I’m only 35, but I’ve already compiled a to-do list for my retirement: I’m going to get a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, bake bread and see the world. While I’m busy planning, my parents are actually living the retirement dream. My mom has opened a pottery studio and my dad has started making digital movies, but mostly, they travel, exploring all the wonderful places on their to-do list.

Before his retirement I could always make my dad a tie but these days he doesn’t have much use for formal stuff like that. So, for my dad’s new globetrotting lifestyle, I’m celebrating this Father’s Day with these super simple Drawstring Shoe Bags. With Robert Kaufman’s Double Cloth Cotton, an amazing two-sided fabric that gives a nice contrasting pop at the top of the drawstring channel, these bags are perfectly designed for quick crafting and tidy packing!

If, like me, you’ve got a travelling dad (or maybe a grad who’s off on a new adventure) these Drawstring Shoe Bags are just the ticket. With just a half a yard of Double Cloth Cotton, 2 yards of Fettucia Ribbon and some thread, you can sew up this thoughtful gift in a matter of minutes! Happy Father’s Day! -Molly

Materials

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Size

Finished size: 14 ½  X 15 3/4 inches

Notes

Prewash and dry the fabric.

Backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam.

I used the lighter sides of my fabrics as the wrong side, but you could reverse them if you like.

Pattern

Cut

Cut the fabric into a 15-inch X 34-inch rectangle.

Cut the ribbon into two 34-inch lengths.

Sew

Zigzag stitch across both of the 15-inch edges of the rectangle. This will control fraying along the drawstring channel later.

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With right sides together, press the rectangle in half widthwise so that the 15-inch sides meet up with each other. The 15-inch sides are now the top of the bag and the fold is the bottom. Pin the left and right sides together, leaving the top open.

Using a ¼-inch seam allowance, sew the left and right sides together, stopping 2 inches from the top.

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Turn the bag right side out and press it flat, taking care to poke out the corners. Pin the left and right sides together once again.

Using a ½-inch seam allowance, sew along the left and right pinned edges, again stopping 2 inches from the top of the bag. The first ¼-inch seams will be encased in this seam, and the top of the bag will be unfinished and flare out a bit, as in the photo above.

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Fold open the front flap at the top of the bag. Press one of the vertical unfinished sides of the back flap ¼ inch twice towards the wrong side and pin this fold down.  Repeat for the other vertical side of the back flap.

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Edgestitch down these folds.

Repeat for the front flaps.

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Press the top edge of the front flap ¼ inch towards the right side. Then fold the front flap over 1 inch towards the right side and pin this fold into place. Repeat for the back flap.

Edgestitch down these folds to create the front and back drawstring channels.

Adding the Drawstrings

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Thread one of the lengths of ribbon onto the bodkin (or use a big tapestry needle or a safety pin).

Push the bodkin into the front channel at its right-hand side. Pull the ribbon through the channel, exiting at the left, and then pull the bodkin through the back channel from left to right. Tie the two ends together in an overhand knot at the right side.

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Add the second drawstring by entering the front channel from the left, pulling the ribbon through the front channel, exiting at the right, and then pulling the bodkin through the back channel from right to left.

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Tie the two ends together in an overhand knot at the left side.

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Just pull on the drawstrings’ ends to cinch the your new Shoe Bag closed!