Simple Gifts

Anyone else finding the array of new sewing (and knitting) magazines now on offer far too tempting? I’ve succumbed to the last couple of issues of Simple Sewing magazine. I’m blaming Tilly’s bow blouse sew along for my latest indulgence…

But I also found a useful tutorial for a trio of simple, drawstring bags. It was my sister-in-law’s birthday recently and I’d already found this lovely bag which I thought would be handy for transporting her cross stitch projects in when she’s away from home. But I really wanted to add something homemade to the parcel too.


The first addition was easy: a couple of already-assembled lavender bags. But I knew these bags would be handy for carrying smaller items such as needles and silks. I had a good rummage around my scrap heap and unearthed this lovely flower and leaf fabric, along with some perfectly coordinating old, furnishings trimmings.

This was a pretty easy project which I found really satisfying. The only tricky bit was pulling the linings through, which I had to have a good fiddle around with, before getting it right. I’ve mostly only sewn clothing so it was also nice to extend my range. Hopefully if I add a few more such projects to my repertoire, I’ll have far more ideas for future sewing Santas too πŸ™‚ As with a lot of simple projects, beautiful fabric makes all the difference here. I’m really pleased with the results”

I’ve also added a quick snap of my homework from school this week. My school had a ‘balance’ week where all homework was suspended and a range of activities from yoga to hair care demonstrations was put on instead. Our weekly knitting club had 45 pupils and 6 staff signed up, so we’ve been busy casting on as many balls as possible in preparation…

Pattern: Simply SewingΒ Magazine’s Drawstring Bags

New Skills: sewing bags and adding linings

Soundtrack: Haim’s Days Are Gone

Anyone else have any good suggestions for projects to give as gifts that are actually useful? Lots of the ones I’ve come across seem to be more sewing for sewing’s sake rather than genuinely practical presents.



35 thoughts on “Simple Gifts

  1. I find sewing magazines irresistible! The drawstring bags are great and so useful – I love that leaf fabric. I always find pulling linings through really satisfying! Happy weekend!

  2. I’ve just returned from Sainsbury’s with Simply Sewing in my mitts because of the Tilly blouse! I would have got Love Sewing too if they had any in stock! I just wish I had the time to sew all the patterns! The little bags look great. I’m a big fan of making bags – once you turn through the lining it looks so professional!

    • The Tilly blouse looks lovely doesn’t it? Good excuse to practice those French seams too πŸ™‚ The bags were a really satisfying make. Yet again I can’t believe I haven’t tried any before…

  3. I’ve bought burda today! And a handmade home the other day! They know how to reel us in, so it’s really not our fault!
    Peg bags – I’ve made loads and they’ve all gone down well, especially the personalised ones πŸ˜€

  4. Aprons, gardening aprons (with multiple pockets etc), zip purses always for keep handbags organised, cloth napkins, tote bags, cushion covers,pillow cases, shoe bags for travelling, lingerie bags for the washing machine or for travelling, soft toys… So many fun and practical gifts to make

  5. Your choices, both of projects & fabrics, are lovely, Theresa! Oh, how I would love to be able to pick up a sewing magazine or two at a grocer’s over here, or even a crafting magazine. But no, those are not considered appropriate for some reason. Have to go to either a fabric chain store like Joann’s and hope they’ve got something, or find a smaller shop has one or two magazines. Am so envious!

  6. I’ve not bought a single copy of Simple Sewing. Feeling proud of myself πŸ˜€ But these look great, I know it’s nice to sew something small and quick sometimes. Gift idea: cosmetic bag. I made one for my stepmum for mother’s day. I love it! It’s a boxy shape bag with “no guts”! (Pinterest!)

  7. Great makes! I like the magazines but other than a dinosaur apron for my grandson, for Christmas 2014, haven’t actually used any of the patterns as yet. I recently made a bag and some wine bags (for this past Christmas) and enjoyed the process – there will be more!

  8. Love your fabric choices! Nice little set of bags. I’ve recently begun to do some “little gift” sewing, since clothing seems to be eluding me at the moment. Your readers have submitted some wonderful suggestions….and my sister has a birthday coming up, I think I a nice wine bag would be just the ticket. πŸ˜‰

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