Embroidered Patchwork Drawstring Gift Bag

Posted by Stephanie Chan

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Jelly Rolls are a little package of fabric fun, consisting of several strips of different pretty fabrics, usually from a collection by a particular textile designer. They are a great way to dip your toe into quilting because much of the fabric cutting is done for you and the fabrics coordinate well. It’s also good to start with smaller projects, like a drawstring bag. Add a touch of cute embroidery and you have a sweet little gift bag. Here’s how I made my Embroidered Patchwork Drawstring Gift Bag.

Here's what you'll need:

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Let's Get Crafty!

Before we get started let's get to know our roll of fabric!

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And here's the back of the embroidery pattern envelope with directions on how to use the iron-on transfers. The inside has additional tips for creating your embroidery designs.

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Choose your embroidery design from the patterns. I chose the mixing bowls which measured about 5x5 inches. So I chose four fabric strips from the roll because they were just wider than the width of the embroidery design (accounting for a 1/4-inch seam allowance).

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The strips are 2.5x44 inches and the edges are "pinked", which is great because this will keep the edges from fraying and we can make an unlined bag very easily. First, I cut the four strips down to 13 1/8 inches each. I stacked them up and first cut them with a rotary cutter. Then, I cut off that extra 1/8 inch with pinking shears.

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Now, sew two strips together and the other two strips together. Pin them right sides together.

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Sew a 1/4-inch seam allowance (here and throughout the tutorial, unless otherwise indicated).

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Open up both sets of strips you sewed, and face them right sides together. Pin and sew one side so that all four are sewn together. Press all the seams to one side. You can set this part aside for now.

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Cut a piece of white fabric about 11x11 inches or so. Cut out your pattern of choice (again for me, I chose the mixing bowls). Following the directions, transfer the pattern with your iron in the center of the fabric.

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Yay it worked! Note: I ironed the same pattern onto 2 other pieces of fabric. By the 3rd piece, it was rather faded but it still worked. So I would say that you can use the transfers 3 times or so.

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Place your fabric in an embroidery hoop and start stitching. The pattern also comes with instructions for basic stitches. I did some stem stitch, some back stitch, and I used four colors in my design.

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When you're finished with the embroidery (I think it took me about 3 episodes of Gilmore Girls, but you experts out there might be faster!), trim off any of the long tails on the back, and fuse a piece of lightweight interfacing to cover up the threads (think of that stuff they iron on to the inside of embroidered t-shirts - same thing).

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Now it's time to trim down the white embroidered fabric and get it ready to sew to the patchwork piece. First, trim the sides down so it's 8 inches wide, making sure the design is in the middle. Then, we want to trim it at the bottom so it's shorter than the patchwork piece, because the patchwork piece is going to peek over to the front by 2 inches. So, trim the bottom down by 4 inches (double the peeking-over amount). Also, we're trimming from the bottom because we want the embroidery on the lower end of the white fabric, about 1 inch above is good, so the embroidery won't be hidden when we close the drawstring. Hope this makes sense, and hope the diagram below helps. Don't forget to use your pinking shears.

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Pin and sew the patchwork piece to the embroidery piece, right sides together, at the bottom edge. Here's what it looks like, with the rest of the patchwork piece sticking out the top. Now, pull the embroidery piece in the direction of Sherry's tail so the top edge of that meets the top edge of the patchwork piece.

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Here's what it looks like after. Both of the top edges are even, and 2 inches of the patchwork piece is showing on the bottom of the patchwork piece. Thank you Sherry for your help, you may stop walking all over my stuff now.

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Before we sew up the sides, we need to fold over the casing for the drawstring. This part will remain open so you'll only sew up to a certain point. First, fold the top edge of the patchwork piece 1/4 of an inch, and press. Then, fold over another 3/4 inch and press again. Repeat with the embroidered piece. Pin along the sides, making sure the top edges of both pieces are matching, and that you folded both casings the same size. Sew from just under the casing to the bottom of the bag. Make sure you do not sew on the casing at all.

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Turn the bag right side out (and get your first glimpse of your pretty bag!). Now we're going to finish the sides of the casing i.e. the holes where the drawstring will go in and out of.

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Fold over the sides uniform with the side seam. Sew from the end of the side seam to the top edge. Repeat on the other side.

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Now we're ready to re-fold the casing. Before we sew it down, insert your ribbon. Cut two pieces, each long enough to loop from one casing to another, and stick out at both ends about 5 inches. One side will start from the left, go through the embroidery piece's casing, loop around at the right, and go through the patchwork's casing. Then the other piece will start from the right, go through the patchwork's casing, loop on the left, and go through the embroidery piece's casing.

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Pin the ribbons into the casing, making sure they are right up against the fold so you don't sew over them. Sew down the casing right at the edge.

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Tie the ribbon ends together at both sides into a knot. Pull it closed. You're done! Since the embroidery is in a kitchen theme, I thought I would give this one as a hostess gift, filled with little tools and some blank recipe cards.

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Here's what it looks like from the back. Love the fabrics!

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So be sure to pick up some gorgeous fabrics and embroidery patterns from Blitsy.com and whip up some fun gift bags for the upcoming holiday season!