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In the last pouch tutorial I showed how to make a simple coin purse with tie, however there are other ways to make a basic pouch to hold odds and ends, coins or other assorted things that should be carried when one is considering an adventure. I have found drawstring pouches to be a very versatile way of having in-character pockets, with the only limitation being the amount of cloth to hand and the things you want to carry.

In this tutorial I will show you how to make a pair of drawstring pouches out of scraps of cloth.

For more tutorials and walk-throughs, go to Tutorials.

two drawstring pouches


Time to grab your pen and paper and sketch out the rough dimensions of your pouch. Decide how big you need it to be, then add an additional 2″ (5cm) at the top to allow for the gathering of the pouch and an additional 1″(2.5cm) to allow for the channel in which your cord is going to sit. These additional 3″ (7.5cm) will help the pouch to form around the objects you want the pouch to hold.

Add your seam allowance to the edges and make a note of your seam allowance somewhere obvious to refer back to as you sew.

If you are using a single piece of cloth you do not need to add a seam allowance to the lower edge of your pouch, however if you are using two pieces you will need to accommodate the additional seam into your template.


You now have a template – time to make a pouch (or two!)

Making the pouch of many things

Gather your materials – your cloth, needle and thread, pins, scissors, chalk or pencil to mark the cloth, safety pin, seam ripper and ribbon/braid/whatever you want to use as drawstrings. Materials

For this tutorial I will be using narrow satin ribbon to co-ordinate with my satin cloth scraps. I will also make two pouches to show two ways to making and threading the drawstring.

Pouch A – the side lacing

Cut your cloth according to your template. I cut two pieces of cloth, but you could always cut a single continuous piece if you chose and have the cloth for it.

marking pouch a

Mark out the upper 2″ at the top of your pouch (the seam allowance and channel for the cord) on the inside and the side seam allowances.

folding and pinning


Fold the top corners to the inside to meet the line you have marked, pin and sew on the outside.

roll the top pouch a

Fold the top edge in to the inside, pin and sew.

Make pouch a channel

Fold this sewn edge down to meet the line you marked on the inside 2″ down from the top. This should create a channel in the cloth through which the cord will be passed.

Repeat on the second piece (or on the bottom of your single piece)

sew the sides pouch a

Match the two top edges together and sew down the side seams (and bottom if using two pieces of cloth) along the seam allowance, being careful not to stitch shut the two channels you just made. Sew a zig-zag along the edges if your cloth is likely to fray badly.

ribbon on safety pin

Turn your pouch right side out and grab your drawstring. Thread one end onto your safety pin (that’ll fit through the channel you’ve made) and insert it into one side of your pouch. Thread it through to the other side, then back through the back until the ribbon is back where you started. Ease out the gathered cloth until it’s flat, pull the ends to the length you want, cut the braid and knot it securely.

Open pouch a closed pouch a

And there you have it – one drawstring pouch.

Pouch B – the button holes

Cut your cloth according to your template. I cut two pieces of cloth, but again you can use a single piece.

marking pouch b holes

Choose which piece will be your “front” and mark the mid point and the position for two button holes equidistant from the mid point on the right side of the cloth.

sew button holes pouch b


Sew the holes by hand or using the button-hole setting on your sewing machine. Make sure your holes are large enough for your ribbon/braid! Roll the upper edge of the front and back pieces/edges in towards the inside, pin and sew. Make sure your cut the holes for your ribbon to pass through either with a sharp pair of scissors or using your seam ripper.

roll the edges inside pouch b

Sew the front to the back at the sides (and bottom if using two pieces of cloth). Zig-zag the edges if the cloth is likely to fray, and turn the whole pouch right side out.

turning inwards pouch b

Turn the upper edge inwards until it sits below the button holes and carefully ease the edge inwards to create the channel through which your ribbon/braid will go. This can be sewn by hand or carefully (carefully!) sewn using a sewing machine, being careful not to catch the other side of the pouch into your sewing. Depending on which way round you pass the ribbon, your side seams should point with the movement of your ribbon so that your safety pin doesn’t get entangled.

ribbon threading pouch b


Best way to describe this without photos is as follows: if the ribbon is to pass in the left hand hole as it’s held, the left hand side seam edge will point towards the back away from the front, whilst the right hand side seam will point towards the front.

After passing the ribbon through the hole, round the edge of the pouch then back out, ease the ribbon through the circumference, pull the ends to the length you want, cut the ribbon and knot securely.

open pouch b closed pouch b

And there we go – another drawstring pouch.


two drawstring pouches

Happy crafting!



Similarly to the simple coin purse here are some ideas of variations you can make to this style of pouch.

  • Make the ties long enough to loop through your belt, or even slip your belt through the tied loop before buckling it closed – that way you can access the pouch with it still hanging from your belt!
  • Decorate your pouch with embroidery or beads.
  • Sew a loop into the side seam of your pouch so it can hang from your wrist. Make the pouch out of some material to match your posh gown or costume, and accessorise for balls and fancy functions with a handy pouch to keep your character money in and your real-life car keys …

The only limit is your imagination and the materials you have to hand!