Sew Personalized Containers for Those Special Gifts

Forget about gift wrap and boxes—bag it instead. A fabric gift bag is as well received as the gift itself. This is an easy sewing project for beginners.

For such sewing projects, durable fabrics work very well. If you choose one that is sheer or rather lightweight, use a heavy interfacing (fusible or non-fusible) on the wrong side to give the bag the body it needs. Gift bags for jewelry need not be quite as heavy. So, a lightweight interfacing would be fine for these.

Fabric gift bags can be made to fit the intended gift, regardless of the shape or size. Square and rectangular bags are by far the most common and the easiest to make. However, those with some prior sewing experience can also create other shapes as well.

When it comes to choosing fabric colors and patterns, the only limit is your preference. If the fabric gift bag is for a seasonal or holiday gift, select a material to fit the occasion. Certainly, fabric stores and fabric departments have a wide range of festive kinds for every sort of event.

In addition, take this opportunity to use scraps from other projects if you’re doing pieced or appliquéd bags.

Sewing fabric gift bags is usually pretty simple. It is mostly just a matter of determining what size you need, then cutting out two pieces to your specifications. Add seam allowances on the sides and bottom. Allow an extra large hem at the top for the casing where you’ll put the drawstring or elastic.

Apply the interfacing and appliqués. Place the two pieces of the bag with the right sides of the fabric together. Sew the side seams.

For the bottom of the bag, you have two options. The simplest is to sew the bottom seam in the same manner as the side seams. For a fitted bottom, cut notches to form the corners. Then, sew the corners and the bottom. Finally, sew the top hem as mentioned above. Use two rows of stitching for the casing. Leave an opening to insert your drawstring or elastic. The final step is to finish the edges of the opening as you wish. A buttonhole is one possibility.

Use colorful ribbon, braid, lace, or strips of fabric for the drawstring. If you use the latter, finish the edges so they won’t fray. When the drawstring is ready, insert it into the opening and you’re ready to go.

If you’re looking for suitable designs and ideas for fabric gift bags, there is no shortage of information sources. These would include magazines, commercial patterns found in fabric stores, and craft books of all sorts.