Ruffle Tote Bag Sewing Tutorial with Bearaby


This post was written using products provided in collaboration with Bearaby using their Napper linen bag. This post was not sponsored but I created other paid content for Bearaby.

I was recently sent the beautiful Bearaby Tree Napper weighted blanket and I was asked to upcycle the large fabric bag it came in to make something useful. The blanket itself is made from cooling and soft plant-based tencel, and feels very comforting to use. I chose the Rosemary colour which is a deep forest green.

Rosemary Tree Napper weighted blanket

I created a simple ruffled tote bag with the Bearaby Napper bag fabric. For this project, I used a single Napper bag and as it is a nice sturdy weight, I didn’t need to line the tote bag, making it a great project for beginners. You can leave out the ruffle to make it even quicker and easier! 

The Bearaby Napper linen bag is perfect for an upcycling project! The undyed recycled linen fabric has a beautiful natural colour and texture which makes it ideal for modern projects. You can really use your imagination to create a useful and stylish piece to make this eco friendly packaging go even further. 

You will need: 

The linen bag your Bearaby Napper came in


A measuring tape or  cutting mat and ruler 

A plate (to draw your curve) 

A marking chalk or pencil 

Matching thread

Sewing machine 


Fabric paint and wooden block to decorate (optional)

  • From your Napper bag cut the following pieces: Two rectangles measuring 14×16” approximately  (main bag pieces)

Two rectangles measuring 2”x14”  (bag top facing)

Two strips measuring 3.5”x30”  (handles)

One strip measuring 3”x60” (you can join strips together to get the right length if needed for the strips) (ruffle)

  • Place both main bag pieces on top of each other and fold in half. At the bottom outer corner, draw a curve using your plate and cut this curve out of your rectangle to create a rounded edge on both bottom corners of both bag pieces 
  • Decorate your bag if desired. I used an inexpensive Indian wooden printing block and black fabric paint, you can also try potato printing or hand painting brush strokes on your fabric. 
  • Create your ruffle piece by joining strips if needed with a ¼” seam allowance. Finish one long edge by folding over ¼” twice and sewing this seam, or zigzag/overlock the raw edge and fold over ¼” once. Using a long stitch length, sew two rows of basting stitches at 3/8” and 5/8”. Gather your ruffle until the length is equal to the main bag piece perimeter excluding the top edge), leaving 1” on either side at the top of your bag. 
  • Pin the ruffle piece to one of your main bag pieces, along the perimeter of the bag. The ruffle should be face down with your main bag piece facing right side up. Baste the ruffle to the main bag piece. 
  • Place the other main bag piece face down on top of the bag piece with the basted ruffle piece. Stitch all around the edge of the bag (except the top straight edge) using a 3/8” seam allowance. Finish the seam with a zigzag or overlock stitch.  Turn the bag right side out and remove basting stitches. 
  • Sew your facing piece together short edges together on both sides to form a loop. Press one long edge to the wrong side by 3/8”. 
  • Make your handles by folding them in half longways wrong sides together and pressing to form a crease down the centre.  Unfold the handle piece and press both long sides to the wrong side 3/8”. Now fold in half again along the crease made earlier and sew the handle together along the edge. Repeat with the other handle. 
  • Pin your handles to the outside of your bag on either side, 2” from the side seams. Take your facing piece and place this over the right side of your bag with the right side of your facing against the bag, matching the side seams, with raw edges together. Sew the raw edge using a 3/8” seam allowance, all the way around the bag. 
  • Turn your facing to the inside of the bag and press. Pin the facing to the bag, wrong sides together, tucking in the raw edges along the previously pressed line. Edgestitch along the seam to secure the facing, you may need to stop close to the bag side seams to avoid catching the ruffle. 

I hope you enjoy making this bag, it’s perfect for carrying a few essentials on a day trip! There was plenty of fabric in the Napper bag to create this project and you can use leftovers for small projects too. The linen is perfect for small coin purses, embroidery projects, lavender sachets and more. 

I’d love to see your version of this bag, please tag me on social media @thebrightblooms if you make one!

Thanks to Bearaby for providing the materials for this post. I also used wooden printing blocks from The Arty Crafty Place to decorate my bag.

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