If you are here from the 7gypsies blog then this is the post your are looking for...we have taken a break from our Junk Drawer Calendar to give a sewing tutorial for fabric gift bags. For those of you following the Calendar, I'll be back with another tag soon. I think we still have two more to go! For those just joining us for the Fabric bags...Welcome, we hope you stay a while!
Small Bag Instructions
Cut a piece of fabric (I used muslin) at least 7 x 10".
Iron fabric (it needs to be free of wrinkles for stamping).
We are using the same two stamps we have been working with in the Junk Drawer Calendar (I am a fan of using things that are already on my desk).
Nottinghill Clear stamp - script writing
Venice Clear stamp - Very Beautiful
Lay fabric piece on a craft mat (totally worth every penny for one of these). Use script stamp to create an all over pattern on the fabric. I am using Archival Ink pads - coffee and sepia.
Stamp all of one color (Archival - Sepia)
Change to the second color ink (Archival - Coffee). The finished result should look something like this. Note: The stamps can be layered on top of each other and some should run off the sides of the fabric as well as the top and bottom edge.
Use your iron again to heat set the ink.
Cut a small rectangle...mine is 3 x 2" (you can also cut after you stamp as shown in bag #2 below).
Stamp with the VERY BEAUTIFUL stamp from the Venice clear stamp set. This time I used StazOn-Timber brown just to throw in another color. You can stick with the Archival ink if you like.
Note: We are going to sew on this stamp as a patch so do not cut the fabric too small.
Fold bag in half to gauge the placement of the patch. I like to also fold under the right edge of the bag 1/2" (where I am going to sew the bag closed) to see the true center of the finished bag before pinning. Remember, you are going to tie the neck with a ribbon so the patch must not be too high (just test before you sew).
Once the patch is pinned on, you can sew it to the bag.
Hem the top of the bag. You really have the option to leave it raw, zig-zag, pink the edge, etc. Sometimes that depends on the type of fabric used or how formal you want the bag to be. Lots of options here.
Fold the bag in half, right sides together and stitch closed (leave the top open!).
It should look like this when you are done sewing.
Now here's a super easy trick to make a gusset so the bag will stand up.
This part is totally optional so if you want to skip to the packaging and ribbon tying go right ahead.
Find one of the bottom corners of the bag. Make the corner into a triangle (in the picture you are looking at the seam on the bottom of the bag). Match up the seam on the bottom and side, pin through all thicknesses and stitch straight across the corner to form a gusset. I know this looks weird but it will work, trust me! You can clip off corner of gusset leaving 1/2 inch seam allowance. Since this bag is so small I just left it as is.
Note: I stitched about 1" from the tip of the triangle. The further away from the tip you stitch, the bigger the bottom of the bag is going to be...and since this is a little bag we just want a 1" bottom. Just remember the ratio - the taller the bag, the wider the bottom can be.
Now the only thing that left to do is add the gift, gather the top and tie a ribbon.
So let's do one more since Ive got all this stuff on my work table. Were going to follow the same directions as the first bag for sewing, just change it up a bit.
Cut a piece of fabric at least 9 x 13".
We are using the same Archival ink- Coffee and Sepia as used in the last bag.
Start the bag the same as the last by stamping with the script stamp in Archival - Sepia.
Change ink to Coffee to stamp a clock face (found in the Venice stamp set).
Your fabric should look something like this when you are done. Heat set with iron.
This time I am using the 7gypsies Gypsy Year clear stamp.
Using Archival - coffee or StazOn- Timber brown, stamp December 25 on a piece of scrap fabric.
Cut out (I used my roller cutter to do this).
I changed my thread in my machine to a Mettler Quilting thread (only on the top...I think it might be too heavy to use as bobbin thread). I love the red color of this thread, it's No. 601. Stitch patch onto bag, adjust placement depending on size of bag.
I used the 7gypsies stamp Disclaimer (it is no secret this one is my favorite)
to stamp this above the label
and this on the back of the bag.
Note: You must remember to stamp at least 2-3" up from the bottom of the bag. It might look funny but after you sew the gusset, part of the back becomes the bottom of the bag and if you stamp to close to the seam words will not show once the bag is standing up. Once you do one you will see what I mean.
Pink the top opening (aka: use pinking shears)
Sew a zig zag stitch along edge to prevent fraying (same red thread)
You can stop right here and add your gift and be done, but if you want to keep going...
Go back to your sewing machine...this time you need a wide zig zag stitch and a piece of string twice the circumference of the bag. Zig zag stitch over the string so that the stitch makes a "casing" for the string.
Back stitch when you start and end so the "casing" does not unravel. Be careful NOT to catch the string when you are sewing or you will not be able to pull the gathering string. Just sew SLOW and you can do it.
Pull tight to gather the top...love this quick way to make a closure. And I just can't tell you how much I LOVE red and white bakers twine! I think everything should come with bakers twine wrapped around it!
Use these little bags for gifts (not just for Christmas) or candy...make them in a variety of sizes. I am using mine for a Christmas Eve treasure hunt...they will be filled with candy or small things like striped mittens, sticker packs, flower hair clips...all with secret notes to lead them to the next hidden bag. You can see how they blend into the holiday decor at my house!
Hope you like the tutorial. Please leave a comment if you might be interested in more sewing tutorials...and if you have any questions about the bags you can email me (the email link is back up at the top) or Deb (she's just as good a sewer as I am).