‘Tis the Season: Wine Bottle Gift Bags

Holiday Wine Bottle GIft Bags

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.

Christmas squares from Gloria

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.

First 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.)

Applique Square

I placed the decorative square 2 1/2″ from the bottom.  Here’s the front panel, with the applique panel pinned in place:

Front panel

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.

Attaching the square to the front panel

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.

Preparing to stitch the side seams

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:

The finishing touch on a side seam

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.

Squaring the corners
Finally, I turned the bag right side out, pressed the top and seams, and tied my wine up with the ribbon.  Voila!  You have a beautiful gift. Tell your friends they can regift the bag, with your blessing.  Enjoy your holiday!
finished bag
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