It's that time of year when many people seem to be in a gift wrap frenzy! We've got a solution for you to minimize your gift wrapping AND maximize your time at your sewing machine. (Win-win, right?!?!)
A while back, we invited readers to email us with ideas for tutorials--we wanted to see what YOU would make with our fabric. Today we're sharing Nancy's tutorial, which uses one easy strip set to make a fabric gift bag and matching wine bottle bag. See? No fighting with the wrinkles and rips of wrapping paper, the bags are reusable for next year, and you have an excuse to spend some time sewing! Here's Nancy:
Hi all! I'm excited to be here today sharing my first tutorial. Thanks to Fabri-Quilt for the fabric and the help on putting this together. I love the snowflake and star prints in the Christmas in the Woods collection, and I used them with two Marblehead prints (green and cream) to make some festive gift bags.
1/4 yard each green snowflake, red snowflake, green star and red star prints
1 yard green Marblehead
3/8 yard cream Marblehead
Red and green snowflake:
Cut one 4" x 42" strip from each
Red and green star:
Cut one 2-1/2" x 42" strip from each
Cut two 15" x 20" pieces
Cut one 11" x 19" piece
Cut one 5" x 42" strip
Cut four 1-1/2" x 42" strips
Cut one 4" x 42" strip
Cut one 1" x 20" strip with a pinking shears
Sew the strips together in the order shown in the photo (or rearrange them as you like, but keep the green at one end, as it will be the bottom). To make your strip set as straight as possible, do not press any of the seams until all the strips have been attached. This prevents warping on the skinnier strips.
From the strip set, cut two 15" x 20" sections. Reserve the remainder for making the wine bag. (Isn't it great to use an entire strip set for something? I never know what to do with the leftovers!)
Sew the two 15" x 20" pieced sections right sides together, leaving the top (green star) open. Backstitch at both ends.
Cut out the bottom corners on both sides. I lined my ruler up so the 2-1/2" marks aligned with the stitched seams.
On one bottom corner, bring the side and bottom seams together so they meet. Pin the raw edges along the seams and then stitch to box the corner. Repeat on the opposite corner.
Sew the two 15" x 20" green pieces right sides together, leaving one short end open and leaving a 5" opening in the opposite short end (circled in the photo below). Box the corners in the same way as for the outer bag.
Turn the outer bag right side out and stuff inside the lining with right sides facing. Pin the raw edges along the top, making sure the side seams match. Sew around the top with a 1/4" seam allowance.
Turn the bag right side out through the opening. Slipstitch the opening closed. Stuff the lining in the outer bag and press the top edge. Topstitch around the top edge.
To make the tie strap, fold the 4" x 42" cream strip in half the long way, wrong sides facing. Fold each half in to the center fold. Press. Also press each short end in 1/4" to hide raw edges.
Refold and topstitch down both long sides of the strap.
Find the center of the strap and find the center from left to right on one side of the bag. You can decide how far down the bag you want your strap. i chose to put it in the red snowflake section. Pin the center of the strap to the center of the bag and stitch with a box and an X to secure (see in the yellow circle below).
Your bag is done! Fill with a gift and enjoy giving it! No scotch tape or ribbon hassles!
Now, to use that leftover piece to make a wine bag. Square up the edges so it measures 11" wide.
Trim 1" off the green end. Fold it in half the long way and sew the green bottom edge and up the side to create a tube with one closed end. Do the same with the 11" x 19" green piece, only leave an opening on the short end for turning. Finish using the directions for the gift bag. Instead of sewing a strap onto this, I used pinking shears to cut a strip of fabric for the tie. You can also leave it without a tie and just fold the cuff over, like in the photo on the left below.
There you have it! Two gift bags from one strip set. And you're one step closer to the holidays.
To go along with Nancy's tutorial, we'll be giving away two "kits" with the fabric needed to make your gift bag duo. For a chance to win, sign up to follow our blog (through a blog reader like Bloglovin' in the righthand sidebar or by email) and then let us know you've done so. Gain a second entry by liking us on Facebook and letting us know you've done so. If you've already done either/both those things, great! Just let us know in your comment. For fun, in your comment, also let us know what's one thing you're still hoping to get finished before the holidays (could be a gift you're making, cookies you're baking, cleaning the house...). The giveaway will be open through Monday, December 16th at 11:59 EST and we'll use random number generator to select two winners.