Tuesday 25 November 2014

GD:Lelainia Lloyd #2 Homespun Holiday Stitches

Hi. Lelainia here with another festive gift wrap idea. In my family, we like to recycle gift wrapping materials. For years, we’ve had the same printed gift boxes and pretty handmade fabric bags travelling back and forth between our houses, wrapping numerous gifts given over the years. They’ve become treasured heirlooms and it’s become a tradition to carefully tuck them away with the rest of the Xmas ornaments after the holidays, to be re-gifted the next year.

I cut a piece of muslin slightly larger than my embroidery hoop. I folded the fabric in half so the fold is along the bottom and creased the fold so I would be able to see where the bottom of the bag was going to be. 

Next I took the Noel stamp from Lin Brown ELB10 collection and inked it up with black Staz-On ink. I gently stamped this image onto a piece of scrap paper to remove some of the ink. I did this because I want just enough ink on the fabric to see the image when I stamp. This helps to make the stamped image disappear beneath my stitches. 


Once I had removed the extra ink, I centred the image over my fabric and stamped it lightly.
TIP: If you’re not confident in how much ink you should remove, I recommend using a piece of scrap fabric and practising till you know how hard you need to press when removing ink. I also recommend unfolding the fabric before you stamp so the ink doesn't bleed through when to the back of the bag.

Next I used an embroidery hoop and back stitched around the word “Noel” using red embroidery floss. I chose DMC 816, but feel free to use whatever colour you prefer.  I cut the thread about 12 inches long and then stripped off 2 threads to stitch with. (2 ply.)

I back stitched around the star using DMC 680, an antique gold, 2 ply and then filled the star in using a series of French Knots.

For the second bag, I use the “Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year” stamp from Lin Brown ELB11 collection. 

For this one, I didn’t remove any ink from the stamp because I wanted the message to be prominent. I stitched the * symbols  in the border using DMC 520, which is a dark green with 2 ply of thread and a straight stitch. Once the stitching was done, I pressed my fabrics to remove the creases from the hoop.

TIP: Always press on the back side of any embroidered piece to avoid flattening your stitches

For both bags, I evened up the edges of the bag and then folded the top edges over ½ inch and pressed them to help mark them before sewing them down using a ¼ inch seam allowance. These channels will be where the drawstring goes, to close the bag.

Next I sewed up the two sides, stopping at the stitch line where the channel begins at the top

I turned the bag inside out and flattened the bottom fold. This created two triangle points at each end. I pin these triangles to keep everything lined up nicely.

I marked a line 3/4 inch from the corner on each side and then sewed along that line. 

I clipped the excess fabric away, leaving a ¼ seam allowance from the stitched line. This makes the bag bottom square, so the bag can sit upright on its own. 

This makes it look more finished and it looks really nice sitting upright under the tree.

Finally, I cut four 18 inch lengths of red and white baker’s twine for the Noel bag. This twine was on the thin side, so I decided to double it up and use two strands per side. 

I poked a safety pin through a loose knot at the end of the twine and threaded it through the entire channel at the top of the bag starting from the right side of the bag. 

I did the same with the second piece of twine, but started feeding it through on the opposite (left) side. This will allow the twine to pull in opposite directions, making a good draw string closure.

I threaded a small jingle bell on each of the strings and knotted it. I then knotted the two pieces of twine together on each side.

TIP: To thread the twine through the bells, I used a flosser as my “needle”. You can find these at any store that sells oral care products. A package usually costs under $4 and you can use the flossers as needles over and over again. They are super useful for anything having to be threaded where an actual needle would be too big.

For the Merry Christmas bag, I used a slightly thicker twine, so I only used one strand per side. I added jingle bells to them as well.

To close the bag, simply pull on both strings at the same time, loop and tie a bow. Aren’t they pretty? Paper Artsy has so many stamps that would lend themselves well to stitchery-have a look through your collection and see!


A huge thanks to Lelainia from PaperArtsy HQ for these stunning gift bags. What a beautiful way to start a family tradition. I can see lots of PaperArtsy Christmas bags appearing under trees this year. 

We would love you to join in with our monthly challenge. If you are inspired by any of this month's guests who have blogged between Nov 1st 2014 and Nov 30th 2014 then join in and link up your creativity HERE. You will go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. You need to add your link by 19:00 (London time) Nov 30th 2014


Julie Lee said...

What a lovely idea!A real heirloom. And I'm now beginning to see the potential for stitching other PA stamps too! I'm loving those jingle bells on the bag too! They remind me of Santa's sleigh bells and are really evocative of Christmas magic! xxx

Helen said...

what a clever idea and so neatly sewn!

mitzi curry said...

I will have to make a few for my grandson's this year !!!!

Hazel Agnew said...

Great idea, love the simplicity. Bells finish them off perfectly! X

CastleKelly Crafts said...

These bags are beautiful, there are so many possibilities----, just wish there were more hours in a day to achieve everything I'd like to try! X

massofhair said...

Fabulous project! :-) xxx

Keren Baker said...

Lovely sewn bags-great embroidery too! x

Kirsten said...

They're really lovely. I'm always in awe of anyone who can sew/embroider etc.

laury55 said...

they are gorgeous!!!!thanks for the tips

Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

Thanks everyone! I am now having a look-see through my PA rubber collection to find other designs to stitch! Please post a link if you make some too-I would LOVE to see!