The Manhattan Bag - April 2015 Bag of the Month Club

4/01/2015 04:00:00 AM

Edited: this pattern now available at HERE

Yay!! It's finally April and my turn to present a sewing pattern for the 

I hope you love my new sewing pattern, the Manhattan bag! I don't know why I have been so nervous to share it with you all. It did turn out great and my pattern testers love it so much that they have already made them multiple times. Simone S. is on her 4th, and Barbara H. has plans to make a 4th soon too. But still, I have been very nervous. I hope you like them!

The Manhattan comes in 2 sizes (Mamma & Miss), and also includes additional instructions for a"Removable Case" for eyeglasses, sunglasses, or other items.

The Manhattan the above black fabric depicting the Manhattan skyline, is extremely fun to make and very unique, because the front flap actually zips open along it's edge! Why? So you can put cool stuff in it!! I have included instructions for the aforementioned "Removable Case" and this actually sticks into the flap and is….. wait for it….. removable!!  Here are some pictures, and I will explain about this flap and removable case… and other possible additions as we look at the lovely pictures.

This black version is actually the smaller "Miss" size, and I've been carrying it for a couple of weeks already. It's small enough to be a "preteen" bag, but still large enough to fit a large wallet like the Necessary Clutch Wallet. (Yes, I knew you would ask if it fit an NCW.) I have made 4 of these, and they really go together so quickly. There is a front pocket, which you can see in the purple corduroy/ triangle print just below, and an internal slip pocket too.

Black Bag Fabric: from the City Quilter in Manhattan NY
Purple Bag Fabric: Unknown Corduroy and Spotlight brand poplin print. 
I have made 3 Mamma's so far, but 1 is really not worth showing. I have plans to make the "ultimate" Manhattan Mamma, which will have the Manhattan Skyline fabric in black for the front flap & herringbone wool (black/grey) for the Exterior. I bought the wool at Mood Fabrics in Manhattan, and later that day my friend and I cuddled under it for warmth while on the open-air double-decker bus tour.  For the lining, a modern looking Liberty of London print that I bought the same day at B&J Fabrics.  I WILL make this bag - someday.

Here is the Mamma size bag made in a Navy cotton/poly twill, and lined with a cute triangle print poplin I bought at Spotlight. I believe it is just a Spotlight brand fabric, because it just says "Made in Japan" on the selvage. I love it! The gold label says "Handcrafted - Made in Canada", and I do not stock these. This was a sample that was sent to me when I designed them, but I ended up just getting the nickel finish. It does look great with that metal zipper though. (If you want to use a metal tooth zipper, there are tutorials to help you shorten them by removing the teeth. Google it!)

The Removable Case is secured in the front flap of the bag. Click to Enlarge!
The back zipper pocket and Removable Case
Here's what YOU can make!

Miss Size:
Front Exterior Pocket
Interior Slip Pocket
Shoulder strap/Optional Adjustable cross body strap
Front Flap that zips open, to turn into a pocket of it's own. 

Mamma Size:
Rear exterior zipper pocket
Large front exterior pocket
Large interior slip pocket
Shoulder strap/Optional Adjustable cross body strap
Front Flap that zips open, to turn into a pocket of it's own. 
Velcro attachments to attach items, such as the Removable Case.

Removable Case:
An Eyeglass or Sunglass case with velcro on the back
to attach in the front flap.

Free Tutorials Coming!
The other purpose of the velcro is for future free tutorials presented on my blog. I have planned different items to go into the front flap, such as a removable coin/card case, pen/pad set, & a curved zipper pouch.

Let's look at some more pictures and get some inspiration…..

This peacock fabric (Magestic Beauties by Wilmington Prints) is very popular in my local quilt shop, so I thought I would give it a try. It did turn out great, but I am not sure it is really my style. We'll see which family member claims it. The black yarn-dyed Essex Linen with the Sweet as Honey fabric by Bonnie Christine… that one is going to my niece Kezia.  I think she will LOVE it. I know she will, because she saw pictures already. This is just the perfect size bag for a cute little preteen.

Click to Enlarge!
You could make the Miss size with a short strap, measured to fit, with hardware, or without any hardware at all. It's all up to you.

My iPhone 6, with case, does fit in the front exterior pocket, as well as the internal slip pocket in the Miss size.

Let's look at some more Mamma details!  The Mamma has a zipper pocket on the back exterior, that the Miss size does not.

I have never used Velcro in a bag that I have made before. I always thought it… tacky… har, har. But for this application, I think it works because not only will I be adding other items to go in and out (which will use up a lot of snaps) but I don't want metal bits in there damaging my cool shades. Small snaps, or invisible sew-in magnets are a great option though.

 A diaper and travel wipe case fit perfect in the front flap, for that Mamma on the go! No babies? Me neither, but my Kobo e-reader fits in there perfectly!

This little Miss went to my 10 year old neighbour, Sydney. She adores it and even made me a pretty thank you poster and a cute little note. You are welcome, Syd! I really wanted to use some of my gold hardware and this Japanese style print from Robert Kaufman was perfect. I have had this stuff or almost 8 years I think.

