Now that Christmas is over, I can show you some things I made as presents and gave away this year. I’m not a fan of surprises but people I love are, so I have been withholding showing these presents. I am excited to start with a walk through on this ruffled fabric bag!
Do sewing patterns scare you? They scare me! I have used sewing patterns twice with my mother-in-law’s assistance, and I’m still intimidated. I think there is something with how they have to be precise and accurate that keeps me away.
Instead of buying a simple sewing pattern with canvas material, I preferred to buy a canvas bag for $2.99 (that I got when it was 50% off) to use as my template. I would rather see what it is supposed to look like finished and take the time to deconstruct the bag by literally picking all the stitches out, just to sew it back together later. Is this messed up? Probably.
After taking apart a brand new bag, I picked out the fabrics I wanted to use as my ruffles. I wanted to make the ruffles fun but also not too bright since this gift was for Matt’s aunt. I cut my fabric into 3″ strips, and I then lightly folded the fabric slightly over every inch or so. This created a ruffled look once I sewed a line at the top on the fold.
Once I had several ruffled fabric strips, I started pinning them onto my bag, leaving a little overlap of the two ruffles to cover the seam. I started at the bottom of the bag and worked up. Once they were all pinned on both sides of the bag, I was ready to sew the strips on.
After the strips were all sewn on the bag, I trimmed the “extra” ruffles that were hanging off the side of the bag. Those you can just throw away. The next step is to turn your bag inside out and sew up the edge of the bag to join the two sides of the bag together again.
To have the feminine flare at the end of the bag like mine, simply push the last two ruffles up so they do not catch in your sewn seam down the side of the bag. An easy way to measure this is to fold the bottom of the bag back to what is was like and leave your ruffles out of that fold, so when you sew down the edge of the bag they are not caught.
I went back and added a ruffle on the top of my bag. Since my bag was already closed all the way around, I simply overlapped the ruffle at the top and ended the new ruffle edge folded over so it looked like a ruffle. I think the edge is pretty hidden this way.
I also covered the straps of my bag with a matching fabric. To do this, cut two 2.5″ wide strips. I then ironed my fabric strips to create a fold like this…
My bag’s straps were 1″ wide, so I ironed the fabric strip covers with a 1″ margin, so they would wrap around the original strap and could be sewn down the middle.
I literally then sewed down the middle of the strap, so my fabric covers were attached to the original straps.
Where the fabric covers started and ended I added a row of stitches to seal the fabric closed (as shown above).
It was not the prettiest finished look, so I hand sewed some big buttons over the handles’ edge to cover up the transitioning seam of fabrics.
I really liked it with the buttons, But I decided to pin on a big floppy flower I found at Old Navy for $2.99. The bag can be worn with the flower, or it can easily be taken off for a different look.
I really love how it came out! Now, that I have completed one bag, I think I could make it a lot faster a second time and might be brave enough to try just buying some canvas rather than a bag to add that destroying step at the beginning.
What do you think? Do you ever add steps that seem to make your project easier, but they might actually make it harder?
Did you make any Christmas gifts this year to give away?
I hope you have a great weekend with your family and enjoy the last of this year! If you have not entered my Year in Review Giveaway, please do! It’s not too late!
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