Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Holiday Gifts:Fabric Gift Bags

Quilting Arts Magazine Gifts featured fabric gift bags as one of the projects, and gave a recipe for making them. They looked so easy and cute, in my hubris I jumped right in and immediately made one incorrectly. As Mr. Hunting Creek says, when all else fails, read the directions.

Basically these are really lined pillowcases with boxed corners masquerading as gift bags, if that makes any sense. You can make them any size, out of any themed fabric and embellish accordingly. My wine bottle bag is made with 2 contrasting pieces of fabric 11"x14", sew each one in a tube with the top left open, and on one, leave a 4" area open for turning. Box the bottom corners by matching the seam to the bottom center and sew a triangle about one inch in. (Like you'd do with a pillow or purse bottom.) Sew the two tubes together at the top, right sides together. This was a tight fit on my machine, even with the free arm. Then turn right right out and sew up the hole. Make a cuff at the top and fill up with gifties. The wine bottle size could also hold maple syrup, liqueur, or any other long skinny things like biscotti wrapped in plastic
My little fat leprechaun bag was made because at first I did not follow the directions(because I didn't READ them. I assumed that I would just know how to make them.) and sewed two 11"x14" bags together first, so instead of a tall skinny bag I have a fat one. But that's ok. It will hold a pound of great coffee, fancy cocoa or candies. Plus it looks cute.
The nice thing about fabric gift bags is that they are reusable, you can use any fabric, not just Christmas fabric, and since we can make rectangles any size, they could hold any size gift. Perfect for lumpy or odd shaped gifts. You can tell the recipient to please feel free to reuse, regift and pass it on. It's not easy being green, but the more we try, the easier it will be.
Happy Sewing!

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