I know on Wednesday I said I'd have this up "tomorrow", but it's still technically Thursday SOME places, right? That counts.
Ok, so when we left off, we had finished the first pleat and first ruffle. Lets keep going.
Grab your next strip. While lifting the ruffle away from the bag, pin your strip at the top left edge of the main body piece, and begin pleating. Continue this pleating until you reach the other side of the bag.You want to pin your pleats so the finished edge will be hidden by the ruffle just above it.
You can pin these pleats directly to the body of the bag, as we are going to sew them down from the top, rather than from underneath like the previous pleat. Once you've pleated all the way around, topstitch the pleats to your bag.
TIP: Stitch in the direction that your pleats are pointing so that your presser foot is flattening the pleats rather than lifting them. This may seem obvious, but it's easy to forget!
Now, stitch down the bottom of the pleat.
Now your bag should look something like this:
Ok, we're almost done with the embellishment! Grab that last strip of fabric and ruffle it the same way you did the other ruffle. Pin it to the bag so that it covers the bottom finished edge of the pleat above it.
Stitch in place, following the gathering stitch down the center.
YAY! The front of your bag is done! From here on out, it is pretty basic bag construction. If you want pictures, or if it doesn't make sense, let me know, but I'm just going to outline the rest of the process.
1. With right sides together, stitch the outer body pieces together with a 3/8 inch seam allowance along the bottom curve. TIP: When I construct bags that don't have a flat bottom (so, the weight of the bag contents will be on the seam), I sometimes put a strip of fusible interfacing OVER the seam inside the bag. This just gives that seam extra reinforcement. Totally optional step.
2. Grab your lining pieces. If you want a pocket, make it and attach it to the lining body. Now is also the time to install your magnetic snap if you want one. Craft Apple has a great tutorial for installing the snap.
3. Sew the lining pieces together with right sides facing, being sure to leave AT LEAST 3 or 4 inches for turning the bag right side out.
4. Grab your strap that you made earlier and make a "strap sandwich". Place the outer body of your bag inside the lining with right sides facing. Pin the strap to the side seams of the bag, and make sure it is INSIDE the bag. SOMEONE here may have accidentally sewed a strap so that it ended up inside the lining once or twice without noticing it. So, don't be me.
5. Sew all the way around the top of your bag witha 3/8 inch seam allowance. MAKE SURE THE WRONG SIDE OF THE BODY OF YOUR BAG FACES YOUR BOBBIN. Huh? Did that make sense to you? If not, leave a comment and I'll try to explain better. Basically, you want to have the flatest surface possible to sew your main bag and lining together, and if the poofy part is facing down, toward the bobbin, it is really bumpy sewing. So you want your ruffles facing UP when you sew. Make sense?
Also, I found it helpful to use my narrowest presser foot while sewing the outer bag to the lining. You want to be able to sew as close to that top pleat as you can WITHOUT SEWING OVER IT. I found a zipper foot worked best, but you can use whatever you've got on hand.
6. Turn your bag right side out and stitch your lining shut, either by hand or by machine.
7. Press the heck out of the top edge of your bag. I don't topstitch this bag around the top. I just didn't like the way it looked when I tried it. You should feel free to do so though if you like. If you were going to topstitch, I would go from underneath one ruffle all the way around the back and stop underneath the other side of the ruffle - no topstitching over the ruffles and pleats.
8. Post pictures of your bag in the flickr group. This step is mandatory.
You should have something that looks like this:
If any part of this is confusing or needs further explanation, just let me know! I'm happy to give more instruction. Also, it's 1:30 in the morning, so I'm not entirely sure that everything I've written is crystal clear. If it's not, leave a comment or send me an email.