Christmas Gift Storage Bag

Christmas gift storage bag

Christmas gift storage bag

The Christmas gift storage bag could of course be used at any time for general storage and tidying up.  However I thought that at this time of year it would be a useful idea for transporting Christmas gifts to their various destinations.  No doubt you are far more organised than I am and have already made all your Christmas gifts!

The body of the bag measures about 24″ high by 11″ wide by 7″ deep.  I’ve used just over 3/4 yard of the main fabric with 1/4 yard of an alternate fabric..  I’ve used French seams for the sides to make it stronger and the outer bag is made with cotton canvas for the same reason.

You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




 

Cutting requirements for the Christmas gift storage bag

Main fabric:  two rectangles 25″ by 12″, two rectangles 8″ by 12″, on rectangle 23.1/2″ by 6.1/2″, one 2.1/2″ strip cut across the width of fabric.

Alternate fabric:  one 2.1/2″ strip cut across the width for the strap linings, two 2.1/2″ strip cut across the width of fabric for the facing.

Sew with right sides together

Sew with right sides together

Make the body of the outer bag

Place a 25″ rectangle and a 12″ rectangle with right sides together.  Use a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Repeat with the other pair of rectangles.  This gives you a normal looking seam.

Sew a second seam

Sew a second seam

Press the seam allowances and then fold the seam so that the fabrics are wrong sides together with the seam line running along the fold.  Sew 1/2″ away from the fold.

Sew the pairs of rectangles together to make a loop

Sew the pairs of rectangles together to make a loop

This gives you a box seam with the seam allowance on the outside of the bag.  This gave me the boxy look that I was hoping for.

Repeat with the other pair of rectangles and then sew the two pairs of rectangles together to make a loop, using the same method.

Add the base of the bag

I am not using French seams to sew the base to the bag.  I think that it would make the pattern more complicated – and I’m not bright enough to work out how to do it!  Actually I also felt that it was only the side seams that I wanted to strengthen so that the bag would stand upright, and I felt that the seam allowances at the corners would be very bulky if I used French seams all over.

Sew the base to the two long edges

Sew the base to the two long edges

With right sides together, sew the base rectangle to the two long edges of the bottom of the loop made earlier.  This will leave you with a gap at each side of the bag.  I have done this deliberately to make this part as easy as possible.  Very often when sewing the base to a bag you end up with inset seams or forming triangles to fold under.

Sew the sides to the base

Sew the sides to the base

I have tried to make this part of the pattern as simple as I can, so I have sewn the two long edges first.  Now it is much more easy to sew the two remaining seams to close off the sides of the bag where they join the base.

That completes the body of the outer Christmas gift storage bag.  I have not lined this bag because I felt that it didn’t need a lining – the inside of the bag is neat already because of the French seams.

Make the straps

For the straps I have sewn together the two 2.1/2″ strips – one in the main fabric and one in the alternate fabric – with right sides together.  Sew along the long edges to make a tube.  Cut in half and then turn the tubes right side out.  Topstitch 1/4″ in from the edges to give added strength and to hold the fabrics in place.

 

Pin the straps

Pin the straps

Assemble the Christmas gift storage bag

Pin the straps to the outer bag – one strap to each side of the bag.  I have positioned mine with the ends about 5″ apart.

On the alternate fabric strip press under a 1/4″ hem along one long edge.

Pin the facing around the top

Pin the facing around the top

Pin the facing around the top of the bag using the edge that hasn’t been pressed.  Turn under a 1/4″ hem at each end of the facing (the short edges).

The facing should be about 62″ long.  To be safe, I tend to cut the end when I’ve nearly finished sewing the facing to the bag.  That way I can be sure that the two ends of the facing just meet with each other.

Flip the facing to the inside of the bag and press in place.

Sew the facing in place

Sew the facing in place

Finishing the bag

In order to sew the facing in place I have begun by topstitching 1/4″ from the seam using a normal sewing stitch.  That holds the top of the facing in place.

In the past I have always hand sewn the other edge of the facing in place.  This time I decided to use an embroidery stitch in order to speed things up.  I selected a stem stitch on my sewing machine and used that to hold the bottom of the facing in place.  I sewed this on the outside of the bag – you can feel where the facing hem is as you’re sewing to make sure that you always catch this in the stitching.  Using this method saves time and also makes a feature just beneath the top of the bag.

That completes the Christmas gift storage bag.  I hope you’ve found this a useful idea.

Here’s the video:

Freemasons Hall

Freemasons Hall

One of the joys of visiting London is finding gems around every corner.  Yesterday I met some friends for lunch in London.  I was early so had a wander around the Covent Garden area.  The first building that struck me turned out to be the Freemasons Hall.  It’s a gorgeous building (regarded as one of Britain’s finest Art Deco buildings) and they have a museum that is free to visit.  It took me out of the cold so I had a look in the museum.  It was fascinating.

Throne for King George

Throne for King George

This throne was made for King George IV.  It seemed far too big for a person to sit on, but apparently he weighed 25 stones so needed a big throne!

Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House

Then around the next corner I came across the Royal Opera House – another gorgeous building.  This is somewhere I have always wanted to visit because when I see it on TV it always looks so luxurious inside.

Seven Dials

Seven Dials

Wandering just another block further I came across somewhere called Seven Dials.  I had never been there before but when I looked it up it turns out to be a very pretty area where seven streets meet up between Covent Garden and Soho.

 

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