Christmas in July!

Jul 12, 2020
by Rothney Chase

In June, my blog was about Halloween.  Now its Christmas in July!  This will give you plenty of time to make some of these Elf Gift Bags for December 25th!

I made these to go with my Purple Christmas but I’m also making ones for my Pink and Black Christmas and my Blue Christmas. 

I have just placed the patterns and machine embroidery designs for the large and small elf gift bags on my website, Designs By Rothney.  

When I first created these, I was teaching a software class how to digitize a pattern using the Bernina Designer Plus embroidery program.  The grid in the program was sized and then used for the drafting of the pattern pieces.

The first thing I decided was the approximate size of the finished bag.  Then I visualized the appropriate  size of the face, arms, legs, and hat for this size of bag.     The large bag takes up a space of about 6 inches wide, 11 inches high (excluding legs) and 3 inches deep.  The small bag sits about 5 inches wide, 8 inches high (excluding legs) and 3 inches deep.

The candle design on the arm and leg of the elf, and the bell design on the body are blackwork designs but stitched in purple!  The other arm and leg, and the hat have candlewicking designs stitched with silver metallic thread.

Everything but the actual bag is created ‘in-the-hoop’.  To do this, hoop the fabric for the legs along with a piece of poly mesh stabilizer. Embroider the first 3 color stops.  These are the leg outlines, the scallops on the left leg and the candle design on the right leg. 

Before stitching the 4th color stop, change the bobbin and top thread to regular sewing thread.

Place another piece of fabric over the leg outlines, right sides together.  Stitch the last color change.

This same procedure applies when stitching the arms, face, and hat.

Once all of the embroidery is done, it will take about ½ hour to complete the bag.

To finish off the arms and legs, a small ball of stuffing, about the size of an almond, is inserted into each hand and each foot only.  Then tie off each hand and foot with some pearl cotton or embroidery floss and also attach 9 mm jingle bells.  I was quite surprised that Michael’s had these bells in stock right now! 

I had gold bells but I wanted silver bells.

I love sparkle!!  And these elf gift bags were just crying out for crystals.  Hot fix clear crystals were applied to the body, arms, and legs.

Sit the elf on the mantle, the hearth, or on a wrapped present!  You can even start a new interpretation of ‘Elf on a Shelf’ with this elf but include inside, a different little surprise each day!  Or fill these elves with candies or cookies!  

Look who just made an appearance!  Mr. Pink and Black!  And a matching gift bag!

Oh!  And Mr. Blue and Silver for my blue Christmas!

Sorry about the choice of fabric for the body.  This fabric is too busy for the silver embroidered snowflake on the bag to show with any clear definition.

And just for fun, there’s a birthday gift bag as well!  With cake and cupcakes, and light green crystals!  Elves are not just for Christmas!!

Now I have a whole Troupe of Elves!  Not difficult to make but really adds when creating a fun décor!

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me at

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