Pattern: Birdie Sling by Amy Butler
Fabric: Michael Miller “Birds of Norway” in Espresso
Began: September 6, 2010; Completed: September 9, 2010
Notes: This bag has a bit of a story. I’d been eying the Amy Butler bag patterns every time I went into my local fabric store last fall, so much so that J knew exactly which one I wanted when he went there Christmas shopping for me. Every time I passed them I stopped at the Birdie Sling, and then talked myself out of buying it: “It’s way too advanced. I’d never be able to sew that.” In true J fashion, my husband showed me not only that he listens when I talk about my hobbies but that he believes in me, quite often more than I believe in myself, and wrapped up the pattern and put it under the tree. He left the fabric choice to me, though, and I snatched up some of this Michael Miller fabric and two complimentary cottons for the handles/lining back in January last year.
I came home, washed my fabrics, and promptly put them in my sewing bin to be forgotten. I was really nervous about this pattern, and I kept coming up with excuses why I wasn’t ready to tackle it. I hadn’t touched my sewing machine since we moved (I have to sew in the kitchen and it is HOT in there all summer), but the cooler weather over Labor Day weekend inspired me. I spent that Monday off from work in my pajamas, watching movies, cutting pattern pieces, interfacing (which took a while, since each piece is interfaced), and beginning to put it together. I then came home from my run last Thursday morning, got ready for teaching, and spent a feverish few hours finishing this up so I could use it. I had to have it that very day; I couldn’t wait any longer for my new bag.
I have to say that this is my favorite sewing project yet. It was challenging, but manageable: all of the interfacing took some time, but I exercised more patience than I’ve shown my sewing machine before. The pattern was well-written, very clearly illustrated, and made sense. It was easy to follow for this sewing noob, and I felt my confidence increase knowing that I could handle each step. I did things right, not cutting corners for the most part*, and ended up with a bag that I absolute adore. I’ve used it every day since, and it makes me happy each time I see those happy little birds. I think I’ll make another eventually in home decor weight, but I plan to use this baby until it falls apart which, thanks to all of that interfacing, shouldn’t be for quite some time.
* I cut two corners. By necessity I didn’t interface the exterior bands a second time because I ran out of interfacing. By choice, I didn’t slip-stitch the hole at the bottom of the lining closed, but machine-stitched it instead. I wanted to use the bag right away, and since it’s the inside no one will know.