It’s true that Halloween isn’t that big a deal here in Australia. If anything, it’s probably been embraced more by Aussie adults than the kids – you’re much more likely to see Halloween used as an excuse for a party than see kids out Trick or Treating.
Regardless, that won’t stop me sewing something up for the occasion! These little fabric drawstring bags are small and sweet (approx 3.5 x 5.5″ finished) and the perfect size for a little Halloween gift (maybe for a teacher or a special friend) when you don’t want to go too over-the-top with the amount of sugar you’re gifting.
You’ll need 2 x 9″ squares of fabric and 2 x 25″ lengths of ribbon to make a bag (ribbon width 3/8″ is perfect, but most will work – just don’t go too thick as it makes it hard to fully draw in the bag top).
I chose 9″ squares to maximise using a fat quarter. Two contrasting fat quarters will give you four bags.
Sew your 2 x 9″ squares together, right sides facing each other. Use a quarter inch seam and leave a 2″ gap in the perimeter, 1″ from one of the corners:
Turn inside out through the gap and press – make sure you press the gap edges in so they match the seam line.
Decide which colour you’d like to see on the bag body vs flaps and and place your square with the bag body colour up. Then fold opposite corners of the square over 3.5″ to reveal your flap colour.
Hint: fold the corner that has your turning gap in it, so you don’t have to worry about sewing it shut.
We need to sew a housing for the drawstring/ribbon in both flaps – I used a half inch gap for this. If you have chosen a very thick ribbon you might need to increase this. Mark your line and sew it down, remembering to backstitch at the start and end of the line for strength. (I used water soluble marker to mark my lines, which I wiped off at the end.)
Fold the entire piece in half along the remaining diagonal line. Both folded corners should meet with the flaps facing out.
Fold the bottom points in together and cross them over a tad.
Finger press the fold line so that when you open it up again you can mark a line along that crease.
Sew down both lines, again backstitching at the start and end of the seam.
Invert these triangles so that they wrap around the outside of the bag, revealing the flap colour fabric (a bit like an origami fold out). The points of these triangles will meet in the middle of the bottom of the bag.
Use a few hand-sewn stitches to secure the two points of the triangles together (just to each other, no need to sew it to the bottom of the bag).
Turn the whole bag inside out so we can box the bottom corners. Ensure the corners of the triangle flaps you just created are nestled in nicely to the corners of the bag body.
Flatten one of the corners at the bottom of the bag as seen below – you want the side seam of the bag to be running straight down the centre of the triangle point you form.
Mark a line 3/4″ from the top point of the triangle. I used the 45 degree lines on my cutting mat – when your triangle top fits in there it’s easy to mark the triangle base so that it’s square.
Sew along the line (it will be thick sewing given you have the bag and the flaps to sew through). Then do the same for the other corner.
Turn your bag right-way-out again – it’s almost finished.
Take a length of ribbon and thread one end through each ribbon housing. Tie the two ribbon ends together.
Take the other length of ribbon and do the same, just from the opposite housing opening.
There you have a cute little bag ready for a handful of treats (or any other small gift like a severed tongue or a tarantula).
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