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>The Amy Butler Field Bag & Tote…Completed!

August 18, 2009

>Hi Everyone!

Well….I finally devoted this past Saturday to making the Amy Butler Field Bag & Tote…for myself! The bag is huge! I love it! I keep making gift after gift and I can’t remember the last time I really made myself something fun! I took a bunch of notes and did run into a few issues that I will share with you all. It was my first stab at cording and it really wasn’t so scary after all. So those of you who are afraid…don’t be! I originally intended on using a different fabric for the top as a contrast print, but last minute I decided to do it all the same.

I’ll warn everyone now by saying that a beginner sewer should not make this bag…it was a challenge and literally took me ALL DAY Saturday! Also another warning…the zipper for the “bag” was a nightmare for me…I will show my boo-boos so if anyone ends up making this bag …please, please let me know how the zipper part goes for you. There is a version that does not use a zipper and Amy refers to it as the tote. I think I might try that version the next time I make it! It will be a long while though…

Ok here it goes…The questions and confusion I had started while cutting the pattern pieces…luckly I had a ton of fabric to work with…here are some issues I emailed Amy and her gang. I was a little disappointed I never heard back. I couldn’t wait any longer to make the bag so I cut fabric and moved on…

-The yoke pattern is too large for the double folded 44′ fabric shown in Figure 2 on Step 2. Might need to allocate more yardage for that. If I fold the 44′ fabric once and crease it, it has more then enough room, but if I fold the fabric into the folded crease it’s too short for the pattern piece.

-Under the materials list, for the bag using 44′ fabric I wasn’t sure if the 2nd coordinating fabric (1 3/8) was meant to be for the cording. I went to it assuming it was ( I think the material list should state how much for the cording)
…it was a little confusing for me.
And yet again…

-Also on step 7.A for the cording it says to use remaining lining fabric…I barely had any left…I wasn’t sure if this was meant to be the (1 3/8) yards of 2nd coordinating exterior fabric?
Luckily I had other fabric to use for the cording…

-Step 9.A Doesn’t say how long the stitch should be. I made my 2 inside ones 2 inches long and the outer 2 1.5 inches long to give it a nice pleat.

Ok…make sure you read the pattern thoroughly…I got super excited and had to do a lot of ripping…for example…here are the pieces in progress. I totally put the cording on the lining bottom panel…instead of the exterior…(whoops)…I didn’t even notice it until I was ready to put the exterior bottom panel in…

For the cording I used 44′ width fabric and cut the bias strips to make the covering. Amy says to cut 6 of them, but from the instructions I’m not sure if it’s 44′ wide fabric… I noticed I needed much less…I only used 3 strips for the 4.5 yds of cording. So I’m not sure if that was a typo on the pattern or not…

When you get to step 11.F…ignore it…you should only have cording on one of your main exterior panels and also on the bottom exterior panel…

I also did something a little different then the pattern said for the cording. When assembling the cording I used a zipper foot as told to do, but when it came to assembling the cording to the pattern pieces I used a cording foot on my machine so that it could get nice and snug to the cording so it wouldn’t be loose. It was really easy to use and I think it worked out great. I borrowed the foot from my mother-in-law (thanks mom!) but I think I’m going to now have to get my own, I loved it!

The lining was easy, instead of slip stitching the lining closed (I had no patience at this point and was so excited to get it finished) I just did a 1/8 stitch to close it up…personally it’s my bag and it’s on the inside so no one can see it…but If I were to give it as I gift I would totally hand sew it closed it would be more seamless.

Ok the zipper nightmare…I had major issues on the each end of the zipper, I’m not sure what I did wrong and if it was the pattern pieces or the cording, but I took some pics of it. Any normal person won’t see it, but it drives me crazy. I guess since it’s for me I need to let it go and use it as a learning experience. It is what it is….so, please if anyone makes this bag with the zipper and can tell me what I did wrong…it would be great!! I think it had to do with the cording…I think I trimmed it when I shouldn’t’ have…I’m not sure though…it’s hard to see, but I know it’s there.

All in all I am happy with how the bag turned out…I hope this helps anyone out…I know I could have used a little guidance…

And before I sign off…we got great news this past Sunday morning from our breeders…the puppies were born!!! 4 Black boys, 1 Black girl, 1 Yellow girl…and one poor little Yellow boy who didn’t make it…it’s so sad, but he is in puppy heaven. We will be getting a black boy and starting to think of some names!! Here is a pic of the cuties 6 hours after birth! We will get to meet them in 2 weeks! I am BEYOND excited!!

ok more good things to come this week…stay tuned!


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