The sleeve to pouch concept isn’t a new one to my blog, but it is a basic trick that I use quite often. If you haven’t wanted to make a snowflake drawstring gift pouch, though, or a trick-or-treat bag, you may have missed the concept.
That would be tragic.
It is something so easy to do, and can be so useful in so many ways, that you just have to check it out.
I have a couple of new projects planned that use the idea, and I figured that it was silly to have to keep writing up the same instructions over and over again. This merits a post of its own, to be categorized as one of the basics here.
As you may have noticed before, I love to repurpose lots of different things, but old t-shirts are probably my favorite material to work with. The edges are finished in a way that forms a handy tube which is perfect for easily making drawstring closures.
In literally less than a minute, once your sewing machine is out, you can have the sewing part finished that will convert both sleeves of a t-shirt into 2 drawstring pouches.
If you use the right size sleeve for the project you’re making, and the sleeve is straight enough, there is only one small seam at the bottom to be sewn. I usually end up sewing 2 seams, though: one to straighten up the side seam, and the other to close up the bottom.
So, how is it done?
1. Turn your sleeve inside out.
2. Cut it down to just slightly bigger than you want your pouch to be. This is to account for the seam.
3. Sew down the side of the sleeve, if you have cut it.
4. Sew the bottom seam closed.
5. Turn the sleeve/pouch right side out again. You have finished sewing!
6. To finish up the drawstring closure, you will need to make two small holes in the top layer of fabric (only) in the tube seam at the top of the bag, on either side of the seam.
If you want the pouch to be closed by a double drawstring, you’ll need to make 4 holes: the 2 on either side of the seam, and 2 on the other side.
7. Using a safety pin to help pull it through, take the cording or ribbon that you want to use for your drawstring, and have it go in one of the holes and out the other.
If you are making a double drawstring, you’ll have to repeat the process with another cord using the holes on the opposite side.
8. Tie the ends of the cord(s) together, and you have finished making your drawstring pouch!
See? I told you it was easy!
If it’s hard to figure out from the pictures and my instructions, though, here’s a video that should help clarify…
Now that it’s clearer, you can whip up a few pouches very quickly.
You don’t have to use sleeves for this, though. I also like using the bottom seam of t-shirts in the same way, which allows you to make bigger drawstring pouches.
Now that you have your pouch ready, let’s find some uses for it…
I’ll try to list them all here as I make them!