Handmade items help make the act of gift giving extra personable and unique. This cute reversible bag from Cinne Worthington of C.Banning Accessories is not only a stylish way to bring wine to friends, but also can be used to share flowers as well as other small gift items. What’s more, this stylish project made in our elegant Belgian LinenTM transforms into a lovely evening bag—making it a gift that keeps on giving. .
Cinne: Treat yourself to the rewards of handmade items by sewing this impressive wine gift bag—whether you make it for someone you hold dear or decide to keep it all for yourself! I kept the design simple with a few unique details. This small tubular-shaped bag has a round bottom and is reversible with a single top handle that secretly attaches between two layers. It also has a form flattering tie belt with fringed ends.
Time to Complete:
Give or take 2 hours
- Belgian Linen—Cinne’s using 1 yard each of 2 two different colorways of the same print (Scallop Dots – Gold/Beige and Scallop Dots – Black/Gray by cinneworthington)
- Light or medium-weight fusible interfacing 1/4 yard
- 8″ of 1/8″ or 1/4″ black elastic
- Card stock paper or a repurposed manila folder
- Sewing pins and sewing clips
- Sewing machine
- Sewing machine needle—Topstitch or Denim 80/12
- Coordinating thread
- Fabric scissors
- Pencil or disappearing ink pen
- Pressing cloth
- Surgical tweezers (or equivalent)
- Fabric glue stick
Optional tools that also help:
• Rolling seam presser
• X-ACTO knife (for cutting paper patterns)
• Fabric weights
• Straight-edge metal ruler
• Acrylic cutting ruler (13” square or 4″ x 24”)
• Edge joining foot
• Compass or a sliding T-gauge
• Water spray bottle (for tackling any fabric wrinkles)
• Large cutting mat
Pro tip: Cinne prefers to leave our Belgian Linen unwashed to retain an even more luxe look.
Note: All measurements include 3/8” seam allowance
• 2 main bag body pieces (1 in each colorway): 16.5” wide x 12.5” tall
• 2 bag bottom pieces (1 in each colorway): 5.5” diameter
• 1 strap piece: 20” x 4″
• 1 tie belt piece: 32″ x 4″
• Folding guide for creating the strap and tie belt: 20” x 2″ (Cinne is using cut-out pieces of cardstock, but you can also use a repurposed manila folder)
Part 1. Prep and Sew Main Bag Layers
This project involves making two identical fabric bags. For the sake of this project, we’ll be referring to one bag as the inner bag and one bag as the outer bag. However, when you’re all done with this project, the bag will be reversible so that both fabrics have the chance to shine! Depending on what works best for your workflow, you can either make one bag at a time or both bags at the same time, which Cinne is doing for the tutorial below.
Note: Since all the seams are closed, surging fabric edges is optional.
1. Cut out all your pattern pieces using the pattern measurements above. Cinne has made pattern templates in those measurements using paper card stock so that she can easily make this bag again.
2. Cut two 4” pieces of elastic and fold each in half.
3. Pin or glue-baste the elastic loop 5.5″ down from the top edge of the main bag body piece with the loop facing inward away from the edge. Repeat this step for both bags.
4. Fold the body pieces in half vertically and sew the edges together. Snip off seam corners and press the seam open.
5. Fuse one layer of the interface to each bag’s bottom piece. You’ll add a second layer later after the pieces are fit together.
6. Mark the bottom edge of the bag and the bottom circle into four equally divided sections.
Part 2. Attach Bag Bottoms
1. Pin the main bag body piece to the bottom circle (right sides facing each other), matching the four divided markings. Then ease the two sides together between pins, lining up edges and pinning as you maneuver your way around. I find it easier to sew with pins on top of the circle. Watch your fingers, as there will be lots of pins!
2. Slowly sew around the bottom pieces 3/8” in from the edge. Check the underside and straighten/smooth out folds while sewing.
3. Finger press the bottom seam and notch every inch or so.
4. Add a second layer of fusible interface to the bottom of each bag for support.
Part 3. Prep Tie Belt and Strap
1. Fold each piece for the tie and strap in half right-side out lengthways and press. Be sure to use a pressing cloth on the right side of the fabric to protect it.
2. Fold edges in half again inward so straps are 1” wide. I use a folding guide made out of paper card stock (using a repurposed manila folder also works!) that’s 2″ wide, then folded in half for accuracy. Fold the center of the fabric as well as the other edge to create the bag belt and then the strap.
3. Remove the paper guide and press or roll. Glue pen baste or clip edges together down the long edge.
4. For the belt, repeat the steps above and add a stitch line across the width of the strap marked 1” from each end.
Below, at left, I use my (optional) trusty edge joining foot to keep my stitch line along the joining edges straight, moving the needle 1/8” to the left. Below, at right, the setup for this foot on my Brother machine. An edge joining foot helps you stitch a neater edge, but isn’t necessary to use in this step.
5. For the handle, sew a straight stitch down one side 1/8” from the edge, leaving the ends raw.
6. For the belt, I start by sewing across the strap at the 1“ marking and then turn and sew down the long side edge at 1/8″ until I hit the 1” mark, where I stop and turn and stitch back across to the folded edge.
7. Hide the thread ends by hand. First, with a knot, and then sew them back into the fabric. Pull and snip the threads so they disappear back under the fabric.
Part 4. Fringe the Belt Ends
1. Pick and pull off cross threads just before the stitch line using tweezers or a large needle. Linen works excellent for this with its loose weave.
2. I like to fluff the belt ends by combing them with my tweezers and then giving the straggler strings a clean-up fringe trim.
Part 5. Finish the Bag
The photos below show what your finished bag will look like after completing this section.
Once you’re done with the following steps, the bag will have a) a handle tucked between the inner and outer layers that’s secured with a top stitch as well as b) a line of top stitching visible.
1. Fold the top of the bags inward 1 3/4” and press.
2. Working on one side of the bag with it turned inside out, line up and either glue-baste or hand-baste the handle (to the back first). If you leave a pin in, make sure it’s up at the top edge out of the way of the area to be sewn. Then flip over to the front side, line up centers and glue-baste or pin the other end of the handle in place.
3. Place the inner bag inside the outer bag layer with the wrong sides facing each other and the front and back lined up, and clip the top fold of bag bodies so the top edges are even.
4. Turn the whole bag right side out (stopping halfway to admire how cute a hat would be).
Part 6. Top Stitch Everything in Place
Pro tip: If you have a machine with a removable flatbed section for sewing sleeves, this would be the moment to remove it so the bag can smoothly rotate around the footbed while sewing.
1. Mark the line to top stitch around the rim of the outer bag at 1.5″.
2. To stitch a nice straight hem, I suggest placing pieces of tape on the sewing surface to follow as you rotate the bag.
Pro tip: Before top stitching, test sewing 4 layers of linen scraps to work out a tension where the stitches show perfectly on both sides of the bag.
3. Then ensure everything is in position with straps pinned straight and tension set for 4 layers (about 6 on your machine), then slowly top stitch around the bag at 1.5″ down from the top edge, keeping the stitch line as straight as possible. I like to start at the seam and lightly pencil a few marks at the starting point.
Hide your threads, steam press the bag and you’re done! Use the bag for a bottle of wine or a bunch of blooms! Or ease the belt open a little and use it as a cocktail bag. Want to get creative? You can further change things up by upcycling a scarf or tying on a festive ribbon for the bag belt!