Fabric Gift Bag Tutorial

Have you wrapped all your gifts yet? I’m about to get back to it! We just got back from a fabulous vacation to Palm Springs!! So I need to get back to wrapping.

aGiftBag-Main-ImFeelinCraftyI try to use as little paper as possible. About three years ago I posted a tutorial for fabric gift bags and each year I make a few more, but for the most part I just pull the bags out of the box and the presents are wrapped! My son and I were wrapping the other day and I looked over and he had his head in the box and bags were flying all over while he was looking for the right size bag! Too funny!

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Since I love these so much, I thought I’d update my tutorial for ya!

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Step 1: Gather your materials, Fabric, ribbon, a cutting device and the present.

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Step 2: Measure for the right size bag.  For the length, I measure about half the width of the present on the bottom and about half the width of the present on the top plus about 3 inches on top. Then I wrap the fabric around the present for the right width. Honestly, I’m not real exact when it comes to measuring mostly because who knows what will be in the package next year!

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Step 3: Cut!

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Step 4: Sew the top, fabric right sides together. Iron flat the top seam.

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Step 5: Fold the bag so that right sides are together. Right side of lining to right side of lining and right side of outside fabric to right side of outside fabric. Leave a hole in the lining seam.

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Step 6: Rotate the fabric so that the seam is centered on one side of the bag. Sew the bottoms of both the inside and outside fabric. (bag is still inside out)

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Step 7: This step isn’t required, but I like it. Sew the corners. Pinch the bottom corners to create triangles. The side fold and the bottom seam should be aligned. Sew across the corners and trim.

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Step 8: Pull bag through the hole.

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Step 9: Sew the hole closed.

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Step 10: Turn the bag inside itself, iron the top edge and topstitch.

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Step 11: Add the ribbon. I stitch the ribbon on for 2 reasons. 1. Next time I or whoever else uses the bag won’t have to look for ribbon. And 2. It makes it easier to keep the bow in place! Tack it down about 3 inches from the top at the seam on the back.

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And there, a reusable gift bag!

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Our tree is full of these little guys!

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I hope you can make a few to put under your tree a well. Get rid of a little bit of paper each year!

Sew Ready to Play with The Southern Institute

Introducing once again, the fabulous Jenny from The Southern Institute! If you’ve been following this blog for a little while now, you know that  Jenny and I have become pretty good pals and have enjoyed sharing on each other’s blogs. We met over comments about washing detergents and the rest is history! She shared her Indoor Herb Garden here and I’ve shared my Magnetic Bookmark tutorial there.

And I’m honored to have her here again! Welcome Jenny!

Red Rover Tote Bag
from The Southern Institute


Hi everyone, Jenny here from The Southern Institute!  I was so excited when Louise asked me to be a part of this series.  What a fun idea!  I had a hard time choosing a game to go with.  It came down to Heads Up 7Up or Red Rover for me.  I loved both of those games as a kid, but when I mentioned Heads Up 7Up to friends, there were a few who looked at me with blank stares.  Everyone seems to be familiar with Red Rover, however, and so was born the idea for the Red Rover Tote Bag!  Here’s a little tutorial for you.

Supplies needed:

  • tote bag (you can buy one or make one using this tutorial)
  • freezer paper
  • exacto knife
  • cutting mat
  • fabric paint
  • fabric paint brush
  • brown paper shopping bag
  • a large scrap of fabric, about 14″ x 7″
  • Pellon Wonder-Under (found with the interfacing at Joann’s and other fabric stores), cut to the same size as the fabric.
  • iron
  • scissors
First a little freezer paper stenciling.Using the freezer paper stenciling technique, paint “RED ROVER” onto the top half of the front of the tote bag. (Detailed Freezer Paper Stencil Tutorial found here).

Print out your stencil onto the dull side of the freezer paper (you can download it here).
Cut it out with the exacto knife.
Iron it on to the tote bag, shiny side down…
Apply two coats of paint, allowing about 10 minutes between coats, and peel the stencil away when it’s dry.

Now for the applique.

