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Sewing holiday gift bags like a pro using the Brother Innov-is BQ3050

Sewing holiday gift bags like a pro using the Brother Innov-is BQ3050

by Jean Boyd

Last month in my QUILTsocial posts, I introduced you to the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 machine. You can check out all the features of this machine by clicking on the Specifications tab on the Brother website.

Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 machine

I’m still finding my way around on the machine, but I’ve learned lots more about some special features I’d like to share with you this week while I make some cute little Christmas gift bags. These are small bags, about 7″ x 9″, but they can easily be made larger.

So gather up some Christmas or holiday fabrics and let’s get started! I’ll make a basic gift bag first and then I’ll show some fun variations.

Fabric ready for making gift bags


  • (2) 7″ x 9″ rectangles for the outside of the bag
  • (2) 7″ x 9¾” rectangles for the lining
  • 2 pieces of ribbon or tape about 16″ long

Let’s start sewing!

  • Cut out a 1″ square from the bottom of all rectangles. I cut a 1″ square from template plastic so I could use it as a pattern to trace around.
  • With right sides together sew the 2 side seams on both the outside and lining pieces.
  • Sew across the bottom of the outside pieces.
  • Sew about 1½” in from each side across the bottom of the lining pieces. This will leave an opening for turning the bag.

Cut a 1″ square from the bottom of bag and lining.

  • Fold the bag right sides together, matching the side and bottom seams. Stitch across the opening at the bottom to make the corners. This will give a nice square bottom on the bag.
  • Make the corners in the same way on the bag lining.

Stitch across the opening at the bottom to make the corners.

  • Place the bag inside the lining with right sides together.
  • Stitch around the top to join the bag to the lining.

Sew bag to lining around the top edge.

  • Turn bag right side out through the opening in the bottom of the lining.
  • Fold in the raw edges at the bottom of the lining and top-stitch the opening closed.

Top-stitch the bottom opening on the lining to finish it.

  • Because the lining was longer than the bag, it will fold over to the front to form a narrow band around the top. Stitch along the seam line through both layers to finish the top.

This is a great time to use the laser light feature on the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050. Press the laser light button on the LCD screen. A red laser line shows on my fabric. By default, the laser light is in the middle, but I can adjust to the right or left by pressing the + or – buttons. For this project, the light should be in the center position. Line up the laser light along the seam line and then follow it to make a perfect stitching line. Make sure to watch the laser light, and not the needle, while sewing.

Press the laser light button to give a guide for stitching.

Use the red laser light to guide the stitching at the top of the bag.

Add the ties

  • Pin 1 piece of ribbon to the center of the front of the bag.
  • Sew the ribbon in the center, going through both outside and lining fabrics. I only need a few stitches, so this step can be done by hand or machine.
  • Sew the other piece of ribbon to the center back.

Stitch the ribbon ties with a few stitches in the center.

And now I’m finished! Wasn’t that easy!

Finished gift bag!

Be sure to come back tomorrow and I’ll show you how to use the character stitches on the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 to make an attractive variation of this cute little gift bag.

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2: Character stitches take the holiday gift bag from simple to outstanding


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