I also had the perfect fabric on hand - Millie's Closet Dresses in Yellow. I wasn't sure how I felt about this fabric when it first came out, but after looking at it several times, I fell in love. To me the pattern versus the colors are the perfect blend of 50's and modern. Plus, I got an awesome deal on it from Pink Castle Fabrics. The other two fabrics I pulled from my stash.
I'd read a lot of good things about Anna's patterns, and I mostly agree with the reveiws. The directions were very clear and all of the photos were super helpful. I also appreciated that she explained in detail how to add a magnetic clasp. I did find two things a bit challenging:
1) On the pattern pieces, all of the outside pieces are referred to as "exterior." This confused me at first because to me the exterior fabric was the dresses, while the stripes were exterior pocket or something. I almost started trying to cut all the pattern pieces out of the dresses.
2) The fabric used in the bag made in the pictures was not the same as that of the sample bag presented on the cover and as the finished product. For me, this just made it a little confusing to determine which piece was which when working on each step.
Because I can't leave well enough alone, I did make a few edits to the bag. First, though this bag has more than enough pockets, I added another to the inside. So, in addition to the inside slip pocket called for in the pattern, I included a zippered pocket, for which I used this tutorial from The Busy Bean.
I also changed the slip pocket slightly by making it wider and separating it into two sections.
Lastly, since I was using quilting cotton, I added SF-101 to everything! Every single inch of fabric (even the welt pocket) in this bag is interfaced. I might have actually added a bit too much because the empty bag is sort of heavy, but hopefully it also means the bag is sturdier and will last longer. Needless to say, I used way more interfacing than recommended in the pattern. Thankfully I bought a lot of extra with the idea of having leftovers on hand in case I decided to make an impromptu bag.
All in all, I'm really happy with this project and am already picking out fabric to make one for myself - or maybe Anna's new Sidekick Tote. I'm more of a cross-body bag person. Also, when LC's sister (also a sewist) saw it, she was really impressed and is now thinking of making one for herself. Apparently she'd been eying the pattern and my in-person sample confirmed her desire for one.
After an awesome visit, LC and I had some fun photographing the bag in her backyard: