brrr! bags + giveaway

JUST A QUICK NOTE:  THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!

Just before Christmas I received the most beautiful pile of gorgeous fabric from talented fabric designer Laurie Wisbrun.  I spent a lot of the holiday break thinking about what I wanted to create with it and this vision of a pile of box bags would not leave my head.

Since my daughter’s birthday is in January, I felt like her party was the perfect excuse to make the bags, so I did.  To say that these goodie bags went over well at her party is an understatement.  The kids liked them, but I could tell the Mom’s were plotting ways to keep them for themselves.  {Well, I guess I can really only speak for myself here, but I have definitely been downplaying their appeal with my kids.} This fabric, you guys!  It’s fantastic.  How perfect is the scale of the two polar bear prints for this sort of thing!?!!  They are just too sweet.  This is a very early sneak peek–Brrr! will be available in June.  There are more photos of this wonderful line of fabric on Laurie’s blog. I am so grateful to Laurie for sending me these beautiful prints.  I had so much fun making these!

My process for sewing these involved a mash-up of several free online tutorials I have used in the past.  I considered sharing my full process in more detail, but I am questioning whether there is a need for yet another box bag tutorial.  This one sums it up really nicely and other tutorials I have learned from before  include this one, this one, and this one. I will leave you with a few project notes at the end of this post.  These jottings are basic and I am really just posting them here so that I don’t lose track of them. If you’ve never tried to make a box bag, these will probably sound like gibberish, and that is OK!

On to the fun part!  Who would like to win a fat quarter pack of this adorable line of fabric? Just say hello via a comment on this post and I will choose a random winner on February 1.  I will ship internationally.

Project notes:

-The finished bags measure 7″ x 4.5″ x 3″ (L x W x H).  I start with a rectangle that measures 11.25″ x 16.5″ and use a .5″ seam allowance. I cut the sides that measure 11.25″ with pinking shears.

-There are exposed seams inside.  I used to be very opposed to this, but since I finish the seams with a zig zag stitch, there really isn’t much of a difference in the end result and it saves so much time.

-I use a medium weight sew-in-stabilizer/interfacing in between the outer fabric and the lining. Using an interfacing that has an adhesive on both sides would make the process of attaching the zipper easier.  I get nervous about wrinkles that can appear with adhesive interfacing, so I try to stay away from it.

-I do this cheater thing when I sew on the zipper. I top stitch and attach the zipper to all three layers of fabric all in the same step.  This probably involves breaking SO MANY RULES but it works for me. This is also why I “pink” the ends of the fabric on the sides that measure 11.25″. The first tutorial that I link to does this as well.  It is a time saver and simplifies fussy-cutting.

-I sew the fabric onto the zipper in a particular order so that it doesn’t get all bunchy and awkward in the neck of my sewing machine.  I would love to explain this but I need to just take a photo so that I am able to express myself well.  (Has anyone ever seen a tutorial that explains this part?)

–When I box the corners, I mark a line that is 1.5″ inches down from the corner.  This creates the 3″ width of the bag.

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81 thoughts on “brrr! bags + giveaway

  1. I love, love, love this fabric AND your idea of the box bag. I have never made one but certainly intend to give it a try!

  2. oh, my word!!! so excited! these prints are so cute – i love the blue and red and the polar bears – holiday/winter without too much of it! your bags look fantastic!! thanks for the notes about yours – i’m guessing making that many in a row taught you a thing or two. i can get rusty in my bag-making and completely get turned around with how to do that dang zipper! that zig-zag stitch looks great.

  3. hmmmm, would i like to win some fabric or one of your box bags! i’m picturing the moms, the minute they walked out the door, snatching those from their kids with a greedy look on their faces and the poor child bursting into tears. lol

  4. Oh! this fabric is beautiful! It would be a wonderful addition to my grand daughter’s I Spy quilt I’m making. She is coming 3 yo and loves playing I Spy with her mom and dad…so, I just HAD to make a quilt for her. LOL!

