It's Memorial Day, the official flip into summer. But summertime always starts early in Florida - it has been hot hot hot and humid. And the last thing I want to do is carry a leather handbag with all its metal zippers and whatnot's. Too much!
Solution - a fabric bag. About five years ago I drafted a tote bag pattern, very much based on the Amy Butler Birdie Sling.
There are a ton of inspiration pics of the Birdie Sling on the web, and lots of tutorials as well. So drafting my version was pretty easy. I've made over 20 of these bags. They were both gifted and sold, back when Ashley and I were doing the craft fair circuit.
But I still have and use the first one I made. I love it. It's roomy, about 26 ¾” tall, including the handles, and 18” wide, and it has some incredible physics going on. Load it up, and the weight is barely felt on one's shoulder. Seriously! I'm sure it has something to do with the inside bag hanging freely from the top band. Whatever it is, I'm amazed every time I use it. I don't know if that is characteristic of the AButler bag as well, but I'd be interested to know.
BTW, this one has been through the laundry several times. Yes! machine wash and dry.
Time to make some more. It's a great way to use remnants, since each piece - shell, inside bag, bands/handle - uses a yard or less of fabric. Calico, quilting cotton, and light canvas all work well. This cute black/grey number is the first one I've done without contrast fabric on the bands and handle. And it works perfectly with just about everything in my closet.
|Keepsake Calico Cotton - Black Lines, from JoAnns|
On the inside: Nothing bugs me more than a bunch of loose stuff on the bottom of a hand bag, hiding my keys and making me crazy. So the inside of this bag has a pocket on each side. One is stitched down the middle, the typical phone & glasses accommodation...
|Lining Fabric, Buttercream Bicycles - Gray & Metallic - JoAnns|
And the other is zipped - a catch-all for lip balm, nail file, comb, tissue, the jewelry I take off when it bugs me... I used a purple zipper because it's easier to see than a black one would be. And I'll put helper of some kind - a ribbon or charm - on the pull.
|Black/White Ethnic Glyphs Cotton Spandex Knit, from Girl Charlee|
|Top - Butterick 6024|
|This little guy is not so little - 5" wing span!|