Finally. It’s here. If you’ve been following me you know I’ve been planning this for you since the beginning. I would like to start off with a disclaimer: I am not a professional seamstress. I don’t follow all the rules and I sew with my intuition rather than following patterns. For this tutorial I had a few problems taking photos to explain what I was doing, but I’m going to try and supplement it with words and hopefully you can get the general idea.
To begin, you need a few materials:
You need 2/3 yard for the main fabric, and a little less for the contrasting fabric.
You will need to cut the following from the fabric:
- two (2) 10×9″ rectabgles from the “contrast” fabric for the inside lining
- one 10×9″ rectangle for the outside back panel
- one 10×11.5″ rectangle for the front (I’ll explain this later)
- three (3) 4×15″ rectangles of the “contrast” fabric for the back of the ruffles
- three (3) 4×15″ rectangles of the main fabric for the front of the ruffles
- some straps long enough for your waist, twice the width of your fastener + 1″
Take your longer front panel and draw curves “pointing down.”
I used a pen to mark (on the wrong side) where I wanted the curves to start and measured down about 3/4″ and marked the bottom.
Create two curves making sure to make them symmetrical.
You should now have made your longer front panel into three separate pieces like this:
Set those pieces aside. Now match up the ruffle pieces, one of each fabric, right sides together. Pin one long side and sew with about 1/4″-1/2″ seam. (This is what I mean by non-professional… which is why I’ve included a photo of where I align the edge on my machine.)
Repeat this for the other two ruffles.
Iron all the ruffles so they look pretty. I iron mine flat with the outside facing down, then fold the front up and iron the seam.
When you’re done ironing it flat, simply flip the front up and iron the seam.
See how pretty! I also went ahead and made my straps as well. Just sew the straps closed inside out, then turn and iron flat.
Now this is, in my opinion, the hardest part. To get the ruffles onto the front panel, take the bottom piece and place it face up with the curve pointing towards the top. Pin the outside of the ruffles, right side up, to the corners. Now pin the middle. Pin the middle of each half/gather, and then pin in between those to create a manual gather.
Now pin the circular curve of the middle piece to the ruffle/bottom piece. I do this by holding the pinned part of the bottom/ruffle in my left hand, placing the curve of the middle piece on top of that. I then use my right hand to reach between and pull out the pin and putting it back in on top making a ruffle sandwich. Maybe the photo will help:
Sew that closed. When you’re finished, remove the pins and check it out. It should look like this:
Repeat for the next ruffle.
Now you should have something like this:
At this time you want to go and grab the back panel of the main fabric and see how your front panel matches up in size. If it doesn’t you need to decide if you should trim the main panel (I recommend trimming the top if you do this), or trimming the back panel and lining to fit. You shouldn’t have any problems though if you sew where I sew on my machine.
As you can see it was pretty perfect when I checked.
Now just pin the last ruffle to the top and sew across. I didn’t back stitch this time because the remaining steps will seal in the thread.
The next step is to sew in the zipper and thus start assembling the bag. Zippers are super frustrating for me, so I’m going to post the video I use on a regular basis. Only sew in the zipper though, DON’T SEW THE SIDES YET!
I am however going to recommend you unzip the zipper when doing the back panel. If you don’t you’ll risk catching some of the bulk from the ruffles in it. How do I know? Oh because I’ve done it, of course. Just unzip it the second time around.
You should have your bag now looking something like this:
Now align the sides of the main fabric and the sides of the lining and get ready to pin, like so:
Flip the back panel of the main fabric out of the way and place your straps right up next to the zipper. Also, try and pull the ruffles towards the center so that the edges of the ruffles meet the edges of your main panels.
Pull the main panel down and pin in place. Repeat for the opposite side.
After placing the second strap, I gather all the extra strappage and use a safety pin to secure int eh middle of the bag.
Pin all the way around, but leave the bottom of the outside fabric open (I’ll show you why). Reach up through this hole and unzip the zipper halfway. Also, make sure to leave a 2″ gap at the bottom of the lining for turning. Starting at the bottom of the lining, sew around and over the zipper (I back stitch on the zipper/strap). Now once you’ve gone all the way down one side and get to the bottom of the outside bag, leave your needle in the fabric and lift up the foot…
Reach inside and tuck all the ruffles as far back as you can without messing up your inside and outside fabric.
You do this because you don’t want to sew the ruffles to the bottom of the bag, you want them to hang down carefree!
When you get done with the bottom, remove the first pin on the side you’re about to sew and push the ruffle back down flat to sew up the edge. Continue sewing all the way around. don’t forget the gap for turning!
Trim the corners and turn the bag inside out. It’ll actually wind up REALLY inside out so unzip the zipper all the way and flip right side out.
Inspect the bag. It it looks good and you’re happy, pull the lining out and sew the gap closed.
Now when doing the straps, well, I’m a strap failure. But this is what I did.
I cut off a bit from the end where I wanted the buckle. I then placed it on top of the remaining strap, fed it through, and flipped it over. My straps are tiny and stupid and I thought by doing this I would bulk up the end a bit.
For the longer strap I made a loop for excess after buckling, put that one, fed the strap through the remaining half of the buckle and then folded the end twice under and sewed as a seam.
And there you have it. Ghetto straps and all. (Why can’t I make straps?!)
The ending product:
Things I learned and will do differently next time:
- Interfacing on outside panels of bag. It’s a bit flimsy.
- Buy straps from JoAnn’s so I don’t have to have ugly ones.
- Maybe make the bottom curved rather than square. We’ll see.
So there you have it.It’s not perfect, but it was my second time so give me a break. I just hope that this tutorial either taught you something or inspired you to play with ruffles. If you need any sort of clarification feel free to comment and I will try my best to answer questions!
Thanks! Have a great day!