In an effort to get through the last minute Christmas gift hustle, I realized I didn’t have gift bags on hand for the smaller trinkets. Instead of braving the elements (and putting on “grown up” clothes) I relied on my handy-dandy sewing room for a solution.
These cinch bags use 1 fat quarter each and some ribbon [Figure 1]. I happened to have had ribbon left over from an impulse buy a few years ago, but if you don’t have it available you can use strips of fabric scraps, yarn, wrapping ribbon, heck a shoe lace would still look cute!
Trim down the side that will be the top of the bag [Figure 2]. I use the selvage side if there is not a specific orientation of the pattern on the fabric.
Fold the top 1/2 inch over, wrong sides together, press and stitch down [Figure 3].
Fold the fabric right sides together, with the hemmed top piece on the top and the opening on the right. Measuring from the top, trim off the bottom 13″ down [Figure 4].
Trim the right side (the side that is open) to square off [Figure 5].
Measuring 4 inches from the top, mark a line parallel to the top hem [Figure 6].
Starting at the bottom of the bag, stitch up to your marked line, using a 1 inch seam allowance [Figure 7]. Be sure to back stitch at your marked spot!
Fold the 1 inch seam over by 1/2 inch, wrong sides together [Figure 8] and press. Do the same for the other flap.
Fold the pressed seam over again, pulling away from your stitched line, and press [Figure 9].
Your interior seams should now be double folded and pressed away from another, as show Figure 10.
You’ll now stitch down these double folded seams, about 1/8th of an inch from the edge of the open side of the fold. I like to start at the top of the bag and slowly work my way down. You will have to scoop your fabric up while doing this. Use the slideshow photos in Figure 11 to for assistance, if necessary. You will stitch down each of the seams separately.
Sew closed the bottom of the bag, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance [Figure 12].
Now it is time to make the top fold of the bag that will later hold the ribbon. Fold down, wrong sides together, the top 2 inches of the bag. Do this around the top and pin in place. Sew a 1/4 inch seam around. You should have a 2 inch opening on the side of the bag at the top, with openings on both sides [Figure 13].
To give the pouch support (and provide a cute chunky look), I suggest boxing the corners. Fold one of your bottom corners so that the seam runs down the center, as shown [Figure 14]. Measure 2 inches from the tip and draw a perpendicular line. Sew along this line, then trim the corner 1/4 inch from the recently stitched line. Repeat for the other bottom corner.
To pull the ribbon through the top of the pouch hole attach a safety pin to the end of the ribbon. Push this through one end of the pouch slip. Holding the back of the safety pin, push fabric from the front over the safety pin. Then hold the safety pin and fabric on the front and pull through [Figure 15]. Continue until you have the ribbon all the way around.
I like to tie the ends of the ribbon together in a knot, to prevent them from slipping through.
And there you have it! Make away, you bag lover you!