Updated: Oct 20
When I was in high school, my mom gave me a Singer sewing machine for Christmas, and, at the time, I really didn't know what to do with it. Don't get me wrong, I was excited and thought it was an amazing gift, but the idea of using a sewing machine kind of freaked me out.
Even though I was really happy to have a sewing machine of my own, my fear of using it, paired with a severe lack of motivation to learn the basics, resulted in that lovely gift from my mom sitting unused for years. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I honestly don't think I touched that machine for a good ten years.
However, a few months ago, all of that changed! Because I wanted to DIY a piece of decor for our wedding, I decided to finally pull my sewing machine out of storage and learn a thing or two about how it worked.
I vaguely recalled a few things I learned from my mom about sewing, but it had been so long since she'd shown me, I needed a refresher. So, I popped open my laptop, went to YouTube, and found a super helpful video that demonstrated how to set up and use a Singer machine.
After going through the steps a few times, I felt confident enough to give my first project a try, and, to my surprise, it actually worked! Turns out, using a sewing machine isn't as scary or complicated as I'd convinced myself it would be.
Anyway, after the success of my first attempt, I knew it wouldn't be long before I turned to my Singer again, which brings us to the purpose of this post! Keep reading if you want to find out just how easy it is to make a charming and festive drawstring sack — like the one Santa uses — just in time for the holidays!
Silk rope or ribbon
Iron + ironing board
Because I'm going to be using the sack as part of a Christmas present, I chose to work with green thread and red rope — both of which happened to perfectly compliment some linen I already had from the wedding project.
Once you have your sewing machine all set up, plug in the iron and turn its dial to the appropriate setting for the fabric you're using. Next, measure out the two pieces you're going to need to put together your Santa sack.
I worked with linen that was cut into two 20" x 26" rectangles.
My first step was to fold one of the shorter sides on each piece of linen half-an-inch down and press it in place using my iron. Pressing creates a nice, crisp edge, which will come in handy later.
I then placed one sheet of fabric on top of the other, making sure the pressed edges were facing out for both, and then measured four inches down on each side. With a pin, I marked the four inches, and then I transferred the pieces over to my sewing machine.
Starting at one of the pins, I stitched down the side of both pieces of linen, across the bottom of them, and back up to the second pin.
You can see where I screwed up a bit on the bottom, lefthand corner (that's what happens when you turn your fabric and forget to put the foot back down before starting to stitch again, lol). But other than that little hiccup, I think my stitches turned out pretty well, especially when you consider this was only my second attempt at using a sewing machine.
Next, I covered the top of my ironing board with the linen sack, making sure one of the unstitched sides was facing up. I then folded back each seam allowance and pressed it with my iron, creating another set of crisp edges.
After the first two folds had been pressed, I folded each side a second time and pressed them, too.
I won't lie, this is the part of the project that had me questioning whether or not this second attempt of mine was going to work out, but I did manage to push through and succeed!
With your sewing machine, stitch down one of your pressed seam allowances and stop just after you pass the first stitch you made when you sewed the two pieces of fabric together. Turn your fabric, stitch across the bottom, and then turn it again before stitching back up the second seam allowance.
Repeat those steps with the other unstitched side of your sack.
Tip: Whenever you start and end a stitch, you should do a bit of backstitching to reinforce every seam.
Now it's time to create the drawstring casings! To do so, I folded each side of the sack down approximately one-and-a-half inches and pinned them in place. I then stitched along the bottom edge of each side, making sure to leave enough room so my rope could eventually be threaded through.
For the drawstring, I cut two 48" pieces of rope and taped one end of each so I could attach a safety pin to them.
I turned my Santa sack right-side out and used the safety pin to guide my first piece of rope through one casing, and then came back through the second. I brought each end of the rope together and tied a knot before cutting away any excess.
I repeated that process with the second piece of rope but made sure to thread in the opposite direction, giving each side of the sack its own set of knotted drawstrings.
Ta-da! The Santa sack is complete!
All that was left to do was fill it with a bunch of goodies! Isn't that nutcracker tin just the cutest?
I know one little boy who's going to be over-the-moon excited when the time comes for him to open his Santa sack, revealing all of the treasures inside.
If this project inspires you to get crafty, let me know by sharing your creations with me! Leave a comment or use #katiesaracreates on social media. And don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss out on future posts!