Saturday, 11 June 2016

Amy Butler Reversible Sunday Sling Hack

My favourite kinds of bags to make are simple, quick bags that aren't too big, but big enough to grab when you're running to the store for a few things, or don't want to carry a purse. I made LOTS of shopping totes at Christmas, loosely based on the Purl Soho Railroad Tote. And I've made a few Amy Butler Swing Bags for friends (a pattern that seems to be out of print). But as I've mentioned before, I like the Amy Butler Sunday Sling for something a bit roomier and more substantial.

I've made it once before as a diaper bag, and when a friend told us she was expecting her first baby in May, I immediately thought of making a diaper bag. But this time, I decided to hack the pattern a bit. First, I thought a cover flap would be handy, since the bag doesn't have any closures at the top. Second, I'm not a huge fan of the tied handles (having had mine come untied as I was carrying my bag a couple of times), so I decided to change the strap. Instead of coming from the front of the bag, I put the handle at the sides (also to accommodate the cover). And finally, after seeing a few ideas for courier bags/satchels online, I decided to put elastic across the top of one of the inner pockets, just to hold the contents in a bit more securely.

So the results? Well, I'm not completely happy with some parts of it, but I'm trying hard to be less of a perfectionist, and accept things with flaws. The flaws are only really visible to me (and probably to my mother, who's even more of a perfectionist when it comes to sewing!). My friend was thrilled with the bag, which is the most important thing.

The elasticated pocket was trickier than I thought, and my fusible fleece didn't fuse as well as it should have (apparently if it sits around for a long time, it's less 'sticky' and in this humidity, that process is probably escalated). 

But, I LOVE the fabric. It's the new denim collection from Art Gallery Fabrics, and the lining is from Cloud 9. I love it so much, I had enough to make my daughter a pair of shorts...more on that later! The cover flap on the bag is definitely a good addition, and I really do prefer the one strap coming from the sides of the bag. If I make this bag again (and I do have a request from another friend who recently had a baby!), I'll do it the same way. Next time, I might even venture into putting magnetic closures on the front flap...

Simple sewing

Recently, my friend D saw the pillowcase dress I made for my daughter's friend M, and asked if I could make one for her. I hesitated slightly...I wasn't sure that a pillowcase dress would look as great on an adult (with curves) compared to a toddler. After some 'research' on Pinterest and other websites, I found a few tutorials and pictures. Thank you to Melly Sews for a straightforward tutorial on how to draft a basic pattern. D also sent me a few pictures she found, mostly from high-end children's clothing websites from France, of lovely, unusual pillowcase style dresses in linen. The end result? Not one, but TWO 'pillowcase' dresses for D!

The first was meant to be a sample/practise using a navy broadcloth I had at home, but she liked it so much I finished the seams and used home-made bias for the armholes and drawstring casing. The second was with a lovely khaki linen I bought 2 years ago to make myself pants. The pants didn't materialise, so D suggested the cloth was meant to be used for her dress!

She's very pleased with her new dresses, and they are perfect for the hot and humid weather here. And she proves that you can pull off a pillowcase dress, even if you do have curves!