Friday, January 1, 2010

Gift Bag Tutorial for your Knitting

My pile of fabric gift/project bags is growing. I'm making up a little stash of them while I have my sewing supplies out.

The first part of tutorial is my super-simple, one seam bag. Then I will give you variations to finish it off in different ways. I am no great seamstress and I'm aiming this for non-sewers. Just so you know. This is what I learned from one book and The School of You-Tube. (Thanks!) My version is a blending of these.

To make this bag, buy a fat quarter at a quilt shop or fabric store. I washed this batch but sometimes I don't do that. If you wash it you will have to trim up the sides. Make sure it is somewhat square.

This fabric piece measured about 10" x 12" folded. I used about 2 and 1/4 inches for the casing. A casing for the drawstring is optional.

Fold the fabric with right sides facing. Starting at the bottom edge at the folded corner, sew to the next corner. Stop treadle with needle in the fabric. Pivot 90 degrees and sew to top. You have stitched a large "L". You COULD at this point, trim the top of the bag with pinking shears and call it a day. (This part of the tutorial is original. No one else thought of stopping here. That's my big contribution to the sewing world. ;))Trim the inside corners as shown. Tie the top with a piece of yarn or ribbon like Santa does. This is a great project for a child.

But you don't want to do that, do you?You want a casing. A casing is a tube in which you can run a ribbon or yarn as a drawstring. The bag is still wrong side out. Fold over about 1/4" at top and press to inside. Fold over again 2 inches and press. You might want to put in a few pins but don't sew over the pins. You might break the needle.

Stitch along the fold to secure the bottom edge of the casing to the bag. Then mark a line 1.5" from top of bag and sew along this line.

With a seam ripper carefully cut the seam stitches between the two lines of stitching.

The first stitch is the hardest to cut. (It helps to lengthen the stitching on your machine when you sew this area but I usually forget.)

Turn the bag right side out. Looking pretty good, isn't it? Give it a little touch with the iron.

Thread a bodkin or pin a safety pin to your ribbon and thread it through the casing, coming out at the same place. Tie the ribbon ends together.

Now this next part is TOTALLY optional but if you want to square off
the bottom of the bag, turn inside out again and mark corners of bag as shown. About 1.5 to 2" is good for this size bag. Trim corner with pinking shears.

See what I mean? Pretty cute isn't it? And how do you like that gender friendly fabric?

Squaring off the bottom of the bag changes the size of the bag considerably. Here are two of the same size bag side by side for comparison. The square bottom version is on the right.

Now you have an excuse to buy all the cute fabric those quilters drool over. When you consider the hours we put into our handknits, another 10 minutes to make a bag that can be used many times is a small investment.


Monika said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I LOVE the fabric with the stars, so cute. It's a great idea too.

KPiep said...

Ok, Ok, you are right. I DO need to sew up all of the bags that I had planned! The fabric is just sitting, after all, and could be useful if I would get to it.

Mrs. H (aka MrsAych) said...

I love this! Thanks for posting it. I've been wanting to make some project bags, but wasn't sure how to go about it.

Yes... We're going to the Burns Supper. I can hardly wait to hear you and the band play and have some haggis. :)

Anonymous said...

Love your bags.

Zafran ali said...

I visit your site,I like ur great work.So nice tutorial.Thank,s for great sharing.
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