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How To Have Sew Much Fun With Your Grandchildren

Well, we are already in the last half of September and Halloween is right around the corner. Time to start thinking about whatever craft projects you want to do with or make for your grandchildren. This year for Halloween, I wanted to make my four (4) grandchildren personalized bags for trick or treating. Their ages are: (2) 4 year olds, (1) 2 year old and a one month old. I wanted something that would be fun for these ages but that they could also use as they got older. Searching Pinterest, I found an adorable pattern from The Cottage Mama. They look classy, timeless and I can personalize them - just what I wanted.

For those of you that don't sew, no worries. I am a "newbie" to sewing and honestly the most time consuming part is the prep - cutting, measuring and finding the perfect fabric to use. Luckily, I have a good friend, Heather, that taught me the in’s and out’s and has been so patient working with me. First things, first, pick out your material. I found most of my material at JoAnn's - some of the material is even "glow in the dark". If you have grandchildren that are at least 5 years and older, I'm sure they would love to help you with this project.

Here are the directions (adapted from Cottage Mama).


3/4 Yard Exterior Fabric (Fabric 1)

3/4 Yard Lining Fabric (Fabric 2)

3/4 Yard Fusible Fleece

1 yard cotton webbing

14″ trim (such as rick-rack)

Wash Away Wonder Tape

Basic Sewing Supplies

Halloween Trick or Treat Bag Cutting Dimensions:

Before you begin, you will need to cut the pieces for your bag. Cut your pattern pieces as follows (dimensions are given in length x width):

Fabric 1:

Cut 1: 15″ x 14″ (Bag Exterior Back)

Cut 1: 4″ x 14″ (Bag Lower Contrast Front)

Fabric 2:

Cut 2: 15″ x 14″ (Bag Lining)

Cut 1: 12″ 14″ (Bag Top Front)

Cotton Webbing:

Cut 2 Pieces: 17″ long

Cotton webbing can be found in the trim section or the notions section of your local sewing store. It typically comes in pretty basic colors: black, white, red and navy, but you might luck out and find some fun colors (especially if you order online). If you can’t find webbing, you can make yourself straps out of fabric that are 1″ x 17″ long.

Fusible Fleece:

Cut 2: 15″ x 14″

Fusible fleece can be found in the notions section of your sewing store. It is fleece that is fusible on one side and will add some padding and body to your trick-or-treat bag. Please do not skip the fusible fleece or you will have a droopy looking bag.



I ordered their names from Amazon and here's the link. The font that I chose for their names was Georgia. If you would like to add machine embroidery or appliqué, do so before you begin the project. I couldn’t find what I wanted so I ”free handed” the witches hat and the “googly monster”. I am, by no means, artsy but I was able to get it done. For the witches hat, I did in 4 parts (hat plus bow). It was easiest for me to lightly glue down all the parts and then run stitches around it all to secure. The googly monster I did with white and black felt and did the same thing (lightly glue down pieces) and then ran stitches around them to secure.

1. Apply Trim: Run a row of basting stitches along the top of the lower front bag contrast band at 1/2″.

2. (Optional) Stick down one row of Wash Away Wonder Tape along the top of your basting stitch line. Peel off paper backing. If you’re not familiar with Wash Away Wonder Tape, it’s a double-sided tape that you can sew through and it won’t gum up your needle. It disappears after washing. If you don’t have this product (found in the notions section of your sewing store), just skip this step.

3. Stick down your trim along the stitching line. The reason for running the basting row of stitches in step 1 is so that we can use it as a guide to know how much of the jumbo rick-rack we would like poking out on our bag. You can use this trick for many different types of trim in varying sizes. On this bag, consider using trims such as piping, medium rick-track, pom-poms or any other trim you can imagine! Or you can skip the trim altogether. If you aren’t using Wonder Tape, you can hot glue the trim down lightly and then run stitches all around the trim. This is what I did.

4. Sew the lower contrast bag front to the upper bag front: Line up the raw edge of the lower contrast front (the edges with the trim) with the lower edge of the upper bag front and sew together

5. Press the lower contrast bag front down away from the upper bag front, pressing the seam allowance down towards the bottom of the bag. Press the trim up towards the top of the bag. Run a row of topstitching long the top of the lower contrast bag front.

6. Apply the fusible fleece to the back side of the bag front and the bag back according to package instructions.

7. Cut a 1″ square out of both lower bottom corners of the bag front, bag back, lining front and lining back.

8. Sew the exterior bag front to the exterior bag back: Place the bag front and back on top of one another with right sides together. Sew down both sides and the bottom edge, leaving the area where you cut the squares open.

9. Repeat step 8 for the bag lining, however, leave a 3″ opening along the bottom edge of the bag lining.

10. Pinch the corners of the the bag where you left your squares open. Basically you are opening up the squares so that the right sides of the fabric are together.

11. Sew the corners of the bag using a 1/2″ seam allowance. If you would prefer to have a wider bottom on your trick or treat bag, then you can sew a deeper seam allowance as well. Sew the corners for both lower corners of the exterior of the bag and both corners of the bag lining. Cut the seam allowance down to 1/4″, turn right side out and press.

12. Measure in 2″ from each side of the bag for your strap placement. Line up the raw edge of the strap with the raw edge of the top of the bag exterior.

13. Baste stitch the straps to the bag, sewing one to the exterior front and one to the exterior back.

14. Turn the bag lining inside out. Place the exterior bag down inside the bag lining, lining up the top raw edge of the bag and making sure both straps are pointing down towards the bottom of the bag. The right sides of the bag lining and bag exterior will be together. Sew around the entire top of the bag.

15. To turn the bag right side out, pull the bag through the hole that was left in the bottom of the bag lining.

16. Press the seam at the top of the bag open and then tuck the lining back down inside the bag. Press the top seam so that it looks nice and then topstitch all the way around the top of the bag. I tucked in the opening at the bottom of the bag and run stitches through it.

For those of you that need a basic sewing machine with a great price point, I bought this one from Brother. It was about $145.

I absolutely love how they turned out and I hope when my grandchildren use these through the years, they know how very much their Gigi loves them - now and always!

Have fun trick-or-treating little pumpkins!


Gigi Susie

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