I have been wanting to make a bag for some time, but felt like it was a daunting task. But, at some point, I got over myself and realized I was being ridiculous.
I set out to look for cool patterns and fabric and plan what was going to be the “perfect bag” for me. It would be stylish and fun, hold everything I needed in an ORGANIZED way and fit on my shoulder comfortably.
Did I achieve my goal, you ask?
I think so!
I chose Amy Butler’s Sophia Carry All because I liked the size and the vintage shape.
For my fabric, my inspiration was a submission in the Colette Hawthorn Sewalong contest:
I saw this fabric and was blown away! She was nice enough to list the name of the fabric in her description (more people should do this, really), so I immediately pounced on the Internet to look for some “Field Study by Anna Maria Horner (cotton/linen).”
The actual name of the fabric is Parenthetical in Potpourri, which is part of the Anna Maria Horner Field Study Linen/Cotton Blend Collection. If you haven’t checked it out, please do. These fabrics are gorgeous!
I found it at Hawthorne Threads, which was super awesome! My most favorite thing about Hawthorne Threads is their search options for
This takes a TON of guesswork out of buying fabrics online that you want to put together in a project. I used this option and found these two fabrics:
(cotton fabric to use for the lining, click for source)
(linen fabric for coordinates inside and outside, click for source)
I did make a few changes to the pattern, so I will list them here, and then inundate you with photos, m’kay?
- Lengthened the handles 6.5″ so I can carry the bag on my shoulder
- Used Peltex on the main panels and end panels instead of fusible fleece for more structure.
- Omitted the piping on the bottom panel (as many suggested on Pattern Review)
- Added a lined outside pocket with pleat for my keys in between the straps on one side
- Added an internal zippered compartment to one side of the bag using this tutorial.
- Added a second pocket to the other side (you’ll see in the pics)
- Divided one side into 3 sections instead of 2.
- Sewed the liner with 3/4″ seam allowances to compensate for added bulk of purse so it would fit inside nicely and not be too big.
- Added purse feet.
OK, photos, photos and photos!!!
Outside with added pocket with added pleat for easy retrieval of keys.
Top of the bag so you can see the zipper. There aren’t a ton of options for double sided “purse zippers,” but StudioCherie on Etsy sells 24.5″ double sided zippers in 13 colors. They are for her iPad case pattern, but work beautifully for handbags. I only needed a 22″ zip, so I cut this one down a bit.
Inside of bag.
Close up of one side with added zippered compartment and 3 dividers instead of 2 for the inside pocket.
Close up of the other side where you can see the added pocket. This side is divided into 2 sections as specified in the directions, but I added a taller pocket behind the original pocket so I have 4 pockets on this side.
Filled with All. My. Stuff!
The middle pocket in between my glasses and sunglasses is for my phone, but I was using it to take the photos, so it’s empty in the pics.
Here’s my organization, for those who are interested:
Now I just need to make a wallet to match!
All in all, I am very pleased. I only needed to make a few changes to the bag to get all of the design elements and pockets I wanted. My sewing machine is mad at me for sewing through all those layers, but she’ll have to get over it. 🙂
Or, I may need to bring her in for service.