Reversible fabric gift bag tutorial

I meant to make fabric gift bags this year but of course I’m only getting to it now, on Dec 26th, haha. Well, they’ll be ready for every other gift giving occasion this year.

ETA: I’ve completed over 30 in the past couple of days. Making good use of the time off work, I’m back in the office tomorrow.

In case you’d also like to make some, here is a step-by-step tutorial. Please let me know if anything isn’t clear and I’ll adjust it.

Cut 4 rectangles. You can use the same fabric for all 4 or contrasting fabrics (bday on one side, xmas on the other, etc). The instructions are the same for any sized bag though you may wish to add interfacing to the wrong side of all 4 pieces of fabric if you are making a larger bag, that will add some stiffness to the finished product.

On all the side seams, make marks 1" and 2" down from the top as shown.

Place each front piece right sides together with each lining piece and stitch along the top seam (I use a very narrow seam allowance of a scant 1/4").
Press the seam allowance open after stitching as shown.

Place the two pieces together, taking care to carefully line up the seam you have already sewn. Stitch all the way around with a 1/4" seam allowance, stopping and back-tacking to leave an opening between each 1" and 2" mark as shown. You will also leave a 2-3" opening along one side for turning.

Here’s a close-up of the 1" openings.

Press the seam allowance over as shown. Turn the piece over and press the other seam allowance over in the same way.

You can either clip the bottom corners like this:

Or if you would prefer to box the corners for a flat-bottomed bag, you can flatten them and mark 1-3" (depending on the size of the bag, this small bag has 1" corners) and stitch across the marking, back-tacking at the start and finished of the fabric.

Here are all 4 bottom corners stitched and trimmed.

Turn the bag right-side out through the small opening left on the side of the bag.
If you want a nice looking reversible bag, use the ladder stitch to close up that side opening. Alternately, you can make a narrow machine stitch to close the opening.

I like to press the bottom of the outside of the bag as shown, this step is optional.

Turn the lining into the bag and press along the top seam. Stitch a line at the top and the bottom of the openings in the side seams as shown.

Using a bodkin, safety pin, or crochet hook, run 2 pieces of ribbon, string, or yarn through the side openings from left to right, and from right to left.

You can add a bead and knot, or simply knot the loose ends of the strings close to the sides of the bag.

When pulled, they will gather the top nicely as shown.

I stitched up a bunch of name letter tags out of felt with ribbon loops.

They look really cute. The bags stand up very nicely on their own too.


My goodness, complex and beautiful!

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I love this idea! Especially the felt gift tags!

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The added touch of the gift tag is great. Thanks for the tute.

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Great tutorial @Magpie! Thank you for sharing it. :heart:

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The felt letter tags may end up on the tree as ornaments next year, we’ll pluck them to add to bags as needed.

There are a few steps but construction is fairly simple, a bit of measure and marking then only straight lines of stitching.

I’ve made over 30 more since posting the tutorial, I’ll add a photo of the lot to the original post.

Look at those seems! Crush!

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I love these! Thank you for showing your process.