How to make a Drawstring backpack – Free PDF pattern

Hello, my crafty friends!!! For a while now I wanted to make a drawstring backpack, because in my option it is a super fun and relatively easy project to sew!!! At first it was not my intention to make a tutorial for this project, because if you browse the internet, you will be able to find hundreds of sewing tutorials, but for some reason (maybe I did not look hard enough) I could not find exactly what I wanted! I wanted a drawstring backpack that would be functional, but also girly, fun and functional! I know you might say “but Monika if you choose a cute fabric you can make any drawstring backpack look girly”. Yes, that is true to a certain extend, but I had something specific in mind, so in the end I created my own pattern ๐Ÿ˜†

I’ve asked in my Facebook group if I should make a tutorial for this drawstring backpack and you said YES!!! I am happy to announce that this is a free pattern which includes a detailed step-by-step sewing instructions, PLUS a full video tutorial on my YouTube channel!

Drawstring backpack

Drawstring backpacks are fantastic when you need a casual backpack that can hold quite a few things. The ideal size of this backpack makes it the perfect companion for trips to the gym, pool or park.

Drawstring backpack features a large zipper pocket on the front, perfect to keep your mobile, wallet and key for a quick access on the go. If you use a waterproof fabric on the lining I also found it very handy to separate a wet towel or gym clothes.

The bottom accent panels use boxed corners to create depth and a flat base. The main compartment is fully lined and is easily customizable if you prefer additional pockets.  

This is an open-top backpack that closes by pulling the drawstring cord that runs along the top and sides of the backpack. Aside from securely closing the backpack, the drawstring closure also functions as a handle or as shoulder slings and can be shortened if preferred.

Drawstring backpack is a perfect companion for men, women, and children alike!

Supplies needed

You will need the following list of supplies:

Height / Width

  • 50 cm / 110 cm (20โ€ / 43โ€) External fabric: quilting cotton, waterproof canvas, wax cotton
  • 16 cm / 42 cm (6 1/4โ€ / 16 1/2โ€) Accent fabric: cork, faux leather, vinyl
  • 70 cm / 120 cm (28โ€ / 47โ€) Lining fabric: quilting cotton, waterproof canvas
  • 100 cm / 90 cm (32โ€ / 57โ€) Woven fusible interfacing: Stayflex, SF101, Wovenfuse etc.
  • #5 Zipper – 32 cm (13โ€) x 1
  • 6 mm (1/4โ€) Cord/rope/string – 4 meters (4.4 yards)
  • Double-sided tape (optional)

Finished measurements: Height / Width / Depth

39 cm / 28 cm / 10 cm (15 1/2 / 11″ / 4″)

Skill level: Confident beginner

The Drawstring backpack pattern is available for free in the shop. All donations are hugely appreciated because they allow me to create more free patterns just like this one!!!

I would love to see your versions of the Drawstring backpack pattern so share your creations in Allsewpetite โ€“ makers group on Facebook.

Video tutorial available on YouTube

Iโ€™ve created a video tutorial for this pattern, so you can watch it alongside the pattern instructions, or just want to find out if this is the right sewing project for you.

4 thoughts on “How to make a Drawstring backpack – Free PDF pattern”

  1. I give up. I’ve been all over your website and I see no written instructions only the pdfpattern. Noting attached to it. What a shame. Cute backpack

    1. Thank you. Glad you like it. If you downloaded the pdf pattern you should have the sewing instructions too. The links to both files are in the same email confirmation. Alternatively, you can download the files by logging in to your account! If you still have a problem send me an email at and I’ll send you the file with the sewing instructions.

  2. Kimberly Zipprich

    I just downloaded this and it doesn’t give me the full pattern to print out. I only have pieces H and E, so please help

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