We now return this blog to our regularly scheduled program of bag sewing and granita making….I did make more granita, but you’re just going to have to wait until this weekend when it’s 104 in Austin to enjoy the mojito granita!
Of the Amy Butler bags in her book, this is the easiest! Definitely start here rather than the Cosmo bag (as I did). She uses a lot of the same techniques in her bags and you might as well pick them up on a bag that has straight lines before you move on to all those curves! To make this wonder I combined the mad skillz I learned at the Stitch Lab taking the applique class and Amy Butler bag class. When I think of the Everyday Shopper, I think grocery tote, so that’s what I decided to applique on to my version of this tote.
I picked up some sturdy batiks for this project. As mentioned before, Amy Butler loves to give generous fabric allowances. So I tried to stick with the Stitch Lab recommendations:
- 1 yd. cotton printed fabric for main exterior
- 1-3/4yd. cotton fabric for interior and pockets
- 3 yd. Décor Bond fusible interfacing
But I decided I wanted to have a contrasting pocket so I did play with the yardages a bit and I still had left overs. The pattern is a snap to cut out and interface compared to other Butler bags. Here you can see my cut and interfaced results:
Here’s a pro-tip from me to you: A lot of Butler bags call for you to make the exterior first and then the interior. What? Why not learn on the interior and then do the exterior that everyone will look at? In this case, it doesn’t matter as much since the bag is reversible, but you may want to consider this for other bags. Second tip – she calls for you to stop sewing 1/2″ from the bottom of the bag when you’re assembling the front and side panels. I don’t know about you, but once I start going in a straight line on my machine, I just forget to stop until I run out of fabric. I find that if I mark the 1/2″ from the bottom, I’m much better at following this key direction. Finally, on all her bags, a multitude of sins can be hidden in that bottom panel. Sew the front and back panel to the bottom panel and if the side panels don’t exactly line up with the bottom panel, just trim them (or the bottom panel) to fit.
Before I installed my pockets I went to town on applique/embroidery land. My brother pointed out that you can’t really see the Grocery that well, but I pointed out that I’m not the best at embroidery so that’s kinda the way I planned it :0 Hopefully I’ve come out with a reasonable facsimile of grapes, strawberries, and carrots. The grapes were cut with a circle cutter from Creative Memories that I had laying around and the strawberries and carrots were cut free hand. I stuck them down with some heat and bond adhesive before outlining and giving detail. After I completed my embroidery, I sewed the pocket front and back together so all my stitching would be hidden.
The lining and exterior were quick to assemble and then it was on to handle placement.
Next, I pinned together the exterior and interior to finish up the bag, leaving an opening for turning which I marked with double pins, between two of the handles.
I turned the bag easily
Then a quick press and top stitch to finish it off and I was done! All told, this bag should just take a few hours to complete or as I like to measure it, half an Intervention marathon (sans applique and embroidery of course).
This is a really tall bag – if you plan to practically use it for grocery shopping, you may want to consider making it a bit shorter. For comparison, I broke out my Whole Foods recycled grocery bag (that I’ve had for ages so ignore any battle scars – like that sticker I put on the front during one shopping trip and didn’t quite come off) for comparison:
And the side view – the Amy Butler bag is a bit narrower:
Finally a line up of a few bags: The Everyday Reversible Shopper, the Whole Foods Recycled Bag, and the Birdie Sling:
Oh, did you want to see what it looks like on the reversible side? I got a picture of that too – for when you don’t want to grocery shop, here’s the “beach tote” side:
As I said, a great Amy Butler bag to start off with! Happy Sewing!