Sew a fabulous lotus-shaped gift pouch. This easy project makes a great bag for jewelry and other small gifts. This is a quick, easy project that sews up in under an hour.
At the Taos Pueblo (you can read about my adventure here) I purchased some bracelets for birthday gifts for my older granddaughters. We were exploring the pueblo after our guided tour and we saw some Native American craftsmen displaying their handcrafted items. I stoppedto admire some jewelry more for the opportunity to engage with a local than for a burning desire to purchase something. I struck up a conversation with the artisan and learned he was called Red Sunrise. He had been a firefighter for 19 years before returning to the reservation to live. I asked him if he lived in the old part or the more modern. He indicated the door behind him and said that he lived there in the winterbut that he also had a more modern home on the reservation. He said he needed to live there in the winter to shovel the snow from the flat roof and to make needed repairs so that the old adobe did not wash away. Imagine living in this dwelling during the winter with no central heating or microwave, no electricity or basic cable. I admire his dedication to preserving the old ways but I do enjoy my creature comforts.
Home in the Taos Pueblo
We spoke of many things. Red Sunrise shared the spiritual significance and healing benefits of the stones he used to fashion his jewelry. We spoke of his animals and of our grandchildren. I liked his work and decided to purchase some bracelets to give as birthday gifts for upcoming birthdays, I liked their simple charm and I loved the explanation of the significance of the stones.
Because of the spiritual significance I decided to make a variation of the lotus bag. The lotus symbol also has spiritual significance and healing benefits but in Eastern cultures. The bag patter has been around for a long time and it is easily adaptable for different sizes. You have to admit it is stinkin’ cute, too.
The perfect size for a bracelet gift pouch
What you will need to make the little gift bags I did is 8 1/2 X 8 1/2 inch scrap and some bit of ribbon. You can make these any size.
What you will need:
Scraps of fabric for the exterior and interior at least 8 1/2 X 8 1/2 inches
Bits of ribbon to go through the upper casing (18 – 20 inches per gift bag will do)
Pins, scissors, coordinating thread
Materials for two gift pouches
Step one Put the right sides together and sew around the edges using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. But I am going to show you a very simple sewing technique for making perfect corners. You will find this little trick makes making tidy corners so much easier and quicker.
Freshly-turned, tidy corner without using anything to poke it out
Did I pique your interest? Now let’s see how to do this. First sew one side of whatever it is that you’re makingFold the seam allowance forward along the stitch line and pin it down or simply hold it down.
At the corner sew down the seam allowance
Sew the other edge of your project, making sure the seam allowance of your previous edge is sewn down. Repeat for the remaining sides. Make sure you leave a gap for turning. On the last corner you will need to turn back the seam and stitch that little section separately. I like to iron my project making sure all the seam allowances are ironed turned.
The good thing about these corners is that they are strong. There is no need to trim the corners to reduce bulk. Let’s finish up the Lotus gift pouch.
Step two Turn the pouch right side out and top stitch around the edge with a 1/8 allowance, This will close the gap you left for turning.
Step three Measure in 3 inches in from each corner and mark with a pin. Fold the corner in and iron.
Mark the three inch mark and turn the corner down stitch a 3/8 inch casing in the turned corners
Stitch 3/8 inch from the folded edge to form the casing for the ribbon
Step four Insert the ribbon through all four casings. Because I am making a very small gift pouch I did not make it a drawstring pouch. If I was dong a larger gift pouch I would have used crochet thread or bakers twine and done a drawstring pouch.
the pouches are the perfect size for the bracelets and make a good presentation gift pouch backside of lotus pouch The perfect presentation gift pouch
This is a great little pouch technique to have in your sewing repertoire. It can be made in different sizes and has all kinds of use.
Remember I love to see your projects. Send me a picture and you could be included in my next round-up in June.