Hard to give away…

from sarah the sewist

As we’ve mentioned a time or two, we’re continuing to work on holiday gifts for everyone, and we’re finally starting to feel like we’re making some progress. I just finished the gift for Josh’s stepmother. It’s the Amy Butler Downtown Purse. This pattern came in the mail yesterday—thank you Lisa Lam over at the wonderful site U-Handblog. I had won her monthly bag contest awhile back (for the Amy Butler Messanger Bag I made for my mom’s birthday), and had my heart set on the Amy Butler Downtown Purse pattern as my prize… Unfortunately, this particular pattern was out of stock, so I had to wait. This pattern arrive was pretty fortuitous!

I am particularly happy that we didn’t need to run out the “storm of the century that didn’t actually happen” (the weather folks here in PDX had everyone on high alert this weekend, claiming snow and wind) to get supplies for this one either (sort of my MO—get started, realize I don’t’ have a critical piece for my project, have to run to the sewing shop, etc, etc).

A couple of weeks ago we bought a yard or so of some absolutely beautiful cotton from Windham Fabrics “American Coverlet Collection.” You can read about the design concept for this line here, and visit the American Coverlet Museum’s site to learn about their work preserving coverlets. What an exciting effort they’re undertaking trying to preserve this unique American art form! Anyway, as you can see, this is gorgeous stuff.
2081590600 e55143a075 m Hard to give away...
Of course, me being me, I did make some changes. I’m continuing my infatuation with fusible fleece. The stuff just has so many uses… Since we didn’t have a lot of Timtex, I backed the sides of this bag with two layers of fusible fleece, which created a pretty thick, very sturdy structure for Downtown Purse. I also used the fusible fleece for interfacing the strap, which I think makes it a bit more comfortable to carry—I had done this when I made my friend her Frenchy Bag, and she seemed to like that particular feature.

2080804251 4da531d78f m Hard to give away...Also, I truly hate the removable false bottom that a lot of bags have. After making a zillion of the Amy Butler High Street Messenger Bags and never finding the stupid quilters template that you’re supposed to use to make the false bottom, I now avoid that phase of bag making as much as possible. My latest creative brainstorm was to use two layers of Timtex to make up the bottom of the bag. (I know, I’m living on the edge… two layers of Timtex—the stuff is a tremendous pain in the butt to sew as a single layer, let along two.) It worked out just fine and seems to have created the needed stability at the bottom of the bag.

I really got a bit obsessive about matching the patterns on this one… Like, I think pretty much everything matches up. Which is weird, because I usually try to be kind of serene about that sort of thing. I mean, there only so much you can do to make sure your fabric pattern lines up, right?

2080804461 c5b1aeb983 m Hard to give away...Can you tell that I really, really don’t want to give this one away? I really am proud of this one. I think I’ll make a very similar one for myself sometime soon.

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5 thoughts on “Hard to give away…

  1. Rigid bottoms are a must in fabric bags and I share your frustration with bottoms that shift. That all ended when I made my first Lazy Girl purse. She makes acrylic inserts sized for her bags. Very nice if you make her bags. But, the really neat thing is that she has you tack the sleeve to the bottom of the bag and then slip in the “Baggy Bottom”. I have found that just by tacking in the sleeve,in any bag I make, takes care of the shifting bottom.

    You both do beautiful work. And you dog is delightful!

    Risa

  2. Sorry to be psycho and stalk you on your blog all in one night.. I’m procrastinating on a project and you’re helping me do that quite well. I read that you have trouble finding the hard bottom stuff required in the Amy Butler patterns. I have never looked at an Amy Butler pattern, but I do sew purses- and have found something easy and inexpensive to use. If you have a JoAnn fabrics near you, look in their crafty crap section where the weird mesh stuff is made with yarn and plastic grid (think grandma’s tissue holder). You’ll find sheets of the stiff, plastic grid that’s easy to cut and great for purse making. A large sheet (12×18 in) usually costs about $1.50. I buy heaps of it. And by the way- your purse turned out great!

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