This week my 12 year old student made a drawstring bag. This is a great little project for young beginners as it can teach many sewing principles.
First she choose from some fabric I had on hand and then we decided about how big to make the bag. She wanted to make the bag long and deep as opposed to wide and shallow. We cut two pieces of fabric with one side being a bit longer than the top/bottom sides. She first sewed a straight stitch along one of the long sides, backstitching at the beginning and end to secure her seams (she has become really good at remembering to do that without being reminded). We also decided to practice using an overcast stitch along the edges to prevent fraying so we also added that along that edge.
Next she made the casing for the white rope used to tie the bag. Taking the top edge of the bag, we folding it down a 1/4 of an inch and pressed it. She then folded it down another inch while placing the rope inside the casing and pinning. She decided to use a decorative stitch to sew along the casing to make it more interesting.
Lastly, she folding the bag with the right sides together and sewed the remaining two sides creating the bag. This project is also good for practicing how to sew around corners without rounding them. She also did overcast stitching on those inside edge seams to prevent fraying. And she was done! So through this project, she was able to practice straight stitching using a seam allowance guide, overcast stitching, backstitching, how to make a casing, and sewing around corners. This is a great little project that offers practice on many sewing principles.