Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Crayon Roll and a Gift Bag Tutorial

My daughter got her first "official" invitation to a birthday party for a girl in her preschool class. The girl is turning 3 and her mom told her she could pick 2 friends from preschool to invite to her party. My little monkey was so happy to get the invitation! I don't know the family at all and wasn't sure what to give as a gift. I decided on a crayon roll (filled with crayons, of course!) and a coloring book with a gift bag that doubles as a tote bag to carry the crayon roll and a coloring book.

I'm SO happy with how this simple project turned out. The crayon roll was super easy and I followed this tutorial.



I'm totally a beginner sewer and I made the gift bag without a tutorial or pattern. So, if I can do this, so can YOU!

Here's how to make the gift bag/tote bag:
Supplies:

(2) pieces 13.5" x 10.5" exterior fabric (these will be your front and back panels)
(2) pieces 13.5" x 10.5" interior fabric (this will be the lining for your front and back panels)
(2) pieces 13.5" x 5" exterior fabric (these will be the side panels)
(2) pieces 13.5" x 5" interior fabric (these will be the lining for your side panels)
(1) piece 10.5" x 5" exterior fabric (this will be the bottom of the bag)
(1) piece 10.5" x 5" interior fabric (this will be the liner for the bottom of the bag)
(2) pieces of interior fabric 16"x 3" (these will be the handles)
(1) piece of plastic canvas, heavy weight fusible interfacing/fabric stabilizer or foam board or heavy cardboard measuring 10.5" x 4" (this will be for the bottom of the bag and allow the bag to stand upright) - note, if you want the bag to be washable, keep that in mind when choosing the stabilizer - cardboard wouldn't hold up in the washing machine :)
Embellishment for the front of the bag if you want one.

Sewing machine and all the typical sewing supplies including coordinating thread and pinking shears.

NOTE: If you choose to make your bag out of felt like I did, I think an even feed foot (aka a "walking foot"), is essential. I have an even feed foot, but have never used it before. I started this project with my all purpose presser foot and I only stitched a few inches before my machine jammed and caused me over half an hour of frustration trying to unjam it, rip out my stitches and insert the even feed foot. So, save yourself the frustration and use the even feed foot to start with!

Step 1: Once you have all your pieces cut, match each interior piece with the exterior piece. For example match the interior front panel with the exterior front panel and then do the same with the remaining back panels.
Step 2: Pin the matched pieces wrong sides together (their is no turning the fabric inside out when this project is finished)
Step 3: Pin the two side panels to the outer, long edge of the back panel. See the photo below:

Step 4: 1/2 inch from the edge, sew each side panel to the back panel along the long side using a straight stitch. Backstitch to secure the start and finish of your seam. I'm sorry I got so engrossed in the project, I forgot to continue taking photos of the process so unfortately the visuals stop here. :(
Step 5: If you want to sew an embellishment on the front panel, do that now. I used a glue gun to attach my flower when the bag was finished, but some embroiderery or an applique would be nice.
Step 6: Pin the front panel to the side panels along the long edge of each piece - matching up the interior fabric.
Step 7: 1/2" from the edge, sew each side panel to the back panel along the long side using a straight stitch. Backstitch to secure the start and finish of your seam. (You should now have a bottomless bag)
Step 8: Take your plastic canvas (or whatever you've chosen as a stabilizer for the bottom of the bag) and center it in between the bottom pieces of your bag. Pin around all the edges to keep it secure.
Step 9: Sew the bottom that you just pinned together, to the bottom edges of the bag. Of course you decide what's the bottom and what's the top :). Use a 1/2 " seam just as you did on the other edges.
Step 10: Fold each of your handle pieces in half lengthwise. Press them to create a crease. (I used Ecospun felt and I placed a sheet over the felt before pressing it because I wasn't sure how it would hold up to the heat of the iron. This worked out well).
Step 11: Sew a 1/4" seam along the open side of each handle.
Step 12: Decide how far into the bag you want your handles. I placed mine about 1/2" in. Place the handle between the interior and exterior fabric. I pinned back the exterior fabric to ensure I would accidentally stitch it.
Step 13: Sew the end of the handles to the interior panel, leaving approx. 4 -5 inches between the ends. I backstitched several times to ensure the handles were securely attached.
Step 14: Sew a 1/2" seam all along the top of the bag.
Step 15: Pink all of the edges of the bag using pinking shears. (Be sure not to cut your handles in the process!)
Step 16: Add any embellishments to the outside of the bag using a glue gun.

And, ta dah...you've got yourself a snazzy, handmade, pretty and practical gift bag that doubles as a tote bag!

If you make one of these yourself, be sure to let me know! I'll definitely be making at least one more bag and crayon roll because now my little monkey wants one for herself!

3 comments:

Jen Clark said...

They turned out REALLY cute!!! Great job!

Catherine Ryan said...

Love the crayon roll.

Ragelkfl said...

Love the crayon roll.