The best thing about this bag is that the top has an extended lining, so when the ties are cinched it makes an attractive ruffle around the top. The lining covers the wrong side of the patchwork but it does show, so make it a design feature. Once you have made one, you can play around with the idea using different fabrics and sizes.
First, select and prepare fabric:
- 2 squares: 10 inches square for the bottom
- 2 rectangles: 5 inches by 10 inches for top lining/casing (this will be visible.)
Lay scraps on top of one another and trim to 2 1/4 inch wide.
Arrange groups of 2 strips, one on top of the other, in a pleasing way and then trim the ends so they are 10 inches long.
Sew the bag front and back together using a 1/2 seam. Here we see the bottom (orange), middle (pieced scraps), and top lining (natural muslin). If you want, you may further embellish the bottom at this point. Press seams open and then toward the pieced section.
After the front and back are assembled pin them together with right sides facing and side seams aligned. Sew with a scant 1/2 inch seam allowance on the top facing section and a full 1/2 seam allowance on the rest of the bag. Leave inside out.
Make the casing. Sew the facing to the bag bottom close to the folded edge of the facing. The bobbin thread will show on the outside of the bag bottom. Sew all the way around the bag then move 7/8 inch from the facing edge and sew around again.
Turn the bag right sides out. I don't clip the corners because I like a poofier look. To make an opening, use a seam ripper to remove the bag's side stitches between the casing stitches. (Don't remove the facing stitches.)
Cut a ribbon or cord into two lengths of at least 28 inches. Pin a safety pin to one end of the ribbon and push it all the way around the casing and out the opening.
Repeat on the other side. Tie the ends together or put beads or buttons on the ends so they can't be pulled out. Place a gift inside. Now the hard part: give your bag away.
Variations ? Make the different sections whatever size you want as long as they are all the same width. Just make sure the facing is at least 2 inches longer than the pieced section. Make it longer and you can have it show along the top edge. See more scrap projects at Sew Mama Sew.
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