I bought the pattern for Amy Butler’s Birdie Sling a few months ago, and these past two nights I finally got around to making one. It’s a great pattern, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a nice big bag pattern. Although the part of the process that includes drafting and cutting the pattern pieces, cutting fabric, and interfacing everything should not be underestimated. Especially, if you – like me – are not really that used to making bags.
OK, so let’s start with the good stuff. The bag is big with a nice rounded shape, it has three pockets on the inside, and it hangs nicely on your shoulder. Before I started it, I checked the internet for good advice and I found a few helpful resources.
This photo tutorial over at Indie House was great for just looking through the project before starting my own.
From a post over at Pink Chalk Studio (update: no longer online), I was inspired to add magnetic snap closure to the bag – and her post is very insightful, so definitely also worth a read before starting.
Also – I’m useless at handsewing, and I had no idea how to slipstitch, so this post on Taffy Talk came in really handy – and that elephant is too cute! The lining in my bag is closed beautifully because of it. 🙂
Now, while I’m really happy with the bag in terms of shape, size, the way it came together, etc. – I’m equally unhappy with my choice of fabric. I don’t know what happened – I knew it already while I was putting it together.
I love both prints that are on the exterior of the bag, but they just don’t go together. I had my mind set on something more simple to go with the white linen, but I didn’t have exactly the right thing in my stash, so I think I just became impatient and ended up using the best alternative – or it seemed so at the time. I realized too late that it wasn’t right, and now after I spent two evenings making it, I’m going to learn to love it – hopefully. The band and handle-fabric is Joel Dewberry as well as the fabric for the interior – and they’re both so beautiful. The white printed main fabric is a rather stiff linen, which seems to be nice and durable, but doesn’t provide much drape – especially not after being interfaced. I think next time I make this bag, I will probably go for something heavier, yet soft.
So I basically followed the instructions step-by-step, and they are well written and easy to understand. This bag is praised everywhere as being a great beginner’s project, and uhm… I agree, provided that you’re not an impatient person. Make sure you have everything on the materials list when you want to start the project, I was thrown off a bit by how much fabric and interfacing I actually needed. Also interfacing 14 pieces of fabric takes a while in cutting and ironing. After I had everything ready, I didn’t really encounter any problems. Remember, that if you want to add magnetic closure, you should do so before joining the exterior and the interior – that’ll make it easier. The pattern includes a glossary to explain sewing terms, which is a wonderful thing if you’re not too familiar with the techniques.
This is what my bag looks like – I just might make it again sooner or later in order to get it right.