Guest blogger series: Cutie Pie Gift Bags

by kath_red on 21/02/2011

in Guest Series 2011, Whip Up Tutorials

Today I want to welcome welcome Wendi Gratz to Whip Up.

Howdy! I’m Wendi and I teach sewing and embroidery to beginners of all ages at Shiny Happy World. I make things that are whimsical, colorful and happy – and you can too!

Cutie Pie Gift Bags
Use these to wrap small gifts, or make up a whole batch of them and use as special party favor bags.

Materials needed for each bag:
– 1 rectangle skin-colored fabric 4 x 7 inches (10 x 18cm)
– 2 rectangles hair-colored fabric 5 1/2 x 7 inches (14 x 18cm) and 9 x 7 inches (23 x 18cm)
– 1 piece of ribbon 24 inches (61cm) long
– embroidery floss for face (I use DMC #3371)
– embroidery floss to match the hair fabric
– Thread

Tools needed:
– sewing machine
– embroidery needle
– pins
– marking tools for transferring embroidery pattern
– pinking shears

Time needed: about 1 hour for each bag
Download embroidery pattern pdf here

1. Transfer the embroidery pattern (how to transfer tute) to the face fabric and stitch. I used 4 strands of floss, backstitch for the face and splitstitch for the hair. You could dramatically reduce the amount of time this project takes by drawing on the face and hair with fabric markers, but I really like to embroider. If you use fabric markers, stabilize the fabric first with some freezer paper – it will make it MUCH easier to draw on.

2. Sew the smaller hair rectangle to the top of the face using 1/4 inch seam allowance. Press the seam allowance toward the darker fabric. You’ve finished the front of the bag!

3. Fold the ribbon in half and pin it to one of the side seams, three inches down from the top. Pin the larger hair rectangle to the front of the bag, right sides together and with the ribbon sandwiched between the layers. Stitch around the sides and the bottom of the bag using 1/4 inch seam allowance. Leave the top open.
4. Box in the corners of the bag. Flatten each side of the bag sideways so that the bottom corner becomes a point with the side seam running up the center. Measure 1 inch from the tip of the side seam and draw a straight line perpendicular to the side seam, making a triangle. Stitch. It should look like this.
6. Turn the bag right side out. Use pinking shears to trim the top edge of the bag. Fill with candy or other small treats and tie closed.

7. Pat yourself on the back and make another – they’re so much fun! Experiment with different faces and hairstyles. It would be fun to make some silly monster faces too. Just remember that part of the face fabric rectangle will wrap under and around the sides of the bag – so use the original pattern as a guide for how big to draw the face and where to position it on the fabric. And please – share your creations at the new Shiny Happy Sewing School group on Flickr. I’d love to see what you make!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 barefootstitcher February 22, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Super cute and very clever! Thanks :)


2 eve March 2, 2011 at 6:05 pm

I love these! They are so cheerful. I think three of them lined up on a shelf would be are adorable too as decoration.


3 Débora March 25, 2011 at 12:22 pm

adoro praticidades, além de tudo fica bonito…


4 Dawn January 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Congratulations! You have wowed me on these bags. These are very creative, clever and soooo cute. I look at so many of these projects and I’ve done most of them myself and yours are different. Thank you so much for sharing these with everyone. Dawn


5 judyb February 14, 2012 at 3:35 pm

This is SO cute and easy to make you will want them for every holiday, and birthday. thanks so much


6 Karen March 20, 2012 at 12:07 am

I think I’m going to try this, but using my sewing machine to embroider the faces. I love to use fabric for bags instead of plastic or paper, much more Eco-friendly! It’s also much, much more personal


7 Mary Green August 9, 2012 at 6:12 pm

I made your cutie pie bag for our granddaughter but then went back and made some changes I thought you’d like to see. (But I don’t have a blog so cannot show you the photos – sorry.) She’s just 15 mos old and I decided she needed a doll to carry around in her bag, but then the bag was too short so I cut off the bottom and added an extension which bacame a DRESS! Stitched a bow to the neck. Sewed a 1″ wide grossgrain ribbon around the top for the drawstring (the ends became a hairbow!) and used my embroidery featherstitch to sew two thinner ribbons together to become the strap for over her head. I did leave the drawstring end of the ribbon(s) unstitched so the bag could open/close. I penned the same face on the doll as your pattern for the bag. I think it turned out SOOOOO CUTE. I cannot wait to give it to her when I see her tomorrow. (They live in Seattle and we’re in Fort Worth, but will be rendez-vousing in St Paul!)


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