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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gift bags

One way to make a small gift something special is to make it 2 gifts in one... the contents AND the gift bag!
Here is one way to make small (or larger) gift bags.

This little one stands 6 inches tall.


This one is just right for a votive candle.




Here is how they were made....

Start with a scrap of cloth; this piece is 4 x 15 inches. Too small to sew easily, but I used it anyway!

Do something to finish the raw edges first; this is "PINKED"; the other bag was "serged".

Fold in half and sew up the sides leaving at least 2 inches open at the top.

I use a piece of wood inserted along the seam so I can press the seam open.

See... flat seam!

This is what seams look like if NOT pressed flat!

Nice, pressed flat!
Fold the top edge to the inside so that the edge is about 1/4 inch lower than where the side seam ends.
Red pin shows seam end.

Fold the other top down and sew around bag forming casing for drawstring.
 This is where the "4 inch is too small" realization set in... very tricky to sew around with out catching something I did not want sewn. The photo above shows the bag inside out... but I had to turn it right side out and sew inside the bag, holding the top open and re- positioning every few inches.
Insert ribbon or string through the casing.

Insert a second ribbon starting from the other side.
Tie the ribbon tails in an "Over hand" knot and trim at an angle.

Home decor weight taffeta in lovely Christmas colors!

Cut a long piece 6 inches wide. Notice the threads falling off the edge; pinking will not be enough control for this cloth.
I own a Serger and I love to use it!

One long strip, enough for 4 bags.
Pieces are 6 x 18 or 6 x 20 (2 of each).

Edges serged.
A note about dealing with plaid and checks.... plan ahead!
Bag on left was my first attempt.
I cut my long strip into 4 pieces with out taking the plaid into consideration
One more note about appropriate cloth...some Home decor cloth needs a lining!
This is lovely cloth, but the back side has loose thread "carries" that would get caught and pulled.
I might make a purse out of this cloth, with a nice lining!


Fold in half (wrong sides together) and place 2 pins about an inch up from the fold.

Fold at the pins creating a pleat at the bottom of the bag.
Now the right sides are together and wrong sides out. (this cloth is same on both sides!)

Sew the side seams leaving 4 inches open (between pins).
Bottom fold is on the right side of this photo, top to the left.
Press seams open!

Fold the top down. Make sure the top edge overlaps the beginning of the side seam.

Sew the casing.... this bag has a ruffle too.

Insert ribbons and tie the ends.

If your cloth has a one way up design, you will need a bottom seam rather than a fold.
These cars would be upside down if folded.
The corner is sewn inside, no pleat.

Right side out and right side UP on both faces of the bag!