Monthly Archives: October 2015

Reversible Pleated Bag Tutorial

reversible pleated bag tutorial

This little bag is perfect for any occasion!
Finished Size: Approx. 23cm x 25cm (9″ x 10″) excluding handle.


If your fabric has no set direction, you can cut all your pieces from 2 fat quarters (the cm option in our store).  If fabric direction is important, you will need to add 1x 6.5cm x 28cm (2.5” x 11”) in each fabric.


5cm x 55cm (2” x 22”) x 1 main fabric.

5cm x 55cm (2” x 22”) x 1 in internal bag fabric.

You could use the same fabric for both pieces.

Main Bag

21.5cm x 35.5cm wide (8.5” long x 14”) x 2 in the main fabric and x 2 in the internal bag fabric.

6.5cm x 28cm wide (2.5” long x 11”) x 2 in the main fabric and x2 in the internal bag fabric.


3.8cm x 28cm wide (1.5” x 11”) x 2 (we used the same fabric for both, you could use one of each fabric).


Medium weight iron on interfacing, we recommend attaching iron on interfacing to each main bag, trim and handle piece, giving the bag more structure.  If you use interfacing, iron onto your fabrics before cutting out.


  1. Make Your Handle

Take one of your handle pieces and iron in half lengthways (wrong sides touching).

Open out the fabric and iron the long raw edges into the middle crease line.

Repeat with the second piece of fabric.


Pin the two pieces of fabric together, wrong sides facing, so that all the raw edges are inside the strap.

Sew along both long edges, as close to the edge as you dare!


2.  Cutting Your Main Fabric Pieces

Take one of your main external fabric pieces and place it in front of you, wrong side facing you.  Mark 3.8cm (1.5”) in from the left, bottom, outside edge.  Draw a line between this point and the top left corner.  Repeat on the right side.

Place your quilting ruler over the bottom left corner, so that the right corner of the ruler is 2.5cm (1”) in from the left drawn on edge and 2.5cm (1”) from the bottom edge (see images below).  Draw around the right hand corner of the ruler (along the top and right edges, creating a right angle that starts at the left drawn on edge of the bag and stops at the bottom edge).  Cut out (see red line on the 3rd image below if you are not sure where to cut).

cutting the main fabric-reversible-pleated-bag-tutorial

Repeat on the bottom right corner.

cutting-main-bag-cut shape-reversible-bag-pleated-tutorial

Repeat these steps with the remaining main fabric pieces (you will end up with 2 external fabric pieces and 2 internal fabric pieces.

3.  Adding the Pleats

Fold the one of the main piece of fabric into quarters (vertically) and iron creases in.

main-bag-folding-reversible pleated bag tutorial

Open the fabric out.  Line your ruler up with the top edge of your fabric, so that the middle crease is lined up with number 10 on the ruler.   Now fold the left side over, so that right sides are facing, and the new crease line is 1.3cm (1/2″) to the left of number 10.  Fold the fabric back towards the left, so that the next crease is in line with the number 10.  Pin the pleat into place.

Move the ruler along, so that the number 10 is lined up with the ironed in crease line to the left of the centre.  Repeat the above steps.

Now repeat on the right.  Place your ruler so that the mid crease (the one you lined up first) is at number 10 on the ruler. Fold the fabric on the right, to the left, so that the resulting crease is 1.3cm (1/2″) to the right of number 10 on the ruler, then fold the fabric back to the right, so that the new crease lines up with the number 10, pin the pleat into place.  Repeat at the remaining crease line on the fabric (to the right of the middle crease).

All the pleats should be facing into the centre of the fabric.


making-the-pleats-reversible pleated bag tutorial

Tack into place along the top of the fabric using a 16mm (1/4” seam allowance).

Repeat these steps with the remaining 3 main fabric pieces.


4.  Attaching the Trim

Pin one piece of contrasting trim along the top edge of a main external piece, so that the right sides of the fabric are facing each other.  Sew along the top.

Iron the seam flat.  If you have excess fabric at each end, trim by cutting lines parallel to the trim’s edges, rather than following the line of the main bag (see red lines on images).

