Last year I experimented with wrapping Christmas presents in fabric, and while it wasn't a total failure, it wasn't a complete success. I basically hemmed large squares of fabric with iron-on hemming tape, and tried to create closures with adhesive velcro dots, but they didn't stick so hot. So I tried stitching the dots on, but hand sewing doesn't work so great with adhesive velcro. The needle gets all gummy, and the seamstress gets grumpy.
So this year I have a couple of sewing classes under my belt, and am able to take advantage of the loan of my mother's sewing machine. I "whipped up" some super cute fabric gift bags with which I am greatly pleased. I say "whipped up" in air quotes because, while the actual bags do come together in about 30 minutes, the research and development phase took significantly longer.
I scanned webpage after webpage, looking for simple and easy, but many seemed to be much more elaborate than I was looking for (or capable of). Many were lined, and that was intimidating to me. So I finally settled for sort of a half-lining, just enough to peek out the top when the bag is tied shut. I also managed to square off the bottom so it sits slightly flatter. The end result - 7 seams, some iron-pressing, and done. I'm in love.
I just finished five small bags for my Knitting Group, none too soon as we are meeting at my house for the Christmas get-together the day after tomorrow! :)
I hope to get together some sort of tutorial, because if they're easy enough for me to mass-produce, surely the tutorial would be worth sharing for other sewing newbies!
(Below) This is the complete set of bags for my knitting group, each bag different (though not necessarily by recipient personality, but rather fabric available in my stash!)
(Below) Closer view of a blue calico bag, with sort of a blue bandana lining, and white polka dot ribbon.
(below) closer view of another bag, red with small white polka dots, and a sweet holly lining.
(Below) This bag isn't for Knitting Group, but is a variation of the style. I made it taller/longer, so it's the perfect size for a rolled-up tshirt! I LOVE this fabric because it reminds of the chairs on UW-Madison's Union Terrace. I hope to keep this bag "in the family". ;)
(below) another tall/long tshirt-shaped bag.
Please feel free to share links to pictures of your own fabric gift bags, ideas for reusable gift wrapping, or links to tutorials on making your own bags, in the comments below.