Friday, 1 January 2016

Padded wine bottle bags for Christmas gifts

Happy New Year! I hope I have succeeded in scheduling this post! A new to me technique.

After my (relative) success in making a messenger bag,  I turned my hand to some gift bags, for wine, or perhaps infused olive oil as I saw suggested somewhere. I needed 3 bags for Christmas. I made 4, one of which was a touch shorter than the others,  because I had a few problems with the fabric.

I made two bags with this fabric from my stash - I used red lining
I bought some inexpensive fabric when I was at the knitting and stitching show. I decided against Christmas fabrics - I have some from last year that I haven't used, but am not sure where they are after my reorganisation (!) so it'll be next year now - instead going for a more upholstery vibe. I made two bags with this new fabric and two with existing stash fabric. 

Some of the fabrics with first finished bag on top.
I made two bags with the red blue and white and one with the two tone maroon/green fabric

I love the two tone effect but don't know what it's called. I really liked this finished bag - I used a maroon lining. I don't have a photo of the finished bag

I used the free padded bottle bag pattern from Deby at So Sew Easy, which I downloaded via Craftsy. Here is the link. I didn't need to watch her video tutorial as the process was straightforward,  at least after the first one,  where I made all my mistakes (that's the shorter bag).

Wine Bag Pattern.  Sew a padded wine or

I had some fusible fleece left over from my last craft foray. Not enough, though so I ordered more - but when it arrived I found it wasn't fleece at all but simply fusible interfacing. I ordered more, the right stuff this time, from the US but knew it wouldn't arrive on time; it has since arrived, ready for future projects. I decided to use some of the bump I had left over from Missy’s makeover. That worked, though because it wasn't fusible,  the process was a bit trickier.  I attached at the sides and the ribbon carriers are sewn through the outer fabric and interfacing, holding it together well.  The bump was also a little thicker but that wasn't a problem;  in fact Deby has a variant with fleece on both the outer  bag and the lining to give more protection to more valuable wines or when travelling.

The first bag was made from rather attractive almost metallic firm fabric with a difficult to pierce surface.  I fused this with the last of the fusible fleece. The lining was a slippery lining type fabric. The recommended fabric is cotton and that would certainly have been easier. I found that the needle had difficulty piercing this fabric.

The instructions were straightforward. I did,  however,  make a ‘mistake’ in leaving the turning gap in the lining too near the top. I completed the bag but was unhappy with the finish there so dismantled it enough to lower the position of the turning gap so it didn't show near the top. It was worth the effort. I think the bag looks great,  though it's a little shorter than the others.

The colour of the pattern is more gold than shown here; ribbon to match and blue lining

So the issues I had:
  • Outer fabric too thick and difficult to pierce (looks nice,  though!)
  • I had to cut a third outer layer,  however, as I found there was a fault running down the centre of one of the pieces. I guess that is why the fabric was cheap! I found they weren't the same size when I came to sew together so I trimmed to make them match, resulting in a slightly shorter bag.
  • Inner fabric too thin and silky
  • Layers for bottom gusset on outer fabric too thick and unmanageable
  • It was really tough to pin on and sew the ribbon channels
  • The instructions were straightforward and I was able to follow them without difficulty once I chose the right machine needle.
  • I've learned my lesson about fabric!
  • The instructions suggested leaving a 4 inch gap in the lining for turning. This wasn't quite enough - I should have left more because of the bulk of the outer bag. More significantly, I should have left the gap near the bottom of the lining rather than near the top so that it wouldn't be visible from the neck.
  • I feared it would be too small due to the extra bulk but a bottle of wine does fit in.

I had no problems with the other bags. I ended up with two identical bags, one blue bag,  described above and one maroon/green bag. I found 6mm ribbon in suitable colours in Dunelm Mill,  which saved me travelling into town (not far - just Christmas shopping and also that was when I wasn't well). I used one red and one blue ribbon in each of the red, blue and white bags, I planned to use one maroon and one green in the maroon and green bag but had picked up the wrong size of green ribbon so used two maroon, and two gold in the blue/ gold bag. This last is the least satisfactory colour combination but it's still nice.

Three were given at Christmas with wine gifts - they travelled well.  I was pleased that the bags added quite a bit to the gift.

I have the blue and gold one left over. As the fabric is not Christmassy, it can be used at any time of year, or I can keep it until next year!  My oldest daughter was keen to have handmade items given between family members. As it turned out, she didn't get a handmade item from me; she doesn't make things but I got handmade cards from my two grandsons.  I just ran out of time.


  1. A good project and useful tips, but I felt it was almost impossible to make time for home made presents.

    1. Thank you. I have more time than you, though, since I'm a retired lady of leisure (!!). What did you think of the pleated skirt for Helen? Two or three blog posts ago.

  2. Lovely little gifts - and some learning as well. Lovely:) Happy New Year. Like Kate above, I don't have time to make gifts - I'm flat out keeping myself clothed.

    1. Thank you. They didn't take long to make and as you say, taught me a few things. As you know I don't manage to keep myself clothed - that's a second half of 2016 resolution! Happy New Year.


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