Friday, August 13, 2010

Party Favor Pouches

I made pouches for Akea’s sixth birthday party, which had a Disney Princess theme. I figured they’d make great party favor bags and might be fun for the kids to use later as a place to put treasures. In fact, we used them for a scavenger hunt, so they did double duty. But I think the best thing about these bags is that you don’t really have to know how to sew to make them. If you can run a straight stitch on a sewing machine, you’re in business. And what’s really great is that you don’t even have to worry about cutting an accurate rectangle.

So how do you make these wonder bags? First, find some fabric to fit with your theme. I got half a yard of pink sateen as a remnant for 99 cents, which was perfect for the girls. For boys, something thicker, like a faux suede or leather would work, or you could even search through the upholstery fabric remnants for something masculine. The next step is to figure out about how big you want the bag and cut your rectangles. Remember to allow ¼” – ½” for seams on the bottom and sides, and allow a ¾” – 1” fold on the top, which is where you’ll run the cording so the bag can be closed. My bags were about 8”x10” when they were finished.

A basic sewing tip is to sew inside-out. After you cut out the rectangles (or sorta-rectangles), place two of them together with the “good” sides facing each other, on the inside. Then pin them together.

Next, draw a “U” on one side of the fabric. Stay about ¼”-1/2” from the edges, though there will be more fabric where the “U” curves. Sew a straight stitch along this line, and then cut away the excess fabric around the curve of the “U.”

Fold down the top of the bag about ¾”-1”, still keeping it inside out. This fold will allow space through which to run a cord. To figure out the length of the cord, measure across the width of the bag, double it, and add a few inches. This will allow you to tie a knot in the cord. When you’ve figured out how much of a fold you want, pin it down.

At this point, you have two options. You can either sew the top fold with the cord already in place, or you can fish it through later. I went with option 1, and I had to get the seam ripper out a couple times because I accidentally sewed the cord down. If you go for option 2, pin a safety pin to the end of the cord before you fish it through to make that task easier. When you sew down the top fold, you will have to leave an opening for the cord. I did this at one of the side seams.

When you’re finished, turn the bag right side out and knot and pull the cord. And there you have it – a very simple party pouch fit for a princess!

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