  5. HELLO!
    Those bags are so adorable. I am anxiously awaiting the release of this amazing fabric line. The colors are so happy, and the polar bear prints – seriously, omigosh CUTE!
    This WILL be the fabric set that I will use to make my best friend’s baby girl’s Christmas outfit (the wee gal is due in May).
    Crossing all of my fingers to get an early taste of this set! Thank you!

  6. I’m sure thinking I’d like to give those bags a shot!! That fabric is adorable and uber-cute for that project, for sure!

  7. Hello, I really enjoyed reading how you gave these away at the Bd event. I would love to make these as well since I am a new sewer. My sister is just Lear.ing as well & it would be so much fun making these boxes together. Ty for the instructions. Love to have a chance in winning these fabrics.

  8. Hello Molly-I’m only eleven months late for our sewing date. While I look and oogle over your site, I feel overwhelmed by its continued beauty. Throw me in the hat and if I win I’ll get my machine out and make something for the Worcester Polar Bear. It all looks so lovely.
    Auntie Ami

  9. This has got to be the sweetest fabric line and I love, love, love the colours!! Thanks for the chance. Your bags are fantastic – thanks for sharing.

  10. Oh my gosh! I would be beyond delighted to win some fat quarters of Brr!! I’ve been wanting to make a box bag for a while now and would love to make my own using Brr!! Thanks for your generosity in sharing your stash…

  11. This fabric is awesome! I’m pregnant right now with my 3rd and have already thought of half a dozen baby things I could make with it!!

  12. That fabric is adorable! I am such a fan of Laurie’s. Those box bags are great. I really need to lock myself in my sewing room and whip up a bunch of those. They are so versatile. Fabulous pics, too, lady. I totally feel you on the exposed seams; luckily I now have a serger and that has helped me get over my issues. Thanks for the fab giveaway!

  13. The bags are super cute and I love the fabric! My daughter saw the pictures (she is 4) and is in love with them and wants me to make her one!!

  14. Hello! Great bags, those are some lucky party guests. M just saw these pics and said, “For your makeups Mommy?” I think I might have to make a larger version for just that.

  15. How cute is that fabric? I love it. The bags are really cute, I should try to make one. I’ll add it to my To Do list. :o)

    Thanks!

  16. Thank you for the tips! The red and aqua are such a striking combination, and who can resist those polar bears??? I’ve caught sight of this fabric on several blogs and am definitely going to hunt it down when it’s finally released! Thanks for the opportunity to win some in advance! {grin}

  17. I love box bags, but haven’t (yet!) attempted making one for myself – perhaps this weekend. The bears on the fabric just make me giggle.

  18. As polar bears are my absolute favourite animals I would love to win a fat quarter pack of this cool fabric!!! Thanks for the chance!

  19. Those bags are terrific! I really love this line. Finally, wintery fabric that isn’t red and green! Love those polar bears too…how freaking cute can they get!

  20. Those polar bears are adorable. And this bags really cute!!! Thank you so much for all your notes, I will keep them in my computer with the tutorials you shared, can’t wait to make that bag :).
    Thanks for this chance to win

  21. Pingback: LMS | Brrr! Mini Quilt Monday & Free Embroidery Pattern

  22. Love the modern prints in the new fabric lines. These polar bears are so cute–as are your little bags. What a treat for the birthday party girls.

  23. Love your bags! I don’t make box bags for the same reason: I don’t like the exposed seams. Zigzagging just doesn’t do it for me. I’m going to give bias tape a try next time and see if I can neaten it up inside by covering up those seams.

  24. Pingback: Sewing Trends ~ What are You Sewing?! « Sew,Mama,Sew! Blog

  25. So darling! Just wondering what size zipper you use. Your bags must be bigger than the other tute (the first one you reference) since you start with bigger pieces. Right?

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