Project reviews

Prairie Girl Bag review

When I found the Emmaline Bags website, I was impressed with the number of unique patterns available. In addition to the PDF patterns and tutorials, this website also sells paper patterns and hardware. The difficult part was deciding which patterns to buy. One of my favorites was the Prairie Girl bag.

I purchased a hardware kit and PDF tutorial for this intermediate to advanced project here:


The paper pattern is available for purchase here:


Note this pattern is for limited-commercial use.

Here are my thoughts on this project.

The pattern beings with some great photos of the bag, a description of the project and instructions for printing out the PDF pattern pieces. The materials section is next. The pattern notes included information about the seam allowances. I think it’s important that the seam allowance information be easy to find and it was.

Step 1 is cutting your pieces. In addition to a list of each piece that is cut from each material (exterior, lining, interfacing, fleece), there is also a quick cutting chart. I used both. The list is in Imperial and Metric and the chart is only in Imperial. Both have ample room for checking off that you’ve cut out all the pieces that you need.

Step 2 is attaching the interfacing and fusible fleece. I was using an easily frayed home décor fabric with a directional print for the exterior and a slippery home decor fabric for the interior. I choose to interface my fabric prior to cutting out the pattern pieces. As per the hints, this did make my fabric a little thicker during some of the construction steps.

Step 3 is making the exterior curved zipper pocket. About half of the instructions in this pattern deal solely with the exterior curved zipper pocket. This step is broken down into making the small zipper pocket, making the card slot pockets, attaching the pen loop and labels, and completing the front panel. The majority of the steps have a diagram. I liked that the diagrams were color-coded: lining in yellow and exterior in blue with the wrong sides of both fabrics in gray. Basting is recommended for a few steps. I choose to hand-baste in some places. Bolded and underlined fonts were used for emphasis. Reading carefully and paying attention to the extra emphasis makes this project go smoothly.

Step 4 is assembling the bag. This section sub-divided into making the large zipper pockets finishing the lining, attaching the strap tabs, and making and attaching the base and side gusset. Careful pinning when the sewing strap tabs is important to avoid sewing your bag lining closed. I thought I had pinned carefully enough, but when I checked, I few centimeters of lining were caught. I also drew the 3/8” seam allowances along the wrong side of the curved section of the strap tabs to assist with sewing.

I was concerned that I had made an error when I discovered that my base and side gusset panel was longer than the outer edge of the bag exterior. This is intentional and allows the side gusset to ease around the curves of the bag’s exterior. Following the pinning and sewing instructions carefully was particularly important at this step.

Step 5 is finishing touches. There are 2 sub-sections:attaching the strap rings and making the shoulder strap. My fabric was 60” wide so I was able to cut the fabric for my shoulder strap as a single piece.

Here are some photos of my finished Prairie Girl bag:

The Prairie Girl Bag exterior (Sewn By Tanya Project Review)
The Prairie Girl Bag exterior
Prairie Girl Bag showing 4 zippers (Sewn By Tanya Project Review)
Prairie Girl Bag showing 4 zippers

I really like how it turned out. Cutting out the pattern pieces to match the stripes on the exterior really made the project look professional. I would make this pattern again.

Have you tried this pattern? What did you think about it?


The Prairie Girl Bag by Emmaline Bags (A Sewn By Tanya Project Review)
Sewn By Tanya Project Review: The Prairie Girl Bag

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