Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Amazing 3-Seam Gift Bag

I admitted to myself recently that I Really dislike wrapping presents. However, at the moment I quite enjoy sewing. So I had the brilliant idea to sew gift bags for my little treasures rather than wrapping them in irritating and ultimately disposable paper. After a few attempts, here is the pattern I came up with.

What you will need:

* Cotton fabric in a pretty print. I love to use fat quarters from Jo Ann's, which go on sale for $1.
* About 10 to 12 inches of narrow ribbon
* Thread
* Sewing machine
* Iron
* Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
Step 1: Iron your fabric. Sorry, I hate it too, but it's necessary. I won't make you press your seams, though!Step 2: Measure what you want to wrap. You will need a piece of fabric about 2x as wide and about 2-3 inches taller than your item depending on how "fat" the item is. In my case, I was wrapping small home-made soaps, so my fabric piece ended up about 7 inches by 9. (Incidentally, you can make 6 gift bags of this size from a single fat quarter.) This will give you a bag approx. 6 inches tall by 4 inches wide.

Step 3: Cut your fabric piece

Step 4: Across the long (9 inch) side of the fabric, make an approx. 1 inch fold. This will be the channel for your tie string. Finger-press, and pin if desired.

Step 5: Just under the fold (which will be approx. 2 inches down), cut a small, approx. 3/4 inch slit on each side of the fabric.

Step 6: Now, unfold your fabric, and then fold in the "tabs" you just created with your tiny slits.

Step 7: Slip your draw-string ribbon into the fold, then re-fold the top channel. Pin on both sides.

Step 8: Sew along the channel, taking care not to stitch over the ribbon!

Step 9: Now, fold the bag in half, right-sides facing, and line up the edges. (If you're making a larger bag, you may want to pin it.) Starting *just below* the channel and exactly even with its edge, sew down the edge of the bag.

Step 10: Turn the corner and stitch the bottom of the bag.

Step 11: If desired, trim the seams. If you are more perfectionistic than me, press them to one side. Now turn the bag right-side out, and you're done!

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