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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

My Cool Butterfly Sling Purse

A few months ago, I participated in Purse Palooza at Sew Sweetness and shared the first Butterfly Sling Purse I had ever made. Today, I'm bringing home my post and sharing this awesome bag with you all here in case you missed it! Plus, you'll get to read a little history of how I started making bags!

For at least 3 years now, I've been sewing bags and purses along with clothing for my daughter and occasionally a piece of clothing for myself. When I first started my blog, I focused primarily on sewing children's clothing and pattern reviews, but somewhere along the way, I won a pattern from Janelle at Emmaline Bags, and my obsession with sewing purses began!

To date, I've sewn almost all of the designs from Emmaline Bags, and I've even pattern tested for Janelle at least twice. Janelle is all about details, and her Butterfly Sling Purse pattern does not disappoint! Check out all the design elements of this bag--built-in credit card slots (12 to be exact), photo id slot, slip pocket for phone, two large zipper pockets, one smaller zipper pocket, purse flap, and adjustable length strap. Whew! So much in one small package! 

I've done many reviews of Emmaline Bags' patterns, and the Butterfly Sling Purse pattern is another fantastic package. First, Janelle always includes an abundant number of clear, descriptive photos to accompany her already very thorough written instructions. She breaks down the construction of each section of the purse and orders the assembly in the most efficient way. The pattern instructions are formatted to fit on a full 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper and thankfully are not broken down into columns (I find pattern instructions written in columns more difficult to follow). Pattern piece names are bolded throughout the text so there is no guessing as to which piece you should be using for a particular step. Plus, the photos are labeled and correlate to a specific step in the instructions. The pattern also includes a cutting diagram as well as a cutting list with pattern piece names and dimensions.

Like with all bag patterns, I read through the entire pattern instructions before I ever cut into my fabric, and I recommend you do the same! Oftentimes I will work in my head through the construction of a step I am unfamiliar with and make notes as needed. Sometimes I find that I need to make sure to cut a particular piece of fabric a certain way, especially when working with directional prints like I did with this bag. Once I feel I know what to do, I take my cutting list and get started cutting fabric and interfacing making sure to check off each piece from my list as I go.

For my Butterfly Sling Purse, I used a mix of Echino Nico Glasses in Black along with a solid black Echino linen. Because I salvaged an adjustable purse strap off a bag from Goodwill (read all about my tips for upcycling purse hardware HERE), I ended up needing no more than 5/8 yard of each.

The pattern calls for Pellon 911FF Fusible Featherweight, but because I didn't have any on hand, I used Pellon Shape Flex SF101 instead. Other materials you'll need include:

  • 1/4 yard of TP971F Fusible Fleece Thermolam Plus
  • 3 zippers: 2 - 12" and 1 - 9"
  • a small piece of clear vinyl 
  • a 1" bag strap slider buckle (I didn't need this since I reused a strap from an old bag)
  • 2 - 1" D rings
  • 2 magnetic snaps (3 if you don't use a twist lock)
  • 1 - 1" to 1 1/2" wide purse lock (I used a magnetic snap instead)

I'd say that about 75% of the time, I modify something from a pattern's original design when I sew it up. When I made this Butterfly Sling Purse, I decided to change up a few things so that the print of the Echino fabric I used would be showcased better.

Here are the slight modifications that I made to my Butterfly Sling Purse:

  1. I opted to add a narrow strip of solid black fabric at the bottom of the bag between the front and back panels.
  2. I chose not to put the small zipper pocket just above the photo id slot per the pattern instructions.
  3. I cut the closure strap slightly wider and only 9" long. I then sewed it to the back of the purse where described in the instructions and used a magnetic snap instead of a twist lock for the closure.
  4. I installed the small zipper pocket on the back of the purse just below where I attached the closure strap. Because this location is lower on the bag than where it was originally suppose to go, I cut off roughly 2" from the depth of the pocket so it would fit.
  5. As mentioned previously, I upcycled (or reused) an adjustable purse strap from a bag I salvaged at Goodwill. The zipper shown below was also salvaged from the same bag and was a perfect match to the light tan and black I used in my bag!

The Butterfly Sling Purse is a small, compact bag that is great for traveling. Since the purse has 12 built-in credit card slots, a photo id slot, and a small zipper pocket for change, no separate wallet is required!

I opted to place both credit card panels (there are 2 that hold 6 cards each) inside the same large outer zipper pocket on the left below. This way, all my credit cards and store rewards cards are conveniently located together, and my checkbook and cash fits perfectly between the card slots. The other large zipper pocket is a place to store my keys, bottle of hand wash, and lipstick.

Separate the two zipper sections and you have a slip pocket for quick access to your cell phone and photo id window.  The only thing I wish I had done differently when sewing this bag is to have reversed the side that the slip pocket and photo id slot are on. The way it is now, if I were to open the bag and let the bottom half hang down, my phone could fall out of the slip pocket.

To add a pop of color, I attached a small raw edge piece of fabric over the seam where I sewed the closure strap to the back of the bag. The small zipper pocket I use for pocket change fits perfectly under it.

All-in-all I am in love with this purse! Although it's a little on the small side (9" x 6") compared to what I normally carry, I can't wait to use this Butterfly Sling Purse. It will be ideal to take on my next vacation trip or the next time we head to a fair. Because of the adjustable strap, I can wear it across my body comfortably while keeping its contents safe and secure.

Thanks again, Janelle, for another awesome bag pattern and design! This was so quick and easy to make that I sewed a second with a few different slight modifications. Read all about it HERE.

If you are interested in seeing and reading about the other Emmaline Bags I've sewn, please visit my Purses and Bags page at sewVery!

Have FUN sewing!

1 comment:

  1. Her patterns are awesome. I'm very glad you are sewing bags and you like it. I'm a bag maker addict too!


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