How to Make a Drawstring Shoe Bag for Travel

Fabric Shoe Bag Tutorial


Shoe bags are handy when traveling. For years, I have put my shoes and/or slippers into a plastic grocery bag to keep my clothes and luggage from getting dirty. I figured it was time to make some shoe bags.

I love this travel shoe bag because the seams inside have no raw edges. As you use the bag and place shoes in and out of the bag and as you launder the bag, it will not fray. The seam technique used is called a French seam. If you do not know how to make a French seam, you will learn this simple sewing technique with this tutorial. Or check out 

Watch this video and read the following step by step instructions to learn how to sew quick, easy and handy shoe bags. This project is so easy even someone learning to sew can make it.

If you are interested in more free sewing tutorials, look to the right for a link to all our " Sewing Videos". Our Free Sewing Project page has over 600 sewing projects.

Watch our video tutorial below or click the link if you prefer to watch How to Make a Drawstring Shoe Bag for Travel in Youtube.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

how to sew a drawstring travel shoe bag 


  • Fabric - 14" x 36" rectangle
  • 2 pieces - 1/4" wide ribbon - 33" long
  • Sewing Machine
  • Thread
  • Scissor
  • Basic Sewing Supplies

fabric Shoe bag INSTRUCTIONS:

STEP 1: cut fabric

Begin the shoe bag by cutting a rectangular piece of fabric 14" x 36".  This size bag will fit an average women's size shoe. If you are making the bag for boots or men's shoes, you will want to increase the width and length measurements.

STEP 2: fold and mark

Lay the fabric on a work surface and fold the fabric in half with wrong sides together. The piece is now 14 inches by 18 inches.  On the 18 inch side measure down the top raw edge 2" and mark with a chalk pencil.  Repeat on the other side.

Fabric Shoe Bag Tutorial - Chalk Mark

STEP 3: sewing sides seams

The side seams will be sewn with a french seam.  To sew the side seams, you will be using a straight sewing stitch.  At the sewing machine, place the fabric under the presser foot at the chalk mark.  Sew using a 1/4" seam from the mark to the bottom fold, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam.

Repeat on other side.

Fabric Shoe Bag Tutorial - Sew Sides

Clip the two bottom corners to reduce the fabric bulk when turning the bag. Turn the bag wrong side out and press sides seams and bag flat.

With the sewing machine and a straight stitch, start sewing again from the mark at the top to the bottom fold but this time use a 3/8" seam allowance.

Repeat on other side. The two side seams have been completed with a French seam.  The inside of the bag has no raw edges and seams will not fray.

STEP 6: clip

Before turning the bag right side out, the fabric between the two rows of French seam stitching must be clipped so the fabric will lay flat.

Fabric Shoe Bag Tutorial - Clip Fabric

STEP 7: fold & sew end pieces

Turn the bag right side out. Before making the casing for the ribbon, fold the short ends that extend pass the side seams toward the center. The folds should line up with the side seams. Stitch these pieces down close to the raw edge. By stitching these pieces down, it will be easier to insert the ribbon into the casing.

Fabric Shoe Bag Tutorial - Fold Side Casing Pieces & Sew

STEP 8: make casing

To make the casings press the top raw edge under about 3/8". Then fold this piece down to the top of the side seams. Pin in place and press.

Fabric Shoe Bag Tutorial- Fold Casing

To sew the casing closed, edgestitch along the inside fold backstitching at the beginning and end. Edgestitch is a straight line of stitches sewn along the edge of the fabric.  For the casing, you will be sewing a straight line of stitch along the inside fold.  If you are still not sure how to edgestitch check out our edgestitch video tutorial

The first casing is complete. Repeat the process for the second casing.

Fabric Shoe Bag Tutorial- Sew Casing

STEP 10: insert ribbon

With one piece of 33" ribbon, insert the ribbon into casing on one side of the bag,

Fabric Shoe Bag Tutorial- Insert Ribbon

Loop the ribbon around the end and continue threading the ribbon through the second casing on the other side.  

Fabric Shoe Bag Tutorial- Loop ribbon around end

When the ribbon is through both casings, put the ends of the ribbon together and tie a knot.

Fabric Shoe Bag Tutorial- Tie Knot in Ribbon

Since this tutorial is for a drawstring shoe bag, repeat the ribbon threading with the other ribbon but start threading on the opposite side. Thread the ribbon through casing, loop around the corner, thread through the second casing and a tie knot.

The travel shoe bag is complete.

Fabric Shoe Bag Tutorial- Finished Shoe Bag

These travel shoe bags make nice gifts for friends and relatives who travel.


If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.

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Fabric Shoe Bag Tutorial- Pin

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