Press your fabric nice and smooth.  
In retrospect, madras was not the ideal fabric choice, but I love the way it looks.
Following the directions (they come with the Wonder-Under), attach the fabric to the Wonder-Under.
I cut out a paper people chain by drawing a little man (find him here) and drawing him over and over.  
Trace around the template onto the back side of the fabric.  
It doesn’t have to be perfect, as you can see.  
Cut the little guys out!
Attach the Madras Men to the front of the tote bag, according to the Wonder-Under directions.
This is going to be a book bag for our library trips.  It would also make a great gift!
Thanks so much for having me at I’m Feelin’ Crafty!  
It was “SEW” much fun!
See you all at The Southern Institute!

Ahhhh… Caught up. Well, kinda.

Well, mostly, still a purse and 2 quilts to do… ok, and a huge list of other things to do. But there have been 3 projects sitting on my ironing board waiting to get finished and ….. They did! This weekend I got three projects off the table!

Project #1- Revise the almost complete sleep sack I found on a shelf!

 

I started this for my son about a year and half ago.  I guess, when I made this, I didn’t quite get the reversible clothing thing yet. So there were all these stringy seams after I washed it. Instead of figuring it out and making it right, I stashed it. Then the other day I found this is cool fabric sitting on the shelf, pulled it down and realized it was a 95% complete project just sitting on the shelf!

definitely not the most shining example of my handiwork. But can we at least call it a bit creative with the quick fix to make it wearable for someone???

I kinda felt like I was finding the Corduroy bear. The bear that had wanted a friend for so long, but was just stuck on the shelf with the other toys….. All he needed was a button. All my sleep sack needed was some trim. So I added some bias tape around the neck and armholes and it looks pretty cute.

Unfortunately, my son has way outgrown sleep sacks… But he has a pal, Baby O that is going to give it a test run. Finding this made me appreciate how much I’ve learned about sewing ‘clothes’ in just the last year or so!

Project #2- An overdue baby present…

The second project was a repeat, but I love it. Another baby gift package. One of my ‘ghosties’ and a hooded blankie from the Amy Butler book Little Stitches for Little Ones. I love the big floral fabric! From Joann’s… But the white fleecy, minky type stuff. Not such a fan. It got everywhere!

And with that is the handmade gift bag… Had to throw a picture of that in as well. There were a lot of posts in the blogosphere around Christmas for fabric gift bags, but don’t forget them the rest of the year!

Project #3- Monster Spray

And last, but not least… This one was also the quickest and easiest. A bottle of Monster Spray! A while back the ladies over at Prudent Baby posted a great printable for a bottle of Monster Spray. I saved and finally printed it and got it made. I had to alter the image just a bit in order to make it fit my teeny tiny bottle.  Just in time too… My son woke up last night terrified of monster dream.

I came home and tonight from work and my son was very excited. He had been spraying the Monster Spray al around the outside of the house. Hopefully, we’ll sleep peacfully tonight!

And man, what a feeling of relief getting those projects done. I feel like a weight has been lifted! I still have a huge list of things to do, but I think i always will. getting these projects done opens the door to move on to other ones.

Did you get anything crossed off your crafty to do list this weekend?

Have a Book that needs Wrapping??

Here’s a last minute tutorial for any of those books you’re wondering how  to wrap! The gift bags that I make, I love, but they aren’t great for the really flat items like books or calendars. So I came up with this gift wrapping technique.

Materials:

Fabric

Thread

Scissors

Ribbon

Step 1-  Measure the books (or anything flat that needs wrapping). Be sure to overlap a few inches.

Step 2- Cut your two pieces of fabric.

Step 3- Pin ribbon to fabric. Pin the fabric about 1/2 inch to an inch from the top edge.

Step 4- Sew two pieces of fabric, right sides together. Leave a 2 inch hole in the side. I try to locate my hole on what will be the back of the bag.

Step 5- Pull the fabric through the hole.

Step 6- Iron the fabric bag. Layout the fabric to get the flaps overlap how you want them.

Step 7- Topstich. Start at the bottom corner and stitch around.

Step 9- Insert your book, pull the ribbon around the back and to the front. Tie your bow.

Step 10- Give that book to someone you love!

On Gracie, On Woody, On Gus

OK, so it’s not Santa’s reindeer, they are our ‘cousin’ dogs! And it is another Christmas present checked off the list.

