The Phoebe Handbag SewAlong: Gather Your Supplies

The Phoebe Handbag SewAlong

Gather Your Supplies

The Phoebe Handbag SewAlong


You’ll have a week to gather supplies and we’ll begin sewing 11th January 2016.

  • Review the pattern instructions
  • Buy fabric, stabilizers and notions


Phoebe is designed to be made using non-directional cotton quilting weight fabrics showcasing two contrasting or coordinating colors. You can use directional fabrics if you choose, and I’ll be showing you how to cut those fabric pieces later in the series.
I personally love a strong contrast, so the red and black color combination is my favorite. The black is a commercial fabric and the red is one of my hand-dyed fabric.
The Phoebe Handbag SewAlong
Phoebe also looks good in other colors like this purple and blue hand-dyed combination.
The Phoebe Handbag SewAlong
And she also looks great made up in a more subtle color combination using commercial fabrics.
The Phoebe Handbag SewAlong
You can pre-wash your fabric if you choose. The only concern I have about pre-washing is if the fabric is likely to shrink so I always pre-wash fabrics that will be used for quilts or wearable garments. But for my own handmade bags and purses I don’t bother pre-washing as these types of bags will never be fully washed, only spot cleaned if necessary, so there is no worry about shrinkage.


The pattern includes recommendations for Pellon interfacing and stabilizer which is the brand that I use and recommend, however you can substitute for a similar brand if you prefer.


Use standard all-purpose polyester zippers and one 3/4″ magnetic snap. The recommended buttons are self-cover buttons because they add a nice coordinated finish to the bag, however you can use buttons of your choice.

Sewing Tools

The Phoebe Handbag SewAlong

  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Machine thread to match your fabric
  • Fabric marking pencil for transferring markings
  • Rotary cutter and quilter’s ruler (optional) – these tools make it much easier to make straight cuts
  • Pattern weights – these are particularly useful for cutting digital pattern pieces that are printed on copy paper. You can use anything that is small and heavy for pattern weights.

Sewing Machine and Feet

Make sure your sewing machine is cleaned and oiled and in good working order. You will need a standard sewing foot and a walking foot or even feed foot which will make it easy to sew through lots of layers or thick sections of fabric. It’s possible to sew without a walking foot and I’ll show you how to do this, but this type of foot makes sewing through thick sections very easy.

The Phoebe SewAlong

1. Welcome
2. Gather Your Supplies
3. Prepare the Pattern and Cut the Pieces
4. Make the Ruffled Panel
5. Make the Bag Body
6. Make the Lining
7. Make the Bag Top
8. Assemble the Bag