Tutorial: The Red Poppy Bag

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This sewing pattern for the Red Poppy Bag previously posted as part of Ruffles 2012, a guest series on See Kate Sew.

My ruffle project is an intermediate-level bag that showcases a large ruffled flower on the front. The bag features an adjustable strap, inner pockets, and zippered closure. I used a great fabric from Laurie Wisbrun for the exterior of the bag; it’s from the Modern Whimsy line (and yes, I have it in every color! It is the perfect main fabric or blender!). The flower is made using Kona cotton in Tangerine.

 

 
SEAM ALLOWANCES ARE 1/2″ UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
PLEASE READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE BEGINNING.
 
 

 

Finished size: 17″ tall x 17″ long

 

SUPPLIES
 
– 1 yard fabric for the flower
– 3/4 yard exterior fabric
– 1-1/2 yard interior fabric
– 1-1/8 yard Pellon 520F Deco Shape (you may substitute Pellon Peltex #70 Sew-in, and baste)
– 1-1/2 yard Pellon SF-101 fusible woven interfacing
– 3/4 yard Pellon Thermolam Plus fusible
– metal slider and rectangle ring (1-1/2″)
– 18″ zipper
– 1 button, approximately 1″ – 2″ in size (I made a fabric-covered button with a kit by Dritz)
– turning tool
– fabric marker or chalk
– hand sewing needle (to attach the button)
– (optional) ruffler foot
*if you have difficulty locating the metal slider and rectangle ring, you can find them here.

 

STEP 1 ~ CUT OUT YOUR FABRICS
 
From the Exterior Fabric
 
1a. From the Main Panel pattern piece, cut 2 for the Exterior Main Panels.
1b. Cut 1 piece measuring 44″ x 5″, for your Strap.
1c. Cut 1 piece measuring 5″ x 5″, for the Strap Extender.
1d. Cut 1 piece measuring 20.75″ x 5″, for the Exterior Zipper Panel.
1e. Cut 1 piece measuring 20.75″ x 3.75″, for the Exterior Bottom Panel.
From the Interior Fabric
 
1f. From the Main Panel pattern piece, cut 2 for the Interior Main Panels.
1g. From the Main Panel pattern piece, cut 2. Press each in half, then cut along the pressed edge. These will be your Pockets.
1h. Cut 1 piece measuring 20.75″ x 5″, for the Interior Zipper Panel.
1i. Cut 1 piece measuring 20.75″ x 3.75″, for the Interior Bottom Panel.
From the Pellon 520F Deco Shape (or, if you are substituting Pellon #70 Peltex Sew-in)
1j. From the Main Panel pattern piece, cut 2.
From the Pellon SF-101 Fusible Woven Interfacing
 
1k. Repeat Steps 1b. through 1e. for the exterior fabrics, and Steps 1f., 1h., and 1i. for the interior.
From the Pellon Thermolam Plus Interfacing
 
1l. Cut all the same as per the previous step, omitting the Strap/Strap Extender. 

 

STEP 2 ~ FUSE YOUR FABRICS
 
2a. Take 1 Exterior Main Panel and one of the corresponding Pellon 520F pieces. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the Exterior Main Panel using manufacturer instructions. Repeat for the remaining Exterior Main Panel. Note: if you are substituting Peltex #70, baste in place using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
 
2b. Take 1 Interior Main Panel and one of the corresponding fusible woven interfacing pieces. Fuse the woven interfacing to the wrong side of the Interior Main Panel using manufacturer instructions. Repeat for all of your fabric pieces except for the Pockets.
 
2c. With your Interior Main Panel piece and the corresponding piece of fusible Thermolam, place the fusible side of the Thermolam against the woven interfacing. Fuse using manufacturer instructions. Repeat for all of the fabric pieces except for the Pockets, Strap, and Strap Extender.
 
