Monday, December 16, 2013

Making Fabric Gift Bags

I finally have most of my Christmas shopping done.  I have a few things coming that I ordered online, but basically I have everything.  I decided to try something different this year.  Usually I pick up wrapping paper when it's 75% off for use the next year.  I didn't do that last year.  I had a plan.  All summer I looked for fabric at garage sales and thrift stores that I could use.  I found shades of red and green and some winter patterned fabric.   I decided to make fabric gift bags this year.  Any kind of fabric would work.  I think velvet bags would be pretty, but I chose a more homespun look.  It would be the ultimate recycling program.  There wouldn't be tons of wrapping paper going into the landfill, and the bags could be used year after year.

The first thing I did was cut a piece of fabric 36" by 20".  This size fit most of the gifts, but you can cut any size you need. 

A piece of fabric cut to whatever size you want.

Use whichever edge you want to be the top of the bag.   I used the 36" edge.   I folded it over 1/2 inch and then made a second fold 1 1/2 inches to make the top placket.  

Hem an edge by folding it over and stitching down.  This is the top of the bag.

Then I stitched two rows of stitching to make a space for the cording.  One where the hem would be made and another 1/2" down from the top (the folded side).  If you don't have a selvage edge, you may want to fold in the edge a little so you don't have a raw edge or use a pinking shears.  Then fold the whole piece in half putting right sides together.  Now stitch a seam on the side and bottom,  and then turn it right side out.

When finished with the sewing you have a bag with a hem on top.

Next you will need some type of cording to tie the bag shut.  I found a couple rolls of this cording that someone made.  It is the kind you make with a spool but I suspect someone made this on a cording machine.  Any type of cording would work.  If you use nylon cording you will have to melt the ends so they don't unravel.

This is the cording I found at a garage sale, but any cording will do.

Next take a safety pin and pin it to the cording.  Thread the cord through the placket.  I used a cord 4 times the width of the bag.  That way when the bag is opened all the way, you won't lose the cording inside the hem and have to redo it.

The bag is now finished, just put the gift inside the bag, pull the draw string tight and tie it with a tag to show who the gift if for.  I'm excited about doing this.  It's actually is going pretty fast.  Not quite as fast as wrapping but next year it will be so easy.  My husband is cutting the fabric pieces for me, so all I have to do sew them up.

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