Topstitch along the bottom of the trim, 16mm (¼”) in from the join, on the right side of the fabric.  Iron trim and pleats.

attaching-trim-reversible pleated bag tutorial

Repeat with the remaining 3 main pieces and trims.

5.  Sewing Together

Pin the two external fabric pieces together, lining up on all sides.

Sew the left, right and bottom edges, leaving the top edge and cutouts on the bottom corners unsewn (see red lines on the image to the right).

sewing-pieces-together-reversible pleated bag tutorial
Repeat with the two lining pieces.


6.   Dealing with the Corners

Take your external bag (wrong sides still facing), and line up the left seam line with the bottom seam line (inside the bag) the raw, unsewn edges will line up.  Sew across the opening.

Repeat on the right side.

making-corners-reversible pleated bag tutorial

Repeat these steps on the lining bag.

7.  Handles

Turn the external bag out the right way.  Line the centre of one of the short ends of the handle up with one of the side seam lines, and pin together, so that the raw edges are lined up.  Pin the other end on the other side.

Tack into place using a 16mm (1/4”) seam allowance.

attach-handle-reversible pleated bag tutorial

8.  Making & Attaching Closure

Prepare your pieces in the same way as you did the handle, ironing in half along the long edges, opening up and iron the raw edges into the middle crease line.

Place the two pieces on top of each other, so that all the raw edges are sandwiched in the middle, and top sew 16mm (1/4”) seams along both long edges.

Fold the strap at a 90 degree angle at the mid-point (see 3rd image on the right).  Then fold the strap under itself, sending the strap back in the same direction as the first half and creating a triangle at the end of the strap – forming a clasp.

Top sew 16mm (1/4”) in from the edge of the triangle, securing the clasp in its final shape.

Trim the raw ends of the clasp if they are not lined up.

Pin the clasp onto your external bag, so that the clasp in the centre of one side, with the raw short edges lined up with the raw edges of the bag.  Tack into place using a 16mm (1/4”) seam allowance.

closure-sewing-reversible pleated bag tutorial


9.  Putting Together

Place the external fabric bag inside the internal bag, so that the right sides are facing each other and the handle and clasp are sandwiched between the two bags (out of sight).  Pin along the raw edges, starting at the side seam lines (see red circles below) and then pin along each side.

Sew along the raw edges, leaving a gap of approx. 5cm-7.5cm (2”-3”) to the left of the centre on one side (for turning out).

putting together-reversible pleated bag tutorial

Pull the bag through the gap.  If like mine, your bag is very creased, iron each part of the bag before putting the internal bag inside the external bag, pressing the creases back into place.

Fold the raw edges in at the turning point and iron the trim flat.

Top sew along the top edge of the trim around the whole bag, 16mm (1/4” from the top), making sure the handle is pointing in the right direction when you go over each of the sides.

finishing-bag-reversible pleated bag tutorial


10. Finishing Touch

Sew a button just above the middle crease on the opposite side to the clasp.

finished bag reversible pleated bag tutorial

Click here to download printer friendly instructions

Over 190 Pre-Cut Fabric Bundles Now Available!


Take the guess work out of finding fabrics that work well together, by buying from our range of hand-picked fabric bundles.

We have over 190 bundles to choose from and you can filter the list by bundle size, design house or theme (options can be found on left-hand side of the screen). Bundles are available in FQs, squares, strips, triangles, rectangles, hexagons, apple cores and tumbler packs.

Prices shown on the main bundle page are for FQs, buying smaller size pieces is considerably cheaper, and you can save money by buying in multi-packs – see individual bundle pages for full details.

Click here to view our bundles today!

Design Your Own Bundles

You can buy almost all our individual fabrics pre-cut in the same wide range of shapes and sizes, helping you design your own bundles, buying just the amount you need!

Select your favourite fabrics, and pick the cut you need from the options available on the right, We will cut your fabrics using our specialist dies, delivering them to you ready to sew.

Click on Fabric Store above to get started!

Sewing/Quilting Pressing Board Tutorial

What is a pressing board I hear you cry!

Well a pressing board is a harder version of an ironing board, which can be any size, it is usually wider than an ironing board, but shorter.

