I forgot how much fabric this bag requires… it might feel like you’re cutting FOREVER. It’s OK, we’ve all been there! There are a lot of pieces and it’s a little deceptive because quite a few of the pattern pieces double for more than one part of the bag. Most of the pieces are also cut on the fold so there’s that fun, too. In the Cosmo Bag instructions, you are instructed to use an exterior print, an exterior solid, and an internal print for the lining. I chose to keep my bag simple, so I have an exterior print, an exterior solid, and then I’m using those same two fabrics for my lining (solid) and interior pockets (print). I almost used an eyelet fabric for the exterior, but I chose to save it for another project that I’m working on.
In the instructions for step #2, Amy Butler writes out how to fold and cut your fabric. It can be a little confusing because she does not provide any kind of pattern layout like you might find if you were sewing a dress. I am using an old duvet and bed sheets set, so I have PLENTY of fabric to work with for this bag. If I make a mistake, it’s really easy for me to just cut a new pattern piece. However, if you purchase your fabric and don’t have vast quantities as I do, you might want to purchase just a little more for each print so that you have a little wiggle room.
Most of this bag is cut on the fold, so I like to maximize my fabric and I will take one end, fold it over enough so that the pattern piece can be cut fully, trace it, and cut it. I then take my next piece, fold the fabric, trace it, and cut it. Repeat until everything is cut, using narrower remnants for the side panels and pocket panels. My experience is that this has been the most efficient method that maximizes all the fabric and ensures that I have enough. I follow this same technique when cutting my interfacing. The best rule of thumb is this: if you have limited fabric, play with your pattern piece layout like a jigsaw puzzle. Look on the pattern pieces because they tell you how many to cut for each piece. Every pattern piece for the Cosmo Bag must be cut at least twice… the most any piece requires is eight. As you move your pattern pieces around on your fabrics, you can easily tell how to get all your pieces cut and make sure you have enough fabric. It would be really easy to fold your fabrics selvage-to-selvage and just start cutting, but you could end up in a pickle jar because of the way the pieces must be cut on the fold.
Don’t forget to cut the pieces of fabric dictated in the instructions for the bottom of the bag and the button loop. Amy Butler doesn’t give us pattern pieces for these, but instead we just measure them out. The button loop might feel confusing when you are cutting it because it’s just a generic rectangular piece of fabric. When we get to that step, you’ll see how it gets folded in on itself to create the tab with the triangular point. I found that my large washers from the hardware store that I use as a pattern weights turned out to be the perfect diameter for the button cover, so I just traced one of them. Easy!
Just when you think you’re done… you’re not. Ha! Almost every piece is interfaced with the fusible woven interfacing from the materials list. To keep myself organized at this point, I lay out my cut fabric pieces in mini piles. I keep the fabrics and the pattern pieces together so that I can make sure I cut enough fabric and then keep track of the interfacing that needs to be cut. In other words, I don’t recommend plopping your fabric pieces in a big heap and expect to know which piece is what when it comes time to sew. The side panels and side panel pocket pieces, especially, are so close in size and shape, it’s easy to lose track.
Also don’t forget to cut your fusible fleece. Just like the rectangular fabric pieces that we cut earlier, Amy Butler also gives the dimensions for the fusible fleece that will give structure and support to the bottom panel of the bag.
If you’re not sure that you’ve cut everything that you need, feel free to use my photographs here as a checklist. Each photo is captioned to tell you what is in it and you can check off your own fabrics and interfacing to make sure you have the same thing. In our next step (#3), we will fuse the interfacing to… well, everything. Get your steam irons ready!
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