Sew your own gorgeous ruffled tote bag
Gather your supplies
- 3m linen fabric
- 104 x 60cm piece iron-on interfacing
- Thread to match linen fabric
- 1 x 32mm covered button kit
You'll also need
Paper and pencil; tailor’s chalk; general sewing supplies
From linen fabric, cut two 104 x 60cm rectangles (bag and lining), two 64 x 10cm rectangles (handles), two 162 x 25cm rectangles (outer petals), one 135 x 20cm (middle petal), two 113 x 18cm (inner petals) and one 73 x 15cm rectangle (centre petal).
LINING: Fold rectangle in half, right sides facing, to measure 52 x 60cm. Press fold. Pin, then stitch down one short side 1cm from edge. Leaving a 30cm opening midway for turning through later, stitch down other short side 1cm from edge. Press seams open.
Pull fabric on either side of one seam at pressed end (bottom of lining) to create a flat triangle, with height measuring 7cm. Draw then stitch a line across triangle base. Leaving a 1cm seam allowance, trim excess corner fabric. Repeat for other corner to create lining base.
BAG: Iron interfacing to wrong side of rectangle. Fold rectangle in half, wrong sides facing, to measure 52 x 60cm.
PLEATED FLOWER: Using grid, redraft pattern on paper.
Using tailor’s chalk, transfer positional curves marked on paper onto one half of right side of bag. Flip drawn pattern vertically to mark positional curves on other side of bag.
To make first row of outer petal, fold rectangle fabric in half lengthways, right sides facing. Stitch to form tube. Turn through to right side. Press.
Starting at one end of tube, use pins to mark pleats on seamed edge at 5cm then 4cm, 5cm then 4cm, repeating the pattern to other end of tube.
Following curve marked on bag in chalk, pin outer petal to bag, forming knife pleats turning towards outer edges of bag. To create each knife pleat, make a fold at the 4cm mark, then bring it over to rest on the 5cm mark and pin. At centre of bag, make a box pleat before continuing with knife pleats turned towards other edge of bag. To create box pleat fold two equal pleats away from each other in opposite directions. When pleating of first outer petal row is completed, stitch across top of pleated tube, close to edge.
Repeat steps 7, 8 and 9 to make second row of outer petal, but make all pin markings 4cm apart.
With middle petal fabric, repeat steps 7, 8, 9, to make third row, but make pin markings 3.5cm then 4cm, 3.5cm then 4cm, repeating this pattern.
With inner petals fabric, repeat steps 7, 8, 9 to make fourth and fifth rows, but make pin markings 3cm then 4cm.
To make centre petal, repeat step 7 and 8, but make all pin markings 3cm apart. Turn 1cm of fabric to inside of start end of tube and pin ‘hem’ to hold. Pin centre petal to bag to form a circle, making sure its centre is smaller than covered button. Trim excess tubing, leaving 3cm over. Remove pins from ‘hem’, then slide tube end inside tube ‘hem’ opening to enclose raw edges. Hand-stitch to close.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions to make covered button. Hand-stitch button to middle of centre petal.
HANDLES: Fold one handle in half lengthways, with right sides facing. Stitch to form a tube, then turn right side out and press. Edge-stitch along both sides. Repeat to make second handle.
Measure 9cm either side of bag centre and mark with pins. With raw edges even, pin ends of one handle to right side of bag, at 9cm pin marks. Stitch in place. Repeat for other handle on other side of the bag.
FINISHING: Turn bag inside out. Pin and stitch short sides.
Repeat Step 3 to make flat-bottomed bag. Turn bag right side out.
With lining still inside out and bag right side out, put bag inside lining. Matching seams and enclosing handles and petal ends, pin then stitch around top edge. Pull bag through open side seam of lining. Topstitch near to seam on lining side of bag top.
Fold in raw edges of lining opening and edge-stitch to close. Push lining into bag to complete.