Thursday, October 18, 2012

Handmade Holidays: Drawsting Bag in Minutes!

My intentions were to post this yesterday but....

The fall weather is here and we just had to start a backyard pit fire and make s'mores. It was fantastic.

But let's focus on the holidays now because those days are right around the corner, and if you are like me you will be making several gifts.
This means you must get started now, right? At least you should be making a list and deciding what you might want to craft.

Well, this idea is simply to take an inexpensive gift and make it more special and personal.
Example:  This lip gloss will be great gift, but it looks rather plain. A nice handmade bag would make this gift more special PLUS the recipient will not have to bother with ripping open the cardboard packaging. It's a win-win situation! (excuse the terrible lens is on the fritz and needs to be calibrated.)

So, this gift will go from the plain packaging above to this:

Here's what you need:

2 pieces of fabric cut into squares. Mine are cut 7"x 7"
2 pieces of ribbon or string that is twice the length of the fabric
 a sewing machine and basic sewing skills:-)

 Place the two fabrics together WRONG SIDES TOGETHER and mark down from the top 2 inches. Put a pin there so you do not sew from the 2 inch mark up. This will be an area you will later make a casing for the ribbon.

Sew the pieces together (on all 4 sides) WRONG SIDES TOGETHER using a very small seam allowance, such as 1/8 inch. We are making a French seam so that there will be no raw edges on this bag.

Now, turn the bag wrong side out and press.
 Now you will fold those top 2 inches in at the side just a tad and press.
Then sew  a straight stitch to keep that tiny fold down. See? Looks a little messy but trust me.
  Now to make the casing you need to fold the top down about an inch and press.
  Next press the top of that under just a enough so that it can be sewn down.
 Sew the 1 inch fold down on the edge there. You will not have a raw edge on the casing now.

Now, to make a French seam you need to sew along the edge using a larger seam allowance than what you used on the front side. (DO NOT sew past the casing!!) Doing this will enclose that raw edge within the seam allowance. Use your finger and feel where the seam is and sew past that edge. If you used a 1/8 inch allowance the first time then a 1/4 inch allowance this go around should do the trick.

Remember you will be sewing on the wrong side and using a larger seam allowance than before. This will enclose that raw edge.

Turn the bag right side out and press. Voila! You should have a bag with no raw seams! Now you will need to feed that ribbon or string through. I use a large yarn needle but you can also use a safety pin. Feed the ribbon through one side and all the way around. Repeat with second ribbon on other side.

Tie a knot in your ribbons and pull them to cinch the bag closed!

I bet these cars will look better in a handmade gift bag!

This is a simple and quick way to dress up those little gifts that could use a little dressing up! In fact, these bags can be personalized with applique or a favorite character fabric. You can also make larger bags by just cutting out larger pieces of fabric.
For kids you could make bags for marbles, army men figures, little farm animals, playing cards, and anything else you can imagine!

I think some adult friends would love a bag of chocolate truffles or homemade goodies!

What small gifts will you give in a handmade bag this year?

If you like to gift a bottle of wine, then check out my past post on a quick and wonderful wine bag!

Have a great week and enjoy this fall weather! I will have another gift idea next week!

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