How To Make A Ruffle Tote Bag – Easy Sewing Tutorial & Printable Pattern

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Ruffles are always in style and if you love ruffles, then you will love this new bag. Today on Happiest Camper, I’m going to show you How To Make A Ruffle Tote Bag – Easy Sewing Tutorial & Printable Pattern! Not only can you use your favorite colors to make this tote, but the bag is built to last as the ruffles are fully enclosed into the seam lines. They are perfect for on-the-go errands while remaining stylish and keeping your personal items safe. Don’t let this bag intimidate you. The included free sewing pattern shows you how to cut out your pieces so you can focus on sewing it all together. I love this bag as it is large enough to hold my stuff plus all the other things I carry around for the kids. I made my ruffle tote with alternating colors on the ruffles and the bag itself, but you could make this with one solid color or even add more colors if you wanted. I have been wanting a new bag that was different from the ones I already had and this ruffle tote does not disappoint. I always get so many compliments on it. 

ruffle tote top photo

For this project, you’ll only need some fabric and a few basic sewing supplies. Gather them up from the list below and let’s get started!

 How To Make A Ruffle Tote Bag - Easy Sewing Tutorial & Printable Pattern

What You’ll Need:

ruffle tote supplies

Printing Instructions

This ruffle tote pattern has layers so that you can choose to print only the size you need. To achieve this Adobe Reader must be installed on your machine or device. Adobe Reader allows you to click on the layers icon which will show you each size with an eyeball beside it. Click on the eyeball beside the size you do not want to print.

Before printing check that your printer is set to No scaling or Actual size. Set the Page orientation to Auto or Portrait. And then print page 1. Measure the 2” test square to see if it measures exactly 2”.  If it does, print the remaining pages.

Trimming Pages

Cut off the right and top margins of each printed page before assembling the pattern. You can use tape or school glue to adhere your paper pattern together. 

Pattern Assembly

After the pages have been printed and trimmed as instructed above, use the quarter circles located at the corner of each page for perfect alignment.  When done your pattern should look like this: 

ruffle tote pattern photo

Pattern Pieces Checklist

Once you have printed and assembled your pattern you will cut:

Tier  1 – Cut , Tier 2 and 3 – Cut 2 for each tier, Tier 4 (bag base) – cut 2 , straps – cut 2, ruffles – cut 3 on fold, bag lining – cut 2

Seam Allowance

Use a 3/8” seam allowance unless otherwise instructed.  

General Instructions

Where applicable, sew all knits with a stretch stitch such as a zigzag or a lightning stitch.  Always use a ballpoint needle when sewing knits. Finish all raw edges with a serger or zigzag stitch. 

How To Make A Ruffle Tote Bag – Easy Sewing Tutorial & Printable Pattern

cut out ruffle tote pieces. Pin ends of tiers together

Start this how to make a ruffle tote bag sewing tutorial by printing out the included ruffle tote sewing pattern. Use it to cut out your fabric pieces. For each tier pin the two pieces right sides together.

sew ends of tiers together

Sew at the side seams. Repeat for Tier 2 and 3.

double fold tier 1/4" and sew to hem

Now we will work on the hem. Double fold the hem of the ruffle 1/4” and sew.  Repeat for all the ruffle pieces.  

lay ruffle pieces right sides together & pin at short ends. Sew

Fold the ruffle right sides together and pin at the short ends. Sew them together.

trm seam allowance

Trim seam to 1/4” and finish the raw edges with a serger or zigzag stitch. Repeat for all the ruffle pieces. 

sew a basting stitch in the top of each ruffle piece

For each ruffle piece, sew a basting stitch in the top of the ruffle. You can set your sewing machine to the highest tension and longest straight stitch to help you gather the fabric. Leave long tails from the basting stitch in case you need to gather some more. When done your ruffle should be the same width as your bag tier pieces. 

pin ruffle and tiers together

Next on this how to make a ruffle tote sewing tutorial, pin the ruffle to the top edge of the bag tiers and baste the two layers together. 

pin ands ew ruffle tote tiers 1 & 2

Pin the bottom of tier 1 to the top of tier 2 and sew, ensuring that side seams are aligned. 

pin and sew bottom of tier 2 to top of tier 3

Next, with fabrics right sides together, align the sides seams, and pin the bottom of tier 2 to the top of tier 3 . Sew.

repeat for 3rd and 4th tier

Repeat for tier 3 and tier 4(the base layer) – where you will pin the bottom of tier 3 to the top of tier 4 and sew. All your tiers should now be sewn together. We are about halfway through this how to make a ruffle tote bag – easy sewing tutorial & printable pattern!

make straps for ruffle tote by folding fabric edges to center and folding in half again

Now on this DIY ruffle tote sewing tutorial with free pattern, we will work on the straps for the bag. To make the straps – Fold the strap so that the long edges meet in the center.

