Learn to Sew Series- Ruffled Grocery Bag



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ruffled grocery bag tutorial

It’s time for the Learn to Sew Series!  I have been following Amber’s series from Crazy Little Projects for the past month and we have created some amazing things.  This week, we used her ruffle instructions to create a Ruffled Grocery Bag!

But first, lets review what we have learned so far:

Learn to sew -creating designer dust clothslearn to sew series dinosaur hooded towel

learn to sew messenger bagquilted plastic bag holder

In lesson #1, we learned how to sew a straight line and created some great Designer Dustcloths.
In lesson #2 , we learned the use of the zig-zag stitch and made up a cute Dinosaur Hooded Towel.
In lesson #3, we learned how to turn and topstitch.  I was able to use up some of my cute bunny fabric and make a Reversible Messenger Bag.
Lesson #4, we learned how to make a casing and put in elastic.  I created a Quilted Plastic Bag Holder.

This past week, Amber taught us how to make ruffles!  She gave us several options for homework projects including a ruffled apron and a ruffled tote.  I loved the tote and decided to make my own version of it using an old grocery bag that had seen better days.

Are you new to the Sitcom?  Be sure to check out my Frequently Asked Questions Page!

For this project I used:

One grocery bag (mine was from Publix, but any grocery bag will work)
Two coordinating fabrics about 1/4 yard of each
Matching buttons for decoration

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Begin by cutting your fabric into strips.  My grocery bag is 12″ wide, so I cut:
(4 ea.) yellow strips 4-1/2 ” wide by 21″ long
(2 ea.) blue strips 6-1/2″ wide by 21″ long
(2 ea.) blue strips 2-1/2″ wide by 12-1/2″ long

On each strip end and the length of one side, finish the edges by folding the fabric over 1/4″ and then again 1/4″ and sewing a straight seam along the folded fabric.  This creates nice, finished edges.

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Now change the stitch length on your sewing machine so that we can create the ruffled edge.  I max out my machine at four for this technique.  Sew a straight seam along the unhemmed length of each strip.  Do not anchor this seam at the beginning and end, because you are going to use the thread in the seam to gather the edge.

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Lay your first ruffle across the bottom of the bag, adjusting the ruffle so that it is the exact same width of the bag.  Pin it so that the bottom edge of the ruffle is along the bottom edge of the bag.  Change the stitch length on your machine back to normal stitch length, and sew the ruffle onto the bag along the gathered seam line.  (Most machines will allow you to slide the bag onto the machine so that you don’t sew the front and back of the bag together).  Repeat this process for the blue ruffle, allowing it to overlap the yellow ruffle by about 1/4″.  And then do one more yellow ruffle.

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Hem all four sides of the 2-1/2″ x 13″ strip, and pin it in place at the top of the bag, overlapping the top yellow ruffle. Sew into place along all four sides.  Finish by adding buttons for decoration.  Using the leftover strips, I repeated this process on the bag.

ruffled grocery bag tutorial

You would never know it used to be a lowly grocery bag, would you?  Perfect for carrying around my knitting, my latest project, my library books, or maybe even….groceries!  Imagine that!

Bet your groceries will be the most fashion forward in town!

Lesson #5 for the Learn to Sew Series is How to Sew a Zipper.  Be sure to check out Amber’s latest lesson!  And her homework assignment for this week is a skirt!

So be sure to stop by next week and see what I came up with!

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