag by hand, we have instructions for this as well. You can make this personalized drawstring bag to fit you, and it can be any color or size you want. More and more people are choosing to make and carry DIY Drawstring Backpacks. If you’re not sure how to make a drawstring backpack, follow the steps below!

Step One: Choose Your Material: This is a critical choice, as the material will dictate how long the bag lasts and how difficult it is to sew. You should also consider what you'll be carrying in your bag as well as how often you'll use it. Cotton is a popular choice for homemade drawstring backpacks.

Step Two: Choose Your Drawstring Material: Again, you have as much freedom as you want to choose the material for your drawstrings. Cord, ribbon, paracord, leather strips, or thick twine can all work well.

Step Three: Cut for Fabric to the Desired Size: Once you've chosen the size you want for your drawstring bag, measure and cut your fabric to two rectangular shapes. They can be as big or as little as you want it, but always cut it at least a half of an inch to an inch larger than you want your bag for sewing purposes.

Step Four: Form and Sew a Hem for the Drawstring: Turn your fabric, so the wrong or backside is facing out. Before you pin the pieces together for sewing, fold one to two centimeters of fabric down on the top to form a channel. Do this on both sides, pin it, and carefully stitch along the edge of the hem.

Step Five: Match the Fabric up and Sew: Lay your fabric back to back with the wrong side facing out and your hems matching up. You can pin the two pieces together for added stability, but it's not mandatory. Sew along the sides and the bottom, making sure to leave your hemmed end open. When all three sides are stitched, turn your bag out, so the front of the fabric is on the outside.

Step Six: Adjust as Needed and Add the Drawstring: Make sure your sides are even before you add your drawstring. The drawstring needs to be two times as long as your bag's opening. Thread your first piece of drawstring through a darning needle, and thread it through the channel you formed in step four. Do this on both sides, leaving string available to tie on both ends. Knot them together at the ends on both sides of your bag to finish the project. Following this drawstring backpack pattern will help you make your drawstring bag just the way you want it!

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