Friday, June 4, 2010

Gift Bag Pattern

I said I would give you the instructions to make this bag a little while ago. I woke up early this morning and decided to type up the pattern. So here it is.

Reusable Fabric Gift Bag

This "pattern" can be resized to make any size bag you need. You can also make these much fancier than these directions describe. I'll give you some ideas I had for that at the end. After you have made a simple one, you will have a better idea how to alter this idea to make different sizes and/or fancier bags. The pictures may be more helpful than the written directions. I've taught people how to make these but never tried to write down the directions before.

For a large bag, you will need 1/2 yard of fabric (that is, 18" by the width of the fabric). Fold this piece in half wrong sides together. This will give you an 18" by half the width of fabric piece. Starting about 3" from the top, sew a 1/4" seam all the way along each side.

Turn the bag wrong side out and press. Fold over the unsewn top-side edges about 1/4" twice and press.

Then sew these pressed edges down.

Just do the best you can with this. Mine aren't perfect. After all, this is just a gift bag! Most people will be more interested in the contents than the bag itself.

After all four little top-side seam edges are pressed and sewn, you need to sew down the length of each side. I use the normal, middle needle position (about  a 3/8" seam) and start from the bottom of the bag. When you get near the already sewn top-side seams, angle off the edge of the bag. This conceals the raw edges inside of seams so you don't have fraying edges inside your bag. I believe this is called a French seam.

To finish the top edges, fold over each top edge about 1/4" twice and press.

Then fold it over again about 1/2" to 1" and press.

Then sew right along the bottom of the fold. (Voice of Experience: Be sure not to accidentally sew your bag shut!) This will make the casing for your ribbon so be sure it is wide enough to thread your ribbon through.

Now turn your bag right side out. Cut two lengths of ribbon twice the width of the bag plus 8" or 10". For this bag I used two 45" lengths of ribbon and I used 3/8" wide grosgrain ribbon.

Thread the ribbon through one side of casing and then the other. Do the same with the second piece of ribbon, but start and end at the other side. I use a safety pin attached to the ribbon for threading. Knot both ends of the ribbon to prevent fraying.

Insert a gift and give it to a loved one!

I make smaller versions of these bags for ornaments. I start with a 7" by 17" piece of fabric and follow the above directions making minor adjustments for the smaller size. I use 1/4" ribbon for these so my casing is much smaller.

To make these fancier: (1) use two coordinating fat quarters instead of 1/2 yard of fabric. You will need to join the fat quarters along the bottom of the bag and then you'll need to do a French seam on the bottom too. (2) You could piece your fabric to create an 18" by about 42" piece then use this to create the bag. You may want to line the bag in this case to conceal the raw edges from piecing or use iron-on interfacing over the pieced raw edges. (3) You could add applique to your bag or other embellishments. (4) Put beads on the ends of the ribbons. And many more things too. These are just a few of the ideas I had.

If you make a bag please send me a picture!


Nancy said...

When I make a new baby a quilt, I try to make a laundry bag and applique the name of the baby on the front.
It does double duty as the wrapping and a nice laundry bag...

You can see one here...
Don't be put off by the

Jaye said...

I also make fabric gift bags. I thought I had a tutorial up, but I couldn't find it with a quick search. You can see one that I made from some lush fabric I got for free at:

I do have a PDF tutorial that I would be happy to share. Thanks for reading my blog.