Yes, it’s finally here, the class that has driven the recent streak of bag making at my house! I was on the fence about which bag to make, but found a really cute bird pattern fabric in the store and decided to go with the Birdie Sling.
But don’t worry, I purchased the pattern for the Frenchy to try at a later time. (More bag making in the future!) Lord, what am I going to do with all these bags?!
Anyway, I was mentioning cute bird fabric. I saw it and just loved it. Normally I’m not an orange person, but the damask along with the wood grained complimenting fabric just went together in my mind.
I purchased the fabric according to the class recommendations:
- 1 yd. cotton printed fabric for exterior body
- 1 yd. cotton printed fabric for strap and bands
- 1 yd. cotton fabric for lining
- 3 yd. Décor Bond fusible interfacing
- 1 spool machine sewing thread
I’m a fairly conservative cutter and I’ve found that the Amy Butler patterns call for way too much fabric (She’s a fabric designer – what do you expect?). Even with the recommended yardages above, I’ve got about 20″ of lining fabric and 18″ of exterior fabric left over. The fabric I used for the bands and handle also had left over fabric, but because those handles are such an interesting shape, it’s an irregular piece. I wouldn’t short the handle fabric if I were making this bag again. Note: I did decide to make the pocket on the inside of my bag out of the handle and band fabric rather than the lining fabric as recommended.
I’ve also found that you interface everything. I like that the pieces get interfaced, because it really gives the bag definition, however purchasing yards and yards of interfacing is crazy! The class recommended Décor Bond because that’s what they have on hand.
On with the cutting of the pieces! This is really the best part of taking the class because Haley, our instructor, did all the fusing! She did have a big press, but it’s still a big job and the most tedious in my opinion. So happy to have that done for me! 🙂 Staring at all those wood grain pieces gave me some serious 70’s flash backs so I was glad to get assembling!
First we constructed the interior with pocket and bands
Yes, before you ask, it was sheer luck that had me cut that lining piece with the pattern perfectly centered….I don’t think I could do it again if I tried! Sew the sides up and leave an opening at the bottom for turning later.
The exterior panels were assembled in the same manner but without the pocket or opening for turning. Then it was on to the handle.
This handle is the most interesting piece on this bag. Narrow in the middle and slight whale tales at the end, it makes for a pain in cutting out and sewing to the bag. To assemble, you sew up the sides, leaving an opening in the middle of one of the sides for turning. Sew the handle to the exterior, wrapping it around the bottom of the bag.
Tuck this assembly into the inside out lining of the bag and sew around the top. I will say, this is the only part of the process where I had difficulty. There is a lot of fabric where the bands are connected and it’s a bit difficult to tell if you are catching the curves correctly in your finished seam. I ended up with one side where the raw edge of the handle was poking through once I turned the bag. Haley said this was a common problem and the other student in the class making this bag ran into the same difficulty. There’s an easy fix. Just sew a slightly flatter seam along the edge and you’ll cover up that mistake.
On to the grand finale: the turning of the bag!
Edge stitch the opening in the lining closed and press and you’re done!
I love it, it’s a giant, sling-y tote. Just perfect for what you need to carry. And it has birds on it. Don’t you love a birdie sling with birds?