I know how to knit. Really, I do. I got a start on a knitted Christmas stocking for my ever-expanding family to add to our heirloom stockings. That was 12 years ago! I finally decided something’s got to change because, my friends, THIS is what I was giving to my family to use as Christmas stockings. Grocery bags labeled with a Sharpie marker. Sad.
This year I’m getting a jump start to beef up my stocking-giving game. I decided to ditch the whole idea of actually using the stocking (keeping them for decoration only). Instead, I’m making something fun, extremely easy and quick to make. I’ve made three …now only ten more to go. They are so easy, though, I think I can actually do this. Let’s run through the steps!
SANTA SACK (by ideastimestwo.com) makes one 18″x 22″ bag
5/8 yd. plaid flannel (or any pattern) Good quality flannel works best for a firmer bag
5/8 yd. cotton lining
1 1/8 yd. trim of choice (top of sack)
2 pom poms or tassels (I’ll show you how to make your own pompoms), for cord/ribbon ends (opt.)
If making your own pompoms, you will need the better part of a skein of yarn for two pompoms
1 3/4 yd. cord or ribbon (for cinching sack)
Fray check or something similar to deter fraying in a few places we will cut
Miscellaneous: thread, sewing machine, fabric scissors, pins, marking pencil, ruler. A serger is handy, if you have one (opt.)
**Yardage for fabric includes an extra 3″ to allow for straightening fabric edges
MAKING THE BAG:
Note: All seams sewn with a 1/2″ seam allowance
Unfold your flannel and lay it out to even up the long edges. If you are fortunate, this was done at the fabric store. Sometimes they open up the fabric and cut on the lines of the plaid. If not, to give your sack a neat look, cut along one of the lines in the plaid all the way down the edge to even up the design.
2. Unfold the lining. Lay the plaid and the lining together flat, right sides together, with the larger of the two pieces underneath. Trim the pieces to be the same size. Pin the short edges together.
3. Take to the sewing machine and sew the two short edges. Turn right side out. Press sewn edges. Fold in half width-wise with lining facing out. (Your raw edges will be on the long edges and the sewn edge/fold will be on the short edges.)
4. With chalk or marking pencil, draw a line width-wise 5″ down from top edge. Draw another line 1″ from marked line. This marks the sewing line for the casing to be sewn later in step 6.
5. Take to your serger or sewing machine and sew down each raw side. If you are not using a serger, zigzag edge to finish off. Leave wrong side out.
6. Sew along marked lines all the way around bag. This forms the cord/ribbon casing. Before turning your bag right side out, make two small cuts in the lining only on either side of each side seam. Squirt with Fray Check or similar product. Turn right side out. Your basic bag is done.
7. Decide which side will be the front of your bag. Make a small mark to indicate the center of the casing. Just fold in half to find center. Make a small vertical cut in the plaid fabric only. (If you cut the lining, it’s not the end of the world.) Squirt Fray Check on slit to prevent raveling.
8. Time to add the bag tie. You may need to add tape or Fray Check to ends of cord/ribbon. Feed cord/ribbon through casing by attaching a safety pin to one end, starting at center front hole. when you come to the side seams, feed through small slit, jump over the side seam, and feed through the slit on the other side of the seam. Pull to even out ties and you are done! If you choose to attach a pompom, follow the steps below.
TO MAKE POMPOMS:
I don’t have a pompom maker, so I do this the old-fashioned way. Grab a small, stiff object. Lay two 8″ strands of yarn over your object; this will be your anchoring tie. (Please note, in the picture, I only have one strand shown for the anchoring tie. I later added a second.) Wrap yarn around object (or about three fingers) going the opposite way as your anchoring tie. Wrap around 200 times. Cut yarn.
- Tie the anchoring ties as tightly as you can. Tie in a knot. Don’t cut anchoring ties yet.
3. Holding anchoring ties, cut wrapped yarn on opposite side of knot. It will splay out in a fan and look like the photo.
4. Trim, trim, trim. Cut yarn in half-moon type of motions until you get a beautiful, fluffy pompom.
5. Attach pompom onto cord or ribbon by hot gluing, tying or tacking with needle and thread. You may cut the anchoring tail now unless you need it to tie onto cord–it just depends on the material of cord you are using. For gluing or sewing, just be sure to attach by carefully separating yarn to get to the “core” and attach to the knot if possible. The pictures below show the two methods I used. For the black and white pompom, I clipped the anchor tail off then sewed the big knot to the ribbon. For the white pompom, I tied the anchor yarn into a knot with the cord (the cord is thick and not very slippery like some silky types of cord so this method worked very well.) Next, I tied the yarn into a knot around the cord to further secure. At this point you may cut the yarn tail.
That does it for now. I hope you have fun with this project. And now…I’m off to finish my other 10 bags.