Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Amy Butler Blossom Bag

My cousin and I both read the blog Sew, Mama, Sew. A few months ago they had a free pattern for an Amy Butler bag, the Blossom bag. So when my cousin asked me to make this bag for her, I was happy to agree, because this bag is seriously cute!
This purse took 5.5 hours to make. I didn't think it was super difficult, necessarily, just time-intensive. Two hours simply to cut everything out, another hour or hour and a half fusing interfacing to fabric, then the sewing itself.
I thought very hard about pattern placement so that the purse would look as cute as possible and not have too much of the white part of the fabric showing. I made sure the brackets (shown above) matched the fabric of the main panel, 'cause I thought it'd be cool. And it is!

My cousin chose the fabric. The outside is from Amy Butler's Love collection, the inside is from Moda's It's a Hoot collection. The teal is from Joanns. One change was to only have one divider rather than two.

She also asked for a front pocket for her cell phone and other things, so I added that. Unfortunately, (here's the part that really kills me), the zipper won't open any more than halfway, as you can see. Sewing the zipper in was really tricky, and once I turned everything right-side out, and discovered this, I couldn't go back to fix it. I must have just sewn too close to the coils or something.
The back is triple-sewn on.
One of my favorite parts is the handles. I've used peltex before on handles, but this one called for interfacing and peltex, and it ended up being nice a sturdy while still a little squishy. Oh, and the interfacing is new to me. It's Shape-Flex 101, which is woven. On one side it looks just like cotton, but it's actually fusible interfacing. I'll definitely be using it again in the future. The peltex is really stiff interfacing. It still squishes though. This bag isn't nearly as stiff as it looks.
I read a review saying this bag was super hard and they almost gave up. I don't agree! It definitely has its tricky parts, like sewing the ends on because curves and peltex are hard to sew. But it definitely do-able. If you haven't ever made a purse, it will probably take you awhile longer than me though. So just be prepared for several sewing sessions. And here's a tip for the very last step, which is sewing the dividers in. The instructions call for sewing a bar tack (just a few stitches to hold it in place) to secure each end of the divider(s). This means sewing through four layers of peltex, four layers of home dec fabric, four layers of quilting cotton, and four layers of fusible interfacing. After trying and failing to stuff all those layer under my foot, I had a novel idea. I removed the foot! My Pfaff can sew just fine without the foot, so I set it on a zigzag stitch on the lowest length of stitch, and stitched back and forth several times. The machine slid through all of those layers with ease. Oh, I was using a jeans needle though. That probably helped. :]
So that is the blossom bag! It's a very attractive bag. I considered making one for myself. "What?" you say. "Didn't you just make yourself a bag recently?" Well, here's the really sad part. One of the straps on my awesome leather diaper bag recently ripped. It hasn't completely broken, but is barely holding on. It ripped in the absolute most inconvenient spot too, so I really don't know if it's fixable. So, I'm in the market for a new bag. With a (gulp) toddler and (more gulps) preschooler, I need more room than the blossom bag can give me. Especially because Daniel wears cloth diapers, so they are bulky in the diaper bag. And even though Katrina is potty-trained, I like to have extra clothes for her in case she has an accident in the car. So for now, I'm ignoring the ripped strap, but once it goes completely, I'll have to figure out something. I might use one of my previous bags.
Shared at Blue Cricket Design's Show and Tell.



shelly said...

Can I say again how awesome you are?! It looks great and I'm super excited to use it. I knew you were the person for the job! (If I had attempted it, I'm sure there would have been a ton of problems with it...)

Jolena said...

It really did turn out so good. I just downloaded the pattern. Maybe I'll actually make it sometime! This bag turned out so fantastic! And the fabric Shelly chose is so cute!

Elise said...

I think this is one of my favorite things you've done! I LOVE the triangular part of the bottom of the handle (obviously I don't know the terms). I think that makes the whole bag. Also, you're very good at matching patterns and colors. It's too bad this is an Amy Butler pattern because it would be fun to see those in your shop!

shelly said...

Another note: I've heard that the Cosmo Bag (another one from that book) is HUGE. It's also supposed to be a bit easier than the Blossom Bag. Maybe you'd like that as a new diaper bag?

Tasha's Life said...

Tori - This is amazing, as always! I'm so impressed. Shelly, nice fabric colors.

Marie said...

OK--I'm making this bag today, and found your post. I have a question, and hope you can answer? The instructions say to center the peltex on the main panel with 1/2" showing all around. I cut them with the same pattern piece so they are the same size. Does this mean I need to trim 1/2" all the way around the peltex? Thanks! Marie

Anonymous said...

Your workmanship on this bag is beautiful! It's gorgeous-- I especially love the exterior fabric choice. I found your post this morning as I was finishing up my version of this bag. Your tip to remove the presser foot was perfect! No broken needles (at that part ;-)) Thanks so much for the hint.


April said...

Love it! I downloaded this pattern when Sew Mama Sew published it and ran out and bought materials and everything, but never got the chance to sew it! But now I am just about caught up, maybe I will be able to make it soon!

Emilie said...

Great bag! I looked at this pattern and was a little intimidated by all the interfacing that I would need for it so decided against it (especially that where I live it's hard to find the exact interfacing requirements). But your bag is really impressive. Your cousin is one lucky person! said...

TE quedo precioso..saludos desde Argentina..