Do you remember the Made in a Snap Bag model? It's a cute little handbag but it's small, designed as a bag for your essentials. What if you need a little more space, have a lot of “essentials” or just prefer something in a different style? Well, the purse frame of the Made in a Snap Bag is completely removable, so it makes perfect sense to make multiple covers in different styles and fabrics.
Introducing the Ruffled and Ready Bag, an easy and free bag pattern, using the exact same handbag frame – it looks completely different and has a flat bottom with more volume so you can carry more “stuff” . Good news – it’s easy to sew. No closures, zips, snaps, etc. – simply sew the fabric bag and slide it into the frame. The frame closes and has a place to add a chain or strap if desired.
Materials you will need:
- Outer fabric and lining fabric – one piece 11 inches high by 33 inches wide for each, plus for pattern/pocket matching
- Matching wires
- 6 inch half round purse frame
- Interlining fleece and iron-on of your choice
- Fabric marker – erasable like this heat eraser Frixion pen
- Pattern pieces – download below
How to download
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How to Sew the Ruffled and Ready-made Bag Pattern
Use your pattern piece to cut four pieces of fabric. Two exterior rooms and two interior rooms. Remember to place the pattern piece on the fold to be cut.
Add an iron-on interface of your choice depending on what you have available or the strength of your bag. I used a very light interfacing on my lining fabric, then a stiffer interfacing as well as the iron-on fleece on the outer fabric.
If you are adding the iron-on batting, only add it to the bottom of the bag as shown in the photo, as you want to keep the top flexible to make it easier to fit the frame.
If you want to add interior pockets, cut additional fabric for this purpose. The size will depend on what you want to carry. You can follow this tutorial to learn how to sew a simple pouch for your bag. My pocket is perfectly sized for my (old fashioned) phone, a pen, and my notepad.
Pair an outer piece with a lining piece, right sides together, and pin along the top edge.
See where I marked on the rough seam lines in this picture? We need to sew from the pointy part on one side all the way to the other side, top to bottom, BUT leaving an UN-stitched area on each side, between where the dotted lines are printed on your design . Where I marked the X, leave about 1/2 inch of unstitched space on each side. Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
It is in this space that the casing for our purse frame will later be located. Repeat this for both pieces of fabric.
Cut the top corners and notch the bottom corners on both sides and for both pieces. This will help us get nice clean corners when we turn the lid the right way up later.
Now match the two sides of the bag together, matching the exterior sides right sides together, lining the sides right sides together, and making sure the seams where the exterior meets the lining match on each side. Pin all around. Sew all the way around the outside, leaving about a 5-inch gap at 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 for Framing the Corners of a Bag.
Open the squares cut from the bottom of the bag and note the bottom and side seams. These must match.
Match the bottom seam with the side seam and pin it in place. When sewing, you will want to press one seam allowance on one side and the other seam allowance in the other direction to avoid a bulky seam. Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Repeat this step for all 4 corners – both in the exterior of the bag and in the lining as well.
Turn the bag right side up and fill the gap at the bottom of the liner by hand or machine. Give it a good squeeze and be careful with the top of the bag inside and out to get a clean edge when you press.
Topstitch the entire top of the bag EXCEPT the 1/2 inch that you should leave unstitched on the side for the purse frame casing. Leave an unstitched gap on all 4 sides to allow the bag frame to slide through.
Use your erasable fabric marker to draw a line from the top edge of the bag 1.5 inches away, then another parallel line a quarter inch below the first. This is where the housing will fall for your frame. Check that it lines up with the space you left when topstitching!
The bag should look like this with the two straight lines on each side. These will be your seam lines to create the casing.
This is what it should look like after the two lines are sewn. This narrow channel is open at each end.
Unscrew the small nut on the end of the bar and remove it. The bar then passes through the first ring on the side of the frame and then into the housing of your bag. It should be reasonably fitted and you will need to gather the fabric a little as you go.
Once the bar comes out the other side, screw it into the hole in the frame, then replace the nut. This side is finished. Repeat the exact same thing to add the bar to the other side of the bag and through the casing. Adjust your gathers and your Ruffled and Ready bag is complete!
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