Most people consider the Christmas Season to be over, but in my family and our traditions, Christmas lasts until January 6th. We keep our decorations up through the Feast of the Epiphany (when we celebrate the adoration of Christ the King by the three magi, pictured below in a William Morris tapestry).
We have even been known to give gifts yet again on that day – “Little Christmas” it is called in some traditions. Even if your holiday gift-giving is over, since it’s the New Year, you may be taking stock of what’s ahead – birthdays and anniversaries are bound to show up throughout the year, so it’s not a bad idea to keep on hand some gift-giving ideas.
So, with that in mind, I’m going to pop up occasionally with a “home made” gift idea throughout the year.
The first one is this template for a wine bag. I came across the template on a machine embroidery website, but it can very easily be embellished with hand embroidery. I was rather excited to find it, as I have a few major anniversaries coming up this year in the family, and I thought it would make a great presentation for a celebratory bottle of bubbly or a nice wine. It would also be great for a house warming gift, or for that “What-Should-I-Get-Him-For-Father’s-Day?” gift.
You’ll find the template here.
Ideas for embellishment might include a monogram, a family crest, wedding bells, a favorite type of flower or pet, a bunch of grapes, a favorite quote or saying, etc. If you’re looking for monogram ideas for hand embroidery, you might find my e-book, Favorite Monograms helpful – there’s 16 complete alphabets in there, all suitable for hand embroidery!
For fabric, I’d look for something limp, with a drapey kind of lining. Crushed velvet comes to mind for the outside, with a nice cord for the neck (cording can be found at any sewing or hobby store – look in the drapery / upholstery section).
I would draw the template out on paper first, to make a pattern, then I would cut my fabric large enough to accommodate the shape of the bag and to fit on a hoop or frame. I’d mount the fabric first, then I’d trace my pattern template for the shape of the bag. Then I’d center my design and transfer it onto the fabric to embroider it. If using a washable fabric, you could use Solvy to transfer the design, or Transfer Eze (or Sulky’s equivalent). If not, try dressmaker’s carbon or the prick and pounce method of transferring a pattern. You’ll find all kinds of ideas on design transfer for hand embroidery here.
After stitching, sew the bag together according to instructions – and voila! a pretty nice gift.