Tag Archives: sewing

a 2-step, 2 minute wine gift bag


Since I finally managed to put some order to the sewing room, I did feel like I should actually use it at least once to prove its necessity. I have a stack of clothes to be mended or altered into something else stacking up beside the sewing machine and decided that this would be a quick project that I could do in minutes and feel like I accomplished something. And all told, photographs and everything, this was just minutes from beginning to end.

I used to make my own gift bags, but out of laziness lately I have slacked off. This Christmas we were given some gifts from a neighbour who always makes her own bags and the gifts seem more personal knowing that she made at least part of it herself. This is my shortcut to doing something similar.

The small kid is very hard on blue jeans, so there are always a few pair with no knees laying around to be mended or cut up for patches. One pair of kid’s jean would make two wine bottle gift bags (or other small gift bag, if you want). The process is quick:

wine bag

Step one:

Cut the leg below the knee (the finished bottom of the pants will be the finished top seam of the bag – saving some sewing) and sew a straight seam across.

Step two:

Flatten out the seam until you have two triangular corners at the ends. Sew a straight line across both corners, trim excess material and thread.

And that is it, unless you count turning it right side out and tying a bow on the top as another step.

Linked to Simple Lives Thursday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Frugally Sustainable

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DIY swaddling blanket – an easy baby shower gift


I am still in the middle of a quiet February in the new house, but my next thing on my to do list (at least it’s a small one) is to unpack the sewing room. This is a project that I completed in the sewing room, but I did it before we moved in, while the room still belonged to my mother-in-law.

When I was pregnant with the tall hormonal kid, one of the neighbours made me a couple of receiving blankets that were big enough to swaddle a baby. The ones that can be bought in stores are much too small, and the blankets that are bigger were too thick and heavy for my little blast furnaces. The blankets that Mrs. S made were perfect. I attempted to copy them and made a couple for an expectant mom a couple of months ago, hoping that she would find them as useful as I did.

This isn’t really a tutorial, but there are a couple of easy steps. I didn’t think to take pictures of the process, just the end results, but hopefully it’s easy enough to follow along without them.


Swaddling Blanket Instructions:

1. For each blanket, you need a full yard of flannel fabric. I bought a wider width fabric than normal (I can’t remember the width – and the blankets are gone now, so I can’t measure). Wash the fabric to pre-shrink it.

2. Fold the fabric into a triangle, corner to corner to get a perfect square and cut or rip away any excess.

3. Serge or hem the edges. That’s it – but the end result is a nice large, soft blanket that is the perfect size for swaddling. I used the serger because it’s an easy shortcut and that is the way Mrs. S. made mine.


The original blankets are still with us – one still gets cuddled by the small squeaky kid and the other is now used to wrap up her dolls at bedtime. They’ve survived years of wear and tear – though I am more than willing for the cuddle blanket to disappear soon. Any suggestions on how to break a nine-year-old of a blankie habit?

Linked to Simple Lives Thursday

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