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 this post over at Pink Chalk Studio, 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.