Sewing is a new passion for me (in addition to scrapbooking) but finding the time to fit it in around work, kids, the house and of course some social time, can be a bit difficult. However, I thought these little bags were perfect to get me going and into the swing of it. I chose the Ruffle Bag, mainly because I haven't done any ruffling!! :) Firstly, here is the finished product :-
The bags come with one sheet of fabric, with all the pieces sectioned out ready to cut, so there is no measuring to do (phew!). All the instructions are printed out on the inside of the cardboard packaging. I'm going to go through these instructions, with photos of each step.
The first step is simply, opening out your fabric piece, setting the instructions to one side. Then, iron on the reverse side (just so you don't get any marks on - or you could iron on the right side, but put a piece of thin scrap fabric over the top). Then, cut out all your pieces. Each piece is given a label, which for ease, you can pin to each piece so you don't forget which is which.
The first pieces of the bag to put together are the handles. Fold them in half (lengthways), so the right sides are facing together on the inside. You don't have to iron, but I prefer to. Then, Stitch along each long side of the handles and turn the right side round. Iron them again so they are flat. Finally, topstitch along both long sides of each handle and put them to one side.
For step 3, you sew the front and back panels together, but only down one side. Place one panel on top of eachother, the right sides facing and sew down one side. Backstitch at each end to secure the stitching. Then open out and iron the seam open. Take the 3 ruffle pieces and fold each of them in half lengthwise (wrong sides facing together), iron flat and hand stitch a running stitch along the top raw edge of each one, very loosely. Pull the threads at each end to ruffle the fabric. Evenly space the ruffles as much as you can and pin in place from one side of fabric to the other (across the width of the bag).
Stitch the ruffles in place overlapping eachother. The bottom ruffle should be approximately 5 inches (12.5 cms) from the bottom of the fabric and the top ruffle should be lined up exactly with the top edge of the bag panel. Stitch in place and then pull out the thread used to make the ruffle.
Fold the bag panels back over, right sides facing and stitch along the bottom edge and the other side - leaving the top of the bag unstitched.
To create the boxed bottom of the bag, keeping it turned inside out (this is the most tricky part of the bag) for each bottom corner, line the side seam up with the bottom seam, creating a point as per the photo above, measure 1.5 inches (3.7 cms) and mark a line. Stitch along this line (backstitiching at each end to secure) and then trim, leaving 1/4 inch allowance (1/2 cm).
Nearly there, I love this part, you can really see it coming together. Turn the bag right side out and pin the handles to each side, front and back. lining up the raw edges of the bag with the raw edges of the handles. They should be placed about 1.5 inches (3.7 cms) from each side of the bag. Pin in place. Turn the bag inside out again.
Sew the lining pieces together in the same way as the main bag, but without the ruffles, i.e. down each side of the panels (right sides together) and along the bottom. However, leave a 3 inch (7.5 cms) gap on one of the sides - back stitch at each end to secure.
Create the boxed bottom in exactly the same way as the main bag. Turn the lining piece right side out. Then, place the lining piece inside the main bag, as above so the right sides of each part are facing eachother.
The last step is to stitch all the way round the top of the bag. Then, from the gap in the lining pull the whole bag through and using a slip stitch (which I need a lot more practice doing!!) close the gap in the lining. Push the lining inside the bag and give it an iron. Finally, top stitch all round the top of the bag, approximately 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) from the top of the bag.
The last bit is to simply layer the pieces of the flower on top of eachother and sew into place. Pin it on your bag and you are now FINISHED.
Now you have your gorgeous little tote bag. Enjoy and thanks for looking :)