Re-usable Wrapping – Very Quick Calico Bags

This takes only 8 or 10 lines of stitching depending which casing option you choose!

(Note: The fabric I used is called calico in the UK but I think some of you might know as muslin. If someone could let me know, I’ll edit. It’s a very inexpensive medium weight cotton which sometimes still has seeds in it).

Decide how wide you want your bag to be and add about two inches. Cut a strip this wide across the width of your fabric and fold (see 1 below). This is the bottom of your bag. The selvedge edges will be together (see 2 below). This is the top of your bag.
 Sew a seam 1/8″ along both of the long edges (sides of bag). I’ve put the pin to make it easier to see.

Turn the bag inside out and press. Then fold the top edge of your bag down about 3″ on the inside of the bag. Press well and pin if your fabric is at all flimsy.

Sew a seam a good 1/2″ along each side of your bag. You have now basically made a french seam but the seam stays on the outside of the bag.

The next step is making the casing. Unfortunately my camera has started losing pictures whilst transferring them to my lap top and I have twice taken photos of this stage and twice they’ve vanished! Luckily it’s very easy and I hope the photo below should help. Cut two 2″ strips of calico about as long as the width of your bag. Turn the short ends under about 1 1/2″ and the long sides under 1/4″ and press well. Position one to the back and one to the front so as to sew down the folded top edge of your bag at the same time. Then thread one length of ribbon through the front and back casing from the left and one length of ribbon through the front and back casing from the right. Secure the ends of the ribbons. 

As an alternative, for the wine bottle bags (see below) I used two short casings on the front of the bags and threaded one piece of ribbon right round, beginning and ending at the gap in the middle, and tied a bow.

Then embellish as desired. I decided to use transfers on mine, using some deer images from The Graphics Fairy



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