Fancy Spin On Toms

~Tom’s shoes are the best! Not only do they donate a pair of shoes to a needy child, each pair comes with a nifty, cotton, drawstring bag, Now I know that you are supposed to store your shoes in the bag, but what?? Not happening at my house, shoes need to air out and breathe. What to do with the bag? Dye it and iron on some scrap fabric! Hurrah! Loving my new, repurposed knitting project bag. The bag in the background is now in a vat of green dye. If you look closely, you can see that I like the mottled-dye look

Repurposed Toms Bag

Repurposed Toms Bag

It’s In The Bag!

q8~With a HUGE fabric stash, I decided it was time make something nice in which to store my knitting projects. Ziploc bags may work well, but they don’t have any panache! It did take three prototypes before hitting on the perfect pattern. The first bag was my learning curve, after that the bags went together quickly. This pattern is like a lunch sack with a square bottom and a ribbon close top. Please forgive any shadows in the instructions, I was sewing these at night and the overhead light kept casting shadows.

Drawstring Bag

Drawstring Bag


  • 1/2 yard main fabric
  • 1/2 yard lining fabric
  • 1 yard grosgrain ribbon
  • 1 cord stop
  • Fray check
  • Thread


1. Cut the main fabric into a 14″ by 21″ rectangle. I removed the selvedge before measuring.

2. Fold rectangle in half with right sides together; you’ll have a 14″ x 10 1/2″ rectangle.

3. Prepare the piece for sewing:

  • Make two marks on the sewing edge: 1″ and 2″, the space between these two marks will not be sewn. This is the opening for the ribbon to go through.
  • Cut the two lower corners: 1. On the FOLDED edge: 2 1/2″ wide by 3″ tall, 2. On the CUT edge: 3″ by 3″ – this is larger because you’ll have a seam taking up 1/2″.

4. NOTE: 1/2″ seam allowance is used throughout for construction. Sew up the side, remember to leave a space between the 1″ and 2″ marker. Sew across the bottom opening.

5. Iron the seams open. NOTE: My mom was a Home Ec teacher and she drilled into me the importance of pressing seams open. So, I’m a presser.

6. Pin the bottom closed so it can be sewn. This is tricky to show and describe. Open the folded-side cut and match it to the middle of the bottom, seamed opening.

7. Pin across. Repeat on other side.

8. Sew both parts. This forms a 5″ square bottom.

9. Repeat Steps 1 – 8 with the lining fabric. EXCEPT: Do not leave the 1″ opening at the top for the ribbon. INSTEAD leave a 2″ opening further down along the side seam for turning the bag right side out at the end.

10. Turning lining to right-side-out and place inside of the top bag, matching the seams. You will be sewing the top closed.

11. Pin both layers, main and lining, together and stitch around.

12. Now it’s time to turn the bag to the right side. Pull the main fabric through the hold in the lining.

13. Sew the lining opening closed, either by hand or by machine.

14. Iron the opening seam. You want a nice crisp edge to add the topstitching to. You will be adding two topstitches: 3/8″ and 1 1/2″.  This will be the guide which the ribbon will go through.

15. Thread 1 yd grosgrain ribbon through the opening and around the bag.

16. Pull ribbon through Cord Stop, tie ends of ribbon, and Fray Check ends. Add knitting project. Enjoy your bag! This bag can actually be used for a lot of different activities! I’m just using mine for knitting. Make them larger and use for Halloween candy!