My friend Gloria recently gave me some Christmas-themed fabrics (don’t I always say sewists are the ultimate recyclers?). She had several cut-outs, like these, as well as a red-and-gold mini-dot cotton blend.
Of course, I had a few things myself; notably, half a yard of a very cute green-and-gold cotton print. With this and my loot from Gloria, I decided to make wine-bottle Christmas gift bags.
For each bag, I used:
1/4 yard cotton fabric
1 applique square
1/2 yard 1″ wide grosgrain ribbon
Of course, you could use any kind of fabric, for a gift of wine at any time of the year.
My fabric piece was 18″ x 44,” which seemed to be enough for two generously-sized gift bags–big enough for a bottle of champagne. With the fabric folded in half and selvages at the right, I cut four rectangles, 9″ x 19″ with a rotary cutter. I decided on 9″ because then I could just cut my 18″ piece in half. I lopped off three inches at the side–at what will eventually be the top of each bag.
Next, I cut out the squares I planned to applique on the front of the bags. (Note: this isn’t the one I wound up using for the featured bag, but you can see it on the left in the first photo. And if you’re observant, you’ll see what I did with that 3-inch piece, too.)
I placed the decorative square 2 1/2″ from the bottom. Here’s the front panel, with the applique panel pinned in place:
I sewed the square onto the front panel using stitch #41 on my Bernina Activa 240. I used a gold thread for contrast– luckily, it just happened to be already on the machine…I LOVE when that happens! On some of the other bags, I used the feather stich, #44.
To speed things along, I stitched the side seams using my Bernina 1150 MDA serger. (Since I keep it threaded in grey, it blends nicely with just about every color. I keep my second serger threaded in white, which takes care of just about everything.) I also serged the top edge before folding under a simple 1/2″ hem, which I did with a straight stitch and that same gold thread. My preference is to do the hem first, before sewing the panels together, because I like sewing a straight edge as opposed to a circle, especially with a relatively narrow opening.
While I love the serger, I really dislike the “chain” at the end of the seam. Usually, I use a tapestry needle to weave the end back into the overlock:
While the bag was still inside-out, I squared off the corners. This is easy to do: simply turn the bottom seam so that it makes a point. Make sure to match the bottom and side seams. Then, measure 1″ from the point, and sew a triangle.