Not long after I took up sewing, when I still considered myself a “beginner” sewist (sewer? seamstress?), I picked up Amy Butler’s book “Little Stitches for Little Ones.”
One of my first projects from this book was the “Everything Bag” – a boxy, pretty, functional bag with lots and lots of pockets! The project is rated by Amy Butler as a “4,” which is well into the intermediate ranks of her rating system. But I was determined and up for a challenge.
I was nine months pregnant and seriously into my “nesting” phase of my pregnancy. I remember staying up until 2:00 and 3:00 am working on projects from this book! This bag was my first adventure into fusible fleeces, and pellon, and dividers… but all very invigorating watching the pieces come together. The layers got really really THICK at times. I worried about my poor little $80 Brother sewing machine, but (about 3 snapped needles later – and I did use the heavyweight needles) she made it through and I was happy with the result.
I did use the rather pricey Amy Butler fabric because I liked the aesthetics of it, but also her fabric seemed somehow higher quality than some of the basic fabrics you would find at a Joann or Hancock. This could all be because I am a victim of branding and it may have all been in my head after seeing all her beautiful already made bags in her book, of course made from her own fabric line.
After completing the bag, I self-pronounced myself an “intermediate” sewist. 🙂
I thought Butler’s pattern was fairly easy to read — there were a couple of steps that required me to step back and think about things for a little while, but it all made sense in the end. One change I would make if I were to remake the bag is to make the straps a little longer. Here is a picture to show you the size of the bag. The straps are a little snug – still useable for sure but not *perfect.*
I also would consider adding feet to the bottom. I don’t know about you, but after taking the time to make a homemade bag, the thought of setting it down on a dirty floor or germy counter always makes me cringe. I’ll add this to my list of things to do. 😛