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Making the World Cuter: Ruffled Purse Tutorial by Mary's Meanderings

A blog where one woman is on a mission to make the world cuter, one kid, cupcake or crafty thing at a time.


Ruffled Purse Tutorial by Mary's Meanderings

Happy Friday! Our guest today is Mary from Mary's Meanderings where you can find romantic guest room reveals, beautiful vintage and vintage looking style and beautiful discoveries...she is making the world cuter that's for sure! Here is her tutorial on her fun ruffled purse, that you can make with scraps and not pay a penny for a one of a kind masterpiece! -Tiff

I am so excited to be sharing my ruffled purse tutorial on Tiffany's awesome blog,

Making the World Cuter.

Thanks Tiffany for having me!

How Not to Make a Ruffled Purse!

I am calling my tutorial that because I LEARNED WHAT TO NOT DO

so you won't have to make the same mistakes! (Aren't I nice?)

I made my purse different on each side so it would be kindof sortof reversible

(depending on which side you showed on the outside)

This is the lace and crochet side

If you turn the purse around the opposite side has eyelet, embroidery,and barkcloth

I love the barkcloth lining. It makes me smile when I open my ruffled purse to get my keys or wallet.

It is kind of just for me as you don't see this prettiness from the outside.

You also would not have to line yours which would save a little time.

So now that we see it let's get going and learn how to make one.


You will need a pre-made book tote.

This one came from one of our American Missionary Fellowship conferences a few years back.

Fabric for Lining (optional)

Vintage lace, crochet pieces, muslin, trims

thread, scissors, sewing machine

Seam ripper if your like me and make lots of mistakes!

Large Flower

If your tote is muslin or made from fabric that might shrink I would strongly encourage you to pre-wash the tote.

Iron tote.

Cut bottom of tote off if it is too deep (which mine was)

Next- Don't do what I did next and that is turning tote inside out and sewing up bottom- it made it much harder when I went to sew the lace and trims on-

For lining

(skip this part if you are not lining your purse)

Measure across the width and length of the tote and add 1 inch to the width and 2 inches to the length.

I took my barkcloth fabric and folded in half with the fold being the bottom of the bag.

From another piece of lining fabric cut another piece the same width as lining and

however deep you would like it to be times 2

(Mine was about 4 1/2 inches deep so I could get to my cell phone)

EX- My piece of fabric for the pocket was 12 inches wide and 18 inches deep.

With right sides(the side of fabric that will show)

together sew the pocket fabric at the longest edges to make a tube.

Turn right side out and now you have a lined pocket too and no raw edges showing.

Sew any trim you may want on the pocket top.

Using picture below as a guide pin your pocket piece on lining and sew both sides and bottom onto lining fabric. Be sure if you want the pocket more up at the top edge that you place it at least 2 inches from top raw edge as this will be turned under later on.

What are you wanting to put in that cute little pocket? Measure those items to make sure they will fit!

Fold the lining fabric right sides together (remember the fold will be the bottom area of purse)

sew up the sides of the lining. Set aside purse liner for the moment.

Now comes the creative part of this project.

Get all those trims, old table clothes that have spots or holes in them, pillowcases with pretty crochet trim or lace, know whatever feeds your fancy.

Work with designing one side of the purse at a time .

I ruffled the different fabrics and trim then laid them on the purse to get the right look I was going for. Don't pin them all at once as it makes for a lot of bulk. I then pinned JUST the bottom ruffle on the purse and sewed it on then the second from the bottom ruffle and sewed it to purse and so on .

Do not sew the very top trim on the purse at this point (the pom pom trim on my purse as example)

I know many are wondering how big to make their trims. It is hard to be precise when working with vintage lines and crochet pieces but here is a very loose guideline.

The bottom ruffle on this side of the purse came from a vintage tablecloth that had holes in it.

The strips are anywhere from 6 inches long to 2 1/2 inches. Width of trims are about 2 - 2 1/2 times the width of the purse.

EX- My purse is about 14 inches wide so the flat fabric trims are any where from 28 -34 inches.

Sew a running stitch about 1/2 inch from one end and gather fabrics and trims to the width

size of your purse.

The top crochet piece was just the right size. The part sewn to the purse is flat but the bottom part is ruffled so in this case the width of the piece was just 14 inches. You basically just make the pretty pieces fit- gather a little if there are not wide enough-

Clear as Mud at this point?

Really the layout and all will just come to you when you start playing with the pieces-

I Promise!

Remember me telling you at the beginning to not sew up the bottom of the tote yet at this point? Well this is what happens when you do. It made for tight sewing and I got the handles caught in the line of sewing several times and had to seam rip them out and resew.

After you have finished sewing the ruffles and trims on 1 side turn the purse over and get creative again with different fabrics and trims.

I just ripped the muslin and cotton fabrics and did not hem them- left the edges raw.

After both sides of purse are done, turn the purse inside out and sew up it's bottom!

Turn right side out.

For those who are not lining their purse your are finished!

To Line the purse take your lining ,what should be a pouch, turn it to where the right side of fabric is on inside .

Slip the liner into the bag to check the fit. It should be taller than your purse.

Fold and Iron under that top edge so that it is even with the top of the purse and pin in place.

Sew around the top of purse about 1/4 inch from edge.

Take your last bid of trim which will go around the entire purse and sew this on in place.

I sewed around the trim 2 times- 1/4 inch edge and 1/2 inch just to give it some strength.

You may want to add trim or ruffles to your bag handles.

I didn't do this but if you would like I think that should probably be done before you add the

liner .

I added a silk rose to one side of my purse- you can see it here. I just used a few safety pins tucked under the ruffles. That way I can take it off easily.

I am just loving this purse and have never received as many compliments as I have with this fun bag!

I am not the best at giving directions so please let me know if you have any questions or if I can make things a little clearer for you.

Oh and if you make on PLEASE come by and show me!

I would love to see your pretty purse!

Thanks Mary for the fabulous tutorial! And thanks for making the world cuter! If you have a tutorial you would like to share please contact me!

Check out these cute sites to make your world cuter!
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Thanks for making the world so stinkin cute!

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