 
STEP 3 ~ CREATE THE RUFFLES

3a. Open up your ruffle fabric so that the long edge is horizontal. Starting at the left end, cut the corner off at a 45 degree angle.
3b. Cut 5″ strips along the entire piece of fabric, continuing at that 45 degree angle.
3c. Now you will sew all of your strips together. First attach 2 strips, right sides together, at a 90 degree angle. Draw a diagonal line (at 45 degrees) connecting the top left and bottom right corners, then stitch on the line.
3d. Trim the ‘tail’ from the strip. Trim your fabric down to a 1/4″ seam allowance, then press seam open. Continue adding strips until you’ve used them all. You should have a strip that is approximately 8 yards long.
3e. Press your assembled strip in half length-wise, right sides together. Sew along the unfinished long edge using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
3f. Using a turning tool, turn your fabric right side out.Helpful Hint: I figured out a way to turn my fabric quickly…I attached a safety pin to one end of my turning tool and clipped it to one end of the fabric ‘tube’. Rather than starting at one end and pushing the turning tool all the way to the other side, then pulling the fabric through, I reversed my turning tool through the tube, pulling the fabric through as I went along.

3g. Press your fabric strip so that the seam is in the center of one side.

3h. Press both short ends in approximately 1/2″, then topstitch 1/4″ from the edge.

 

3i. Topstitch along 1 long edge, 1/4″ from the edge. If you wish, you may choose to use one of the decorative stitches on your sewing machine.
3j. On the opposite side of the long edge, you will be sewing the ruffle. To do this, you may either use your ruffler foot or run a set of gathering stitches. To run gathering stitches, set your machine to a basting stitch and sew 1/4″ from the edge, and again 3/8″ from the edge. Pull the thread on each end to gather the fabric. You will want to gather until your fabric has been reduced to approximately 4 yards. Leave the gathering stitches in for now.
STEP 4 ~ CREATING THE FLOWER

4a. Take one of your Exterior Main Panels and the assembled ruffle. Make a mark at the center of the Exterior Main Panel, then draw a 1″ circle around that mark.
4b. Beginning at the outer edge of the circle you just drew, place the gathered edge of the ruffle flush with the mark. Curve your ruffle around that circle, and when you reach the point that you started off at, curve past that point and circle through another row. The next row will be approximately 1/4″ away from your initial circle. Pin in place.
4c. Continue curving and pinning the ruffle along the marks you made.
4d. Sew along the pinned edge, 1/4″ from the edge of the fabric.
4e. Hand sew the button in place at the center of your ruffled flower.4f. Remove the basting stitches on your ruffles.

STEP 5 ~ ATTACH THE ZIPPER

5a. Take your Exterior Zipper Panel and cut it in half, lengthwise.

5b. Place the resulting 2 pieces right sides together. With your fabric marker, measure and make a mark that is 1″ in from that left-hand edge. Do the same for the right-hand edge. Sew from the mark to the corresponding edge (each line of stitching will be only 1″ long), using a 5/8″ seam allowance.
 
5c. Set your machine to a basting stitch. Baste, using a 5/8″ seam allowance, in between the 2 lines of stitching from Step 6b. Press the seam open.
 
5d. The wrong side of your Exterior Zipper Panel should be facing you. Take your zipper and place it face down on top of the Zipper Panel. The zipper teeth should be approximately on top of the basting stitches. Pin in place.

5e. Put the zipper foot on your sewing machine, and sew along 1 long edge, pivot, sew the short edge, pivot, sew the remaining long edge, pivot, and finally sew the remaining short edge. You should sew approximately 1/4″ away from the zipper teeth.

5f. With the right side of the Exterior Zipper Panel facing you, remove the basting stitches with your seam ripper.
 
 
STEP 6 ~ ASSEMBLE THE STRAP

6a. Fold your Strap in half along the long edge. Press. Fold the bottom long edge of the strap up toward the creased center. Press. Also fold down the top long edge of the strap down toward the creased center. Press.

6b. Topstitch along both long edges, 1/8″ from each edge.

6c. Repeat Steps 6a. and 6b. for the Strap Extender.

