Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Amy Butler’s Cosmo Bag

She’s done! If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve been working on an Amy Butler bag. This is one of the projects I selected as part of Stitched in Color’s effort to use those overlooked and neglected fabrics in our stashes.

Case in point: two amazing Amy Butler fabrics—both from her Love line—that I have had for a long time. I purchased the purple fabric during my wraparound skirt phase, so I had more than 2 yards of it. (Somehow during that phase, I ended up with one wraparound skirt, and my sister ended up with three. I’m still not sure how that happened.) I found the red paisley in the $5-a-yard sale section at my local quilt shop.

I’ve been meaning to tackle one of the bigger bags in Amy Butler’s Style Stitches (given to me by my sister a few Christmases ago, which kind of makes up for the fact that I cranked out so many wraparound skirts for her). The Cosmo Bag is huge. It’s 21 inches wide and almost 23 inches tall, the perfect dimensions for, say, toting a finished quilt to show-and-tell at guild meetings.

As usual with Amy’s patterns, this one was clearly written. It was categorized as an “easy” pattern. I haven’t done any of the other bags in the book to compare the Cosmo pattern to, but it was a bigger project than I had bargained for. I cut out 30 pieces from quilting cottons and 27 pieces of interfacing. I spent an entire week of crafting time on it. And there were multiple times I had to, as Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs noted, “pin it into submission.” (Did you catch that, Chelsea? Pins are you friends!)

Was it worth it? Completely. I’m thrilled that these fabrics have been put to good use. And the experience was a great confidence booster for me. When I was a new sewer, ten-plus years ago, I tried my hand at some of Amy’s designs, and they were a challenge. Although the Cosmo Bag took longer than I anticipated, I absolutely have the skills to pull it off. My mom, who has been sewing longer than I’ve been alive, witnessed my construction of the bag and admitted that there was no way she’d attempt a pattern like that. It would drive her crazy. Go me!

BTW: If you’re considering making your own Cosmo bag and, like me, have an early printing of Style Stitches, be sure to check out Amy’s update about the pattern. (Printings since May 2011 reflect these changes.) Also: You can still find fabrics from her Love line at some fabric retailers, like Hawthorne Threads.

Two questions for you in conclusion ...

What are your experiences with Amy’s bag patterns? I’m looking to do the Reversible Everyday Shopper (below), also from Style Stitches, next. I’m considering the Weekender Travel Bag sometime down the road (like, sometime in 2015!).

Photograph from Amy Butler’s Style Stitches.
Used by permission of David Butler.

And on a completely different subject ... Chelsea, of Patch the Giraffe, and I have talked about the possibility of a low-volume fabric swap. If you’re interested, leave me a comment.

Linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday (check it out—I was the guest blogger this week!), Let’s Bee Social, and Needle and Thread Thursday. I’m also joining in the fun at TGIFF and Finish It Up Friday ...

Oh, and I heard about all the fun happening at Craft Buds Craft Book Month. How could I say no to that?!


  1. That turned out absolutely wonderful!!! I started a Weekender about a year ago, then "cleaned" and lost the pieces. Hopefully a little more cleaning (without the quotation marks this time) will unearth them and I can finish it soon! I'd be up for a swap with you and Chelsea. :D

  2. The bag looks amazing! So well-constructed and pretty, too! I'd love to try the weekender bag myself, but I'm not looking to take on any more projects for the time being! And, while I don't have a *lot* of LVFs to contribute to a swap, I do have a few, so keep me posted on the details! Great job on the tote!

  3. Those two purples are perfect together! I've got that same book, and have been itching to try some of the patterns, but hearing so much bad press and reading through how complicated she makes things, I've held off. I'm going to eventually do the Weekender because it's just an awesome bag in the end; I think it's worth the short term suffering.

  4. I want to make a Blossom handbag at some point, but it's marked as advanced, and I can only guess what that means for an Amy Butler pattern. Your bag looks fabulous! I love the fabrics! YUM.

  5. Looks great. The exterior print is one of my fav SB prints. I made a Cosmo bag last summer ( and have been loving using it all this summer. It's so big that when you go shopping you can just fire your purchases right in!

  6. I love the fabrics you've used here, and your bag is stunning. I've no experience in bag making, so can't answer your question.

  7. I LOVE this;-) An Amy Butler Amy Butler bag, simply perfect!!! The Weekender suffers from the same problem, there are so many pieces to cut out but from there the construction isn't too bad and there are tons of tips/mods around the web.

  8. Such a pretty bag! Lovely fabric choices!

  9. How about another three skirts for your sister in exchange for another fun book? Seems reasonable to me (your sister)!

  10. Pretty! I like the fabric you used :)

  11. This bag has been on my to-do list forever! Glad to know its a large bag. I adore the fabrics you used! I've always had a soft spot for Amy Butler!

  12. Love, love, love your purse. So glad you took the time to use that beautiful fabric!

  13. I don't know if the low volume swap happened but would like to participate. Love your purse!! The fabric is perfect!

    1. The swap is full, but you could sign up as an alternate, should someone else back out. Check out the Google doc link at

      BTW: You're a no-reply blogger, which means I couldn't email you this response directly. To learn how to change that, see


Thank you for commenting! I almost always respond to comments by email. If my response might interest others or if you're a no-reply blogger, I'll post it here.