This bag is just my first attempt at making something from this collection. Quite appropriately, it is the first pattern in the book - the 'Amelie Bag'. It's a versatile design, and quite easy to sew. The bag is designed with one interior pocket divided into two sections, and a snap close.
I used Home Decor fabric from Ikea for the exterior, and Flea Market Fancy fabric by Denyse Schmidt for the interior. Because I used a heavy fabric for the outside of the bag, I omitted the interfacing that the pattern requires. If you decide to make the bag out of two light or medium-weight cottons, the interfacing will provide the bag with fullness and shape.
I also decided to install the straps in a different way - Whelan instructs to either whipstitch the straps in place or stitch in the ditch, catching all layers of fabric. This may work really well, but I didn't try it. whipstitching didn't seem sturdy enough (at least, not sturdy enough for the amount of abuse that I typically give my bags), and it would be really tricky to stitch in the ditch in an attractive way through all the layers. Instead, I sandwiched the straps between the main fabric and lining fabric in step six. I suspect the reason that the book does not have you do this is because it must be done very carefully. Because you have a relatively short strap and a curved edge, it would be easy to accidentally catch the edges of the strap when you are sewing around the curves. To avoid doing this, I sewed the edges leading up to the strap opening first, then inserted the strap and sewed across the strap end, bag lining and main fabric. This was time consuming, but rewarding.
Do you like my pretty flower pin? There are more of these on the way!
As I write this, I think that it would probably be helpful to create a photo guide to show my method for installing the straps. The Amelie Bag pattern is also available in a smaller size, so I may just have to sew another, just to illustrate! Don't feel too bad for me - the smaller bag is adorable (see below) and I'm just making up excuses. More to come on this one!