Whew, what a week!  I had the Amy Butler Blossom bag to complete for this month’s Amy Butler Sew Along, as well as for Sew Sweetness’ AB Sew Along.  The Sew Sweetness deadline was Wednesday, and I cut it very tight, but let me tell you why…

This bag has the most incredible amount of pieces to cut.  No kidding, every time I thought I was done, I’d discover another list – argh!  AB’s habit is to give you some pattern pieces, and then get you to measure and cut out anything square/rectangular and this bag had the following:

Main:

  • front/back x 2 (pattern)
  • sides x 2 (pattern)
  • flap x 2 (pattern)
  • handle bracket x 4 (pattern)
  • base (measure)
  • tab ends x 4 (measure)
  • handle x 2 (measure)

Lining/Inner:

  • front/back x 2 (pattern)
  • sides x 2 (pattern)
  • dividers x 8 (pattern)
  • base (measure)

Interfacing:

  • front/back x 2 (pattern)
  • sides x 2 (pattern)
  • flap (pattern)
  • handle bracket x 4 (pattern)
  • handles x 2 (measure) 
  • base (measure)
  • dividers x 4 (pattern)

Peltex:

  • front/back x 2 (pattern)
  • sides x 2 (pattern)
  • flap (pattern)
  • handles x 2 (measure)
  • base (measure)
  • dividers x 4 (pattern)

Did you get all that?  Yeah, I was glued to that cutting table for what felt like days!

Here’s what I learned:

  1. Read the instructions ALL the way through.  I was over confident and merely glanced at them.  Had I read them I’d have seen that the interfacing holds the peltex in place.  I had previously found that interfacing a whole bag meant for very bulky seam joins, which I wasn’t happy with, so I cut all my interfacing out 1/2″ short all round for the seam allowance.  I then had to cut strips to hold the peltex in place – grr!  If I were to make another one, I would cut the interfacing full size, but cut the corners out, which would be the best of both worlds.
  2. There is a LOT of pressing, have the iron out the whole time.
  3. When adding the handles to the bag, it says measue 1 1/4″ from the top of the bracket.  I flattened the bracket against the bag and measure, however I’ve found the flap to be jammed up against the point where the handles are joined to the bag.  Next time I’d measure it without flattening the bracket down, which would save me about 1/4″ and make that bit neater.
  4. Adding the sides is a nightmare if you try and sew it all the way round.  I learned very quickly (ie having tried it with the first one and failing) to sew down either side and meet in the middle of the base.  It’s awkward to get it to fit because the side pieces are curved, but the front/back/base are straight. 
  5. Clip the curves (that’s more a learned bearmaking tip than what I learned here)  There’s curves on the sides and the flap.  Don’t skip the lining curves because it’ll be effectively inside out, trust me, your seams will thank you!
  6. For the flap use a thicker magnetic snap.  I used a thin one, but I think with the bulk of the bag, a thicker one would be better.
  7. I used Bree’s fabulous zip insertion technique for the zip divider section, I suggest you do the same.  Be aware though, that you need about a 13″ or 14″ zip, as I have a teeny gap at either end with the 12″ zip mentioned in the pattern, and I think you would have either way you did it.

And all that being said, here it is (please excuse the awful yellow cast in this, my hall walls are yellow, and even though I white balanced the RAW, it’s still looking awffy yellow!):

I took the photo of the inside on my cutting table, hence a more normal colour:

So what’s on the horizon for this weekend and coming week?

First up a new outfit for next Friday.  A top from the Sew Serendipity book by Kay Whitt (Suzie, from Su Sews So So, I promise I’ll use your pattern/fabric technique next week!)

A jeans type skirt from corduroy.  I’m not going to faithfully follow this pattern, I just needed a skirt with a waistband and placket like you’d find on a pair of jeans.  I’m intending to make smaller patch pockets front and back:

And last but not least, what might this be?  Another goodie perhaps?

So another busy weekend ahead then!  As it was raining torrentially earlier (to coincide nicely with me coming out of Tesco with a loaded trolley), I don’t think I’ll be missing much outside!

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