Do you remember the Made in a Snap Bag pattern? It's a cute little purse but it is small, designed as a bag for your essentials. What if you need a little more room, have a lot of ‘essentials' or just prefer something in a different style? Well, the purse frame on the Made in a Snap Bag is completely removable, so it makes great sense to make several covers in different styles and fabrics.
Here is the Ruffled and Ready Bag, a free easy bag pattern, using exactly the same purse frame – looks completely different and has a flat bottom with more volume so you can carry more ‘stuff'. Good news – its simple to sew. No closures, zips, snaps etc – just sew the fabric bag and slide in the frame. The frame snaps closed and has a place to even add a chain or strap if you want to.
Materials you will need:
- Outer fabric and lining fabric – a piece 11 inches tall by 33 inches wide for each, more for pattern matching/pockets
- Matching threads
- 6-inch half-round purse frame
- Interfacing and fusible fleece of your choice
- Fabric marker – erasable such as this heat-erasable Frixion Pen
- The pattern pieces – download below
Fabric recommendations from Fabric.com
How to Sew the Ruffled and Ready Free Bag Pattern
Use your pattern piece to cut four pieces of fabric. Two outer and two lining pieces. Remember to place the pattern piece on the fold to cut.
Add a fusible interfacing of your choice depending on what you have available, or how sturdy you want your bag to be. I used a very lightweight interfacing on my lining fabric, then a stiffer interfacing plus the fusible fleece on the outer fabric.
If adding the fusible fleece, only add this to the lower portion of the bag, as shown in the photo as you want the top to remain flexible to make it easier to fit to the frame.
If you want to add any internal pockets, cut some additional fabric for this. The size will depend on what you want to carry. You can follow this tutorial on how to sew a simple slip pocket for your bag. My pocket is sized perfectly for my (old fashioned) phone, a pen and my notepad.
Match up one outer piece with one lining piece, right sides together, and pin along the top edge.
See where I have marked on the approximate stitching lines in this picture? We need to stitch from the pointy part over on one side all the way across, up, over the top and down the other side BUT leaving an area NOT stitched on each side, between where the dotted lines are printed on your pattern. Where I have marked the X, leave a gap unsewn for about a 1/2 inch on each side. Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
This gap is where the casing for our purse frame will be later on. Repeat this for both pieces of fabric.
Trim the top corners and notch the lower corners on both sides and for both pieces. This will help us get nice crisp corners when we turn the cover the right way out later on.
Now match both sides of the bag together, matching outer right sides together, lining right sides together and making sure the seams where the outer meet the lining are matching on each side. Pin all the way around. Stitch all the way around the outside leaving a gap of 5 inches or so in the bottom of the lining so you can turn the bag right side out. Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Now it's time to add volume and a flat bottom to our bag by boxing the corners. If this is new to you, you can watch a helpful video here on 3 Methods to Box the Corners on a Bag.
Open out the squares cut in the bottom of the bag and note the bottom and side seams. These need to match.
Match the bottom seam to the side seam and pin in place. When you sew, you will want to press one seam allowance to one side, and the other seam allowance the other way to avoid a bulky seam. Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Repeat this step for all 4 corners – the two in the bag outer and in the lining as well.
Turn the bag the right way out and close the gap in the bottom of the lining by hand or by machine. Give it a good press and pay attention around the top of the bag inside and out to get a neat edge as you press.
Top stitch around the entire top of the bag EXCEPT for the 1/2 inch you need to leave unsewn on the side for the purse frame casing. Leave a space unsewn on all 4 sides to allow the purse frame to slide through.
Use your erasable fabric marker to draw a line down from the edge of the top of the bag at 1.5 inches and then another line parallel a quarter of an inch under that first one. This will be where the casing will fall for your frame. Check that it lines up with the gap you left when topstitching!
The bag should look like this with the two lines straight across on each side. These will be your stitching lines to create the casing.
This is what it should look like when both lines are sewn. This narrow channel is open on each end.
Unscrew the little nut from the end of the bar and pull it out. Then the bar goes through the first ring on the side of the frame and then through the casing in your bag. It should be reasonably snug and you'll need to gather the fabric a little as you go.
Once the bar comes out the other side, thread it through the hole in the frame and then add the nut back on. That one side is finished. Repeat exactly the same to add the bar to the other side of the bag and through the casing. Adjust your gathers and now your Ruffled and Ready bag is completed!