This is the first bag I've made with an Amy Butler pattern, and it was very easy to follow. I didn't take photos along the way...because I just got my digital camera...
, but did take a few of details.
The pattern calls for fusible interfacing, but I fused cotton canvas to all pieces of the exterior fabric with WonderUnder. I did not
fuse the cotton canvas to the lining, except for the flap and the bottom rectangle. This gives the purse just the right amount of stiffness. I also did not
cut the cotton canvas 1/2 smaller than the fabric, which gives a nice stiffness to the seams, but made it really hard to sew through the flap where it attaches to the purse. I also fused the cotton canvas all the way to the end of the strap by mistake, and then my machine wouldn't sew through all of it, so I had to improvise with D-rings and an extra little piece to attach it to the body of the purse. http://tinypic.com/1s3c
However, I really like this better, anyway, as it give more freedom of movement to the strap. You can also sew the strap tube without stiffening it, and run a piece of webbing inside it for stiffening. http://tinypic.com/1s3d
Things that I would change:
I would have cut the cotton canvas 1/2" shorter at the top of the bag and the attachment point of the strap for easier sewing, essentially eliminating the seam allowance bulk, and I would have pressed the you-know-what out of the wonderunder when fusing; it occasionally gives a "bubbly" appearance on the side of the purse--but you can press it out. Oh, by the way, check and adjust the strap length, I cut mine longer, cuz I'm really tall. I didn't use velcro, or the boning the purse calls for, but with the cotton canvas, it's stiff enough you don't need it.
Things I love:
The size of the bag, kinda long; and it's shallow, too, so you don't lose everything at the bottom. I really like the way I did the strap, it's much better than sewing the ends directly to the purse body. Besides, if you don't have a really good machine, watch for flying needles sewing through all those layers. Also, since all pieces are symmetric and cut on the fold, you could easily make this bag narrower. It's very versatile and fun. I added an inside pocket big enough for my keys and lipstick.
My time to make it--2 hours or so of cutting and fusing, about 3 hours sewing I can't wait to make my next one. Since it's all straight seams, it's a good beginner project. Have fun!