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.
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.
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.
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.)
Sew the front panel to the back with ¼ inch seam, joining at the top of the front panel.
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.
Cut ½ inch from edge just below sewing at center seam on both sides and trim corners of sewn portion.
Turn sewn portion and press.
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.
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.
Turn pocket portion and press. Top stitch 1/8 inch from edge around piece …
…and fold in half to form flat pocket bag.