I've been on a quest to make enough reusable Hanukkah gift bags to wrap the gifts for all eight nights before Hanukkah started this evening. Last month I shared a tutorial for a quick pillowcase style gift bag. I whipped together three final bags this afternoon and wrapped everything up. I'd still like to make a few more, but with a couple reused paper bags and boxes, and four of the reusable gift bags from Amazon, I was all set. I'm still feeling so appreciative of the bag I received as a gift.
My tutorial shows the most polished version I've made this year, with french seams, and a hemmed top edge, but there are ways to make this quick project even faster. On numerous bags I used the selvage edge to speed things up. Positioning the selvage at the top edge of the bag saves the need to hem the top edge. Or having the selvage edge along the side of the bag meant the seam could be a simple straight stitch seam (which I pressed open) before stitching the bottom edge with a french seam and hemming the top. On one bag I serged the seams as well as the top edge.
I have just a few more pieces of Hanukkah fabric that I will fashion into bags to eliminate the need for the couple of paper bags/boxes I used this year.
Opening the first gift of Hanukkah. He got Legos. :-)
Here's a peek at the inside of my hemmed edge and my french seam (on the right side) from my gift bag tutorial. Everything was stitched up with 50wt Aurifil. Depending on the fabric you chose, the hem could be fancied up with a decorative stitch.
This is a great time to visit your local quilt shop for sales on Christmas and Hanukkah fabric. Stock up now and make bags throughout the year to be ready for next holiday season. Or go with fun fabrics you love that would work year round for gift giving.
These were all for gifts given within our house, but I would use cloth bags for gifts given to other family members and friends, giving them the option to keep the bag to reuse themself or I could take it back for future gift giving.