6d. Take the metal rectangle and slide it onto the middle of your Strap Extender. Place the Strap Extender against the short edge of the Exterior Zipper Panel (either side is fine), with the raw edges even. Baste in place using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

6e. Next, take your Strap and slide it through the metal slide. The strap should go over and under the metal bar in the middle, as pictured.
 
6f. Baste one end of the Strap to the other end of the Exterior Zipper Panel, using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

6g. Slide the loose part of your Strap through the metal rectangle (that’s the part attached to the Strap Extender).

6h. Now slide that loose part of the strap over and under the metal bar on your slide. It is going to go underneath the part of the strap that you had placed through the slide previously. Fold about 1/2″ of the very end of the strap under and topstitch that end. If you can’t adjust your strap, then you’ve sewn something on to the wrong place.
 
 
STEP 7 ~ ASSEMBLE THE EXTERIOR

7a. Take the Exterior Zipper Panel and the Exterior Bottom Panel and place them, right sides together, along one short edge. Sew. Press seam open.

7b. Place the remaining short edges of the Exterior Zipper Panel and the Exterior Bottom Panel right sides together and sew (it will form a ‘ring’). Make sure that they are not twisted. Press seam open. Unzip the zipper, so that you will be able to turn the bag right sides out later.
7c. Take the assembled Exterior Zipper Panel and 1 of the Exterior Main Panels. Place the long edge of the Exterior Zipper Panel against the raw edge of the Exterior Main Panel and pin in place. Continue easing and pinning the Exterior Zipper Panel along the raw edge of the Exterior Main Panel until you have worked your way all around. Sew along the pinned edge. Press the seam toward the Main Panel.
7d. Repeat the previous step to attach the remaining Exterior Main Panel to the Exterior Zipper Panel. Make sure the strap is safely tucked inside.

7e. Notch small v’s into the seam allowance of both Exterior Main Panels, being careful not to cut into the seam allowance.

STEP 8 ~ ASSEMBLE THE INTERIOR
 
8a. Take 2 of your halved Pocket pieces and place them, right sides together. Sew along the straight edge. Press the seam open.
8b. Turn the fabrics so that they are wrong sides together, press again, and topstitch the straight edge, 1/8″ from the edge.
8c. Take 1 Interior Main Panel, and place the Inner Pocket that you just sewed, with the bottom edges of both even. Baste the Inner Pocket to the Interior Main Panel using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
8d. Repeat Steps 8a. through 8c. for the remaining Inner Pocket and Interior Main Panel.
8e. Take your Interior Zipper Panel and cut it in half lengthwise. Place the resulting 2 pieces right sides together. With your fabric marker, measure and make a mark that is 1″ in from that left-hand edge. Do the same for the right-hand edge. Sew from the mark to the corresponding edge (each line of stitching will be only 1″ long), using a 5/8″ seam allowance.
8f. Press the middle of the Interior Zipper Panel (which will remain unsewn) under 5/8″ at both long edges.
8g. USING A 5/8″ SEAM ALLOWANCE (this will help the interior sit snuggly in the exterior), repeat Steps 7a. through 7d. to attach the Interior Main Panels to the Interior Zipper Panel. Make sure that the pocket portion is opposite the zippered end (otherwise your pocket will be upside down when wearing the bag). Trim the seam allowance on both Interior Main Panels to approximately 1/4″.
STEP 9 ~ FINISHING THE BAG
 
9a. Turn your exterior right side out and your interior wrong side out. Place the interior inside of the exterior (so that wrong sides will be touching). Pin in place along the pressed edges of the Interior Zipper Panel against the wrong side of your zipper.
9b. With your hand sewing needle and coordinating thread, slipstitch the pressed edge of the Interior Zipper Panel, to the wrong side of your zipper.

 

Congratulations, you’ve finished!!


Please give your bag a careful pressing for a nice, professional look.

If you have any questions about this pattern, feel free to e-mail me directly at sara@sewsweetness.com, or check out my Flickr Group! I would love to see your completed project posted there!

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