Amy Butler Birdie Sling

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.

My Birdie Sling and Me

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. 🙂

Birdie Sling - Inside

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.

Birdie Sling - pleats

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.

Birdie Sling - magnetic closure

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.

Birdie Sling


  1. Millie says:

    Wow, you could fit a small child in there! It’s really nice. The linen is especially beautiful. I made a A.B bag, nearly threw it out several times while making it, very long winded instructions. I’m glad this one is good.

  2. Anne Dorte says:

    Den er da blevet fin!. Jeg synes tit man bliver overrasket over hvor meget arbejde der er ved at lave tasker (med mindre de er meget simple). Og endnu engang skal du have ros… dine stikninger er så fine og præcise (det er håndarbejdslæreren der taler 🙂

  3. Steph says:

    I’ve been thinking of buying the pattern but oh my gosh 14 pieces? All interfaced? I’m not sure I’m patient enough for that! Your bag looks really good though and the fabrics are both pretty.

  4. Astrid says:

    Curry – I can totally see why someone would reduce it, this bag is huge! However, we have brought it a few times, when we needed sweaters for everyone as well as diapers and a snack, and it’s great for something like that. 🙂

    Millie – funny thing you say about the bag you made – I don’t think this bag is as easy as everyone says, but then I may just not be advanced enough… 😉

    Anne Dorte – JA, for søren! Der er så meget arbejde i at lave tasker! Nu er jeg blevet lidt bidt af det, men selv en relativt enkel taske er da noget af en tålmodighedsprøve… Tusinde tak for roserne! 🙂

    SugarMama – I tend to count the tiresome process as part of the difficulty-level – if you know what I mean. A new-beginner would find that part hard to get past, I think… 😉

    Jessica – you will love it, I’m sure! It’s wonderful for carrying everything you need on an outing or so. But do add the magnetic snaps. 🙂

    Dana – *blush* thanks!

    Raluca – 😀

    Cassie – thank you! 😉

    Steph – Well, you definitely need to see the cutting and interfacing as part of the project – not just the preparation for it. 😉

  5. Millie says:

    I made the Chelsea tote. It has started to fall apart already:( The handles are cut out style, and are ripping away from the main part. I followed the (long winded) instructions to the letter. I like it but had to stop putting books or anything heavy in it. It is as if the should be more strength in the handles. Still love your Birdie sling though!

  6. Sumya says:

    um hi do you still have the pattern? I really need it for a school project if you do good and have a scanner could you please email it to me at or do you know where I can find the pattern for free cause I live in New Zealand and they don’t sell it here lol

  7. Astrid says:

    Hey Sumya – I’m sorry but I can’t really help you. It’s not legal to scan the pattern, you need to buy it through a store – it isn’t free. Even if they don’t sell it in NZ, you can buy it in a webshop – that’s what I did. Check with other NZ sewing blogs – they probably know better than me which shops ship to NZ. Good luck! 🙂

  8. Dawn Jones says:

    I realize this was posted in 2009, but I’m wondering if you still have this pattern? I would love to make this bag. Thanks for any help you can give me.

    • Astrid says:

      Hi there – I do still have the pattern. However, I do not have the right to share the pattern – you will have to look to sources for used patterns or send a request to Amy Butler. Good luck! 🙂

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