It's been a little quite here on the craft front for some time now. I was finally inspired to get back to my sewing machine, after about three failed projects, when I saw this Amy Butler pattern at a quilt shop in Concord. Love love love this bag!
Pattern: Amy Butler's Birdie Sling
Fabric: all by Benartex
This was my first Amy Butler pattern and I found it easy to follow and it could be a great first project for beginners. This was exactly the project I was looking for: fail proof. I needed a sewing pick-me-up and it delivered.
I think the picture is deceptive in how big this bag is - it's HUGE! I could easily fit a giant turtleneck sweater project in the sling and have room to spare. It also really holds its shape well.
The pleating is really my favorite part of the bag. It was fun to do, and really makes the bag look interesting even though the pattern is pretty basic.
There's also room for lots of storage. The small pocket is great for holding a phone and some keys...
...and the other narrow pockets would be perfect for storing knitting needles. These pockets are essentially a big square sewn down the middle to create two tall, narrow pockets on the opposite side of the bag.
The only change I made to the pattern was that I used regular Thermolan Plus fleece instead of the fusible Thermolan Plus, only because my Joann Fabrics near me didn't have the fusible kind. I used a spray adhesive to temporarily attach the fleece to the fabric before I stitched everything together, and it worked out just fine. I did read on Patternreview that some people didn't care for the fusible fleece, so this could be an alternative. In retrospect, I would have also added a magnetic snap to the lining band since it tends to gape open a little bit. I'll have to remember that for next time.