been working on some little handmade gift bags to have on hand…and I
thought today I’d share a tutorial showing how I make them. They’re
super easy and can be made with just a couple of fat quarters and some 2
(For a printable PDF of this tutorial, visit my Etsy shop here).
For the drawstring handles you can use twill tape, ribbon, or a sewn fabric
handle (directions below). The
finished bags measure 7 ½” wide by 8 ½” tall by 3” deep–a
perfect size for a little gift bag filled with sewing notions, travel
accessories, or bath/body products.
Let’s get started!
Here is what you’ll need:
- 16 2 ½” by 2 ½” squares; sew together in a 4 x 4 grid.
- One piece 3” x 8 ½” for front top band.
- One piece 8 ½” x 11” for back (front top band and back can be cut from one fat quarter).
- Two pieces 2 ½” x 7 ½” to make cord casings.
- Two pieces 8 ½” x 10 ¾” for lining (lining pieces and cord casings can be cut from one fat quarter).
- Two pieces 8 ½” x 10 ¾” fusible fleece
- To make drawstring handles you’ll need two pieces 2” x 28” long (or use twill tape, cording, or ribbon).
(If you want the back of your bag to be scrappy, just piece another 16 2 ½” squares into a 4 x 4 grid and cut a second top band).
Sew the top band to the top of your patchwork piece. Press toward the top band.
Next we’ll make the drawstring casings. Fold both short ends down on the 2 ½” x 7 ½” casing pieces. Press and stitch close to raw edge as shown.
Next, sew each casing with wrong sides of fabric together using a ¼” seam.
Press each seam open, centering the seam as shown above. This will be the back of your casing and won’t show on your finished bag.
This is what the front side of the casings will look like. Set these aside for later.
Next, you’ll fuse your fusible fleece pieces to the backs of your bag front and bag back.
Now it’s time to do some simple machine quilting if desired. I quilted my bag back with a simple straight line.
The quilting shows better from the back.
On my bag fronts I quilted a simple grid and also quilted just above the lower edge of the band.
Again, I think the quilting shows up a little better from the back.
Next I centered my casing on the back front and back, 1 ¼” from the top and about ¾” in from each side. I used a clear ruler to position the casings.
I pinned each casing carefully then sewed close to each long edge of each casing.
Here is the finished bag front.
And here is the finished bag back.
Next, sew your bag lining pieces together on the sides and bottom, right sides together; be sure to leave a 3” opening on one of the sides to turn your bag right side out later. Cut out 1 ½” squares from the bottom of each side of the lining. Open each corner edge and sew together using a ¼” seam. This will form the “boxed” corners of your bag. Also sew your bag front and back together right sides together, again cutting out 1 ½” squares from the bottom of each side and boxing corners as described above. (Note: bag front/back are not pictured here).
Place your bag lining (right sides out) inside your bag (right sides in).
Match the top edges and side seams; pin and sew together at top edge using a ¼″ seam. Turn right side out through the opening in the side of bag lining. Press well and slip-stitch lining opening closed. Top stitch top edge of bag either ⅛” or ¼” from edge. Your bag is nearly finished! If using a twill tape or ribbon drawstring, cut these to 28” long. Take your first drawstring and, beginning on the left side of the front casing, thread it through the front casing, through the back casing, and back through the front casing, exiting on the right side of front casing. With your second drawstring complete the steps above, this time starting in the bag back casing. Tie the ends together a few inches from the bottom if desired.
To make your own fabric drawstrings: Fold and press under 2” ends of casing pieces. Fold in half, wrong sides together; press. Open up and press each outside edge to the crease in the middle. Fold in half again and stitch close to long edge.
I think these bags would be a lot of fun made with an almost endless range of fabric styles: Halloween, Christmas, reproduction fabrics–the possibilities are endless!
Hope you have fun making some of these little bags. And thanks so much for stopping by!