My "Cosmo" Bag (January's kick-off to a year of Amy Butler accessories) is finally done, and I'm about done in.
Amy, honey, I love your style, I love your fabrics, I love your books, but you are insane to rate this one "easy."
Maybe that's partly because I reduced the pattern at 78%, so the inside handle curve is smaller and less maneuverable. (Worth it, for a bag that will be more everyday useful to me; I don't need a gigundo one very often.) But maybe not. Amy's instructions sometimes seem to be written for ease of explanation more than than for ease of construction. I may not be the most expert or experienced seamstress on the block, but I'm not new at this. I have a reasonable skill set to draw on. Even so, the final steps of this bag kicked my butt.
And messed up my machine.
I was doing the final edge-stitching along the inside handle curve -- with just six more inches of stitching to do before all that remained was hand-sewing the button -- and as we climbed a mountainous pileup of interfaced seams at the corner of the band, something made an ominous popping sound.
I thought I'd broken the needle, but it's okay. I was able to finish stitching, and all's well visually: no horrific nest on the bobbin side. But now there's this kind of swishy sound with each stitch, which means something got knocked out of alignment.
First I'll try replacing the needle (I'd planned to switch to a new one after this project anyway), in hopes that the problem is a slightly bent needle. If that's not it, I'll be taking my stalwart friend in for servicing. At least I'll have a pretty bag to tote along as I drive to the BabyLock dealer. Here's the inside:
Finished dimensions of this one are...
Width at the base: 11"
Across the widest part: 15"
Depth at the base: 4"
Depth at the top: 3"
Height to top edge of center band (at the middle, above the button): 10.5"
Height with handles: 20"
Oh, and I added a piece of heavyweight box board to the bottom, for stability. I slipped it in between bag and lining before completing the final (gruelling) step of sewing the inside handle edges together.
For those just tuning in to this project, here are my comments on:
Binding the pocket edges
Doing the center band my way
Taking a few liberties with the lining
The true test of this bag will come when I use it. I think I will like it, but no way will I make it again until enough time has passed that I've forgotten how tedious fusing all the interfacing was -- or until little elves show up to do that sort of thing for me and to erase from memory the trickiest and most irksome bits.
If you're a beginning sewer and tempted by this bag, just put the book down and walk away. Start with something simpler like the Birdie Sling before tackling this one.