drawstring bag
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Nylon Drawstring Bag with Machine Embroidery

Nylon Drawstring Bag

drawstring bag nylon with embroidery

how to sew the perfect summer accessory

Create a simple drawstring bag with a few designer details and personalize it with machine embroidery. This is the go-to summer accessory to fit swimwear, flipflops and sunnies for a day at the beach.

drawstring bag supplies


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Ripstop nylon fabric is traditionally water-resistant. Check the fabric bolt to ensure this is true for the fabric you’re purchasing if this quality is important to your project. The fabric comes in various weights, and a medium- to heavyweight variety is most suitable for this project.

Needle holes are permanent in ripstop nylon. Avoid pinning unless using pins within the seam allowance. Instead, use Wonder Clips or small binder clips to secure seams during sewing.

Ripstop nylon is a slippery fabric, so it wants to slip and shift during embroidery and construction. Use KK 2000™ Temporary Spray Adhesive to secure the fabric to the stabilizer, ensuring a secure bond. If needed, spray along the side seams before stitching to prevent shifting.


Cut two 2 1/2” squares from the vinyl or faux leather rectangle. Then, cut each square into a triangle.

Using a chalk pencil or fabric marking , measure and mark 5/8” from each triangle lower point.

mark triangle for bag

Set aside the triangles.

From the ripstop nylon fabric, cut four equal rectangles, measuring 14” W x 18” H.

Cut a 14” x 18” piece of Soft ’n Sheer, and then secure it to one fabric wrong side using KK 2000.

secure stabilizer to fabric wrong side


Load the chosen embroidery design in the desired size into the embroidery machine. Select the recommended hoop. The featured design is Hello Summer: Flipflops. Note: The thread color for “Summer” was changed since it was so close to the background fabric.

Hello Summer Flipflops design for bag

Hoop the stabilized fabric, centering the chosen design location in the hoop.

hoop nylon fabric for bag emboridery

Embroider the design, clipping jump threads with each thread change.

start design for bag

When embroidery is complete, remove the hoop from the machine and the fabric from the hoop. Press from the wrong side, if needed, to remove any hoop marks. Make sure to use the lowest iron setting and a press cloth.

Trim the stabilizer about 1” beyond the design perimeter.


Thread the needle and bobbin with Poly Deco Thread that matches the nylon fabric.

Place the embroidered nylon rectangle wrong side up on a flat work surface.

Place a plain nylon rectangle right side up over the embroidered rectangle, matching all edges and corners.

Stitch the sides, and then stitch the lower edge. Use a ¼” seam allowance, a 2.5mm stitch length and backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.

stitch first seam of bag

Trim the fabric 1/8” from the seam.trim seam

Turn the outer bag wrong side out so the right sides are together. Stitch the sides and lower edge again, using a ¼” seam allowance. This French seam technique will help prevent fraying along the seamlines over time. Leave wrong side out.

stitch French seam

leave opening in lining

Place the remaining nylon rectangles wrong sides together. Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch the lower edge and sides, leaving a 5” opening along one side edge for turning. Trim 1/8” from the seam, save for the opening allowance.

Turn the lining bag wrong side out so right sides are facing. Place double-sided basting tape along the opening seam allowance.

apply hem tape

Remove the paper backing of the basting tape, and then stick the opening allowances down toward the fabric wrong side.

conceal raw edges of opening

Stitch the lining sides and lower edge again, using a 1/4” seam allowance and leaving the opening unsewn.

Turn the lining right side out.

prepare drawstring bag lining


Place the lining bag into the outer bag so right sides are facing.

insert lining into outer bag

Match the side seams, and then place them in different directions; clip to secure along the seams.

upper edges of drawstring bag

Stitch the upper edge, using a ¼” seam allowance. Stitch this seam again for reinforcement.

stitch upper edge

Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the lining.

turn right side out

Clip the opening shut, and then topstitch.

clip opening shut

Push the lining into the outer bag so wrong sides are together, with side seams aligned.

Place an eyelet 2 3/8” from the outer-bag upper-edge, 1” from the side seam on the bag front and back. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for inserting the eyelets. They should go through the outer and lining layers.

install eyelets

Fold the upper edge 1 3/4” toward the wrong side, and then topstitch to create the casing. Install a zipper or narrow foot, if needed, for greater clearance when topstitching near the eyelets.

stitch casing seam

Place a vinyl/faux leather triangle along the bag-front lower-edge corners. Use Wonder Clips or double-sided basting tape to secure. Secure the remaining triangles along the bag-back lower-edge corners.

Topstitch the triangles through all layers from the bag front, ¼” from the vinyl/faux leather edges. Stitch again 1/8” from the previous stitching inside the triangle.

Install an eyelet inside the lower-edge triangles through all layers at the previous marks.

eyelets in lower-edge corners


Cut the cording in half to have two lengths.

Tape along one end of each cording piece to tame the fray and make easier work of threading it through them casing.

Insert one cording end through one upper-edge eyelet. Thread it through the upper-edge casing and out through the eyelet next to the one first entered. Match the cording ends, and then put them both through the adjacent lower-edge eyelet from front to back. Put the cording ends through a cord lock, and then knot them.

insert cord through casing and eyelets

Repeat to thread the remaining cording length through the upper-edge casing, beginning at the opposite eyelet upper edge and locking the ends along the opposite lower-edge eyelet.


Pull the cording lengths to cinch the upper edge closed and wear like a backpack or sling bag.

drawstring bag on model


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I am the Director of Content for Sulky of America. The former Editor in Chief of Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines, I hosted Sew it All TV on PBS for nine seasons. I've appeared on It's Sew Easy on PBS, DIY Network's Uncommon Threads, Hallmark's Marie Osmond Show, MacPhee Workshop and more! Come sew with me!