Creative articles about sewing

Sew a reusable gift bag

Did you ever think that nice and shiny gift paper is such a waste? I want to sew a reusable gift bag from lightweight cotton fabric. If you choose one that has the same front and back, it will work.

Maybe you find a scrap that is big enough to make this bag.

This nice bag shows how precious the gift is to you. It can be used over and over again.

Take a look at my gift bag:

Sew a reusable gift bag - luxureous gift - french seam


Supplies you need to sew a reusable gift bag:

  • Choose for a fabric with both right sides. The size depends on your gift. I had a 39,5 x 92 cm fabric.
  • Gold ribbon or tape
  • Amann Mettler Seralon or Seracycle to sew
  • Round elastic (about 10 cm longer than the width of the fabric) or other flat decorative elastic.
  • Goldcoloured cord locks.
  • Fabric glue
  • Add other small stuff like stars or badges if you like.
  • Sewing machine BERNINA 710 and Bulky overlock foot # 12 (if you take round elastic).
Image of Bulky Overlock Foot #12C.

Bulky Overlock Foot #12C

Sewing on thick cords, strings of beads and sequins ✓  For making and sewing in piping in a single operation ✓  For couching yarns ✓  For 9 mm machines ✓ 

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Image of BERNINA 710.


The BERNINA 710 offers many features to make sewing easier. Inventions such as the semi-automatic threading system, the BERNINA Stitch Regulator (BSR), the BERNINA DualFeed, and the embroidery system, are proof of this superior quality.

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Sew the gift bag with a french seam:

Check if your fabric is an exact rectangle.

Fold over 3,5 cm from the shortest side and fold over.

Fold the fabric and be sure the folded sides are on the inside.


Pin both sides together.

Sew with a 0,5 cm seam. I used the Open embroidery foot # 20 to have a clear view at my work and set the needle in the far right position.

Image of Open Embroidery Foot #20.

Open Embroidery Foot #20

Perfect for sewing decorative stitches ✓   Creation of attractive appliqué designs ✓  Allows lines and patterns to be followed precisely ✓   An open form for a clear view of the project ✓  For 5.5 mm and 9 mm machines ✓ 

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Fold the bag inside out and iron the seams if necessary. You will have the folded side on the outside now. Place the gold ribbon between the seam and check if it will be sewn in the next seam. Now sew the side seams again and take a 0,75 cm seam. The first seam is now hidden on the inside. No need to overlock or zigzag. Neat job!


Continue with the elastic:

I chose for the bulky overlockfoot 12C because of its hole, where I can guide the elastic through.


Guide the elastic about 5 cm, before you start to sew as close as you can against the side seam. A stitched zigzag is a good choice.

With your left hand, you guide the fabric with the elastic, behind the presserfoot. With the right hand, you stretch the elastic as much as you can. In the meanwhile, you guide it over the edge of the folded fabric.

In one stitching line, you stitch the elastic, you finish the raw edge and you sew the edge to the bag.

reusable gift bag from fabric - sew gift bag- french seam - environmental friendly


Finishing the gift bag:

Put both loose ends of the elastic through the cord lock. Tie them firmly and put the cord lock over the knot. Fill the cord locks with fabric glue and add some on the elastic. Let dry and cut the left over elastic close to the cord lock.

I finished this reusable bag in no time. I love to reuse stuff and to be aware of environmental friendly choices.

Good luck with your bag!

Free sewing tutorial: Reusable gift bag

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Time to Complete: Evening
Used Material: cotton, Fabric Glue, gold ribbon, gold tape, Mettler Seracycle, round elastic
Used Products:
Bulky Overlock Foot #12C
Bulky Overlock Foot #12C
Open Embroidery Foot #20
Open Embroidery Foot #20

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