By Di Ellis
It's simple to make a Christmas gift bag to delight friends and family, and it's reusable!
Suitable Fabrics & Notions
For the bag you need something fairly thick so that it can stand on it's own without any gifts in it. I recommend felt. The beauty of felt is you don't need to hem it as it doesn't fray.
If you'd like to decorate the bag with fabric cut-outs in Christmas shapes, you can use any fabric you like (again, felt is suitable for this). For a template of Christmas cut-outs (angel, christmas tree and stars) click here. (Note: this is a PDF file, so you can download it by right clicking and choosing "Save Target As").
How Much Fabric to Buy
The bag measures 8" across and 12" high, and you'll need two pieces of fabric for the sides, and one piece 3" wide by 24" long for the side. Adding on a half inch seam allowance, we'll need a piece of fabric 13" by 24".
To make your pattern, you just need a piece of paper, a ruler, and a compass (or something circular with a diameter of 8" and another with a diameter of 4").
Draw a square on the paper 8" by 8". Now place an x every 2" on the top line of your square. Place your compass on the midpoint (at the 4" mark) and extend it so that it exactly touches one of the outer edges. Now use your compass to draw a semicircle from one side to the other. Then retract the compass so that it exactly touches one of the 2" marks, and draw a semicircle from one side to the other. Cut out the middle and you now have a bag handle!
Don't cut it out yet! We still have to add on seam allowance to the left and right sides and bottom so we can attach the side piece which will join the two larger pieces together.
Draw a line ½" out from each of the left and right sides and along the bottom. This is your cutting template.
Fold the bag fabric in half, right sides together. Pin on your bag template and cut out.
Now fold out the remaining fabric flat, and cut a long rectangle 24" by 4" (this allows for a ½" seam either side).
To Make Up
If you are going to decorate your gift bag with Christmas cut-outs, do it now before we assemble the bag. The cut-outs can either be machine sewn, hand sewn, or attached with craft glue.
To make the bag, take the long rectangular piece of fabric and, with right sides together, pin it to the front of the bag. Sew. Now attach the back of the bag along the other edge (right sides together) and sew.
Turn the right way around, and you're done!
Diane Ellis is the owner of www.Sewing4Dummies.com. Learn more about her on our About Us page.
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