WOW. I love this bag!! Nevermind that it took me 17 hours to cut out and sew, or that it cost me $37 to make, I am in love. This is a big bag, but not huge (at least on me). One that is perfectly sized to take on a weekend trip with changes of clothes and toilettries fitting nicely inside. It would be a wonderful diaper bag, farmer's market bag, knitting bag--there isn't much this bag cannot handle.
This pattern is from Amy Butler--it's called the Birdie Sling. This is my first pattern from her company. I had heard that the instructions were terribly wordy. While I agree with that assessment, I also think that since this was my first bag, I rather appreciated the wordiness. I do not know what to call my sewing skill level. I am not a beginner, but nor are my skills very deep. This was my first time working with interfacing, and I have never done a zipper, for example. But I probably have more skill than someone else who has the same amount of experience as I do (I just started back up last summer after 14 years), because I grew up watching my mom sew (and sew, and sew. lol). It's amazing how much knowledge is imparted by just watching someone do something. (I'll have to remember that for when my kids are watching me stare at the computer!) So while the few things I do sew, I sew well, it scares me to take on something new because of the frustration factor, or the fear of making a costly mistake (a $37 mistake is not very affordable in this house).
I think this pattern is good for more advanced beginners. I would not take this on as my first sewing project ever. It was challenging for me, but I did not get stuck anywhere. My frustration level did not make me walk away at all. All in all, this was a delight to make. I stayed up until 2am this morning trying to finish this. lol. There were a couple of instructions that I had to confirm by reading ahead a little, and I really hated that the pattern referred to sides of the fabric as "right" and wrong" (the right side is the patterned side). I had to look up what Amy meant by this on the internet. But in my opinion this Amy Butler pattern is pretty straightforward and easy to follow and produces beautiful results.
So I am off to fill my bag with my few belongings, those extra diapers I never seem to have, and tote it around knowing I am prepared to carry almost anything.