Free Pattern: Sew a Super Deluxe Drawstring Backpack


As my embarrassingly large fabric stash suggests, it is often hard to decide and commit to making some fabrics into some thing. To cut into that fabric. To give up all the other possibilities of what that fabric could become. For me, it can be a long decision-making process.

The same was true when Eileen McKenna, a graphic designer by trade and an illustrator, watercolorist and fabric designer by hobby, contacted me about a collaboration; her fabric + my sewing.

And the indecision started immediately. First I had to choose which fabric, out of all of Eileen’s designs, did I want to work with;  Blue Pool TilesMontauk Daisies, Zest For Life Citrus? It took awhile but finally, I chose Swimming Laps. (And now there are even more choices; a lovely Dogwood design and Swim Goggles.)


Now for the big decision, what to make.

It wasn’t until after reading on Eileen’s blog, My Creative Resolution that the light bulb went off. “I’ve lamented before that I can’t sew, but I’m determined to make something with this fabric – maybe a drawstring bag or headband.”

Ah, yes, a drawstring bag. Something you would throw your sunscreen and granola bar into when you head to the pool. A drawstring bag would be practical but this fabric is not just any fabric, it’s literally a work of art. It’s a watercolor with hand drawn sketches and it shows a little story going on.

This fabric needs to be more than just any drawstring bag carried around by its strings, looking like a sad, wet washcloth, stuffed with dirty socks in your tote bag. No, this fabric needs to be a super deluxe drawstring bag.


A drawstring bag with some style.

A drawstring bag substantial enough and good looking enough to be the tote itself and not be stuffed inside the tote. One that you want to take with you day after day, pool day or town day, beach day or errand day.

A drawstring bag with a pocket so your keys don’t get lost in the bottom of the bag and another pocket for your phone. A bag with enough room to carry your stuff plus your water bottle, and still, have space when someone in your family asks you “Can you put this (half eaten muffin) in your bag for me?”

But mostly it needed to be a drawstring bag that you could sew with little experience, with ease, that could be sewn in almost any type of fabric and possibly some you already own. A carry-all for any size, any gender, and could be made for any personality or in any style with the choice of fabric (did someone say suede?) Plus there’s plenty of surface space for embellishing, painting, patching or bedazzling.

I was excited to get started. Excited to finish and super excited to share this bag with you. The pattern and the detailed instructions are free when you sign up for The Daily Sew newsletter here, on this page. (Sign up forms at the top and bottom of this post)

You can sew this bag. It isn’t difficult and I provide you with very detailed, step by step instructions with a lot of photographs.

Be sure to get your Super Deluxe Drawstring Bag pattern and instructions now for Free. Just sign up for The Daily Sew newsletter here on this page.

You’ll be sent to the instruction page where you can download the pattern. And if now isn’t a good time you will also receive an email with a link for the pattern and instructions.

It’s that simple. Then sew your Super Deluxe Bag and enjoy reading The Daily Sew’s newsletter with exclusive content, tips, and inspiration.


And let me tell you – the fabric didn’t disappoint. I had never ordered fabric from Spoonflower before. I wasn’t sure what the quality would be like. Would the printing be blurry? The color dull? Would the fabric bleed out and fade when it was washed? No, No, and No.

The printing is sharp and the details are clear. The color is vibrant and full of depth. And the fabric only became softer after washing, the color retained its intensity.

Remember, to get the Super-Deluxe-Drawstring-Bag pattern for Free, simply sign up for The Daily Sew’s newsletter, here, on this page. And to get Swimming Laps or any of Eileen McKenna’s other fabric designs, visit her shop on Spoonflower.


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