Christmas Bag Tutorial

 

This mini Christmas Tote Bag is a doddle to make and can be made to any size and dimensions you like. For a larger tote bag I would use the pull through lining approach but for these little beauties there is a lovely little cheat.

It's perfect for hanging on the Christmas tree with little gifts or filling with sweets (my preference) as little gifts. It can be made in any fabric so not just a Christmas idea could also be for Easter or just as cute little bags to hang up and keep little precious things in, like hair bobbles my daughter keeps running off with! 

I've used the wonderful Cloud 9 Organic Fabrics Festive Snowflakes fabric for the outside and Cloud 9 Organic Amazon fabric for the inside. If you are really good you could add letters, or extra embellishments to the  bags or swap the straps for ribbons. It's such a versatile pattern.

 

Materials Needed - This is for the size I made but you can make them bigger or smaller as you wish. 

2 x Outer Bag Fabric - 16cm tall by 13cm wide

2 x Inner Bag Fabric - 16cm tall by 13cm wide

1 x Strap fabric - 6cm by 50cm

Thread and sewing machine

By my calculations yo can make three bags from one fat quarter if you are thoughtful in the cutting out. 

STEP 1

Take the handle piece and fold in half length ways. Give it a good press with an iron.

STEP 2:

Fold the edges back in to the centre fold you created in step 1 and give it another good press, but watch out for those fingers, it gets a bit warm.

STEP 3:

Fold in half so that all of the raw edges are inside, neatly tucked away in all of your folding. Give it another good press and keep apologising to your fingers :) 

STEP 4:

Using a stitch close to the edge you need to stitch down the entire length of the handle. My machine lets me move the needle over but if not then place the foot slightly over. You are looking to stitch about 1/2 cm in from the edge, or thereabouts. 

STEP 5

Repeat Step 4 for the other side and you should end up with a strap something like the one in the photo.

STEP 6:

Fold in half and cut it to make two straps for the bags, you can also neaten off the ends if your starting stitch is anything like mine.

STEP 7:

Take one of the outside bag pieces and attach the straps to the right side of the fabric approx 2cm in from the edge, again as long as it is even then the exact distance doesn't matter too much. Use pins to keep the strap nice and straight.

STEP 8: 

Take one of the inside bag pieces and place on top of the outside piece and strap, they should be right sides together. Use clips or pins to keep in place.

STEP 9:

Sew the pieces together where they were clipped. The wonderful thing about making these bags is that the size can change so as long as you are consistent with your hems it doesn't matter what size they are.

STEP 10: 

Pull the outer fabric in line with the inner fabric so you have one long piece 1/2 outer and 1/2 inner with the straps joined in the middle. I like to add a decorative top stitch to the outer fabric to give it an extra bag look. Approx 1/2 cm from the join sew a straight line across the outer fabric, making sure the straps are out of the way.

STEP 11:

Repeat steps 7 to 10 for the other inner and outer piece so that you have two matching sides, each half inner and half outer. Pin them right sides together matching up the seams that join the two fabrics. Clip and or pin to keep in place.

STEP 12: Sew all around the bag except for the bottom of the inner piece. I'm not sure why but I like to go down each side separately then do the bottom but you can do one big U shape.

STEP 13: 

Turn your bag inside out, or rather right side out by pulling the outer fabric through the gap at the bottom of the inner fabric. You will now see the bag shape at the bottom but with the inner fabric poking out.

STEP 14: 

We now just need to sew up the inner bottom. There are two ways to do this you can either blind hem the bottom or they way I have done it is to fold the raw edges in and then do a stitch along the edge. I've done it in contrasting thread so you can see but usually it would be matching thread.

STEP 15:

Push the inner fabric into the outer fabric and hurrah you have a little bag. Now press it with an iron, sit back admire your work and decide what to fill them with. 

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