*I received this fabric free of charge from The Ribbon Retreat. All opinions and ideas are my own.
My mother-in-law makes really amazing, rich smelling homemade soaps every year as neighbor gifts, and she is ridiculously generous and sends me a huge box of them to give out as well. SCORE, right?! And since she is super duper awesome she doesn’t just put them in a cellophane bag or wrap them in tissue paper like a normal, lazy person such as myself would do. Oh no, she has to go above and beyond. Each year she sews hundreds of darling little fabric bags, one for each individual bar of soap. Wowzer. The good news is that she has been doing this for so long that she has it down to a fine art, and last year I made her bags for her during a visit and learned her quick and easy “recipe” for bag making. Ready to learn? Let’s get going!
Here is what you will need:
* Cute, festive Christmas fabric. I used the following fabrics from The Ribbon Retreat. They are from the fabulous Alpine Wonderland Collection by Riley Blake Designs:
Don’t you just love them?! I love the darling retro-feeling prints. They are so charming!
* Baker’s Twine or very thin ribbon for tying the bags shut (I used the colors Aquamarine and Red.)
* Coordinating Thread
* Scissors, a sewing machine, and PINKING SHEARS!
My mother-in-law makes her bags so that they measure approximately 6 1/2 inches by 5 inches. She saves a step in the cutting and sewing process by using the following method. Cut a swatch of fabric 13 inches wide. Fold it in half right sides together. Iron flat.
Prep your machine and get ready to sew. This may sound tricky when I type it, but it’s very, very simple. You are going to go down the long, thin fold of fabric sewing bags prior to cutting them apart. Start at one end. PUT YOUR NEEDLE INTO THE FABRIC AND BACKSTICH A BIT LOWER ON THE FABRIC! You are going to cut along the top of your bag with pinking shears, and you don’t want to snip through your backstitching or your bag will just unravel. Using 1/4 inch seams, sew the edge of your bag shut. Measure about 5 inches across and sew again. Leaving a small seam allowance (1/4-1/2 inch is fine) sew again. Repeat over and over until you reach the end of the strip. Now cut your bags in between the stitching. (See the pictures if that didn’t make sense.)
Flip your bag inside out and iron it flat again. Now use pinking shears to cut the tops of your bags off. This looks cute and saves you from having to “finish” the tops!
Now grab your gift, shove it in, and tie your bag shut. I cut my Baker’s Twine about 12 inches long.
Can you believe how easy that was?! Get yourself some fabric today and get going! You could fill the bags with any number of things: goodies, nuts, handmade ornaments like the Baker’s Twine Wreath Ornament (shown above) that I made, or you can make some soaps of your own! My mother-in-law’s recipes has been honed over years and it far too complicated for me to try to show you, but last year on Pinterest I spotted a very simple way to create gorgeous candy cane soap. Here is the link to that tutorial if you are interested.
Happy Holidays, Everyone!