Thursday, February 9, 2012

Drawstring fabric gift bag

striped bag
As long as I'm on the subject of making gifts look nice, why not sew up some quick and easy gift bags?

For this striped bag, I used:
Two pieces of fabric 7" x 14". (2.5" of this will be folded over for the cuff.)
Two pieces (each about 24") of seam binding, ribbon, or sewn-together bias tape
Small scraps of cloth or fabric flowers

To start, sew on small pieces of scrap fabric for decoration. Use a zig zag stitch or even leave some of the raw edges to create a "fringe." (See the orange bag below.)
decoration detail
On the wrong side of the fabric, on one side edge, place a mark 4.5"" from the top of the bag. Place another mark 3.75" from the top of the bag. Mark the other side edge in the same places.
bag sketch


Using 1/4" seam allowance, sew the two pieces of fabric together along the sides and bottom edges, leaving the spaces between the marks open.

Press the seams open at least as far down as the holes.
press open seams

Fold the top edge down 1/4' and press. Fold the top down again another 2.25". fold cuff over
Stitch along the bottom of the cuff, close to the pressed edge.
Create the channel for your drawstrings by stitching again 1" away from the first stitching line. To keep your stitching line straight, you can first mark it with a disappearing pen. (Or you can just eyeball it!)

Turn the bag right side out.

Pin a safety pin to one end of one piece of the seam binding or ribbon. Work the seam binding into the channel, entering the hole on one side of the bag, going all the way around the bag, and coming out the same hole. Take the pin off, even up the ends of the binding and tie a knot.
With the other piece of binding, start in the opposite hole and do the same thing. (This creates two opposing cords, which making cinching the bag, well, a cinch!)

It's fun to alter the dimensions of the bag, or how big the cuff is, or even how long the drawstrings are.

Here are some more I did in different sizes:
polka dotted bag
This one started with fabric 10.5" x 6" and the cuff was folded over 3". (The marks are at 5.5" and 4.75")


orange bag
This one started with fabric 8.5" x 16" and the cuff was folded over 5". (The marks are at 9.5" and 8.75")

dark bag
I used an old dress shirt of Jay's for this one! Its measurements are the same as the polka dotted one.

So that's it. Easy, huh?

By they way, are you a follower of Smalltropolis yet?

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