Drawstring Closure | Every Adventure Tote Hack

I’ve been asked many times over the past year for closure variations on the Every Adventure Tote, and I’m so happy to be able to provide one today! Adding a drawstring closure to the Every Adventure Tote adds so much flexibility to the use of the bag! The drawstring closure lies flat against the lining of the tote bag when not in use, so it stays out of the way when you don’t need it, and provides a great way to seal off your bag when you want it to! The best part is that there are no raw seams!! Every seam is enclosed! Not only does this make your bag look more professional, but it will also last so much longer.

Let’s get started!

We will be doing a variation on the original Every Adventure Tote, so you’ll need to go here for the bag measurements. In addition to what is listed in the original tutorial, you’ll also need the following:

  • 1/4 yd of fabric for the drawstring closure, cut into (1) 8.5″ x 37.5″ rectangle
  • 54″ of twill tape, ribbon, cord, or binding for the drawstring

Though not necessary, I chose to do the exterior straps, short version for my bag so that I could eliminate bulk in the top seam. You’ll want to create the straps and add them to your bag’s exterior before continuing with the drawstring closure.


For this bag, I used Riley Blake Designs Confetti Cottons.

1. Use the Every Adventure Tote tutorial to create the exterior of your bag and the lining. Stop after step 13, before putting the bag together, and create the drawstring closure.

2. (optional) zig-zag the top edge of your 8.5″ x 37.5″ rectangle along one of of the 37.5″ sides. This will get fully enclosed in the drawstring portion so it is optional, but since I’ll be closing and opening the bag a lot, I anticipate that the fabric will encounter a lot of friction and I wanted to provide extra durability.

3. Fold the rectangle in half, right sides together, lining up the two short ends together. Place a pin 2″ from the top. Sew from the pin to the end of the fabric, starting and ending with a backstitch to secure in place.

4. Fold seam open, then fold one side of the seam in half to the seam line (1/4″), and fold again so that it lies flat against the fabric. Your raw seam should now be totally enclosed. Repeat for the other side of the seam.

5. Topstitch the seam sides to secure.

6. Fold down and press 1/4″ of the top edge of your piece, which is where your zig-zag is. Then fold down and press 3/4″.

7. Topstitch along the bottom folded edge to secure the drawstring closure.

8. Once the exterior of your bag is created, pin or clip the drawstring closure to the top edge of the bag, right sides together. The top of the drawstring closure, where the cord will eventually go, should be near the bottom of the bag. You may wish to baste these two layers together with 1/8″ seam allowance before continuing. Then add the lining, with wrong side out, over the entire bag and stitch the top edge of the bag, enclosing all of the layers, with a 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving an opening to turn the bag right side out. Alternatively, you may choose to leave an opening on one side seam of the lining for turning the bag instead. Follow the instructions in the Every Adventure Tote tutorial to finish the bag.

Once the bag is completed, guide your twill tape or other cord through the drawstring opening to create the closure.

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