Pin and sew down long edges

Fold the strap again to conceal the raw edges (like making bias tape. Sew along both long edges. Repeat for the other strap. 

pin straps to ruffle tote bag

To attach the strap to the bag. Find and mark the center of the bag. Then measure 3” away from the center mark on both sides and mark. Pin the straps to the 3” mark. Baste the strap in place.

sew base of main bag fabric together

Sew the base of the main bag fabric. 

repeat for lining

With right sides together, pin the lining fabrics together at the side seams and base. 

leave a 3" gap in lining for turning. Sew sides and bottom

In one of the side seams, mark a 3-4” opening. Sew the side seams leaving the opening unsewn. Sew the base of the lining as well. 

create box corner in lining

Next on this ruffle tote bag sewing tutorial, we will work on the bottom of the bag. To form the corners of the bag, rearrange the bag base so that the side seam and the bag base seam are on top of each other. Pin the opening together. 

repeat for main fabric

Repeat this step for all the boxed corners on both the main and the lining.

place main bag inside lining, aligning side seams

With the main bag right sides out and the lining wrong sides out, place the main bag inside the lining, ensuring the side seams are also aligned. 

pin and sew opening

Pin the raw edges of the bag top ensuring the straps are tucked inside. Sew around the bag opening. 

turing bag right side out through gab in lining

Turn the bag right sides out through the opening left in the lining. 

sew lining gap closed

Sew the opening in the lining closed.

tuck lining inside main bag and topstitch around

Now all that is left in this ruffle tote tutorial is to tuck the lining inside the bag and topstitch through both the main and lining fabrics.

finished ruffle tote bag

And that’s it! Now you know how to make a ruffle tote bag-easy sewing tutorial & printable pattern! You can sew your own cute bag in no time. I get lots of compliments on this bag and I know you will too!

Easy Sew Ruffle Tote

If you liked learning how to make a ruffle tote bag-easy sewing tutorial & printable pattern, make sure to pin it to your favorite Pinterest board or share it with friends on social media. If you decide to make this simple project on your own, make certain that you take a picture afterward and tag us on social media as we love seeing the fabrics and color choices that people use!

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How To Make A Ruffle Tote Bag - Easy Sewing Tutorial & Printable Pattern

Ruffle Tote Create Card

Sew this cute designer bag for less! Love how simple this is to put together! One of my favorite bags!

Active Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Difficulty Moderate
Estimated Cost $10.00

Instructions

  1. Use pattern to cut out fabric pieces
  2. For each tier pin the two pieces right sides together and sew at the side seams. Repeat for Tier 2 and 3.
  3. Double fold the hem of the ruffle 1/4” and sew.  Repeat for all the ruffle pieces.  
  4. Fold the ruffle right sides together and pin at the short ends. Sew. Trim seam to 1/4” and finish the raw edges with a serger or zigzag stitch. Repeat for all the ruffle pieces. 
  5. For each ruffle piece, sew a basting stitch in the top of the ruffle. You can set you sewing machine to the highest tension and longest straight stitch to help you gather the fabric. 
  6. Leave long tails from the basting stitch in case you need to gather some more.
  7. When done your ruffle should be the same width as your bag tier pieces. 
  8. Pin the ruffle to the top edge of the bag tiers and baste the two layers together. 
  9. Pin the bottom of tier 1 to the top of tier 2 and sew, ensuring that side seams are aligned. 
  10. Next, with fabrics right sides together, align sides seams and pin the bottom of tier 2 to the top of tier 3 . Sew.
  11. Repeat for tier 3 and tier 4(the base layer) - where you will pin the bottom of tier 3 to the top of tier 4 and sew. All your tiers should now be sewn together. 
  12. To make the straps - Fold the strap so that the long edges meet in the center. Fold the strap again to conceal the raw edges (like making bias tape. Sew along both long edges. Repeat for the other strap. 
  13. To attach the strap to the bag. Find and mark the center of the bag. Then measure 3” away from the center mark on both sides and mark. Pin the straps to the 3” mark.
  14. Baste the strap in place.
  15. Sew the base of the main bag fabric. 
  16. With right sides together, pin the lining fabrics together at the side seams and base. 
  17. In one of the side seams, mark a 3-4” opening.
  18. Sew the side seams leaving the opening unsewn. 
  19. Sew the base of the lining as well. 
  20. To form the corners of the bag, rearrange the bag base so that the side seam and the bag base seam are on top of each other. Pin the opening together. 
  21. Repeat this step for all the boxed corners on both the main and the lining.
  22. With the main bag right sides out and the lining wrong sides out, place the main bag inside the lining to ensure the side seams are also aligned. 
  23. Pin the raw edges of the bag top ensuring the straps are tucked inside. Sew around the bag opening. 
  24. Turn the bag right sides out through the opening left in the lining. 
  25. Sew the opening in the lining closed.
  26. Tuck the lining inside the bag and topstitch through both the main and lining fabrics.
  27. Enjoy!

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