Even though I have a series of other projects lined up for completion, this weekend I decided to sew some bags. My goal is to use them as gift bags, much the same as I did last year with the burlap bags, for those family members to which I usually give a series of small items I know they need/will use throughout the year (gourmet food, bath accessories, etc).
Last year I had thought of felt lined with fabric and then ended up with burlap lined with fabric. This year I made fabric lined with felt instead.
And while I'm using them as gift bags, they can be re-used by the recipients throughout the year for a variety of other purposes.
Want to make one too? Here´s the tutorial.
Step one - Make the Bag
You'll need two pieces of fabric. Mine were almost squares, at 44 x 46 centimeters, plus two strips of fabric for the handles (about 44 x 6 centimeters), but you can easily adjust the size and make the bags bigger or smaller.
Place the two pieces right sides together and sew the sides and the bottom of the bag. Fold the bottom corners and sew a triangle as shown below.
Cut off excess fabric and fold inside out.
Now onto the lining: cut two pieces of felt about the same width as the exterior fabric, but with about two centimeters less in height. While you're at it, also cut two strips for the handles (the same size as the fabric).
Sew the lining in exactly the same way as the exterior fabric (sides + bottom and the triangles off the corners). Place the felt lining inside the exterior bad, wrong sides together and put it aside for a moment.
Step 2 - Sew the handles
For some reason, sewing the handles is always the hardest part when I'm making a bag. So this time, taking advantage of using the (non-fraying) felt, I came up with a new method.
Place the two strips (fabric + felt) as shown below. Wrong side of the fabric on top and about 1 centimeter overlapped over the edge of the felt.
Sew in place.
Fold over the fabric and top stitch.
Fold in the other edge of the fabric, pin in place and top stitch too.
Cut off the excess fabric on either side and sew the other handle in the same way.
Step 3 -Assemble the bag
Fold the exterior fabric inward and pin it to the felt all around the bag (this is why I told you to cut the fabric a couple of centimeters short than the fabric).
Place the handles in place (between the fabric and the felt) and pin them too.
Top stitch all around the bag and you're done!
Now make as many as you want.
After making this one I sewed a flowery one:
But this one, with the cute owl fabric, is now my favorite.
I'm probably going to make some smaller bags too, but for now I have advanced a lot in my Christmas sewing.
This is a great way to reduce the amount of gift bags you need to buy. If you manage to use fabrics you already have in stash, it will also be pretty inexpensive. And the bag is another gift all by itself, which the recipient will be able to re-use, instead of throwing away gift wrap or paper gift bags.
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Have a wonderful week!