You may notice that some of the photos are front exterior pockets are slip pockets or "patch" pockets, and that was part of my original design, but I changed it to one that is pieced in like a panel and much for professional. Sadly for my testers, this was after I sent them the instructions. I just knew I couldn't leave it like it was though, because I would never be happy.

Tester Photos!!!
I've had some very patient pattern testers, and I really must thank them profusely, because I sent them so many versions that they probably thought I was insane. Okay, they know that I am insane.

This gorgeous black & white was made by Jayne Baldwin. Her fabric looks like it was made for this bag. She used a black pinwale corduroy (fashion weight) and a black and white home dec cotton for the exterior, and the inside is a cotton batik.

Jayne has used a pearl snap for the Removable Case. 

Nice glasses, Jayne!
Natalie from Carry Hers by Natalie, made 2 beautiful bags. This first one is blue vinyl with a very pretty decor cotton.

This Miss size has a really cool story behind it.  The black fabric is actually a remnant black jean couch cover from Ikea, and the front flap is a flour bag. The story is that S.J. Bellamy from the Bellamy flour Mill is actually Natalie's Great, Great, Great Uncle. The mill is now located at Upper Canada Village in Ottawa, Ontario. Not just a cool story, but a GORGEOUS bag!

Another cool story!  Barbara Hourigan made this Mother/Daughter Mamma/Miss set for her cousin and her cousins daughter. They actually live in Manhattan! This fabric, Curtain Call by Willmington prints is just such a perfect choice for a music teacher that used to sing opera at the Met!

It's funny because I said to Samantha Hussey when designing this bag, "I wonder if I should put a strip a fabric down the flap," and she said, "I think they will put one in if they want one." Well Barbara did add strips down the middle, as well as piping on her front pocket. Well done!

Barbara has also made herself a Miss size bag that is joining her on her trip to Florida as Mother-of-the-Bride!  She has used her trademark decorative stitching, as well as added a pocket in the flap for her bus pass that will automatically scan through the fabric.  Also, in the front flap, a bag for her music player. This fabric is called Sand and Sky, by Jinny Beyer. I love the way she has quilted this bag.

Love that bag bling. 

It's all in the details!

With bus pass pocket and zipper pouch!
Simone Symonds has made 3 bags so far. She plans on blogging about them her blog in the next few days.
She's made 1 Mamma, 1 Miss, & a Master too! Here are the wee ones.
For the boy's version, she squared of the front flap for a more masculine version. And… the dear boy loves it!

The "Master"

Simone's Miss bag.
Simone has also made herself a Mamma Size!  She's calling this the Manhattan Mamma Luxe! With pleather, faux fur, and duchess satin lining, it's definitely luxurious!

With faux fur trim!

Luxurious satin Linin. 

Thank you to my pattern testers!

So the last thing to do is ask YOU, which cover do you like for the pattern?  This one….

or this one?

I hope you love the Manhattan bag. Please watch for the free tutorials for the little pouches and cases that will be coming. I hope to put at least 1 out per month for the next 3 months. Follow along on in my sewing group on Facebook or sign up for the Newsletter to get notifications.

Yes this will be sold individually on my website July 1st, but until then it is an exclusive Bag of the Month Club offering. You can hop over the club information by following the big red link at the top of this post!

Don't forget to enter your completed bag photos in the Bag of the Month Club Flickr group to enter to win 1 of a PILE of prizes!! Read about the prizes, and our amazing sponsors here.

Thank you for reading and following along,


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  1. Your bag turn out great, I love it!

  2. I love it! I can't wait to make several. I've been looking for a pattern with a zippered flap. You read my mind! Oh and I like cover #2 best :-)

  3. I love it! I can't wait to make several. I've been looking for a pattern with a zippered flap. You read my mind! Oh and I like cover #2 best :-)

  4. I really enjoyed making your Steph in the city bag, cant wait to try this one out too. I think the first cover photo is more stylish!

  5. I love every single pattern of yours that I have made, and can't wait to make this one. It looks so much fun.
    I like cover #1

  6. Personally, the colour scheme on #1 makes it hard to see the bags. #2 looks amazing with your logo And easy to see details. :-)

  7. Hi Janelle! Gorgeous bags!I love this pattern with zippered flap.
    Hope you have a wonderful Easter!
    Hugs and love from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft

  8. Really cute bag! I can't wait to get started sewing up this bag and look forward to the tutorials you have coming!

  9. Love it! Love it! Love it! I will be making several of this one. Squaring up the flap for a masculine look was a great idea. My daughter use to have a bag with a zipper on the flap. So cool that now I'll be able to make one. About the cover, although the bags in the first one are more of my taste I think the second one is better as a cover because the lighter colors show the bag features better.

  10. I have been waiting for your month in the club with anticipation,and must say you did not dissapoint!!! Smaller bags are more my personal style,so I am excited that you designed another one for the club this year!

    The first cover really fits the name of the bag.

  11. LOVE it!!!! I can't wait to make this just because I love - love - love the zipper flap deal.

    For the official cover? I like the second one - the bags "pop" better than the one with the darker colors. Don't get me wrong, your Manhatten fabric is simply awesome, but it doesn't show off the neat features as well as the second cover.

    Thank you for an awesome bag!
    Hope W

  12. Just downloaded as part of Bag of the Month. Can't wait to get started. