tutorial: felt wine bottle bag

by Valerie

in sewing,tutorials

I know how scary it can be when the holidays creep up on you…you have family and friends and coworkers who all expect a little bit (or a lot) of your attention, who want you to come to their party, do their gift exchange, volunteer for their cause, et cetera.

This little tutorial is going to help you make your holidays stress and drama free. A bold statement, you say? Read on!

felt and satin ribbon to make your wine bag

Of course, there are dozens of wine bag tutorials out there, but honestly most of them looked pretty tacky to me, and most of them were way too involved for something that should be simple and painless.

I wanted something pretty, elegant and simple to make. My wine bag is made of felt, which means: no lining, no hemming, no interfacing. It also means your final product will be a lovely saturated color, plus you get to feel smug for being environmentally conscious (if you use eco-felt, which I did – it’s made from recycled plastic bottles).

I paired the felt with brightly colored double-faced satin ribbon, which not only adds more color, but dimension in the form of a contrasting texture. Lovely!

the first step: drafting your pattern
The best part about this tutorial is that you can use it for any bottle: wine or liquor, of course, but also sparkling cider, fancy cooking oil for your foodie friends, bath salts, paint thinner for your artist friends, candy…anything that comes in a bottle. The pattern is endlessly adaptable.

wine bag pattern image (not to scale)

1. Measure the bottle you’d like to gift, and then use these guidelines to draft a pattern to fit that bottle. You can measure it right onto your felt, or use paper (old newspaper?) or poster board if you want to use the pattern again.

  • A = the height of your bottle plus 1 inch
  • B = the width of your bottle plus 1 inch, then divided by 2
  • C = the width of your bottle plus 1 inch

2. Use your pattern to cut two pieces of your felt.

3. Make two symmetrical slits in each piece, big enough to fit the ribbon you’ll use. I used 1.5″ wide double-faced satin, but you could use any width or type. It doesn’t really matter where you put the slits (as long as they end up somewhere near the neck of the bottle), but mine were 2.5″ from the top, and 1″ in from the side edges.

cut 2 felt pieces to make your wine bag cut 2 slits in the felt wide enough to fit your ribbon

let’s start sewing!

4. Sew your felt pieces together along both long edges and along the bottom, using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Make sure to backstitch at the top of each side seam.

5. To close the bottom, match the side seams with the bottom seam, and sew together, again using a 3/8″ seam allowance.

remember to backstitch the tops of both side seams! close the bottom with another straight seam

We’re done sewing, can you believe it? Just one more step.

6. Turn your wine bag right-side out, and thread the ribbon through the slits you made.

black satin ribbon with wine colored felt ribbon threaded to cinch the wine bag together

You’re done! Place your wine bottle in the bag and tie up the ribbon nice and pretty! This bag took me 15 minutes to make, including cutting and pressing the fabric, all the sewing, and tying the ribbon closed.

How many pretty things like this can you make by sewing only five seams?

I can’t think of a simpler or easier hostess gift for all those holiday parties you have to go to, or for your coworkers who insist you participate in the office Secret Santa. Go forth and have a stress-free holiday! And show me pictures of the ones you make!

completed wine bags in three sizes

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

deb December 7, 2010 at 6:16 pm

great looking bags. I have bought the felt, but i don’t understand which end is the top and which is the bottom. looks like the “chimney-shaped” end is the bottom — is that right? thanks.

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Valerie December 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Hi Deb! I’m so glad you’re going to make one of these. Yes, the bottom of the bag is the end marked “C” on the pattern, or the chimney shaped end, as you said. I’d love to see pictures of the one(s) you make! What colors are you using?

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