Purse Palooza :: Pattern Review: V. and Co. Ruffle Fabric Tote

This post is part of Purse Palooza 2012.
For full schedule of guest post pattern reviews and prizes, click here!

Today’s guest post is from Caroline, who blogs at Carolina Fair, although you probably know her best from Sew Can She, the well-known daily free tutorial site which features all online sewing patterns that are free. If you don’t already, sign up to receive the daily e-mails and get a new tutorial every day in your inbox!

 Hello everybody! This is Caroline, the behind the scenes gal at the website www.sewcanshe.com where we feature a new free sewing tutorial from a different awesome blog every day. (We feature Sew Sweetness regularly.)

Today over on the site I’m featuring this adorable ruffle fabric bag made from a free tutorial here on V. and Co.’s blog. Okay, I actually made two bags because they were just so easy.

I absolutely love ruffle fabric because so far everything I have made using it has turned out fabulous, even with mistakes. It gives every project a flirty, girly vibe with no extra effort on your part at all.

So here’s the down low on the two bags I made…

Last week I dragged all 4 of my kids to Joanns and loaded up my cart with 4 different kinds of interfacing (I was going to buy a yard of each and decide which to use when I didn’t have 4 elementary and younger aged monkeys distracting me) when I ran into my friend Sarah from Blue Susan Makes who was also there with her 4 kids. (Don’t we just love summer when the kids are out of school?) Sarah is kind of famous around these parts for her purses and bags. She sells them to friends and even at a few craft fairs so I was so happy to run into her and ask about interfacing. She told me that for most of her bags she actually uses decorator weight felt that she quilts to the lining. How cute is that! And since I already have bunches of felt, I put all but one bolt of super stiff interfacing back.

Here is the bag I made using felt quilted to the lining:

It turned out soft and flexible with just the right amount of body.

It’s kind of hard to see my quilting lines here, but I kept it simple with vertical quilting every four inches. In the blog, she just has you cut out one lining and one ruffle piece (which is why this bag is so dang fast and easy) so you only have to quilt once. Or apply interfacing once if you do it that way.

This brings me to the one and only problem someone might have with the tutorial. Vanessa says you only need 1/2 yard of each kind of fabric, which would technically be fine except that it would force you to cut out the ruffle fabric the other way and give you vertical ruffles. The bag pieces in the tutorial are 24″x16″ and if you want horizontal ruffles (as shown here and in the tute), then you’ll need at least 24″ (2/3 yard) of ruffle fabric. If your lining fabric has no particular direction to it, 1/2 yard will be plenty.

This brings us to the second bag I made (all in one night, yay!).

For this one I used the Peltex 71 super stiff interfacing that I bought at Joanns. Oh, and I also changed the dimensions of my fabric so I could use this ruffle fabric scrap. I love the different look that the stiff interfacing and the new size give it.

The interfacing did make it a little more difficult to sew. For one, the knit ruffle fabric stretched as I stitched the top edges together, which gave me about an 1 1/2 inches of ruffle fabric that I needed to cut off on one side and as you can see it made the fabric fit tightly over the interfaced lining. But that’s not a bad thing. I actually think it’s really cute that way. I’m glad the interfacing is white because you can clearly see it underneath the ruffles.

The bag pops open a little bit and stands up on it’s own, both things that give it spunk, IMHO. The other slight difficulty with this bag was turning it through the hole in the lining. I only left my hole about 4″ long and

it was really tough to get that stiff lining through. I suggest leaving yourself plenty of room for turning if you choose to make one like this. Oh, and I had to switch needles partway through the final seams. (You’ll see what I mean if you read the whole tutorial.) The tough interfacing broke my small needles and the heavy duty needles wouldn’t sew properly on the super thin ruffle fabric. Figures.

BUT, this bag is still fabulously easy to make (even two in one night) and the flirtyness of the ruffle fabric is sure to distract anyone from any mistakes I may have made ;).

If you want to add to this bag tutorial, I think an inside pocket would be a nice touch.

And that darling felt pin that are you wondering about? It’s also easy to make and the link to that tutorial is found on our ‘All Tutorials and Patterns’ page on SewCanShe.

I want to thank Sara for inviting me to take part in Purse Palooza. I’ve had a blast sewing and writing for it and also love reading the reviews each day. Bag making is so much fun!

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