Bitty Bag, Gift Bag Tutorial

I thought I'd give you a little last minute cloth gift bag tutorial using my Bitty bag from the kiddie cornhole game we made. A last minute tutorial, just in time for a last minute gift. It really does go together pretty quick so you should be able to whip up a few before the gift giving begins.

To start with you'll need,
  • Some scraps of Christmas or other fabric.
  • Something round to trace, (like the lid of your powdered sugar container maybe, sugary bits removed of course, sticky fabric is no fun.)
  • 5/8" wide, or other size, slippery ribbon in a coordinating color.
  • Water soluble marker or pencil (or a regular pencil if yours is lost in a box full of broken crayons, un-sharpened colored pencils and cap-less markers because the kids keep snagging it.)
  • Fabric scissors.
  • Some rockin Christmas tunes. (I just love all the scruffy beards in cute elf costumes and Santa hats.)
First, trace and cut the circle out of your main fabric choice. Mine is about 5" across. This will be the bottom of the bag. Then, using the same fabric as the circle cut two rectangles wide enough to go around the circle about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 times and about 6" tall, mine are 24" x 6".

Next, cut and sew together random squares and rectangles from the scrap pile until you have enough to reach across the large rectangle, 24" in our example. This bag has no lining so all those raw edges will just be hanging out in there. You may want to serge or zigzag over them so they look neat. Trim the strip to about 2" tall and attach it to the rectangle to create the cute band at the top of the bag.

Sew the short ends together to make a tube. Then add a gathering stitch across the bottom, the end without the cute band. Use the longest stitch on your machine and don't back stitch.

Leave long threads and pull them to create a slight gather and make it fit around the circle. Pin and sew.

Next, you take the remaining rectangle from the first step and sew the short ends of it together. Mark and then sew two button holes 1 1/4", or about a quarter of the way in from the raw edge, on either side of the band. This is for the ribbon handles/ties so make sure they are wide enough to fit your ribbon through.

Fold the top piece in half and iron. Pin and sew, right sides together, the top of the bag to the cute band on the bottom part of the bag, lining up the seams. (buttonholes should be on the outside of the bag when done.)

Now you need to make the casing for the ribbon, Just topstitch around the bag the width of the buttonholes. Thread the ribbon through the bag twice so that when the ribbons are pulled on either side it will cinch up the bag (this is where the slippery kind of ribbon is useful).

Fill with surprises for good little boys and girls, put it under the tree and your done!

They look a little like Santa's packs I think. Wouldn't it be cute to make some with red velvet and some white faux fir trim?

The measurements in this tutorial are for the large bag. For the medium I used a 4" circle and 19"x 5" rectangles and for the small a 3" circle with 15"x 4" rectangles, although I'd go another half inch or so smaller on the height for the smallest. Please let me know if anything is unclear or if you have any questions.

Happy Sewing!

It's in the Mail

No really it is, but it wasn't easy.

Isn't it funny how the second time you try to make something that went smoothly and without a hitch the first time, it can be so full of little issues that just drive you bonkers the second time.

Well that's what happened with this sweet little purse here, but finally it turned out just right (I hope). And I jotted down lots of very discriptive notes for myself so that next time it should go a little smoother. You should have these in time for Christmas Aunt M. Thank you so much.

And for anyone else who might be reading, here's a sneak peak at a new project I'm working on.

Ooh, lots of really great bits of fabric, yummy browns and beautiful blues, very exciting. Before I show you more of that though, I hope to have a little reusable gift wrapping tutorial for you here, stay tuned!

Snowboarding Season is Here!

A little bit of this . . .

Has us feelin' like this. . .

About a whole lot of this. . .

The last two pictures are from last year. We took the kids snowboarding for the first time and the pic of my son in the middle there, pretty much sums up the whole trip. And the third picture, I just don't think it's possible to stand on a snowboard, no matter what your skill level, without looking totally cool, don't they look like old pros.

We went to the same place my husband and I, along with the rest of my family, spent our winter weekends when we were dating and it had been years since we'd been back. It brought back so many memories of falling in love with him, hanging out with friends, playing board games with my family by the fire late into the night, driving the 3 to 4 hour trip together, through every kind of crazy Michigan weather imaginable (think star trek, warp speed). It was great getting out on the slopes again and, although most of the boarding we do throughout the season nowadays, is on sledding hills around the neighborhood (5, soon to be 6, lift tickets gets pricey), we will be going back at least once a year from now on. This is a family tradition I'm so glad my parents started. Thank you Mom and Dad and thanks for the trip last year!

Yikes I had better start working out, snowboarding is a lot more exhausting than I'd remembered. And. . . uh. . . Unkie Tom, Aunt Rie, I'm begging you to help out with the kids on the slopes like last year, I don't think our calf muscles can make it without you. We can't wait!

My Boy Loves to Sew!

He really does! Hand sewing, machine sewing, all of it. He's already started planning his sister's Christmas gifts and they include lots of . . . You guessed it SEWING!

I realize lots of dudes sew, in fact my husbands grandpa was apparently quite a quilter so, it's in his blood I guess. But my boy is a wound up, always busy, all boy, boy. This kid was sliding into bases before he could talk, making his own weapons and fighting off bad guys and dragons since he was a toddler. He pretends to be every type of growling animal he can think of, while attacking his sisters, on a daily basis, and can not be pulled off of his bike, skate board, snowboard or other fast moving contraption for anything, once he's on it.

He's got 3 sisters, so I'm happy to let him be all boy as much as he wants, but I'm so glad this little guy thinks it's cool to sew too.

And now for the Christmas projects!

Craft Gift Exchange

Every year we do a craft gift exchange with my in-laws. It started years ago as a Christmas gift exchange that my nieces and nephews would be able to participate in. It was moved to Thanksgiving after it was almost voted into extinction because of the added stress it brought to the holiday season. It still adds a bit of stress, but it gives us the opportunity to try out new crafts we've been wanting to do, but haven't found the time for. Like freezer paper stencils.

My husband suggested the kids make t-shirts for their projects, but the thought of dozens of hard to manipulate, little squirt bottles full of puffy paint, sure to be found by the 2 year old, wasn't sounding like all that much fun to me. I remembered seeing freezer paper stencils on a few different crafty blogs and thought it was the perfect time to try it out.

Just a tip, don't try to go over not so thoroughly covered areas with an already washed and still wet spongy brush, mommy messed up robot and made him all fuzzy, better to just let the kids do it by themselves.

A quick trip to the craft store for supplies and then back home to draw pictures. I loved the ideas the kids came up with, a couple of snowmen, a monster, a robot and even some scribblings from the baby who said she was drawing a robot too.

I did all of the cutting with an x-acto knife, this was a bit more difficult than I had remembered it being, but I got it done in an afternoon.

We painted after baby girl fell asleep for her afternoon nap. One of the girls opted for fabric markers so she could get creative with colors without having to spend tons of money on different paints, the results were not as vibrant, but still very cute.

It was far more simple and far less messy than it looks. We rolled and packed the t-shirts in these cute homemade boxes. We just used some scrapbooking card stock made a few cuts, folded the ends and attached with some glue. Very cute and fun! We may be making more of these for Christmas.