Handmade wines, oils, and vinegars are super popular these days, and the Internet is filled with wonderful recipes. If you have some unique, homemade blends planned as gifts for friends and family this holiday season, you’ll need beautiful bags to put your bottles in! Our tall gift bags are lightly padded with fleece and foam to protect the bottle on its way from your kitchen to theirs.
We worked with fat quarters from the True Colors collection by Joel Dewberry for FreeSpirit fabrics, but any larger scraps of fabric would work. Check out the cut dimensions in the Getting Started section below to see how much is needed for each of the sizes.
This section of the instructions also shows you the formulas you can use to size our cuts up or down for your specific bottle(s). The large, medium, and small options we created should fit a wide variety of standard sizes, but it’s always good to understand the math so you can modify as needed.
Three circular base patterns are also available for download below. If you modify the main cuts, don’t forget that you’ll also need to modify the base circle. You can make your own circle with a compass or find a small drinking glass or similar to use as a template.
The top of the bag is fully finished by the hem, so you can simply tie it closed around the neck of the bottle with your favorite trim. Our samples show how we used lace, burlap, and grosgrain tied into both long and short bows as well as a classic square knot.
On each of our bags, a bold fabric on the bottom half is combined with a more subtle pattern on the top. For the best look, fussy cut the bottom section to center a dramatic motif. This section is quilted, which adds a lovely texture and pads the main part of the bottle to protect it from accidental bumps.
Since a gift bag like this often gets set down onto a hard surface with a bit more force than necessary, we also added extra foam padding in the base.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Walking foot (the Janome Skyline S7 has the built-in AcuFeed Flex™ fabric-feeding system; if you do not have this option, use an Even Feed or Walking foot or similar). We used AcuFeed™ Flex throughout the project.
Fabric and Other Supplies
- Base pattern piece; use the link below in the Getting Started section
- ⅓ – ½ yard or scrap of 44”+ wide quilting weight cotton fabric for the top, fold-over section
- ¼ yard or scrap of 44”+ wide quilting weight cotton fabric for the end panels for the bottom quilted section
- ¼ yard or scrap of fusible fleece for the quilted bottom section; we used Pellon Thermolam Plus
- ¼ yard or scrap of fusible foam for the base; we used Pellon Flex Foam
- ¾ – 1 yard of ribbon, lace or similar trim for the ties; the final length depends on the size of bow you’d like; we even used a burlap trim secured with a simple square knot
- All purpose thread to match fabric
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
- Hand sewing needle
- Below are the three gift bag sizes we created, which should fit a variety of bottles as shown. Using the formulas given, you can size up or down to best fit your exact bottle. Of course, you’d then need to create your own circular base pattern.
- Download and print the Base Pattern Pieces. There are two sheets, containing three sizes of our circular base pattern. These options have been bundled into one PDF file to make the download easier.
IMPORTANT: The pages are ONE 8½” x 11″ sheets. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page to confirm your print out is to scale.
LARGE BOTTLE BAG
- From the fabric for the top section, cut the following:
ONE 13½” wide x 15” high rectangle
Using the large base pattern, cut TWO
NOTE: We fussy cut one circle to be the one facing out; the second circle (facing inside) need not be fussy cut.
- From the fabric for the bottom section, cut TWO 13½” wide x 8½” high rectangles.
- From the fusible fleece, cut ONE 12½” x 7½” rectangle.
- From the fusible foam, use the large base pattern to cut ONE, cutting along the dotted seam allowance line, not the outer solid line
MEDIUM BOTTLE BAG
- From the fabric for the top section, cut ONE 12¾” wide x 12” high rectangle.
- From the fabric for the bottom section, cut the following:
TWO 12¾” wide x 7½” high rectangles
Using the medium base pattern, cut TWO
- From the fusible fleece, cut ONE 1¾” x 6½” rectangle.
- From the fusible foam, use the medium base pattern to cut ONE, cutting along the dotted seam allowance line, not the outer solid line
SMALL BOTTLE BAG
- From the fabric for the top section, cut ONE 10½” wide x 10” high rectangle.
- From the fabric for the bottom section, cut the following:
TWO 10½” wide x 7” high rectangles
Using the small base pattern, cut TWO
- From the fusible fleece, cut ONE 9½” x 6” rectangle.
