I initially made a drawstring bag for myself to be able to clip to my dogs’ leash to ensure I would remember to bring treats along for our walks, because I found I always had the poo bags on hand, but frequently forgot the treats! I have two dogs, one being a rescue with her “quirks” and a young puppy who has learned to be very protective of the rescue… and when any dog taller than the rescue (she’s a chihuahua/corgi mix… so essentially all dogs) comes near, she’s very unhappy, requiring me to take her off to the side and feed both of them treats till the stranger dog passes. Forgetting to have treats on hand enough times was a good motivation to come up with this.
I do offer to make custom bags for customers, but this tutorial is for those who would like to make their own!
Materials and Tools Needed:
- Polyurenthane Laminate (PUL) Fabric
- Matching Polyester Sewing Thread
- 3mm Parachute Cord
- Cord Lock
- 2.5″ Carabiner
- 3″ or Smaller Embroidery Pattern
- Embroidery Thread
- Medium Weight Tear-Away Self Adhesive Stabilizer
- Cover-A-Stitch Thermoseal
- Rotary Cutter
- Fabric Scissors
- Straight Pins
- Water Erasable Marking Pen or Chalk Pencil (for dark fabrics)
- *Optional – Craft glue to seal the edges of the parachute cord.
PUL Fabric: 15″x7.5″ for bag, and 3″x1.5″ for tab.
Parachute Cord: 20 inches.
First step is to fold the large piece of fabric in half like a taco, and then a burrito, in order to find the centers. Second step is, to make a path for the cord, mark the fabric exactly two inches from the top. Third step is to find the center of where you want to place the embroidery pattern… and I flubbed this a little, first by finding the center between the 2″ allowance and the center of the material, thinking it’d be too low once the bag was finished, before deciding to set it on top of my light box, and find the exact placement I wanted, which was almost exactly one inch above the center.
Whether you’re able to use fast frames, or the more standard clamp frames (which I did use), I still strongly recommend using medium weight self adhesive tear-away stabilizer. It allows both easy floating of the the PUL fabric, the right weight, and clean tear away without leaving residue on the inside of the bag.
When finished with the embroidery, cut a piece of the thermoseal about an inch larger in size to the pattern. Using a pressing cloth (I use a scrap of standard cotton fabric), place the thermoseal adhesive side down (hard to tell, but it’s slightly glossy), pressing cloth on top and with the iron set to medium heat, iron down for about 30 seconds. The thermoseal recreates the waterproof seal, plus keeps the backing of the embroidery clean from treats that are placed inside.
Sewing The Bag:
My first note that I’ll make about this material, is that it slips around like crazy, and you’ll need a lot of straight pins placed about an inch apart. My second note, is that the laminate lining will adhere to itself under heat, and melts easily if you happen to misplace the iron. Work patiently with it.
Start by folding the material in half like a taco, pin one side top to bottom, and the other side (which you determine, it’ll be the side the cord comes out of) starting two inches from the top. Sew each side using a half inch seam allowance.
Fold the top of the bag and iron down a quarter inch. This will self adhere, and hold into place, but does take a little longer to iron than standard cotton does. Further fold a three quarter inch down, pin (do not iron down) and sew along the edge (that quarter inch fold) around the entire bag.
To box the corners of the bag, fold it in half at the seams, create a peak and measure out two inches side to side, mark the line, pin and sew. Cut the excess off, about a quarter inch. Repeat for the second side. Flip the bag right side out.
The tab is made by taking the 3×1.5″ piece of fabric, folding it length wise like a burrito, inside out, sew along the edge with a quarter inch seam. Turn right side out (I used a pair of eyebrow tweezers to help)… fold ends together and again, sew together a quarter inch seam. Flip right side out, line up with the top of the bag, in the back-center. Pin on and sew below the cord path, I usually attach it using a square to add extra strength.
Using a safety pin through one end of the parachute cord, feed the cord through the bag, attach the cord lock and knot the ends of the cord together. Wash off the pen markings with water…. and congratulations, you have a completed bag!