Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Ruffly Tote Tutorial

I have been wanting to make a few of these Ruffly Tote bags for awhile now.  There seems to be so many different styles and colours all over in the Pinterest world.  Very easy to make, and even easier when starting with a ready made tote from Michaels or Walmart.  You can find different sizes, colours, and thicknesses.  The great things is you can also use Stamps and create sayings or any design you want to personalize it to your own taste, or that of a friend.

I decided to make this particular bag for a dear friend for her Birthday.  I fell in love with it while creating it and am sure that it will be the first of many to come.  I have a stack of fabrics just waiting to become stylish.

Here is my take on the Ruffly Tote & a Tutorial to help you achieve the look or a similiar look.  Enjoy!!

Materials needed

Materials you will need:

1~Plain Tote bag (you can purchase these from Michaels or Walmart in groups of 3, or one and in colors)

2~Vintage or new buttons

1~4" wide, and same width as your tote cut fabric for top Band.

4~ pieces of cut fabric that are 4" wide & 1 1/2 times longer than the width of your bag.

1~ Small strip of fabric about 2" wide to make a fabric flower.  Follow the tutorial link for length.

Needle & Thread to sew embellishments and buttons.

Pins to help place fabric on the bag while sewing.

Any other embellishments you want to put on the purse.

Placing top band
Cut a piece of fabric 4" wide and 1/2 inch on either side longer than the tote for seam allowance.  This will be your top band of fabric as shown in the picture above.  Turn under all 4 sides & Press with a iron.  Place & pin the fabric band onto the bag as shown, making sure it fits your tote to its side seams.  Leaving the bottom edge free so you can place the first Ruffle's raw edge underneath.  Don't sew it in place quite yet.  You need to make your Ruffles first.
Cut the corners to get rid of bulk.
Cut a piece of fabric for the first ruffle.  4" again, and longer than the first strip because once you gather it its much smaller. I guess on the measurement for mine, and I think I made it 1 1/2 times longer than the bag. Depends on how ruffly you want it.  If you can cut all your fabrics out together this will save a bit of time and you can plan which colour you want to go, and where on your tote.  Turn under & press again.  Cut the corner on a diagonal to get rid of some of the bulk when sewing it. Now straight stitch your 3 side hems (sides and bottom), try and do the same process for each Ruffle as you go along.  This saves you from switching back and forth between 2 different foots.  As seen & explained below.
Attached Gathering foot
If you have a Gathering foot or Ruffle foot for your machine, attach it to make the ruffles. (If not you can make them by hand.  Using a loose stitch and pulling it to make it gather.  Then run a straight stitch over to keep it in place and easier to work with.)  Read the instruction in your owners manual on how to use your Gathering foot.  Its very easy and this was the first time I had ever used mine.  Basically just sew as usual and the foot does the gathering.  Some machines are lucky enough to come with a Gathering foot, and some don't and you can purchase them separately for your machine.  (Which sometimes can be costly)  If you are doing lots of projects where a Ruffle is needed I suggest its worth it.
Ruffles Hemmed & Gathered.
Your Ruffles should look like this when you are done them.  Hemmed on 3 sides and 1 side (top) gathered and you can leave it raw or hem it as well, it will just be a smaller ruffle than what I have made.
Pin back 1st Ruffle and Sew on 2nd.
This picture above shows the first Ruffle sewn in place underneath the top band.  So now you need to place the 1st Ruffle under the folded edge of the Top Band, and pin in place.  Straight stitch around all 4 edges of the Top Band, and sewing your first Ruffle into place with it.  Pin back 1st Ruffle as shown, so its easier to work underneath for the next Ruffle.  After that Pin your next Ruffle underneath your 1st Ruffle as shown above.  Decide how much of the Second Ruffle you want to show.  I  pinned them about 1 inch apart.
2 Ruffles and a Band straight stitched on

You could leave it just at 2 Ruffles, or continue to straight stitch the other 2 Ruffles on just as you did the 2nd one.  If you leave it at 2 Ruffles there is room for a Fabric stamped Embellishment or a sew on Monogram.

Sewn on Embellishments
 Hand sew on your Buttons over top of where the Handle joins the bag.  Take your strip of Fabric and make a Fabric flower.  You could make this flower bigger if you like.  I've included the link to the Tutorial where I learned how to make a Fabric flower from.
Finished Tote

Sew on your Flower and any other Embellishments and you are finished.  It is a beauty I fell in love with.  You could carry on and do the other side if you wish.  There is just so many great ways this simple tote can be beautified!!  Hope this was helpful & would love your feedback.  Please let me know if I left a step out or you are stumped. Enjoy this simple beauty!!

Fabrics used were purchased at Hobby Lobby, USA and Fabricland, Canada.

Here is the link to the Wonderful Blog I learned about through Pinterest, on how to make a Rosette.  I love it and am going to become a follower of her beautiful site.  You will definately love the 2 steps it take to make the flower she has.  I just used Step 1 here.

The Decorated House by Donna Courtney.

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