- From the fusible foam, use the small base pattern to cut ONE, cutting along the dotted seam allowance line, not the outer solid line
NOTE: Which fabric you cut your base from is up to you. As you can see above, we used the top fabric for the base of the large bottle bag and the bottom fabric for the base of the medium and small bags.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Quilt the bottom section
- Find the two bottom panels and the fusible fleece.
- Center the fleece on the wrong side of one panel. There should be ½” of fabric showing beyond the fleece on all sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Place the fused panel wrong sides together with the plain panel, creating a quilt sandwich of fabric-fleece-fabric. Pin in place through all the layers along all four sides.
- Edgestitch along all four sides to secure the layers.
- Thread the machine with thread to best match the fabric in the top and bobbin. Lengthen the stitch.
- Our lines of quilting were approximately 1” on the large and medium bags. On the smaller bag, we went a bit small to follow along the motif. The exact distance is up to you, but we wouldn’t recommend going much wider than 1”.
- Find the exact center of the panel. Using a fabric pen or pencil, draw a vertical line at this center point.
- We used our AcuFeed™ Flex foot and quilting bar to keep an even distance as we stitched additional straight, parallel lines first to the right of center and then to the left of center. You could also measure and draw in all your lines with your fabric pen or pencil.
NOTE: As we often caution, you are working on the right side of your fabric so make sure your fabric pen or pencil is one that will easily wipe away or will vanish with exposure to the air or heat.
Assemble the main tube and the top hem
- Place the top fabric panel right sides together with the quilted bottom section. You are aligning the bottom raw edge of the top panel with the top raw edge of the quilted panel. Pin in place through all the layers.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch across.
- Press the seam allowance up towards the top panel.
- Flip the sewn panel to the right side. Press again. Lengthen the stitch.
- Edgestitch along the length of the seam within the top panel. This flattens and secures the seam allowance.
- Place the long side edges right sides together and pin top to bottom.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch top to bottom.
- Finish the seam with your favorite method. We used a standard zig zag.
- With the tube still wrong side out, along the top, fold back the raw edge ½” and press.
- Fold down again until that top edge covers the horizontal seam allowance.
- Pin in place all around.
- Thread a hand sewing needle and whip stitch the hem in place. This hem is buried deep inside the bag, but as always, keep you stitches as neat as possible.
- Set aside the finished tube.
Create and inset the circular base
- Find the two base circles and the circle of fusible foam.
- Center the foam on the wrong side of what will be the inside base circle. There should be ½” of fabric showing beyond the foam all around. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Find the plain outside base circle (the one that has been fussy cut to center a motif).
- Draw one horizontal line through the center of the circle and one vertical line through the center of the circle.
- Similarly to how your created the bottom quilted section, place the fused base circle wrong sides together with the plain circle, creating a quilt sandwich of fabric-foam-fabric. Pin in place through all the layers.
- Lengthen the stitch.
- Stitch through all the layers along the two drawn lines, forming a cross.
- The four points of the cross create the four quadrant points of the circle that you will need to inset the base into the tube. They are like a clock face: 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00.
- Find the tube. It should still be wrong side out. It also needs to be marked for its four quadrant points. The seam is the 12:00 point. With this seam to one side, flatten the tube. There is now a fold exactly opposite the seam, place a pin in this fold. Then, bring the pin and seam together and flatten the tube again. Place two additional pins in the resulting folds. You should now have four quadrant points to match up with your base circle quadrant points.
- Place the base circle into the tube, right sides together, matching up the 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00 marks on both pieces. Pin just these marked points first…
- … then fill in around the entire circle. Don’t be afraid to use lots of pins to get a good fit.
- Using a ½” seam allowance stitch all around. Go slowly and concentrate on keeping the seam allowance even.
- Trim back the seam allowance to 1/4¼” and finish with your favorite method. We again used a zig zag stitch.
NOTE: If you are new to this technique, we have a full, step-by-step tutorial on inserting a flat circle into a tube.
- Turn the bag right side out. Press well.
- As a final accent, and to help keep the top hem completely flat, we topstitched around the upper folded edge, using a lengthened stitch and a ½” seam allowance.
- Insert your bottle and cinch the top closed with your favorite ribbon or trim tied into a bow or a pretty knot.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild