Saturday, December 4, 2021

Newest Round of Giftbags

When Jeni Baker announced that her Lined Drawstring Bag Sew Along was back for another year, I ordered up some twill tap and beads (a first!) from her shop, and pulled out my stack of Christmas fabric. I did purchase one new piece of fabric - Skinny Stripe in Crimson from Between the Lines by RJR Studio. I had in mind to make one style of bag from Jeni's Expansion Pattern, and use the crimson stripe as the accent on each. So the body and linings of the bags would all be different, but the trim would be the same. And I love how that worked out!

I chose the Mini Accent Drawstring Bag, and made eight! I made one each of the CD, Snack, Project, Everything, and Laundry Bags, and three of the Artist Bags, so a full range of sizes. I kind of like this variation of Jeni's basic Lined Drawstring Bag because it maximizes the space in the bag. And it seemed to save time to make the same style bag in several sizes, as I didn't have to look back at the pattern so much. So win-win there.

There were two different ties that I used - a red striped twill (my 'normal') and then some 1/2" neutral cotton twill tape that I purchased from Jeni. I also made some fabric ties for the first time for one bag (see top right bag above), because that seemed the best option. 

And as I mentioned above, I used 3/4" Round Wooden Beads that I also purchased from Jeni. She had a great post on How to Customize Wooden Beads with Paint, Stain, and Dye. I chose the spray option (white paint + clear acrylic coating), making use of what hubby happened to have on hand. My novice process also included some wooden chopsticks to hold the beads, a vice to hold the chopsticks while I sprayed, and a piece of repurposed styrofoam to hold the chopsticks while the beads dried. I had intended to spray them all with the clear acrylic, but being unfamiliar with the garage work bench, I grabbed the can of white by mistake. Oops! So that's why I have a few white beads, but the rest have a clear finish as intended. Just for the record, once the white paint was dry, I sprayed them with the clear acrylic as well.

Anyway, they were a fun add-on for a change. I found that depending on the twill I used, some beads needed a knot on either end, while for some, one knot at the end was enough.

In addition to those coordinating bags, I also decided to make the simple patchwork variation from Jeni's Expansion Pattern. My daughter Rachel/@snippetsofsweetness sometimes sneaks charm packs into my Christmas stocking, and I had this mini of Kate Spain's Aurora which worked perfectly to  make an Everything Bag.

Soooo, we'll see if this big batch, along with bags from previous years, gets me through the gift-giving season. Even though our family reuses the bags we exchange, inevitably some are gifted to those who like to keep them, and rightly so! That means, of course, that every year, Rachel and I stock up on a few more bags. Also a good chance to add some new holiday fabric into the mix.


  1. I really like how the bags you made this year all have the same accent fabric, that's a really nice touch. And I would call the white paint a 'happy little accident' per Bob Ross. :)

  2. I just love the addition of the beads to your cute bags!

  3. Your bags are all so beautiful! I would be hard put to let go of them, once gifted :)! Each one is a gift in itself.

  4. I like how you're putting beautiful Christmas prints to good use. These are such a good idea! My mother made gift bags for "wrapping" presents back in the late 1990s, but they never really took off in our family. My husband, in particular, doesn't like them because they aren't "fun" to open. In fact, our family has a thing for over-using Scotch tape, so everyone thinks it's funny when a paper-wrapped package takes a long time to open. So, I'll admire what you make, and be happy for you that they're accepted. They sure are pretty!

  5. I also order Jen's patterns and have made a few, first of all they are just plain fun to make and now I have to find some of the red and white twill tape. Very nice addition to the bags.

    1. I usually find my twill on etsy - just a thought! I can give you specifics if you want!