Friday, 11 December 2015

OMG! It's time to prepare for Christmas! Drawstring gift bags

Okay, there is no point denying it, Christmas is a matter of weeks away and I have decided that this year is the year that I admit that I hate wrapping gifts. There. I have said it and I can hear the angels weeping.

pretty is very 'in' this year


details are always in!

I don't know why I don't like it, after all, it is a crafty outlet and they scope for making it amazing is, well, amazing. Well I don't like it and it isn't 'growing on me'.

I do like sewing a bit though so (sew?) I have decided that this year, there will be no gift wrapping in paper (think of the trees) and not so much waste on Christmas Eve once the gifts have all been opened and we cannot see the carpet for litter. This year, I am going to wrap things in.....


A DRAWSTRING BAG!!!

Yes! You heard it here first! No more wrapping awkward things with a sense of foreboding as sharp corners make a bid for freedom or you wonder how an antique find can be wrapped when its box was lost last century by someone you will never meet. The bags are fully lined too so you are actually producing something worth keeping at the end.

this does make a nice change from dark greens and red

Naturally there are limitations on size ( a trail bike presents certain practical issues) but mostly this will go well and the best thing is that the recipient will have an extra gift. Woohoo. Go me!

Yes, yes I know you cannot get pink snowflakes. Please don't write in!


So what do we need and how do we go about it? Well you can make these any sensible size right from a jewellery bag using 10" squares to a metre long toy sack. We are going to stay sensibly somewhere in the middle with fat quarters.

Gather these supplies:
Fabric for the outside
fabric for the lining
large scraps for the drawstring
A pretty embellishment for the front - label, bow or whatever takes your fancy
Some pretty beads
silver/grey macrame cord
scrap of coordinating lace - mine is pink of course!
your usual sewing needs

You really don't need much. You might be wondering why I haven't given fabric amounts? Well you can make these bags any size at all so it doesn't matter. Use what you have got. 

In case you are a beginner, I am going to put the sizes for today's particular bag in as we go and then you simply need to subtract or add centimetres to the values that I am giving. I promise that it isn't as difficult as it sounds!

I am using Christmas prints of course and this week I am changing the mood to soft and pretty which is very 'in' this year - go me again!

sweet indeed!

Begin with a strip of fabric 26cm x 11cm and add another to it, also 26cm x 11cm. Iron it and you have this....


Cut a final rectangle 26cm x 15cm and sew it to the top. Iron. This is what we have now. 



Repeat for the back and put the back panel aside for the time being.

Find the centre of the middle panel (the green on my bag). A vertical crease is the easiest way to do this. 


Attach your chosen embellishment. I have made a Kraft-tex label for mine and you can see my tutorial for this here.


Tuck the little piece of lace under the label if you are using one. 

Okay, time to make the casings now. Those of you who follow my work regularly will know that I HATE frumpy seams and edges even where I cannot see them! So even the casing will be lined! To do this, cut four pieces of your chosen fabric 24cm x 8cm. Take two of them and place them right sides together. Sew the end seams only.


Then turn the right way out and press. You will now have a unit with raw edges top and bottom. Fold this unit in half lengthwise and press.  


Attach to the top centre of the front panel.



You will notice a bit of overhang each side? This is normal and necessary and it will be taken up a bit when we sew the whole thing up. sew a line of top stitching about 1cm down from the top of the casing. This stops the cord from going too far up and it also forms a pretty ruffle.


Repeat all of this for the back panel.

Next to the lining. Cut two pieces of your chosen lining 26cm x 34cm and take one of your outer panels. Place the outer panel and lining right sides together and sew along the top edge only.


Repeat for the other one.

Now open the panels out and placing lining to lining and outer to outer (right sides together) sew all around the edge leaving a gap in the lining. Turn out through the gap and close it.
Stuff the lining down into the bag and top stitch around the top edge...


Fun bit with beads now! Take your cord which should be around 140cm long and cut it in half. A bit of fray stopper on the ends will make it easier to load the beads on.

Tie off one end and thread some beads onto the cord and then tie off just above the beads


Thread this cord through both casings and then put some beads on the other end, tying off above and below.



Repeat for the other cord but this time, thread it through the opposite way...


Your bag can now be used instead of wrapping paper! How cute!


Well that is another thing out of the way before the big day. Before you go, don't forget to enter the big fabric giveaway. Have a look at the prize...

Well wow! It is a fabulous mix of goodies by Makower and it might be yours. To enter, simply leave a comment below and I am drawing the competition on Christmas Eve. It is free to enter of course and I wish you all the luck in the world

See you next time and thank you for dropping by.
Love and hugs
Debbie xxx