I’m totally loving silhouettes right now. (hint hint, upcoming link love to some other really cool silhouettes…) So I wanted to make one of my in-laws pups. My sister-in-law has been away from her loved ones for quite a few months now and as we were walking with the rest of her family, I saw a silhouette bag of these pups.

It was made with all scrap fabrics lying around the sewing room! I used my gift bag process, but put the seam down the side to make it a bit easier to add the straps. The longest part of the process was cutting out the dogs.

Gracie is the white one, Gus is the old grey Scottie and Woody is the crazy youngester of the bunch, the black Scottie. I’m very happy with how it turned out, except for one thing. In some light, Ms Gracie is hard to see. I should have used a more contrasting background. Hindsight, gotta love it.

Would you like that Gift Wrapped?

Paper or fabric? Fabric? Great, I’ve got a tutorial for you! In about 10 minutes, a beautiful re-usable, multi-purpose lined bag can be yours.

I’ve been meaning to get this tutorial for my fabric gift bags done. (A while back someone asked, my apologies for the delay!)

Drumroll please…

Fabric Gift Bag Tutorial:

Materials

Fabric (new or scrap… I try to use scrap whenever possible. Christmas fabric I buy new after Christmas. Other gift bags get scrap. Although, scrap doesn’t have the right connotation… You know what I mean!)

Scissors

Thread

Ribbon

Step 1: Cut 2 squares or rectangles. Get an idea of how big the package is. I typically size the height by 3/4 of the bottom of the gift + 3/4 the top + the side + an additional 3 inches for the fluff on top. I’m not very exact when cutting this step, as long as the top is straight. 

Step 2: Sew the top, fabric right sides together. Iron flat the top seam.

Step 3: Cut again. This is where I square up the edges. If you want to be more exact, you can do this in step one.

Step 4: Fold the bag so that right sides are together. Right side of ling to right side of lining and right side of outside fabric to right side of outside fabric.

Step 6: Sew along this edge. Leave about a 2-3 inch hole in the inside fabric.

Step 7: Rotate the fabric so that the seam is centered on one side of the bag. Sew the bottoms of both the inside and outside fabric. (bag is still inside out)

Step 8: This step isn’t required, but I like it. Sew the corners. Pinch the bottom corners to create triangles. The side fold and the bottom seam should be aligned. Sew across the corners and trim.

Step 9: Pull bag through the hole.

Step 10: Sew the hole closed.

Step 11. Turn the bag inside itself, iron the top edge and topstitch.

Step 12: Add the ribbon. I stitch the ribbon on for 2 reasons. 1. Next time I or whoever else uses the bag won’t have to look for ribbon. And 2. It makes it easier to keep the bow in place! Tack it down about 3 inches from the top at the seam on the back.

And there, a reusable gift bag!

This can easily be used for a tote bag tutorial as well. Just add some handles when sewing the top together. And maybe, don’t add the ribbon! Or maybe you do, what do you think?

Green Grocery Bag Challenge

Well, I’ve been a bit AWOL from the blogging world, but I just had to get some Christmas projects done! My son’s advent calendar, a wreath, and some more fabric gift bags…. Still have more to do, but am taking a break tonight to blog….

Have you heard about the Green Grocery Bag Challenge? The ladies at Sew, Mama, Sew are hosting a Holiday Sewing Project Benefiting Mother Earth, the Green Grocery Bag Challenge.

Last year I started making my own gift bags for Christmas and then realized I have a wall full of fabric… Fabric that can be used for gift bags all year long.  And then I came up with a fun fabric bag for books, too.  Tutorials of both coming soon!

I just thought it was a good idea to help get rid of all the trash that goes along with Christmas presents and kids birthday parties. But this year, after seeing Sew, Mama, Sew’s sewing project and their facts about our trash. I’m inspired to keep it up!!! My bags aren’t technically grocery bags, but they are multi-use re-usable bags… 

Check this out:

US consumers generate 4 million tons of wrapping paper and shopping bag waste during the holiday season alone.

and

The US goes through 100 billion single-use plastic grocery bags every year.

Gross!! Are you motivated?