Yesterday my niece J. came over and after an outing of mini-golf and ice cream, we came home and played with the cat for a little while. J. decided she wanted to do a craft, which somehow turned into a quick trip to the fabric store...which resulted in me staying up until midnight last night sewing her a new bag for school. Funny how these "we" projects turn into "Aunt Lori" projects...though to be fair, J. would have been happy to stay and help me finish but there were other family plans afoot. (And, I should really get my sewing machine serviced before trying to teach her how to use it...it is becoming rather obstinate in its old age.)
J. is apparently an Amy Butler fan too, as she picked out one of her new prints (called "Love"). I'm not a fan of this particular print, it seems kind of old-ladyish to me, but J. loved it. We found a Kaffe Fassett purple and green polka-dot print for the lining. I bought one yard of each, thinking that would be plenty for whatever pattern we decided on. We came home and pored through a number of the books on my shelves, and she decided on the "Flouncy Bag" designed by Nina Perkins, which is published in the One Yard Wonders book. $20 and 2 hours resulted in:
And I had about a half-yard of the lining leftover, so technically one could make this for less. I had to make a few modifications, mostly because the pattern called for some hardware (D rings), piping, and some ribbon that I did not have on hand (and it was 10 pm when I decided to start sewing, a by-product of watching Project Runway, so running out wasn't an option). Also, the pattern calls for the entire bag (outside and inside lining) to be made out of one yard, and I used a contrast fabric instead. The instructions are fairly simple, although the bottom of the bag calls for oval pieces that are not provided; you basically have to cut rectangles and make it into an oval yourself which I found a bit tricky.
To make up for not having any piping, I cut a 2" strip of the lining fabric, ironed it in half, and then sewed it in as if it were the piping (see below). Were I to do this again, I'd cut a smaller strip. And then I just inserted the strap ends when I sewed the lining to the outside to attach the strap to the bag. If you make this bag with just one yard, follow the cutting layout carefully; I would not have had enough fabric for the lining because of the way I cut out the pieces. Also, a careful eye might notice my fabric is running sideways, rather than top-bottom, another casualty of my cutting. Luckily all the gathering makes it not so noticeable.
J. hasn't seen it yet, so I don't know whether or not it will pass muster. I have my suspicions, though, that I will be churning out another one for her sister in the not-so-distant future...most likely in pink.