My prototype also utilized French seams to encase all the raw edges since the fabric the shop owner chose frayed very easily. Yeah, that worked, but was pretty time consuming and made the bag a little too narrow. So, we settled for simply overlocking the seam and went from there. That made the casing issue an easy fix by just leaving an opening at the seam to thread the cording through. But, that left a nice frayed out hole. I finally came up with a workable solution. Hopefully I'm not the only dunce out there that couldn't make a simple drawstring bag, so I've created a tutorial. Hope it helps someone.
Thread to match
Cording to use for drawstring
I started by cutting my fabric. For these particular bags, I wanted the finished product to be 12" x 12", so I cut with one edge on the fold and cut a 12.5" by 13" piece on my high-tech self-healing mat with my low-tech shears. (A rotary cutter is next on my sewing wishlist.) Cut with right sides together.
|That fabric looks way wrinkly in the photo.|
Finish top edge by overlocking (ends up about 1/8" wide.
|I love the rich fabric choice!|
Now, to solve the problem of how to get the drawstring in the casing, I basically made a buttonhole about 5/8" from the edge as close to the seam as I could. I tried the buttonhole foot, but got better results with a freehand straight stitch. This is about 1/2"-5/8" long. Use a seam ripper to carefully slit the buttonhole, trimming away any loose threads.
Turn about 5/8" to the inside of the bag and stitch following your overlocked stitch line.
And there is your beautiful bag, all ready for packing cute shop goodies for customers or for gift giving or whatever.