Why use one?  When you press quilting pieces or seam lines on sewing projects using a regular ironing board, the pieces can become distorted.  That perfect line you thought you had sewn turns up at the ends, or the square starts looking a bit too much like a diamond.  This is more often than not because you have ironed the fabric on a regular ironing board, which is too soft for the job, when the iron pushes on the fabrics they curve up and pull out of shape.

The solution is to make your own pressing board, not only will it take your makes to the next level, but if like me, you sew on the dining room table, you can press all your pieces right next to where you sew – no more having to drag the ironing board out.

One more thing before we get onto this super quick tutorial, do you know why its called a pressing board?  It’s because when you are working with sewing pieces, you should press the seams NOT iron them.  To press you lift the iron up and down, working across the seam, rather than push the iron along the seam, the act of pushing can in itself stress the seam line and distort your fabrics – lecture over – now for the fun bit!


1x piece of hardboard, chipboard or MDF, cut to your preferred size ( think about space available to use your pressing board, and the size and shape of most of your fabric pieces).  We have used a piece of MDF.

2 pieces of wadding, each a minimum of 10cm (4″) wider and longer than the pressing board.

1 piece of top fabric, a minimum of 2.5cm (1″) wider and longer than the wadding.  We used Dashwood Studio Annali – Golden Rainbows.

Staple gun and LOTS of staples!


Place your board centrally on top of one piece of wadding.

Cut triangles off each corner to reduce the bulk (see image below).  Fold the edges onto the back of the board and staple into place.

Repeat this process with the second piece of wadding, placing it directly over the first.

step 1 - covering with wadding - sewing-tutorial-sewing-pressing-board

step 1b - covering with wadding - sewing-tutorial-sewing-pressing-board
Iron a 16mm (1/2″) hem onto the back, along each side of your fabric, you might find it helps to use spray starch along the folds to keep them crisp.  Place the fabric down, wrong side facing up.  Place the pressing board on top, wadding facing down (on top of the back of the fabric).

Double check that the board is centrally placed on the fabric.  DO NOT cut the corners off this time.  Fold the two long edges over and staple into place, remembering that these staples will be visible so be neat (you should not be able to see any wadding).  Fold the short edges over, folding the corners into triangles to make mitered join lines on top of the long edges.  Staple into place.

step 3 - top layer- sewing-tutorial-sewing-pressing-board
Finished!  This one is going to be used at our Sewing School.



Owl Cushion Tutorial – Been Practicing for our Workshop!

Our first owl cushion sewing lesson/workshop is on Wednesday, here in Witney, and so I thought I should brush off my skills and make a new one.

I have gone for a more grown up feel with this one – using Riley Blake’s La Vie Boheme collection, fussy cutting the medallions pattern for the eyes.

To find out more about the sewing workshop – click here.

To buy the fabric collection – click here.

owl tutorial cushion in la vie boheme

To download the pattern for free – click here.


New Reversible Bag Workshop Added to Our Sewing School Programme!

We took a sample of this fab bag with us it our last Pop Fabric Shop it Witney and there was soooo much interest in coming to a workshop to make one, we had to add it to our programme of events!

The course includes all the materials needed to make one bag, plus tuition, and you get to pick your fabrics from across our store!

Dates added: 11th November, 7-9pm, and 13th January, 7-9pm.

Click the image below for more information.


If you can’t make it to Witney and want to have a go at making this bag yourself – visit


Riley Blake’s Postcards for Santa

A sophisticated, grown-up collection, with rich reds and glittery golds.  Use to decorate your table for a sumptuous feast, or select the glittery golden dots for the perfect party dress!

Click on any of the images below to view in store…





Its Getting Spooky Round Here!

We have been updating our Pinterest board full of interesting and inspirational ideas for Halloween and monster parties, including lots of links to free tutorials!

We have also finished listing all our spooky fabrics from Riley Blake’s Happy Haunting and Halloween Magic collections, so what are you waiting for!

Visit us by clicking on the image below, from where you can view the fab fabrics we have on offer, buy the pumpkin pattern shown below, and visit our Pinterest board!

halloween picture for blog - halloween-fabrics-riley-blake