Stitch this festive fabric bag that's big enough to hold a small quilt or treasured find-and not only is it a gift bag, it doubles as a pillowcase for a standard-size pillow.
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Designer: Kim Schaefer



  • 3⁄4 yard red polka dot (pocket, ruffle, drawstring, band)
  • 7⁄8 yard multicolor print (bag body)
  • Large safety pin
  • Pocket Pattern

Finished gift bag: 30×20" plus ruffle

Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.

Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances for pocket, ruffle, drawstring, and band construction; 1⁄2" seam allowances for bag construction. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

From red polka dot, cut:

  • 1--10×41" strip
  • 1--2-1⁄2 ×42" strip
  • 1--6×25" strip
  • 2 of Pocket Pattern

From multicolor print, cut:

  • 1--26-1⁄2 ×41" rectangle

Assemble Pocket

1.    Sew together red polka dot pocket pieces, leaving a 3" opening along one edge for turning (Diagram 1).


2.    Trim corners and turn right side out through opening. Press flat and slip-stitch opening closed. Fold pocket flap over pocket body (see Pocket Pattern fold line); press flat to make a pocket. Topstitch along flap edges only, to hold flap in place

3.    Place pocket on right side of multicolor print 26-1⁄2 ×41" rectangle 4" from a short edge and a long edge (Diagram 2). Topstitch side and bottom edges of pocket to secure pocket to rectangle.


Assemble Ruffle

1.    Fold red polka dot 6×25" strip in half lengthwise with right side inside. Sew across both short ends. Turn right side out and press flat.

2.    Using a long machine stitch, sew two rows of basting stitches 1⁄4" and 3⁄8" from raw edge of Step 1 strip. Gently pull bobbin threads of basting stitches to make a 19-1⁄2"-long gathered ruffle (Diagram 3).


Make Drawstring

Fold red polka dot 2-1⁄2 ×42" strip in half lengthwise with right side inside. Sew long edges together. Turn right side out and press flat to make drawstring.

Finish Gift Bag

Use 1⁄2" seam allowance for the following steps.

1.    Fold red polka dot 10×41" strip in half crosswise. Sew short ends together, leaving a 1-1⁄2" opening in seam for drawstring, to make a tube (Diagram 4). Press seam open.


2.    Fold red polka dot tube in half with wrong side inside; press to make bag band.

3.    Fold multicolor print 26-1⁄2×41" rectangle in half with right side inside to form a 26-1⁄2×20-1⁄2" rectangle; press and unfold. Center ruffle on half the rectangle, between pressed fold and 1⁄2" from edge, aligning raw edges (Diagram 5); baste.


4.    Refold rectangle; sew together long edge and the short end with ruffle to make bag body. Turn right side out and press flat.

5.    Matching raw edges, slide bag band over bag body with opening in band seam toward bag body; pin. Sew together through all layers.

6.    Press bag band open, pressing seam toward bag body. Topstitch 1⁄4" from band seam on bag body to secure seam allowances, and 1-1⁄2" from band seam on band to make casing for drawstring (Diagram 6).


7.    Pin a large safety pin to one end of drawstring. Thread drawstring through opening in casing. Push drawstring through casing, keeping layers flat, and bring it back out through opening. Turn under drawstring ends 1⁄4" twice and machine-stitch through all layers.

8.    To prevent drawstring from being pulled out of casing, even drawstring ends and machine-stitch through midpoint of casing (opposite casing opening), securing drawstring with stitching, to complete gift bag.