Amy Butler Frenchy Bag

So remember when I took the Amy Butler bag class and couldn’t decide which bag to make?  The one I initially ruled out was the Frenchy bag.  But I did pick up the pattern and fabric vowing to make one.  So I’m finally getting around to working on my P.H.D (Projects Half Done), including the Frenchy bag!
Luckily I already had the fabrics pre-washed.

When I was first planning this bag, I wanted to match the handles to the top fabric rather than the main body fabric, so I modified the yardages a bit (’cause we all know these patterns call for waaaaay too much fabric), so here are my supplies

  • 1/2 yd. cotton printed fabric for top panels
  • 1/2 yd. cotton printed fabric for the body and handles
  • 1 yd. cotton fabric for lining
  • 2 yd. Décor Bond fusible interfacing
  • 1 metallic snap
  • 1 coordinating thread
As I was cutting out the pieces, I decided to fussy cut, centering the medallions on each side of the main panels of the bag.  I had plenty of fabric until I decided to make the handles out of the body fabric as well.  So I ended up with extra top panel fabric, which made me decide to use some of the top panel fabric on the interior rather than all lining fabric, which then left me with more lining fabric.  So overall, I throughly used the main exterior print, I’ve got a bit of the top panel print and about a half a yard of the lining fabric left over.  Here are my pieces all cut and interfaced:
You can see I’ve had to piece the shoulder straps together, but this is such a busy print, it’s not too noticeable.  This pattern calls for sew-in interfacing and let’s be honest, we all know I’m lazy so I just went with the décor bond as recommended by Stitch Lab.  It gives the panels of this bag great body to show off the shape and saves me the step of sewing all that in!  Of course, as far as Amy Butler patterns go, this one has waaaay less interfacing than normal.   For which I’m thankful.  Amen.
I assembled the handles first and I think you can hardly see the seam on one of them!  Look close – both seam lines are in the same place!
On to the top panel and main panel assembly.  A neat trick I picked up in the class was to start pinning these from the center.  I really want to pin them edge to edge, but because of the curves on this bag, you just can’t. You’ll end up with a little triangle that hangs off the edge of the panel.
Don’t panic, sew it up, press and like magic, everything will work out perfectly.
After sewing the two main panels together, I took a look at the bag and thought: this top piece is really waaaay too long.  It just looks awkward.
So I thought about trimming it
just a inch and quarter
would that look better?
Well, less is more so I just cut it off.
eeek!
There is just no turning back now.
It’s a good thing I like it.
I repeated this process on the lining panels and then installed the pockets.  The pattern calls for one large pocket on each side, but that struck me as impractical.  I decided to divide at least one side into two pockets.  It was easy to just sew up a center seam on the pocked piece on one side of the lining:
Next, I installed the metallic snap.  A few bloggers mentioned not liking the finishing edge stitch running into the snap.  (The directions call for you to sew up to the snap, skip it and continue on the other side).  I didn’t like the idea of the snap in the way of the seams so I cheated the snap down a bit into the lining.  I’ve still got my reinforcement panel tied into the edge stitching of the lining panels, but it’s a bit lower than the pattern calls for.
This allows me to place my snap away from the edge stitching
Now the interior and exterior were complete!  I just sewed them together, turned, pressed and edged stitched.  This bag turned out great!  A good size, but not huge like many of her other bags.
The interior pockets worked out great and I love that I used the pink fabric so it wouldn’t be a sea of stripes in there!
Overall an easy project that can be assembled in less than 4 hours.
–Martta
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6 thoughts on “Amy Butler Frenchy Bag

  1. Your bag turned out beautifully!! I love it and now I need to make one for me too, LOL. I made one of her diaper bags a couple of years ago and it is still going strong today. Like you, I decided to divide some of the larger pockets into smaller ones. It worked but since the pockets were so deep it made them hard to reach all the way to the bottom. I also liked that you cut the top off a little, seems to flow better.

    Thanks for the review and I’ll definitely check out this pattern soon.

    • I agree, she does tend to have very deep pockets. It’s almost as if you could put in two layers of pockets, one that’s shallow and tuck it behind the really deep one. Might have to try that on my next Butler bag!

  2. Pingback: Amy Butler’s Cutie Booties | HMH Designs

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