Create beautiful, unique, and stylish reusable wraps for gifts this holiday season in minutes using a serger. Read on to find out which stitches work best for finishing the edges, tricks for turning tubes without a bodkin, and how to serge crisp square corners without touching the presser foot.
Materials to make a Big Bow Reusable Gift Bag:
- Serger, I used a BERNINA L 450
- 3 Cones of Thread
- 2 Fat Quarters of coordinating fabrics (or scraps)
- Cutting Mat
- Rotary Cutter
- Small Thread Snips
- Standard Shirt Size Gift Box (14.25” x 9.50” x 1.88”)
- Fabric Tape: Pellon EZ Steam II Pressure Sensitive Tape, Scrap of either fabric
1. Fabric one will be your main fabric for the package. Fabric two is used for the bow. Cut (1) large rectangle 24” x 17” from fabric one. Cut (2) rectangle strips and (1) smaller rectangle 4” x 5” from fabric two. Place the two rectangles you cut for the bow right sides together on cutting mat. Measure 4″ from left short side bottom up—mark lightly on fabric. Use a straight edge to create a line from 4″ mark on fabric to right bottom corner. Use rotary cutter to remove small triangle of fabric.
2. We are going to start by setting up our serger for a 3 thread overlock using the RIGHT needle. Refer to your manual for proper settings. This stitch only requires 1 needle, so please ensure that you have removed the left needle and have cleared any thread from its pathway. I am using the BERNINA L 450 today and I have my tensions set as follows: x/3.5/4/4
Tip: Rolled Hem, Picot Stitch, and Narrow 3 thread stitches are used to finish edges and will most often be used on single layered, light weight fabrics.
3. Now that our fabrics are cut and machines are set up, we will finish the edges of our bow on the serger. Separate the cut fabrics, we are only finishing the edges at this time and you will be serging on 1 layer of fabric. Begin stitching on the long side down to the point. When you approach the point, slow down and carefully stitch right to the very end of fabric. When you get to the edge use hand crank to bring the needle position to its highest placement. Lift your presser foot up. Gently and ever so slightly pull the fabric to the back of the serger to lift off of the stitch fingers below. This will allow you to pivot the project and get crisp corners. Begin stitching just atop of those beautiful stitches you finished securing them into place. Repeat when you come to the next corner. Finish the last long side of bow piece. (Repeat for 2nd bow piece and set aside.)
4. Working with the main fabric, lay it flat so that your short ends are horizontal. From the top edge measure 9” down, use chalk or marking tool to note measurement on the long side edge.
5. Use the marking we just made—you will now align top of bow strip with the pretty fabric up. Clover clips come in handy to keep short flat edge of bow even with the side of main fabric. As you look down at your project the long tapered point should be on the top edge. Repeat this on both left and right sides.
6. Fold the longer edges of your bow strips to center and pin in place. We are doing this to keep the fabric from getting trimmed or stitched as we finish the outside edge of our gift wrap.
7. Starting on the long side edge, begin serging around all 4 sides to finish the edges. You will be finishing the edge of 1 layer of fabric. As you come to the bow sections, slow down, and be sure to remove any clips as they come nearer to your knife blade. Be sure that you are feeding both layers of fabric through to attach raw short end of bow to main fabric.
8. Optional: Use spray starch and iron for a nice crisp wrap.We’re almost finished but first we need to make a small loop using that last rectangle piece of bow fabric. The technique I’m using here can be easily used to create lengths for straps or edging without the need of a tedious bodkin or tuner.
9. Without any fabric on your serger—create a long length of serger chain at least 14 inches long. Bring the long chain around behind your presser foot to the left and forward. Do not cut the chain from the machine.
Take your small rectangle of fabric and finger press it lengthwise in half pretty prints on the inside. Open the fabric and place your serger thread chain down the center along the crease.
Prepare to serger the raw long edge together—making sure that your serger chain does not get stitched (it should be tucked closely in the fold). When you are finished you will have a tube.
After serging the long side you will see that our long chain has now become a handy pull allowing us to turn the tube right side out. Get it started but folding the edge over 1/2”. This technique can be used to make thin straps, trim, and much more.
Press so that the serged stitches are in the center of strip.
Fold right sides together. Serge the short sides together. Turn so that all visible stitches are on the inside of loop.
Feed one bow strip at a time though the finished loop.
Bonus! Create fun fabric tape to match your wrapping using Pellon EZ Steam Tape. I also found double sided tape works great too!
Impress your friends and family this holiday season with unique gift wrap that they can use for years to come. I would love to see your handmade gifts and gift wraps this season as we all are consciously making efforts to change the way we consume and create. Please share them with us here on WeAllSew by uploading your projects in the Community section or always online tagging #BERNINAUSA or tag me personally @TrashN2Tees
The December 7 Gift for You from the Benartex team
All you have to do is post a comment below answering the following question:
Do you use reusable packaging to wrap your gifts?
A winner will be chosen at random on December 8, 2016 and announced the following week!
The contest is open for comments until December 7 at 12:00 midnight Central Time. Click here for contest rules.
Congratulations to our WeAllSew reader “flygirl”, the winner of the December 7 gift. Enjoy!