Sunday, January 29, 2012

Drawstring Backpack!

As I have mentioned in several blogs now (along with the previous one from today) DI has taken over my life in a good way!  DI.. what is DI you ask?  
"Destination ImagiNation, Inc. is an extraordinary non-profit organization that provides educational programs for students to learn and experience creativity, teamwork and problem solving. Every year, we reach 125,000 students across the U.S. and in more than 30 countries." from the Destination ImagiNation website.

I became involved in DI two years ago.  Our teams haven't always won, but the outcome of learning how to work as a team, grow as leaders, and just have fun makes it worth it!  I am kind of an overachiever (I bet you didn't know that) Anyway, competition is coming up and I wanted to do a little something for the kiddos to carry with them the day of competition.  That is where the idea of Drawstring Backback was born.  I have a new sewing machine, and my husband said I needed to do at least one project a month.. so it was PERFECT! I scoured the internet for easy and cheap ways to make a drawstring backpack.. and didn't really find anything that just stood out.  Off to Wal-Mart I went to get some inspiration.  Found some pillowcases, not what I wanted.  Found some fabrics and a sort of pattern.. not what I wanted.  Found BANDANNAS! Perfect!

Watched this video several times (it is great to help with the actual drawstring part)
All you need is 2 bandannas per bag, 2-3 yards of thick ribbon (or what you want to use for straps), scissors, sewing machine, and pins of course.  What is nice about the bandannas is that they are already sewn around the edges and a good size.  You can get them in tons of different colors.  For each of my bags I chose a color or design for one side and the other side I chose a white of sorts (so the DI kiddos could get signatures)

Don't forget to throw all of the fabric in the wash first!

Take 2 bandannas

Fold over one edge of the bandanna and sew.  Do this to both bandannas.  This is where you will add the drawstring.  I also sewed mine so it would face the inside of my bag.
Sew the 2 bandannas with right side together at the opposite of where you created the place for the drawstring.  

Now for threading the drawstring.  Although you have 2-3 yards of fabric, you need to cut that in half!
Thread one of the ribbons through both sides of the bag (still with right sides together) You will end up with 2 pieces on each side (took me a little while to wrap my brain around that)

Take the other ribbon and thread it the opposite direction through both sides.  Once you have threaded both sides of the the bag pull it even. Now to attach the drawstrings!  Just push them in between the two bandannas and pin at the bottom.

Sew up both sides (you might have to push the ribbon in as you sew up the sides)  
Turn the bandannas inside out and you have a bag!


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  2. Wow, your drawstring backpack is a great idea! I wish I could get my kids some of those backpacks, but my wife says they would just clutter up the house. I disagree, but that doesn't matter to my wife. I might even hire someone to make them promotional backpacks for my business. Great job on the backpack!

  3. this was my very first project, getting back into sewing after 15 years I loved it and it turned out great!!!