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Halloween Treat Bags

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These simple Halloween Treat Bags are quick and easy to make -- only takes a few minutes per bag! They're made of felt so there's no need for hemming or finishing seams.

Finished, they're about 4 inches wide by 5 1/2 inches tall. There's plenty of room for a small handful of Halloween goodies -- or a full-sized candy bar or two!

The bags have ribbon handles so they're easy to grab and pass out to your Halloween visitors.
Like I said, these are made from felt. You can buy felt by the yard (pretty cheap), or you can buy the 9 by 12 felt "squares" (I know, they're not really square). Depending on whether or not they're on sale, I get the square for 10 to 20 cents each. Each square will make two bags, so the bags really are pretty inexpensive!

I like the squares because it's easy to get a lot of different colors. If I were making a large number of bags (like for a school), then I'd probably buy felt by the yard; the per bag cost would be even less then!

In addition to the felt, you're going to need some ribbon for handles. I had some orange and some black ribbon already, so I'm just going to use that.

As I mentioned, each felt square makes two bags. I'm starting with a 9 x 12 inch "square" and I'm going to cut it in half along the long portion -- that'll give me two 4.5 inch by 12 inch pieces.

You can use a rotary cutter and cut a number of pieces all at once if you're doing a lot of bags.

If you're using felt by the yard, just do the math and figure out a reasonable multiple that'll give you 4.5 by 12 inch cut pieces.

Next, take a piece of fabric and fold it in half so that you have a piece 4.5 by 6 inches. We're eventually going to trim this a bit so the finished bag will be a little bit smaller.

Almost ready to sew -- what I like to do is take my pinking shears and pink along the unfolded "top" of the bag. Not really necessary -- it's felt, so it's not going to unravel -- I just think it looks a little better with the jagged edge.

Now it's time to sew! We're going to sew a straight stitch around the two sides and the folded bottom of the bag. We're not going to sew across the pinked "top" of the bag!

I locked in the stitch with a few forward, then backward stitches, then pushed the pedal to quickly sew the rest of the side.

I confess that I had some tension issues with the 185 -- all purely my fault. Running the thread off the spindle "tree" isn't really working because the tread keeps popping off the top thread guide so the tension disks aren't getting a chance to do their job. I really need to replace the missing thread spindle before I plan on doing too much work with this machine.

On the plus side, the tension works fine and is easy to set.

Sew along one side, then stop at the bottom. Leave the needle down and lift the presser foot. Rotate the work 90 degrees, then lower the presser foot. Continue sewing along the bottom of the bag. Do the same when you come to the next bottom corner.

After rotating again, continue sewing up the other side of the bag. Lock the stitch off when you get to the top.

I used about a 3/8" seam allowance on the sides and about 1/2" on the bottom.

My seams aren't real straight -- I ended up having to press a finger on the thread to keep it from popping out the tension disks! Got to get the thread spindle fixed!
So far, I've hardly spent a minute on this bag. Now, however, cames the hard part -- attaching a ribbon handle!

This should be very simple -- start by cuttin a piece of ribbon about 8 inches long. Position the ribbon along the inside top of the bag, tack it with a few strokes, then do the same to the other side. However, my fingers kept getting in the way and I found it really difficult to hold the ribbon in place!

I finally ended out pinning the ribbon to position it and hold it in position. This let me tack it down with a few machine strokes, then a few reverse strokes. I'm not looking for real long-lasting strength here -- just something to quickly attach the ribbon.

The 185 tacked pretty easily -- I took a few strokes forward, then pressed the stitch length lever all the way up to kick it into reverse and took a few more backwards.

This entire "cut the ribbon, pin the ribbon, tack the ribbon" process takes more time than all the prior cutting and sewing! There's got to be a simpler way to do it.

I tried tacking by hand rather than using the machine. The machine worked fine, it was just all the manuevering the small pieces of felt and ribbon that were causing troubles. Okay, it was really the fact that I'm a klutz that was the problem, but you know what I mean!

Hand tacking actually worked faster. I'm thinking if I were doing this on a free-arm machine with a very narrow free-arm, then it might be a little easier.

Almost done -- I finished up the rest of the bags I had cut.

Here's what eight of them looked like. (That's four felt squares cut in half to yield 8 pieces of felt).
To finish things off, I ran the pinking shears around the remaining three sides of each bag.

This could've been a lot quicker with a rotary cutter and a wavy blade.

And that's it! Here're some bags loaded with full-sized candy bars, ready to hand out for Hallooween.

How long did it take -- I took about 20 minutes to finish 8 bags. That's including stopping to take pictures, so I'm sure I could cut that a bit more if I went straight to it.

The bags themselves take hardly any time to cut and sew. Attaching the ribbon handles is the obstacle. Not that it's hard, it's just that it takes a little time to work your fingers in and tack things down. I'm sure that doing something like using clips rather than pins would speed things up.

And how did the 185 do? Well, it did pretty well at sewing a straight stitch -- which is what it does. Not too noisy, didn't bounce around the table, easy to thread and control. Can't ask for much more than that. I did have tension issues, but that's more my fault than anything else.

A lot of people are picking up 185's for backup machines. You could do worse -- these sturdy machines will last you forever and always be ready whenever you need straight stitching!

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