Flat Pocket Gift Bag – Tutorial

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At Christmas time last year, I had embroidered pillow cases for two friends who live out of state.  I wanted to enclose the cases in something that could be mailed in a padded envelope and that might be useful after the gift was opened.  I designed a flat bag with a deep pocket to hold the gift and the bag could be used to store many items throughout the year.

In this case I used some pretty Amish fabric for the outside of the bag and assorted scraps for the pocket and lining.

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For Easter, I made dishtowels with an appliquéd bunny.  Once again, I turned to the flat bag design for a nice gift bag, using orphan blocks for the outside of the bags.

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This is an easy bag to put together, can be done in a short amount of time and makes good use of scraps, embroidered pieces or orphan blocks.

Here is how I made the bags (my example finished at 7-½ x 7-½ inches.  It’s easy to change the dimensions to fit whatever item is going into the bag – flat items like books, Cds, DVDs, towels, pillow cases, etc., work best.

You will need:

A piece of focus fabric, quilt block or embroidered piece the size of the gift plus an additional 1-½ inches to width and length.  (Example:  gift is 7 inches square.  Front piece = 8-½ inches square.
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A piece of fabric for the back of the bag that is the same size as the front plus ½ inch lengthwise.  (Example:  Cut back fabric 8-½ inches wide by 9 inches long.)

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Sew the front panel to the back with ¼ inch seam, joining at the top of the front panel.

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Press the seam toward the front panel.

Cut a piece of fabric for the lining that is the exact size of the joined front/back panels.  (Example:  8-½ inches wide x 17 inches long.)

Place lining and front/back panels right sides together, pinning from just below center seam on front/back panel, along side, across bottom of front/back panel and down other side to just below center seam, back-stitching on each side.

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Cut ½ inch from edge just below sewing at center seam on both sides and trim corners of sewn portion.

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Turn sewn portion and press.
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Cut pocket fabric the width of fabric and the length doubled.  (Example:  8-½ inches wide x 17 inches long).

Fold pocket fabric in half lengthwise and press.  Line up fold of pocket with clipped sides and raw edges on the lower part of the front/back panels.  Pin in place or baste.

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Beginning at the folded edge, sew ½ inch seams down the side, across the bottom and up the other side, back stitching on each side.  Trim corners and trim the clipped pocket portion on a diagonal.

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Turn pocket portion and press.  Top stitch 1/8 inch from edge around piece …

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…and fold in half to form flat pocket bag.

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quilt32

Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

6 thoughts on “Flat Pocket Gift Bag – Tutorial”

  1. What a great idea! Two gifts in one, really. I am saving this as a .pdf on print friendly so I can print it out and use the step-by-step you did so well. Thank you!

  2. Those are the fanciest dish towels ever! 🙂 The mint green block is so lovely and Easter-looking. Maybe I should start out sewing these………I just got my very first sewing machine and am determined to learn to sew………Maybe it wouldn’t be too difficult and I have plenty of my Nana’s orphan blocks.

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