Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Voila Wine Totes or Super Simple Gift Bags

Ha ha, hee hee... maniacal laughter with a glint in my eye-- I have taken over Rhea's blog. Actually, it wasn't too hard to convince her to allow me to guest blog just this once. I'm May, industrial marketing guru by day, sewing lounger and avid crafter by night.

This time of year I begin obsessing over holiday gifts, what to bring to various festivities to thank my hosts, what to do when I've procrastinated or am at a loss for a last minute gift, or I have found the perfect gift, but alas have no time for wrapping. The solution...Voila Wine Totes or Super Simple Gift Bags.

One fat quarter, some left over ribbon, 2-5 minutes of sewing and Voila, Super Simple! Fat quarters are for me like getting those little tasters in the shovel-like tiny plastic spoons in an ice cream or gelato shop. It is a wonderful way to sample of a variety of fabrics and try out all the flavors, even some I wound not commit to in a larger scoop to continue the Italian ice metaphor, before determining what I'm in the mood for.  

Step one: Pink the top edge and part way down both sides. These pink edges along the sides will provide the finished edge for your ribbon casing later.


Step 2: Fold over along the pinked edge and sew a channel or casing wide enough for your ribbon. If you fold with the right side out, your casing will be on the outside and create a flouncy ruffle as seen in the red tote. If you fold with the wrong side out, your casing will be on the inside as seen with the bird fabric. 

3. Fold in half and sew in an "L" shape along the bottom and side stopping at the edges of your ribbon casing (don't want to sew that closed).

4. Turn right-side out and run the ribbon through the casing. Look carefully on the red tote, and you will see that I had fun layering two ribbons and playing with the decorative stitch buttons on my sewing machine. 

5. Fill with your favorite wine and present to the host with the most. Do you re-gift wine totes? I 'fess up that I do. I finally decided to turn it into a positive rather than a negative. I make little booklets that allow each giver to record the occasion and their sentiments, and recipients can make notes. These can record the tote's journey and all of the lovely libations with which it was filled--kind of like a chain letter for vino. Of course, you do not have to fill these with only wine. Fine chocolate, sewing notions, jewelry (Erik, are you writing this down? Hint, hint, hint!) also work well.

Come to Alewives for more inspiration and variations on this design!

1 comment:

Rhea Butler said...

Hi May!!!

I love guest bloggers ALMOST as much as I love getting bottles of wine presented to me in a super cool tote bag. AND, as bottles of wine tend to circulate among friends you can be sure that one of these totes will be coming back your way some day soon, with a little more history written in that clever little book of yours;)
Thanks so much!