Rural Messenger BagPosted: May 10, 2006
Pattern: Amy Butler Rural Messenger Bag
Fabric: Looped-Spice from Reprodepot
Modifications: Reduced the length of the strap by ten inches. Added heavy-weight fusible interfacing to the interior lightweight cotton.
You know how sometimes you start knitting a project, and then you realize that you picked the wrong yarn for a pattern? Or even better, that the pattern is completely wrong for you? Both of these thoughts crossed my mind with the Amy Butler Messenger Bag, except that it was with fabric instead of yarn.
The pattern calls for large floral print fabric, but I loved the retro orange and brown fabric I bought so I ignored the directions. After I sewed all parts of the exterior, I found that it looked very odd. The ovals don’t line up on the main panel, the purse panel, and the purse flap. This looks strange, but I think that even if they did line up the bag would still be weird. Basically, the large floral print would have been a good idea because there wouldn’t be an alignment issue. So much for disregarding the instructions!
As for the pattern being wrong for me — well, let’s just say that this is a large bag and I am a small person. It didn’t seem that big in the pattern photo, but then again, I bet the model is way taller than my 4’11”. I reduced the length of the strap so that the bag wouldn’t hang to my ankles, but it is still too large on me. If I had seen it in a store, I would have never bought it because of its size. See how it hangs on me… the bottom of the bag is about 4 inches above my knee. Sorry for the blurry photo!
For the lining, I bought lightweight cotton. I added interfacing because the bag would have been floppy without it, but in retrospect it would have been wiser to use lightweight interfacing as the heavyweight was too stiff. I also managed to make permanent wrinkles when I ironed on the interfacing…oops! Just as I was typing this post, I found updated instructions for sewing this bag with light to midweight fabric. Ahhh…should have looked at that earlier.
There are some great things about this bag, though! The interior is roomy enough for magazines and books.
The purse flap could be handy for small items like pens and Kleenex (if you’re like me and prefer to have a pack of Kleenex on hand at all times). I used the zigzag stitch on my machine to finsh the interior raw edges.
I also really like the exterior pockets on the backside.
Overall, I think this is another great Amy Butler pattern. I enjoyed the project a lot, even if it didn’t turn out quite right for me. The Rural Messenger Bag is more complicated than the Madison Bag, but the instructions are very clear so I would still recommend this bag to a novice sewer.
Lastly, I would like to thank Gleek for introducing me to the magnetic seam guide. My seams still aren’t as straight as I would like them to be, but the seam guide helps a lot!