My Cotton+Steel Betty Bowler

I may have used affiliate links for some of the items in this post. Using an affiliate link to purchase an item won't cost you any more money, but I may receive payment if you click on a link and make a purchase. For more information, visit the disclosures page.

I recently purchased some fabric from Sarah WattsAugust Line for Cotton+Steel with the intention of making a bag, but didn’t know what bag I wanted to make.


I ended up deciding on the Betty Bowler Bag from Swoon Patterns and pairing the lion prints with Kona Cotton in Corn Yellow (I think – I forgot to check the bolt to verify) for contrast and piping, and a solid twill bottom weight for the top and bottom of the bag.

Cotton+Steel Betty Bowler

This bag had a lot of great details, like the piping around the side panels, which always looks wonderful on a finished product, but which I hate sewing around (totally worth it for this bag). It also had a vertical side zip pocket on the outside, which is super handy for keeping your phone or camera in.

Cotton+Steel Betty Bowler closeup

And a large interior slip pocket, which is actually large enough for me to keep my 10″ tablet in.

Cotton+Steel Betty Bowler detail

This is the first bag I’ve made with d-ring handles, and I love the way they came out. It adds some extra spunk to the design.

Cotton+Steel Betty Bowler detail

Overall, this is a really nice pattern and I love my bag. But, when I make this pattern again, I’ll try it with something more substantial than felt as a lining – something like Soft and Stable, or even Peltex, because I feel like a bowler should keep it’s shape, and while it should hold up well with the felt, it doesn’t want to hold it’s shape when I fill it with stuff.

I will definitely be trying another pattern from Swoon soon – I’m thinking the Blanche Barrel Bag, and I might try it in leather. And I know that Christmas is still months away, but this bag would be a great handmade gift for Christmas.

Do you make your own bags? What’s your favorite bag pattern?

Sharing over at:
Sew Darn Crafty at Sew Many Ways
Inspiration Monday at I Should Be Mopping the Floor
Made by You Monday at Skip to My Lou
Take-A-Look Tuesday at Sugar Bee Crafts
Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story
I Quilt at Pretty Bobbins
Thread-Filled Thursdays at Houseful of Nichols
TGIFF at Sew Fresh Quilts


  1. Donna C. on September 16, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    You did a superb job on that bag. I love all the little pockets and all the colors and patterns, all with the lion theme. Nice! The only bag I’ve done was a large beach or tote bag that I crazy quilted in black, gray, white, and red fabrics. I posted a picture of it on the Quilters Club of America website, under Donna C. I mostly post in the Art Quilting group. The pattern came from a crazy quilting book I have. I’d like to add pockets to it if I do another one, though.

  2. Shelly on September 16, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    I LOVE making bags! I make a lot of my own creations/patterns and I also make a ton of other bags. Too hard to pick a favorite! Love your Betty Bowler. I’ve also made a Swoon pattern bag, the India Hobo, I hand painted a flower on the front of it. I just joined the Swoon group on FB. =)

    • Andrea on September 16, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      How fun! Hand painted fabric is always so beautiful. Is it a fairly large bag? I’ve noticed that the patterns for most bags I like tend to end up about twice the size I’d want for everyday use.

  3. Gayle Fahrion on September 18, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Beautiful bag for traveling homemade. I have only made a few zip pouches so far. I do want to make something substantial soon. Thanks for the tips.

    • Andrea on September 20, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      Swoon Patterns and Sew Sweetness are both good pattern companies to start with.

  4. Lorna McMahon on September 19, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    This bag turned out beautifully, Andrea. I love the fabrics you chose. And that piping is sure smart. Nice job!

    • Andrea on September 20, 2014 at 10:17 pm

      Thanks so much Lorna! Glad you could stop by.

  5. Jo on September 19, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    I’m not a huge fan of C+S but I love how you paired it with the yellow!

    I have a couple of bag patterns but I haven’t ventured into making them yet; they seem kind of scary lol

    • Andrea on September 20, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      If you can make a pouch, you can make a bag. Just take it slow, and remember it’s just fabric. You can always rip out a seam if you mess up.

  6. Ruth on September 20, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Love the lions, looks really great in this gorgeous bag!

    • Andrea on September 20, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      Thanks so much! I really loved the lion prints from Sarah Watts’ line.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.