Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's in the Bag!

OK--I made it (in time and got it done!). Actually, it wasn't hard, which is what I love.

Are you compiling your Christmas ideas somewhere? I have several ideas bouncing around my head and my computer and my paper files and I am adding all of the time. Committing to those ideas usually happens in mid-December and that is what we are trying to prevent this year!

One of the first things I ever sewed was a drawstring bag as a place for my Dad to store his camera. I was pretty young and just getting interested in sewing and I was amazed that he really did want me to sew something for him. I have seen that bag floating around as an adult, too, so I know he didn't toss it right out.

These bags are easy to make but did you ever think they could be used to wrap Christmas presents? I read about this on someone else's blog (I think it was HERE, but I can't find it again--sorry!) and realized it was just the answer I needed to wrapping AND not wasting so much at Christmas time.

You can't wrap everything in one (well, I can't) but think how nice it would be for those awkward-to-wrap gifts like THIS or the huge ones or the little ones or, hey, how about the medium-sized gifts? And the best part is that you can just use them over and over. I am sure I have a few family members who would love this so I am making the bags as a gift set, too. That's confusing--I am making these bags to use and, separately, I am going to make a set of them as a gift so others have them on hand to use for their families as well.

Christmas fabric
twill tape, ribbon, or cording

Step 1: Cut your bag the desired size. Be sure to add a little to each cut side for the seam allowance. I like to fold my fabric over so I don't have to sew one side.

Step 2: Finish the edges of each side. I used my serger, but you could zigzag them, fold them over or use pinking shears on them.

Step 3: Iron a casing section along the top, but do not sew it down yet. To make the casing, fold your top edge 1/4 inch to the inside and iron that down. Then fold again the amount equal to about 1/8 of an inch more than the width of your twill tape or ribbon. Mine was 1/2 inch twill tape, so I folded down another 5/8 of an inch. Iron this down, too.

Step 4: With right sides together and wrong sides facing out, sew the sides of your bag together from the top (which is about 1/4 of an inch below the bottom edge of the casing when it is folded down) to the bottom and then turn the corner and sew along the bottom edge. The other side was a fold so you don't need to sew it. 

Step 5: Iron the seam allowances open and be sure to get the ones where you didn't sew as if you did sew them.

Step 6: Fold the casing back over the seam allowances and iron it down again.

Step 7: Sew around the casing along the bottom edge.

Step 8: Thread your twill tape or cording (my favorite, but I couldn't find a matching color today.) through the casing using a safety pin. I like to have a short tail on either end when the bag is completely open.

Step 9: Tie the two ends together in a knot that is large enough that it can't be pulled back into the casing.

That's it! So easy! And, just in case it isn't so easy, I should tell you that I used my seam ripper not once, but TWICE, on this today and I have made bags like this a lot! Once, I helped make them for a service project at our church and I had to ask the person next to me for directions about 100 times even though I had made them a lot previous to that night. Who knows? Just try it; you'll like it!
And, I know it will be your favorite wrapping paper when you wrap gifts 
 on December 24! Ummm... yeah.

Just in case you use it before December 24, you may need to use two layers of fabric or thick fabric to keep out little snoopers.

(ooohh! wouldn't this be SO cute made out of canvas with a Christmas symbol painted, no, appliqued, NO-- freezer paper-stenciled on it??? That's what I am doing next!)

I promised to learn how to do a link party and this is going to be a good one! I will start it here and then figure out how to move it to my sidebar or nav bar (baby steps) so you can access it all year long. I'll start with my own link after I finish this post so I should apologize up front: Not trying to be arrogant, just trying to get it all on its way.

Let's keep this party going!


Erin,  said... March 26, 2010 at 9:50 AM  

great idea! cute AND a good way to save money and not waste paper!

Last week I made twenty something canvas drawstring bags (haven't blogged about it yet). They are easy but I was so bored of sewing canvas bags by the time I was finally done! :)

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