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Costumes for gifts - gift wrapping tips

Wrap presents in gleaming satin or gossamer organdy

Who says gift wrap has to be paper? These holiday packages, swathed in shimmery satin and organdy fabrics, look almost too good to open. The satin wraps work best for small packages, since the material becomes harder to manage in larger amounts. The sheer organdy (see page 124) lets the wine vintage show through.

Our satin/polyester fabric in pastel shades of buttercup, taupe, and celery cost $4 per yard. Organdy runs about $6 per yard. Fabric stores also have remnants that are suitable for gift wraps; soft polyesters, rayons, and silks are more effective than linens and cottons, which tend to be too stiff to fall into gentle folds.

Satin wraps

TIME: About 15 minutes per wrap

COST: Varies according to fabric MATERIALS

* Boxes to fit gifts

* Satin, silk, polyester, or rayon fabric (3/4 yard of 54-inch fabric will make three wraps)

* Scissors

* Rubber bands

* Twist-ties

* Satin ribbons (about 1/4 yard for each wrap)


1. Place gift in box. Set box on fabric piece and gather fabric on top of box. Cut so a 5-inch ruffle of fabric remains above the gathering point.

2. Tuck excess fabric under on sides and top of box to make elegant folds. Secure fabric with a rubber band at the center of box top, pulling fabric tightly through the band as you would fasten a ponytail. For extra firmness, add a twist-tie just below the rubber band.

3. If necessary, adjust fabric so the ruffle is centered. Pull out the ruffle's edges to form a pompom or rosette. Trim fabric to remove jagged or frayed edges.

4. Tie a satin ribbon over the rubber band and twist tie.

* Design: Dennis Leong

Organdy bags

TIME: 20 to 30 minutes per bag

COST: Varies according to fabric


* Organdy fabric in contrasting colors (a yard of 54-inch-wide fabric will make about three bottle bags)

* Ruler or measuring tape

* Fabric marker or ballpoint pen

* Fabric shears (or pinking shears for finished, non-fraying fabric edges)

* Pins

* Iron

* Sewing machine

* Matching thread

* Ribbon or tassel-trimmed cord for tie (2 to 3 feet)

* Scratch paper, masking tape, rubber stamps, and metallic ink (optional)

Note: Fabric dimensions are based on a standard (11- to 12-inch-high) wine bottle. For larger bottles, add 4 inches to bottle width and 4 inches to height when measuring fabric for bag (including cuff).


1. For the bag body, measure, mark, and cut a 10- by 24-inch piece of organdy.

2. For cuff, measure, mark, and cut two 4- by 10-inch pieces from organdy of a contrasting color.

3. Turn one long edge of each cuff piece under 1/4 inch, and fold under again 1/4 inch; pin into place. Press with cool iron and stitch.

4. Right sides together, pin long raw edge of one cuff piece to each end of body fabric. Stitch cuffs to body with 3/8-inch seams; press seams open with cool iron.

5. Fold resulting fabric piece in half, with right sides together, matching cuffed ends. Pin along long raw edges; also place some pins down the center to prevent fabric from slipping while you sew. Stitch a 3/8-inch seam along each long edge. Turn bag right side out and press with cool iron.

6. Slip bag over wine bottle; secure at neck with ribbon or tassel-trimmed cord.

* Design: Aimee Oscamou

Stamped fabric


1. Cut body fabric and place with right side up on scratch paper. Use masking tape to secure it to paper.

2. Using rubber stamps and metallic stamping ink, create a random pattern over the fabric surface, being careful not to smudge design or move fabric in the process.

3. When finished stamping, carefully lift fabric from paper and allow to dry completely (suspend from a clothes hanger or lay on a flat surface protected with clean scratch paper).

4. When stamped design is dry, sew wine bag according to instructions above.

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