Favour bags made of voile, organza or tulle fabric are elegant for bridal showers or parties and are easy to sew in little time as machine sewing speeds completion, especially when making a large number of bags. Voile is a thin, see-through fabric that requires some precision in cutting because the cut edges show through the completed bag, but the elegance makes it worth the effort. Variations of voile are seed voile, shadow stripe, splash, pique and corded. Decorate plain voile favour bags with applique or use coloured fabric for a special touch.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Voile, organza or tulle fabric
- Ribbon for drawstring
- Sewing machine or needle and thread
- Ruler or yardstick
- Safety pin
Measure the item or group of items the bags are to be used for to determine the size, as the finished size of the voile favour bag depends on the size of the favours. Add 3 cm (1 1/4 inches) to the finished size on the sides, and 7.5 cm (3 inches) to the finished size at the top. A bag the size of a 7.5 by 12.5 cm (3 by 5 inch) card requires a 11.2 by 20 cm (4 1/2 by 8 inch) rectangle, and this is about the smallest desirable size for a favour bag.
Fold the voile horizontally to match the length measurement of the bag to save fabric. This would be 20 cm (8 inches) for the 7.5 by 12.5 cm (3 by 5 inch) size. Use the fold of the fabric to cut the bags to avoid a bottom seam and make the bag in all one piece. This saves stitching time and better displays the contents of the pouch. Cut one bag and make a sample.
Thread your sewing machine with thread to match the voile and attach a presser foot and needle suited for fine fabric.
Sew the side seams from bottom to top and leave one side open 7.5 cm (3 inches) from the top. Turn the seam to the inside. Roll the open edge left on the side to the inside and stitch with a small seam. Press the top with a cool iron to fold 6 mm (1/4 inch) inside and fold down another 3 cm (1 1/4 inches) for the casing to hold the ribbon. Stitch one seam at the edge and another seam 1.8 cm (3/4 inch) from the edge at the top of the bag. This creates a casing and a ruffle.
Cut ribbon about 25 cm (10 inches) long or longer for a large bag, since the ribbon needs to be twice the width plus about 10 cm (4 inches) extra for the knot and tie. Pin a safety pin to the end of the ribbon and run it through the casing between the two rows of stitching so there is a ruffle at the top. Tie an overhand knot to secure the ends. Check the sample for size and make any adjustments needed before cutting the rest of the bags.
Cut the voile bags individually with scissors or use a cutting mat and rotary cutter to cut more than one at a time by folding the voile and using a ruler as a guide.
Sew the bags in a continuous line without cutting the thread, starting with the closed side, then the open side. Cut the bags apart and turn them. Sew the rolled side seam and stop to press. Press all bags at the same time and resume sewing the casing and ruffle. Cut ribbon and run it through the cased opening for each bag. Tie the ribbon ends.
Tips and warnings
- Sheer curtains are voile, organza or tulle and a laundered flat curtain in good condition is a thrifty fabric for voile gift bags.
- Voile, tulle and organza contain some plastic content, so gift bags made of these fabrics may not be recommended for uncovered sweets or edibles.
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