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Ruffle Top Drawstring Backpack

When I was asked to participate in the Anne of Green Gables blog hop, I was thrilled.  I love Anne and her optimism and strength. This ruffle top drawstring bag is a simple project to sew and a great way to use these beautiful fabrics.
Let’s get right into it, shall we?

Ruffle Top Drawstring Backpack

2/3 yard main exterior print (green floral)
2/3 yard interior print (raspberry ticking)
1/4 yard accent print for ruffle and pocket flap (light pink quote fabric)
1/4 yard accent print for straps and pocket (raspberry blossom)


(2) 16″ X 19″ from main exterior fabric
(2) 16″ X 4″ from accent fabric for ruffle
(2) 7″ X 3 1/2″ from accent fabric for flap of pocket
(2) 16″ X 22″ from lining fabric
(2) 2″ X 34″ from accent fabric for straps
(2) 3″ X 18″ from accent fabric for straps
(2) 7″ X 6″ from accent fabric for body of pocket

Sewing Instructions:
*note: all seams are 1/2″ unless otherwise indicated.

  • Sew accent pieces to top of main body pieces. Press the seam toward the accent piece.
  • Top stitch the seam on the accent piece.
  •  Take the 2″ X 34″ strap pieces and press in half along the length
  • Open up the pressed piece and fold the long edges into the crease at the center of the strap
  • Press the strap in half again (should now measure approx 1/2″ X 34″)
  • Top stitch down both sides of the strap
  •  Take the 3″ X 18″ strap anchor pieces and fold one short end down 1/4″
  • Top stitch this edge down
  • Repeat steps for pressing the straps- fold in half, press, bring in sides to middle, press
  • Top stitch the strap anchor pieces *beginning 1″ from the folded down, stitched end of the strap anchor piece. (you will leave the end open until the last step)
  •  With right sides together round the bottom corners of the pocket flap pieces
  • pin pocket body pieces right sides together
  • using a *1/4″ s.a. sew around the flap (leave opening on long, flat side) and body (leave opening on the bottom) of the pocket
  • Clip corners and seams
  • Turn right side out and press out seams
  • Top stitch top of pocket body and short sides and rounded bottom of pocket flap
  •  place front piece of backpack right side up
  • center pocket body 3″ up from bottom
  • center flap over pocket body lining the top of the flap 1/2″ above the top of the pocket body
  • top stitch around sides and bottom of pocket body, and the top of the flap
  • place the sewn end of the strap anchor pieces 1″ in from sides, and lined up with the bottom of the backpack 
  • place second exterior piece of backpack face down, lining up the seams where the accent pieces are attached.
  • sew around the two long sides and bottom of the backpack exterior- leaving a 1″ opening on both sides starting 1/2″ below the seams attaching the accent piece

  • Turn bag exterior right side out and press seams.
  • Take interior bag pieces and line up right sides together
  • sew around long sides and bottom, leaving an opening for turning (dotted lines are where sewn seams should be)
  • Slide exterior of the bag INSIDE the lining of the bag.  Line up side seams and raw edge, pin in place
  • sew around the top of the bag
  • Turn bag right side out through the opening in the bottom of the bag lining.
  • Sew opening in lining shut.
  • Push the lining of the bag inside the exterior of the bag and press the top seam.  

  • Sew the channel for the drawstring- sew around the bag lining your stitches up with the top of the opening you left on the exterior of the bag (1/2″ from the seam of the accent piece) use a piece of tape to keep this line straight around the whole bag.
  • sew the second line for the channel 1″ away from the first stitched line (again, using a piece of tape to mark the line)
  • top stitch the top edge of the bag
  • take the small drawstrings and pull them through the channel using a safety pin. One will start and end on one side of the bag, and the second will start and end on the other side of the bag.

  •  Take the two ends of the drawstring on one side of the bag, and place them inside the open end of the anchor piece on the same side of the bag
  • sew the ends of the drawstring into the anchor piece by closing up the opening on the end of the strap. I sew a rectangle with an “X” in it. (you can see it in the picture below)

  • Repeat for the second side.

 You can embellish this bag with buttons or lace, but I chose to leave it plain for now.

Each of my daughters have asked me for one of these bags (even the teenager) so I’m going to call this one a win!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.

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  • Anne
    November 14, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    Oh pretty!!! I've got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for tomorrow morning that features your tutorial: –Anne

  • Lauren
    November 15, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    This came out really cute! My 1 and a half year old daughter has been toting random things around in her arms and needs one of these! 😀

  • Allison CB
    November 16, 2016 at 1:14 am

    Great bag! I'll be making one of these!

  • Ali
    November 17, 2016 at 4:12 am

    Can you please post a link to the Anne of Green Gables Blog Hop? I'd love to check it out.