Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ruffled Bag Tutorial is Here!

I am linking this post up to Family Ever After's "Pinspired...Rewired" Link Party.  I had seen ruffled tote bags all over on Pinterest.  Here is the bag that was my inspiration.  There wasn't a pattern or tutorial so I came up with this one on my own. 

What you need:
1 tote bag
6 strips of fabric 3.5"xWOF.  4 strips are for the ruffles, 1 strip for the trim, and 1 strip is for the flower.  You can use ribbon instead of making the top trim.
1 button (I made a covered button)

Here is my lovely denim blag.  It measures about 12" x 12" not including the handles.  
 Cut your fabric into strips 3.5" - this is a great Stash Buster project!!
Here are my fabrics

Do a narrow rolled hem along the 2 short sides of the 4 strips and the bottom of the strip. 
So the top of the strip is a raw edge.

 Turn your stitch length up to the maximum and sew 1/4" gathering stitch along the raw edge of all 4 ruffle strips.  Then pull strings and gather each ruffle like this:

 Take your tote bag and mark a line 3" from the bottom.

 Then mark 2" from your first line.  Repeat every 2" until you have 4 total lines drawn.
 Pin your bottom ruffle to the tote bag matching the raw edge of the fabric to your first marked line.  You kind of have to scrunch the bag to get it pinned.  This one is the hardest.  It SOOO doesn't have to be perfect!

  Sew along your gathering stitch.  Again, this one is the hardest, the rest get easier.  You have to bunch it around your machine - but it will work!

Then go over your seam with a zig zag stitch to keep it all from fraying.
Repeat this process with each ruffle matching the raw edge of the ruffle with your marked line.  Stitch along your gathering stitches and then zig zag to finish.  You don't have to zig zag the last ruffle because we will cover it.

 Take your "trim" piece of fabric and cut it so it is just slightly longer than your bag.

 Press this piece in half
 Then open it and press the two sides into the center fold.  Then bring these two sides together to make a trim piece with no raw edges. 
 Fold one end in and pin in place.  Adjust the length and trim if necessary.  Fold the other end in and pin in place.  Top stitch all the way around the trim piece.  You can totally use pre-made trim, double-fold bias tape, or ribbon.  Your bag is almost done!!  Just the flower is left!

 To make the flower, take your last 3.5"xWOF piece and fold in half - don't press in half - you want it to puff a little.  Use your gathering stitch again and run it 1/4" along the raw edge. 
Pull up the threads to ruffle - you want it as ruffled as possible - careful not to break the thread.  Since the fabric is double thickness, it needs a little extra care.
Then tuck the end of the fabric under so you can't see it and start to twirl it around.  You can play around to get the look you want.  Here is where I got the hot glue gun out.  I added glue each time I turned.  You can sew it too.  I was just in a hurry:)  Once the flower is done I hot glued a fabric covered button in the center.  You can use any button that you like.  Then I hot glued it to the bag. 

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you get the chance to make one!


  1. darling. I wish I had some girls to make some for!

  2. Adorable bag and great tutorial!! TFS!! Stopping by from Quilt Story linky party and your newest follower.

    Here is what I shared: http://craftybrooklynarmywife.blogspot.ca/2012/06/kids-roll-up-nap-blanket.html

  3. Hi Amanda, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  4. Hey!!! Did you see that you won 2nd place in Pinspired and Rewired? CONGRATS!!! I can't find your email address on your blog, so please email me soon so I can get your prize to you!!! Such a great bag! Rachel- familyeverafter at gmail

  5. Hi Amanda, this is too cute bag.
    beautiful. i like.
    i will try to do the same.
    without frill.. it would be better.

    thanks for the idea.