Mid-October is going to be crazy around here, so I launched into my back-tack 2 project this week. There will be several parts to the bag and the kit that I'm putting together, but the first (and biggest) part deserves its own post.
Inspired by Africankelli (who's making an Amy Butler bag), I bought the Amy Butler Rural Messenger Bag to use for the main part of the project. I bought the pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop and the fabrics from JCaroline Creative. I placed the orders on a Saturday night; both arrived on Tuesday morning. Awesome!
The outside of the messenger bag is brown cotton duck (a nice sturdy canvas,) the inside is a lime green Michael Miller Hypnosis print. I didn't bother to use any interfacing this time around, but when I make the bag again, I'll add some to the lining. I find with most bags the lining turns out kind of shloompy, not crisp like I'd prefer. After fiddling around and a whack of seam ripping, I top stitched in lime green by doubling my top needle thread. For closures I left out the Velcro and used heavy duty snaps instead. I know as a knitter that I don't like to use Velcro in a bag that may later house yarn.
I love the final product (I hope my back-tack partner will too), but I am going to rip on the pattern a little. Look away if you're Amy Butler devout.
I love Amy Butler's work. She has beautiful designs, beautiful fabrics, and beautiful colour choices. I balked at the price tag at first ($12ish) but after shopping around, I found it's priced close to the same all over. I'm used to patterns priced that high, but I'm certain I've never paid that much. You know how it is, you pop into the fabric store and they're running a 50% off sale. The local Hancock Fabrics even has permanent 50% off stickers on all the pattern drawers, so it's been a while since I've paid full price.
When I pay this much my expectations are higher. I expect professionally drawn schematics and pieces, not photocopied sharpie versions. Only half of the pieces were included (and the back pocket piece is wonky at that), the other half were given as measurements to figure out on your own. Being a quilter, I have rulers and rotary cutting tools that take all the guesswork out, but I'd hate to have to wing it on my own as a new sewer. The handwritten notes alongside the teeny schematics just added to the challenge. Maybe it's supposed to be part of the "rural charm" but it doesn't get my vote.
I’m not a hater, I'll make this bag again, but I have issues with this pattern. I plan to send a letter to Art of the Midwest, but given my previous experience with pattern complaints, I don't have high hopes.