Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ruffled Tote Tutorial

My friend Mallory and I teamed up to put together a tutorial to make this cute tote!  Not only is Mallory great at doing hair, but she is also good at sewing! 
She has a very similar bag to this one that I have been in love with ever since I saw it so I totally copied it but I added the ruffle to the pocket to make mine a little different from hers- so I am not a TOTAL copycat- Ok... I totally am;)

My bag is roughly 15 x17 inches so all the measurements coordinate with this size but could easily be changed to work with any size bag you wanted.

To make this bag you will need:

 -Two coordinating fabrics. 
(I got mine in the home decor fabrics at Joann's. This fabric is pretty thick, but not quite as thick as canvas. I bought a yard of each but have a little leftover of each one so you could probably get away with buying less if you measured everything out exactly and knew how much you needed before going to buy it.)
-Fusible Interfacing (light- meduim depending on how thick your fabric is)

Step 1: Cut out 2 pieces of each fabric to measure 15 x 17 inches each. Then cut out 2 pieces of fusible interfacing that are 15 x 17 inches each.
Step 2: Iron the fusible interfacing onto the wrong sides of both of your inside fabrics (striped fabric). Now set these pieces aside.

Step 3: Cut out two pieces of fabric for the pocket measuring 9 x 9 inches. (Initially I had planned on using the striped fabric for my pocket but changed my mind and used the floral fabric for the pocket and the striped for the ruffle. So you can use whatever fabric you would like for this part)

Step 4: Put both of the pieces of fabric you cut out for your pocket so that they are right side together and sew along both the sides and the bottom of your pocket but leave the top unstitched so you can turn it right side out. After you turn it right side out press the seams so they lay flat. 
Lay this part aside for a minute.

Step 5: Cut out a strip of fabric that is 2 x 18 inches. This will be for your ruffle. 

Step 6: Iron your 2x18 inch fabric in half so it is 1x18 inches. Then use a basting stitch along the raw edge of the fabric so you can create a gather.

Step 7: Gather your fabric so that it is 1/2 inch wider than the width of your pocket. Once you have the fabric gathered to the width you would like, roll the raw edges on both sides twice and sew a small seam on both sides so that the raw edges are not exposed.

Step 8: Open the top of your pocket you have sewn and fold all the edges inside the pocket and iron your seam flat so it stays in place. Then insert your bottom edge or unfinished edge of your fabric in between both fabrics and pin in place. Sew a small seam along the top edge of your pocket to close it and hold the ruffles in place.

Step 9: Pin your finished pocket to the front piece of your bag. (Just the floral fabric) And sew it in place around 3 edges- don't sew the top edge obviously;)

Step 10: Now take the front piece that has the pocket sewn to it and line it up with a striped piece so that the right sides of the fabric are facing eachother. Sew along both sides and the bottom- leaving the top un sewn. Then take the other floral piece and striped piece and put them right sides together and do the same. After you sew both, turn them right side out and iron the seams flat.

Step 11: With both side of the bags right side facing out (so the striped fabric sides are facing each other on the inside and the floral fabrics are both facing out), line them up to each other, pin in place and sew along both sides and bottom of the bag. Sew as close to the edge as you can. I went around twice just to make sure that the seam was sturdy.

Step 12: Cut out two straps for the bag. They will need to be 5 inches wide and then whatever length you would like them to be. Fold them in half so they are now 2 1/2 inched wide and iron. Next, open up and fold both edges into the line you just ironed and and iron... After it is all folded back up you should have a strap that is 4 layers thick. Stitch as close as you can to each side of the strap for both straps.

Step 13: Take your bag and push the raw edges of the fabric into the inside of each side so that no raw edges are exposed. Iron and pin your seams down. Insert handles into each side and pin in place. Make sure that the straps and not twisted.

Step 14: Sew all the way around the top of your bag as close to the edge as you can to close your seams and hold the straps in place. (I stay stitched back and forth a few times when I went over each handle just to make sure they don't come off.)

Now you are finished!!!

Linked up here.


  1. This bag is wonderful! Can't wait to make one!

  2. ((Came over from Someday Crafts. Thanks for linking up!))

  3. Very cute! I love the fabric that you used.

  4. Such wonderful tutorials! I would love if you would link into - It's a directory blog I started last month of "the creatively inclined" You can also link in your tutorials. Hope to see you there!

  5. This is so very cute!! Love it!! So glad I found your cute blog... but I don't see a follow/subscribe button....

  6. This is adorable and a great tutorial! Can't wait to make one.

  7. Great job! Love the colors you chose too.

    I'm hosting a fabric giveaway this week over at my blog - stop by when you get a chance:

  8. I turned out great! I am very impressed. This was so much fun.

  9. This is such a cute bag with an even greater tutorial. I love this! Your blog is just too cute as always. Thanks for linking up and sharing!

  10. Would you be interested in being a guest on blissful and domestic. Either sharing a tutorial/recipe or on my getting to Know you Sunday? I'd love to have you:>

  11. Your fabric choice is so cute. This would make a fun gift.

  12. How cute is that! Cute fabric and cute bag...cute cute cute! I hope you will link up to Scrappy Saturdays linky party @

  13. I'm opsesed with tote bags. And, this one is very, very nice. I wish that I know how to sew it. (I'm practicing, but it's not working)

  14. This is just the cutest thing and I love the fabric you've used.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  15. I love much so that I made one as a gift Saturday night! THANKS!


  16. I found you via SissyPrint and immediately became a follower. I haven't gotten to look around too much, but really like your totes and tutes :-)

  17. wonderful! the fabric you used is too perfect!


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I honestly love reading every single one! If you have a question you would like answered- be sure to include your email so that I can get back to you!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!
xoxo, Ashley