tutorial: ruffle bag

As promised, my ruffle bag tutorial. 

Disclaimer: this was one of my first "sewing" projects. I made it up and made up my own methods, which means that some of your sewers are going to be cringing and maybe even navigating away from my blog. I guess that is a risk I am going to have to take :)

On with it.

You will need:

  • A bag (mine is store bought because I am lazy and not brave enough to tackle a bag yet)
  • Material of choice (mine is from Hobby Lobby)
  • Coordinating thread
  • Heat 'n Bond
  • A letter template
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine and iron (not pictured, but I guess you already figured that out.) 
 Start by cutting out a piece of fabric and a piece of Heat 'n Bond the same size and fusing them together per package instructions.

The back of the Heat 'n Bond is paper-like. Using your letter template, trace the letter onto the Heat 'n Bond backwards. (The backwards part is very important!)

Cut out your letter. Pretty.

After pre-washing your bag and ironing it, iron on the letter, again using the instructions on the Heat 'n Bond package.

Now for the ruffle. This is where the sewing comes in so sewers, please don't hate me. 

I started by taking a strip of fabric about 2 inches wide and sewing a long basting stitch down the entire length of the fabric (I also didn't hem the fabric. You can use the fray stopping stuff or hem it or serge it. I am lazy and don't mind the frays - I kinda like it.)

I then just ruffled up the fabric by pulling on the strings and the basting stitch. I have no pictures and no scientific method, but see this awesome ruffle post from See Kate Sew for tons of info and pictures about ruffles. It's the best post I have come across for ruffles.

So I made my ruffles and pinned them to the bag. 

Then I just sewed directly over the middle of the ruffle all the way around the bag.

That's it. I cut some corners, did it my way, but still got compliments on it when I took it to knitting group :)



  1. Love it! This would also be great to do with a giveaway tote bag - you know, the ones with the ugly logo that companies give away for free?

  2. What a cute little bag! This would make a great gift for a bookworm... I love it!


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