Fabric box bottom gift-bag tutorial

This is a simple little project that ticks lots of boxes and has lots of possibilities.

I think a fabric gift bag adds an element of individuality and luxury to a simple gift or an extra special flourish to a special gift. It is also a great way to use some of that stash of lovely small pieces of fabric left over from other projects.

I do tend to go on about this box bottom technique when I am teaching my sewing classes because it is a very versatile technique that can be used for all sorts of bag shapes and sizes. You can easily scale this pattern up or down for a different size bag or vary the depth of the cutouts for a different size gusset.

This tutorial is for a bag that stands 18cm tall.


4 scraps of fabric measuring approximately 30cm square

50cm x 2.5cm bias binding

1 metre wide ribbon

How to make:

Use a 1cm seam allowance.

1. Start by drawing a rectangle measuring 24cm x 22cm. If you wanted to make a bigger or smaller bag simply draw a larger or smaller rectangle. Its worth thinking about the size of the side of the bag. For this one I wanted a small symmetrical base with longer depth. I drew out a 10cm width and added the same again plus 2cm for seam allowance for a square base bag.

2. Draw a square in one bottom corner, if you have a set square or pattern making ruler this will help keep your angles true. The depth and height of the square need to be the same, in this case I measured 5cm so that the bag base would be square.

3. Repeat on the opposite side. This is how your pattern will look.

4. Cut out two pieces for the outer and two pieces for the lining. On the outer pieces draw a chalk line 5.5cm below the upper straight edge of the bag.  Sew the bag outer together down the sides and across the base, at this point ignore the cut outs. Do the same with the lining, leaving a small gap (approx 6cm) in the lower edge.

5. Bring the side seam and the base seam of outer bag together, folding the cut out area flat so that the seams meet in the middle. With the seams matching stitch across this corner using the full seam allowance. It might help to draw a chalk line to follow. Do the same on the lining of the bag.

6. With right sides together place one bag inside the other, match the side seams. Pin and sew the two bags together.

7. Turn to the right side through the gap in the lining base.

8. Press the seam at the gap in line with the stitched seam and stitch close to edge. Reinforce with back stitch at either end.

9. Find the centre of one side of the bag, place a pin or chalk mark at this point on the chalk line you made at the start.

10. Fold in one end of the bias tape,  pin to the centre mark with the upper edge of the bias tape matched to the chalk line. Pin the tape around the bag following the chalk line. Cut the bias tape to fit the bag with enough left to fold the end in. Fold the other end of the bias tape to sit edge to edge with the start of the tape.

11. Stitch the bias tape around the bag close to the edge of the tape on both edges to form a channel.

12. Cut a piece of ribbon approximately 100cm Using a safety pin thread the ribbon into the bias binding channel. Pull the ribbon to draw the bag together and tie a bow. Trim the ends of the ribbon diagonally to complete.

You could make this into a mini drawcord bag by leaving a gap in the bias tape on both sides. Thread a ribbon or cord through in the same manor as above, join the cord by stitching in together and work the cord ends to the inside, stitch the cord or ribbon through the opening gap to stop the raw ends coming out. Repeat using the opening on the other side of the bag.

Fill the bag with goodies for an individual gift.


Please follow and like us:
Posted in

Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...


  1. Betty Biscuit on December 19, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Thank you for the beautifully clear tutorial. They’re very pretty!

  2. Maria Siciliano on December 19, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    A beautiful project, very clear to follow instructions, need to make these:-)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.