Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ginny's Gift Bag

Some months ago, dear friend Ginny gave me a lovely crocheted vegetable bag out of denim blue, one of my favorite colors. She also made a charming little batik bag to hold it. It was a gift for one of those big-oh birthdays that she and I each celebrated in 2010.

So when I was looking for a quick hostess gift to take to a party last night, I remembered the cute gift bag and set out to copy it. I made it out of two batiks - one red with frogs, and another olive-brown geometric patterned. I used an olive cord to gather it up.

First I cut each batik piece about 7 x 16 inches. Then I placed them RST (though with batik it makes no difference) and stitched the ends at about 1/4 inch. I also stitched down each side from the end about 1.25 inches. This forms the little flaps at the top edge. I clipped, turned and pressed. Then I returned it to the RST position. I grabbed the red piece in the center, forming a tee-pee so that the only red piece was folded onto itself RST. Next I stitched the red side seams up to about 1/2 inch from the flap stitching. It's important to stop about 1/2 inch from the previous stitching to leave room for the channel that gets gathered. I did the same thing for the olive piece, but I left an opening in one side large enough for my hand.

I turned it to the right side and shoved the lining inside the red outer bag. Then I pressed everything flat. You can see that in the picture where it is not gathered. I then formed the channel for the cording by first stitching across the top (creating a rectangle of stitch on each flap). Then I stitched in a parallel fashion about 1/2 inch down from the first line of the channel. This of course leaves the sides open for the insertion of the cording.

Inserting the cording was fairly easy. I looped it through twice to make it easy to open and close. When gathered (closed), there is enough for a bow. I edge-stitched the inside lining together where I had left it open for turning. It's *almost* reversible now.

Lastly I placed a piece of sweet-smelling handmade soap by Rena into the bag. Voila - hostess gift!

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