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Archive for Monday, December 20, 2010

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Remnant Rehab: Bring your hostess gift in a homemade bag

December 20, 2010

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Make one of these wine bags before you head to a holiday party to impress your hostess — it’s a lot more festive than the paper bag they give you at the liquor store.

Make one of these wine bags before you head to a holiday party to impress your hostess — it’s a lot more festive than the paper bag they give you at the liquor store.

Make one of these wine bags before you head to a holiday party to impress your hostess — it’s a lot more festive than the paper bag they give you at the liquor store.

My research, which involved measuring several empty wine bottles I had at home — don’t worry, I didn’t drink them all by myself — shows that this size should fit most regular size, 750 ml wine bottles. You can adjust the measurements to fit a champagne or large wine bottle.

The sheer fabric is party-ready, but it’s hard to work with. That’s why I added the tissue paper. It stabilizes the fabric so it won’t shift around as much while you’re sewing it. Then it easily rips off.

Because of various mistakes and a sewing machine malfunction, this took me three tries. But if you can do it right the first time, it should take less than an hour.

Supplies: Tissue paper; ruler; marker; scissors; organza fabric — 17 inches by 13 inches; sewing machine; thread; confetti or sequins; pinking shears: optional 1 yard organza or satin ribbon.

Instructions:

  1. Determine the size bag you want. For a regular-size wine bag, you want a rectangle 17 inches by 13 inches. Mark this on the tissue paper and cut it out.
  2. Press the fabric. It’s delicate, so take care not to burn or melt it (which I did on one of my attempts). Pin tissue rectangle to fabric. Use a lot of pins so it won’t shift. Cut fabric along edges of tissue paper.
  3. Fold the rectangle lengthwise so long sides are together, with tissue paper on the outside. Pin around cut edges, putting pins in perpendicular to the edge. When the layers are pinned together, take out the first set of pins.
  4. Make two marks, one 11 inches up from the bottom edge (one of the short edges) and the other 12 inches from the bottom. You will leave this 1-inch gap unsewn for the drawstring.
  5. The measurements of this bag allow for 1/2-inch seams. Sew along bottom edge and long edge, backstitching at beginning, before the gap, after the gap and at the end. Tear off the tissue paper — the needle has perforated the paper, so it is easy to pull off. If you have pinking shears, you can trim the seams with them to prevent fraying. If you don’t, just don’t worry about it.
  6. Keeping the bag inside out, fold down top 1/2 inch and press. Then fold top down 2.5 inches to the bottom of the gap in the seam and press.
  7. Turn the bag upside down and put confetti or sequins in the top hem. Try to keep them near the top so they stay out of the way while sewing.
  8. With the bag still inside out, open the top and get the hem and body under the presser foot. Starting at the seam, straight stitch the bottom of the hem to the bag body. Don’t sew the bag closed like I did the first time.
  9. Turn the bag right-side out so it’s easy to find the top of the gap. Sew another straight stitch all the way around. This is the drawstring casing. Keep the confetti out of it. (Easier said than done!)
  10. Put a safety pin in one end of the ribbon and guide it through the casing. Knot the ends of the ribbon.

Pick up a bottle of wine to put in your finished bag, and you’ll be a welcome guest at any party.

For more photos of the process, go to Remnant Rehab.

— Copy editor Katie Kritikos can be reached at kkritikos@ljworld.com.

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