Saturday, August 24, 2013


Guess I'm a glutton for punishment...............

This is the second Amy Butler Weekender Bag that I have made.  Let me tell you, THIS one came together SO much easier than the first!  I didn't bend any pins, didn't stick myself, didn't break any needles and didn't have to rip out or restitch any areas!  I like the look of the fabric collage I have seen on several websites, but I didn't want to "quilt" mine. I went with the "collage" look but still used the Peltex and interfacing.  I did make a couple of changes to this one.  First I added 4" to each strap so my daughter can slip the straps easily on her shoulders.  I see where some people have made the straps wider.  Instead of cutting the fabric 3" wide, I cut mine 3 1/2" wide.  Just a little bit wider, but still in scale with the rest of the bag.  I used 5/32" cotton piping. It was a lot easier to manipulate.   I used the correct weight interfacing for the zipper area which made it 100% easier to put together!  Last time I used a heavyweight interfacing.  I haven't added the lining yet, I'll post pics when I'm completely finished. (That's my least favorite part.)  All in all, this was a very enjoyable project and I hope my daughter likes it!

Monday, August 12, 2013

AMY BUTLER SOPHIA BAG - visual tips and tutorial

This bag was a pleasure to make!  The pattern was exact, easy to follow and I even learned a few new techniques.

Since I finished my Amy Butler Weekender bag a few weeks ago, I have been wanting to make the Sophia Bag.  My local fabric store didn't have the pattern so I ordered it from and it arrived in 3 days!  After the Weekender bag, I felt like I could tackle anything.  

I did learn how to add pockets to the interior lining, how to join piping almost seamlessly, and how to add "X" for extra support on the handles.

I love Anna Maria Horner fabrics and I saved the scraps from other projects that I have made using her fabrics.  I love the "Drawing Room" collection Volumes pattern but I didn't have enough for the whole bag so I used every scrap of Anna Maria Horner fabric that I had.  You'll see later in the lining!  The piping fabric is an old Debbie Mumm fabric that I've had in my stash for about 10 years.

I love the way it turned out!

Exterior panels cut out.....

Handles attached..........

Here is a close-up of the "X" extra support on the handles.

If you've never made piping before it is really easy to make with a zipper foot.  I always use fabric on the bias which stretches around the curves.  If you look closely at the needle position you can see I am sewing close to the piping just enough to push it over a little and stitch inside the previous stitching line.

Some of the instructions I had to read and reread!  Below I am adding piping to the bottom panel.  The drawings in the instructions made it look like you were to cut a square at the corner of the piping.  But I followed the directions and cut a little slit with my scissors and when you turn the piping to attach to the short end, a little square opens up.  It turned out perfect!  I am such a visual learner.......I like to see things.   I thought this might help someone else if you are going to make this bag.

 Also, I usually join two ends of piping by just lapping one over the other.  But, the directions show you how to cut the piping, putting edge to edge, fold under the hem and then wrap the fabric over the two edges making a nice and neat seam.

When sewing the zipper, the instructions call for you to baste the seam, line the zipper under the seam and sew 1/4" around the zipper on top.  I outlined the 1/4" seam with a washable pen which makes it very easy to see where you are supposed to sew.  Remember, the zipper is UNDER that seam!

Whew.........after several hours of sewing my sweet husband brought me a Black Cherry Mister Misty from QT.  They always come in handy and make sewing a whole lot more enjoyable!

This is what the bag looks like when you add the top panel to the first side panel.

I have added both side panels to the the zippered top panel.  At this point, I thought it was looking like a toaster cover or an old fashioned bowling bag.  I do like the retro rounded shape!

Below I am sewing the bottom panel to the bag.  I have already sewn the long sides and now I am sewing the short sides.  You can see how the bag piping lines up just inside of the bottom panel piping. I sewed a 1/2" seam and it turned out perfectly.

Also, while reading the instructions, I couldn't figure out how to clip the corners.  But, when you sew all the layers together, it is easy to see where to snip off the corner.

Bag the lining...........

I used up all of my favorite Anna Maria Horner scraps for the lining.  The lining is my least favorite part to make because of all of the hand sewing but I'm glad I took my time because it turned out perfect.