In putting together some soap shares, I wanted to make Halloween candy treat bags to go with them. I was inspired with skeleton earrings digitized by Sonia Showalter and thought they would be perfect for charms.
I opened the file in my Embrilliance embroidery software and added as many skeletons as I could easily fit in the virtual 5x7 hoop. I used the color sort feature so that the black loops and the area that will make the eyes are stitched first on all of the bodies, then the white stitches are all done. That would allow the embroidery machine to handle this part of the project while I made the bags. My machine stitched three hoops of skeletons.
I hooped two layers of vilene stabilizer. This is a heavy water soluble type of stabilizer. After stitching, I trimmed close to the stitching and ran each skeleton under hot tap water, dissolving the stabilizer, leaving me with these free-standing-lace-style charms! Leaving in some of the starchy stabilizer meant that they are kind of stiff and have a little character! (Allow them to dry completely before using.)
These are very stitch-heavy, as you can imagine they would need to be! The good thing is that while the machine stitched these, I was able to use my sewing machine to make the bags.
I started with stacking my fabric and using my rotary cutter and mat to cut bag pieces that are 7.5" wide by 6.5" tall. I cut two for each outer bag and two for each bag lining.
I sewed two bag fronts, right sides together, sewing all the way down one side, across the bottom, and down the second side, leaving open a space on one side. I did that by stitching down 1/2", backstitching, leaving a 3/4" gap, backstitching, and sewing down the side. (see diagram above) When I turn this right-side-out, I see a gap in the seam. This is required for the ribbon casing later in the project!
Now, at this point, I must say something: in the picture above, you can see that I serged the edges of the fabric pieces. There was a time in this project when I thought I would make an unlined bag so in true workroom style, I prepped all the pieces, but after I tried one, I really didn't like it! I decided that a lined bag would be better looking and take only three extra steps so it was a no-brainer! Un-serged edges are much easier to work with in the casing so don't serge the edges!
Next, I sewed the lining.
I did that by placing two lining pieces, right sides together, and sewing both sides and the bottom, leaving a nice, big opening on the bottom. (see diagram above) Leaving this opening in the bottom is required so that the bag can be turned!
I clipped the points off the corners of both the outer sewn bag pieces and the lining bag pieces. This will help later when I square the bag so it sits up by iteself!
I turned the outer bag right-side-out but kept the lining right-side-in and put the outer bag inside the lining.
I stitched the upper edge with a 1/2" seam, matching side seams.
Using the opening in the bottom of the lining, I pulled out the bag, ending with both fabrics right-side-out and looking like a long rectangle.
I stitch the lining closed by folding in the seam allowance and top stitching. It will be in the bottom inside the bag so it really doesn't need to be perfect!
I tuck the lining down into the bag and find the upper edge seam, rolling in my fingers to get the seam on the very top edge.
I stitch my casing by stitching 3/4" from the top edge.
To make the bag one that will sit on its own on the table, I square off the corners. I do this by turning the bag inside out, lining up the seams (peek inside to see), and stitching 1" from the point.
Now, when I turn the bag back so that it is right-side-out, the corners are gone and the bag sets on the table open (easy for getting candy out!)
Next, I measure 17" of ribbon and stick a safety pin in one end to make a bodkin with which to feed ribbon into the casing. This is the drawstring.
I feed it into the hole that was left in the seam.
I pull the safety pin through, keeping the ribbon flat, and feeding it until I get back to the opening and pull the ribbon through so both ends are out.
I pull the ends to even it up and tie in a knot close to the end of the tails.
I set my sewing machine for a wide zigzag and zero length to sew on the skeleton charms below the casing.
Ta-da! Making these essembly-line style, meant that I got 15 done while my embroidery machine made the charms! This is much, much faster than doing an in-the-hoop style bag (and I don't have any size restrictions)!
These were filled with packaged candy.
I combined these with soaps (calorie-free Halloween treats!) that I made a couple of months ago in order to have them completely cured. There were eight soaps used (three were combined with each treat bag). All the soap recipes can be found on my soap page (or click here) and are soaps #29, #31, #32, #33, #37, #39, #41, and #42.
I wrapped the soaps with food-safe paper and used decorative washi tape to keep together. I made ingredient labels this time for each soap and wrapped with bakers twine for decorative purposes. I included a homemade soap info sheet to explain a bit about my soaps. I don't sell my soaps, so the labels and info sheet are just for educating my gift recipients.
My super simple tags were made using the Tim Holtz stamping platform and Close to My Heart #S1608 Purr-fect Halloween Stamp of the Month set. (It's an oldie from my stash).
List of links and items mentioned in this post:
- Sonia Showalter skeleton earrings file
- Embrilliance Essentials embroidery software
- Vilene water soluble stabilizer (this link goes to World Weidner because that's where I get mine but it is available in many retail locations)
- fabrics and ribbon are from my stash
- Embroidery thread is from Metro Embroidery thread
- My soap page on this blog for recipes
- Logan Wrap (paper for soap wrap)
Happy Halloween crafting!