Hi! I’m Debbie from A Quilter’s Table, and you’ll also find me on Instagram at @aquilterstable. I’m primarily a quilter, but Sara knows I like making a variety of sewn items, and I was pleased when I got her invitation to participate in Purse Palooza! It was so timely, too, as I’d been wanting to make The Emmaline Bag for my mom. Coincidentally, it’s by Emmaline Bags, where the website touts that the bag, “is extremely practical, very spacious, modern, and classy.” I can’t disagree.
- 1.25 yds exterior fabric (quilting cotton, canvas, or decor weight cotton)
- 1 yd lining fabric (light to mid-weight fabric like quilting cotton)
- 1 yd sew-in or fusible interfacing or fusible batting/fleece)
- 2 scraps of fusible interfacing for optional pockets
- 2 scraps of heavy-weight fusible interfacing for magnet closure
- 7″ or longer zipper for optional interior pocket
- 14mm – 18mm magnetic snap closure
- marking pencil, rotary cutting supplies
- scrap cotton and template plastic for bag base
- 4 rectangular 1 1/2″ wide rings
This pattern is for a bag measuring 15″ wide, 4.5″ deep, 9″ tall from bottom to center, with 16″ straps from ring to ring, 13.5″ from top of bag. A terrific feature is how easily the pattern can be customized with different fabrics, pockets, and straps. Instructions are included for a magnetic closure, a zipper pocket, and a double slip pocket, all of which I incorporated. The straps are easily created, and the bag is somewhat unique with its bottom gusset and stiff bag base. Any of those features could be intimidating, but with the instructions given, I didn’t find them so at all.
The pattern includes 50+ full color photos and diagrams, and full size pattern pieces with seam allowances included. Some of the pattern pieces do need to be constructed, but the markings make it very easy. Also, a couple of features are ‘measure and cut’ rather than actual pattern pieces, but again, quite manageable. This pattern says it is geared for intermediate sewers, and I think that is appropriate.
I so appreciated the fact that The Emmaline Bag Hardware Kit was available for purchase, right along with the pattern, as I never enjoy hunting down hardware. I didn’t have to stress one bit about finding the pieces needed. The kit included a magnetic snap and 4 rectangular rings, available in either nickel or antique brass. I used the brass.
The fabric I used for my Emmaline was quilting cotton from Cotton + Steel‘s Honeymoon collection by Sarah Watts. Rather than using fusible interfacing/batting/fleece, I chose Pellon‘s FF77 Flex Foam, which added nice body to the bag. It is really easy to sew with, though next time I’d like to try the fusible variety. Due to the added thickness, I did opt to top-stitch on either side of the bag’s main body seams. That kept the seams flat plus added nice detailing. I also sewed down the top of the center pleat on each side of the bag for the same reason. I had only a 9″ zipper on hand for the interior pocket, and that caused no problem. Otherwise, I made the bag as written.
Considering bag-making is not my first sewing language, I was overwhelmed by the 26-page pattern at first glance. But when I calmed down and took things slowly, one step at a time, everything made sense and went together really well. I was pleased that the construction of both pockets and the addition of the hardware were all very matter-of-fact, with good end results. There were a few bolded “hints” and “tips” throughout the pattern, which I found very helpful. The trickiest part, actually, was inserting the template plastic into the bag base. It was a little finicky, but definitely doable.
All in all, I’m very pleased with The Emmaline Bag, and I felt it lived up to its reputation. It’s definitely roomy, and has attractive lines that I think will make it enjoyable for my mom to use. Thanks, Sara, for letting me join in Purse Palooza and giving me the incentive needed to make this lovely bag!