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Tall Wine Bags in Burlap & Cotton

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There is a French proverb that tells us, "In water one sees ones own face; but in wine, one beholds the heart of another." These tall wine bags mix the rustic feel of burlap with smooth cotton fabric and velvet or wire-edged ribbon. In honor of the quote above, we used, and offer a template for, a heart appliqué. By cutting this appliqué shape from the same burlap as is used for the main bag panels, it creates the look of a window on the front accent band. You could also draw your own shape to add a star, flower, dove or whatever strikes your fancy. We recommend sticking with a simple shape to maintain the cut-out effect.

We looked into available wine bags at several elegant outlets and discovered the majority of them did not feature a boxed bottom. So we decided to go with the flow, since it also makes the bag's construction faster and easier. But of course, the option to do small boxed corners remains. Take a look at our tutorial on How To Make Boxed Corners, and remember to add slightly to the cut length and width to accommodate your corners. 

There's been some discussion on social media from those who are concerned burlap is chemically treated and therefore unsafe. Burlap has been one of the most popular sewing and craft substrates for a number of years, showing up in everything from wedding linens to pet beds. We did some research prior to choosing it for our projects, and though it is true burlap can be chemically treated with pesticides to prevent rot, the heavy application of chemicals appears designed for commercial usage, such as landscaping, sandbags, even coffee bean bags. Some of these items, especially the more decorative coffee bean bags, are in high demand as a recycled fabric option. We prefer to use the burlap manufactured and sold off the bolt for sewing and craft. Some is 100% jute, others are polyester and jute or hemp blends. The are several click-to-buy links below in the ingredients section. 

All burlap has a bit of a "signature smell" that some people simply don't like. It can be aired out or gently laundered to help remove some or all of the odor, however, if you are prone to allergies, especially dust-borne allergies, burlap may not be your best choice. A good alternative would be a medium to heavyweight linen. 

Check out our tutorial on Working with Specialty Fabrics for more tips about working with burlap.

These bags finish at approximately 6½" wide x 15" tall.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Supplies listed are for TWO wine bags.

  • Scraps or ½ yard of 45"+ wide burlap or similar; we used a 58" natural jute burlap in khaki, purchased locally
    NOTE: We found nice selections of burlap online at Fabric Depot, Fabric.com, and Hancock Fabrics.
  • Scraps or ¼ yard EACH of TWO coordinating cotton prints; we used a red and white stripe and a red with tiny white polka dots from our S4H stash
  • ONE yard EACH of TWO coordinating 1½" ribbons; we used a red velvet and a wired red and white stripe, both purchased locally
    NOTE: You can use lightly wired or plain ribbon. We used one of each.
  • All purpose thread to match burlap and fabric
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Pressing cloth
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

  1. Download and print out the one template sheet: Wine Bag Heart Template.
    IMPORTANT: This pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
  2. Cut out the heart template along the solid line.
  3. From the burlap, cut the following:
    Using the template, TWO hearts
    FOUR 7½" wide x 16" high rectangles
    NOTE: With its obvious weave, cutting into burlap is easy; simply follow a thread in the weave. As mentioned above, check out our tutorial on Working with Specialty Fabrics for more tips about sewing with burlap. 
  4. From EACH of the two coordinating cottons, cut the following:
    TWO 7½" wide x 5" high rectangles 
    ONE 2½" x 14" strip for the binding

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Appliqué the hearts to the accent bands

  1. Place one 7½" wide x 5" high cotton rectangle for each bag flat on your work surface.
  2. Place one burlap heart in position on each rectangle. The bottom point of the heart should be ½" up from the bottom raw edge of the fabric rectangle and centered side to side. Pin in place.
  3. Thread the machine with thread to match with the heart fabric in the top and bobbin. 
  4. Following the rustic look of the burlap, these heart appliqués are designed to be raw-edged. This means the outside cut edge of the heart remains as is. Simply stitch each heart in place, running the seam ⅛" from the raw edge.

    NOTE: For other appliqué methods, see our Appliqué Tutorial.

Attach the accent bands to the main panels

  1. Place all the 7½" wide x 16" high burlap rectangles flat on your work surface.
  2. Place one accent band, two with hearts and two without hearts, right side up on top of each burlap rectangle. The bottom edge of the accent band should be positioned 3½" up from the bottom raw edge of the burlap. The sides of the accent band should be flush with the side raw edges of the burlap. Pin the bands in place. 
  3. Using a ¼" seam allowance, edgestitch the bands in place along the top and bottom. 

    NOTE: In keeping with our rustic look, the top and bottom edges are left raw in order to allow them to fray. Pull a few strands to hasten the look. If you'd prefer a less-rustic look, cut the bands at 5½", fold back both the top and bottom ¼", and press well. Then edgestitch in place along the folds.

Attach the ribbon

  1. Find the one yard length of ribbon for each bag. 
  2. Find the exact center of each length of ribbon.
  3. Place the back rectangles (the non-heart panels) right side up on your work surface.
  4. Measure 3" down from the top raw edge of each burlap rectangle.
  5. Place the top edge of the ribbon at this 3" point. Pin just in the middle of the ribbon. 
  6. Stitch the ribbon in place with an "X" at the exact center. 
  7. Repeat for the second bag.

Stitch panels and finish seams

  1. Gather the ribbon tails to the center of the panel so they will be out of the way of the stitching. Pin in place.
  2. Place each front and back burlap panel right sides together. The front and back accent fabrics should match. Carefully align the accent bands when pinning so they'll be flush at the side seams. The ribbon is sandwiched between the layers. Pin along both sides and across the bottom.
  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch both sides and across the bottom. Remember to pivot at each corner. The top remains open.
  4. To prevent fraying, finish the seam allowance. We used a simple zig zag. More options are listed in the tutorial mentioned previously, Working with Specialty Fabrics
  5. Turn the bag right side out and press flat, using a pressing cloth. 

Binding 

  1. Find the two 2½" x 14" strips, one for each bag. 
  2. Fold each strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press to set a center crease. Unfold so the crease line in visible. Fold in each long raw edge to the center crease line. Press each side in place.
  3. Unfold the ends of the strip so the four crease lines are visible. Place the ends right sides together, aligning the four crease lines. Pin together to form a loop. Repeat for the remaining strip.
  4. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the ends together. Repeat for the second strip. 
  5. Press the seam allowance open, then refold each binding strip back into its original folded shape. You should now have two continuous circles of finished binding. 
  6. Slip a binding strip over the top raw edge of each bag and pin in place. In our design, we matched the top binding fabric to the accent band fabric.
  7. Edgestitch the binding in place. Go slowly and carefully to insure you are catching both the front and back of the binding in this one seam.
  8. To secure the bag, bring the ribbon tails from the back to the front, cinch and tie a pretty bow. 


Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

Section: 

Comments (2)

Deb McCleary said:
Deb McCleary's picture

Also try a wide decorative stitch on the binding to be sure it's caught on top and bottom.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Deb - dandy idea: a pretty finishing touch and a good way to insure that back-to-front security.

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