With the call for more ways to reuse and upcycle - here is a fun and simple make for a little gift bag. You could use any fabrics you like, and of course this wouldn't have to be just for Christmas. You could even use something like an old shirt to turn it from unwanted clothing into something useful and reusable!
You could easily adjust the dimensions to wrap any present - but the measurements below are for a standard wine bottle. I decided to leave the bottle neck on show, but you could make it a little bit higher if you wanted to conceal it.
Measure out a rectangle of fabric - the dimensions for this one I made to fit a standard wine bottle are 32cm x 29cm.
Turn the top edge down by 1cm and stitch into place to secure the seam. I have used a decorative stitch for this, but you could use whatever you like!
Fold the fabric in half with the right sides together and sew in a simple straight stitch down the height, pivot and sew along the bottom using a 1cm seam allowance. Secure your threads in simple knots.
Turn your bag out the right way, place bottle inside and tie up with a ribbon and a now. Et voila! One bottle bag! 🙂
I know (and I say this a lot to myself, and here on this blog about various things) why would I want to MAKE one, when I could BUY one? Because, I am crafty. Mad too, I think. But also - for the sheer personal satisfaction.
To be honest, I was given this beautiful feathers fabric by the Craft Cotton Co, and inspiration just 'came' to me - 'I know that would make an amazing, and different Santa hat!' So, I decided to give it a try. And, then I got a little bit addicted to making them - so I now have one for Mummy, one for Freddie and one for Rupert. Daddy wants no part in this crafty hat situation! Bah humbug - but, what he doesn't know is I am likely to make one for him anyway... does he have a choice?! Not really...
I thought it would be hard... but I promise you, it is a very simple make! The thing that takes the longest is working out the sizes. So, a little bit of maths to get you started - but then you'll be away! And, soon you'll be addicted to making them like me...
Santa Hats Tutorial
Faux Fur Pompom or Pompom of choice
MEASURE - Fabric
First, take the measurement of your wearer's head right around the circumference on their forehead. Now, we are going to measure out two triangles. We need to work out how big to make them to match the circumference. I will give you our measurements and examples below so you can see the workings out!
My head circumference is 59cm. I increased this by 2cm to 61cm to allow a bit of 'wiggle room'.
Width: To work out how long the 'bottom' of the two triangles I would be cutting I divided this by 2 this = 30.5cm.
Then, I added 3cm to this for seam allowances = 33.5cm. Mark either end of this 33.5cm on your fabric ready for the next bit.
Height: Now you want to find the 'middle' of this which is 16.75cm. Mark this point on your fabric and then go as high as you would like the hat to be - I decided on 40cm. Mark this point on your fabric. Now create your triangle back down to either end of your original points with diagonal lines to create your triangle. That sounds very complicated, but is the sort of thing that it will be easier when you are just giving it a go, I promise!
It worked out that each diagonal line worked out to be 43.5cm long for reference.
Freddie's head circumference is 51cm. Increased this by 2cm to 53cm for the wiggle room part.
Width: 53/2 = 26.5cm. Plus 3cm for seam allowances = 29.5cm. This is for the bottom part and width of the triangle.
Height: Halfway point of this = 14.75cm, from here I then marked this at 38cm high. Then I created the diagonal lines back down which = 40cm.
Rupert's head circumference is 45cm. Increased this by 2cm to 47cm for the wiggle room part.
Width: 47/2 = 23.5cm. Plus 3cm for seam allowances = 26.5cm. This is for the bottom part and width of the triangle.
Height: Halfway point of this = 13.25cm, from here I then marked this at 29cm high. Then I created the diagonal lines back down which = 32cm.
MEASURE - Fur
The fur needs to be cut in a long rectangle long enough to go all the way around your head in one go.
Width: I started out with a measurement of 59cm for my head circumference, we then upped that to 61cm for wiggle room. Then, we need to add 2cm for seam allowances = 63cm.
Height: I decided to base this on what I thought 'looked right'. Whatever measurement you would like the fur to be, double this as we will be folding the fur in half (this creates a nice fluffy edge on the head!) I decided 8cm of fur would look nice so I doubled this to 16cm. Then, we need to add 2cm for seam allowances = 18cm.
So I cut 1 x rectangle 63cm by 18cm of fur. Please note the direction of the fur - you will need to make sure it is pointing 'down' (not across) along the your width of the rectangle.
With Freddie's head circumference being 51cm and we upped that to 53cm for wiggle room, the rectangle I cut was:
55cm (including the 2cm of seam allowances) x 18cm.
With Rupert's head circumference being 45cm and we upped that to 47cm for wiggle room, the rectangle I cut was:
49cm (including the 2cm of seam allowances) x 16cm.
Once you've cut your 2 triangles out of your fabric, place them right sides together before pinning around the edge to secure.
Fold your fur in half so that the two shorter edges meet with the fur on the inside and pin to secure.
SEW - Fabric
Sew up one of the diagonal fabric triangle edges using a 1cm seam allowance to the point of your hat, pivot and then sew back down the other side of the diagonal edge of your triangles.
SEW - Fur
Sew along the edge using a 1cm seam allowance to create a circle of fur.
ASSEMBLE - Pin
Fold your fur in half width ways so you have fur outwards on both sides of the circle of fur.
Turn your fabric 'hat' out the right way, and push the top point as far as you can.
Press with an iron to remove any creases.
Place the hat inside the circle of fur with the edges of both the hat, and the two edges of fur together. Pin in place to secure.
ASSEMBLE - Sew
Using a 1cm seam allowance, sew the three layers together. I would have expected to need to use a 'special' sewing machine needle for this, but I used my 'normal' one, and it was absolutely fine!
Note: Where the two triangle seams meet - there will be a 'dip' of a triangle that doesn't quite fit with the seam allowance on your fur part - which you may have noticed when pinning together - don't worry, we can trim that off in a bit!
Secure your threads and trim off the triangle bits just mentioned.
Hand sew your pompom on to the tip of the hat. Top-tip: make sure to not push your needle all the way through the faux faur pompom - needles are sharp, and the faux pompom is white!!!! #needlesaresharp #redspoldgesarenotagoodlook