Sew News and the Belle Handbag Sew-Along! Week 1

Welcome to the Sew News Beautiful Belle Handbag Sew-Along. We are so excited here to make this wonderful bag and help you along the way in creating a gorgeous bag that you will use over and over.

Week 1 – Fabric Choice, Prep, Cutting

Belle Handbag Sew News and the Belle Handbag Sew Along! Week 1

Pockets For Everything1 300x225 Sew News and the Belle Handbag Sew Along! Week 1

The Amy Butler Beautiful Belle Handbag is the perfect everything bag. Whether you are a mom on the go, a student who goes from one event to the next, or your schedule takes you from work to the gym, you’ll love the flexibility of this bag. From the outside, the bag has the look of just an over sized bag, but inside you’ll find lots of pockets that can be customized to your needs. There’s even a special pocket for your cell phone! You can see a photo of me modelling the bag to get a sense of proportion.  Click HERE.

Cell Phone Pocket1  225x300 Sew News and the Belle Handbag Sew Along! Week 1Your first step will be of course to get your pattern. The team at Sew News has made that especially easy as you can just click HERE  to order the pattern and it will quickly make its way right to your doorstep.

Fabric Choice
The fun part is picking your fabric! I chose to make the outside of my bag with a home dec fabric. It’s a little heavier in weight and I felt it would hold up to being used on a regular basis. The interior lining of my bag is a lighter weight cotton. If you decide to use a cotton for the exterior of your bag, you will need to interface the fabric prior to sewing. Keep in mind if you want to add length to the handles to add that into your final yardage.

The interior lining should be interfaced and the pockets should also be interfaced. My favorite interfacing for a project like this is a fusible woven cotton. Be sure to purchase a good quality interfacing.

When purchasing your fabric and notions, you may want to consider purchasing a magnetic closure. It is easy to install, you’ll see and keeps items your items inside.

Snap Closure Sew News and the Belle Handbag Sew Along! Week 1

This is not included in the notions section of the pattern, but I like having the added security of a closure. They are very easy attach and will give your project that added professional touch. You should be able to easily find them at your local fabric store in the handbag hardware section.

Once you have assembled your fabric and notions, I would suggest pre-washing you fabrics. Since this is a bag that I know you will use quite often, you will want to be able to throw it in the washing machine from time to time. What a disappointment it would be to have your bag shrink after you have gone to all the work of constructing it, so be sure to take that little bit of extra time and pre-wash your fabric.


The instructions given in the pattern for cutting the bag are quite clear and easy to follow.

pattern pieces Sew News and the Belle Handbag Sew Along! Week 1Just pay attention to the fact that only one pattern piece has been given for the lining and pockets.

Begin by cutting the chosen lining fabric to line the bag. Cut 2 pieces for the lining. Once your lining pieces have been cut, simply fold over the top of the lining pattern piece and cut the pocket pieces. Also note that you will need to cut 4 pocket pieces.
Be sure to post your pictures to the Sew News Flickr page. I can’t wait to see your creative fabric choices!
Rhonda Buss
Rhonda’s Creative Life

Materials List

On the pattern envelope the following are listed.
44″-54″ wide fabric –  one yard of fabric for the exterior portion
4 3/8  yards of interfacing
1 3/4  yard if using 54″ home dec fabric

44″ wide fabric for the handles and lining -  2 1/4 yards of fabric for exterior
54″ wide fabric  for the handles and lining – 1 3/8 yard of fabric

4 3/8  yards of interfacing
1 3/4  yard if using 54″ home dec fabric

Plus coordinating thread

For interfacing it is recommended to get 20″ wide fusible woven interfacing.

Be sure to check out the video portion of the Belle Handbag Sew Along!

The Belle Handbag Sew-Along Schedule

  • Week of February  3 – Fabric Choice, Prep, and Cutting
  • Week of February 10 – Marking & Interfacing
  • Week of February 17 – Construction & Customizing
  • Week of February 24 – Finishing

If you have any questions please leave them here or on the Flickr Sew News Belle Handbag Sew-Along Page.










 Sew News and the Belle Handbag Sew Along! Week 1

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
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3 Responses to Sew News and the Belle Handbag Sew-Along! Week 1

  1. Joanna says:

    Hi. I love your bag! the fabric is just amazing. What is the name of the main fabric you used for this bag?

  2. Pingback: Clara Dress Sew-Along Begins In April | Sew News

  3. Monica says:

    I LOVE your fabric choice. I also LOVE the top that you are wearing! Did you make it? :)