Happy Holidays

Scarves for co-workers
For this year's group gifts I needed something impressive. The first time I had time to work on anything was after December 15th. That means it had to be quick, easy, impressive and fit within my budget - inexpensive. 

What is easy to make? Scarves! Yes scarves. I stopped by the local fabric store, without my coupons just to check out what was on sale. I figured there might be some red tag fabric available if nothing else. It must have been my lucky day because everything in the store, well, everything I looked at in the store, was on sale 50-60% off. Simply silky fabrics, red tag fabrics, remnants. All of it on sale. 

I needed 1/2 yard each for six people. I saved so much I picked up a sheer curtain fabric remnant which is about 90 inches wide to make little gift bags to hold the scarves. If you need a quick idea, try this.  

Simply silky prints are about 60" wide, one of the few fabrics that has not been reduced to 54-58 inches instead of the 60 it should be.  One half yard is 18".  By making the purchase of 1/2 yard I did not even need to trim the fabric, except for cutting the selvage edges, before I narrowly hemmed it.  (There were some uneven cuts from the store that I did correct.) 

If you have a narrow hem foot this is a good project to use it, but I found it easier to just roll the fabric and straight stitch it.  When I finished the scarves I made a drawstring bag that allowed the scarf colors to show through. 

Instructions for the gift bags:
  • Trace around a folded scarf, add enough fabric to fold back one side for the drawstring placement. Mark the drawstring placement on the pattern. (Pattern is on the left above.)
  • Place the pattern on fold so width is double that of the pattern drawing. (See the place on fold mark above.)
  • Serge (or zig-zag stitch) along one end side. (Top of the white bag, pictured on the right above.)
  • Bring the sides together, serge (or zig-zag stitch) these edges together. (You can see the vertical seam on the right side above.)
Pattern, drawstring hem area folded back,  seams on cloth bag.
  • Center this seam, then serge (or zig-zag stitch) the bottom of the bag.
Button hole placement 

  • Make a button hole on each side of the bag. 
  • Fold the drawstring hem edge down and stitch around the bag above and below the button holes. This forms the track for the drawstrings.
  • With a bodkin, or a safety pen, thread one cord beginning at one button hole, all the way around and back out the same button hole. Then thread another cord from the other button hole, around and back out the same button hole. 
  • Tie the cord ends together. When the strings are pulled on each side it will close the bag. Use the excess string to tie a bow.

Gift Bags with Scarves and Name Tags

Now  you can give your friends these presents. If you have picked the right fabric they will really be impressed and the gift bag becomes a second present.

On line Etymology Dictionary

present (n.2) Look up present at Dictionary.com
c.1200, "thing offered, what is offered or given as a gift," from Old French present and Medieval Latin presentia, from phrases such as French en present "(to offer) in the presence of," mettre en present "place before, give," from Late Latin inpraesent "face to face," from Latin in re praesenti "in the situation in question," from praesens "being there" (seepresent (adj.)), on the notion of "bringing something into someone's presence."

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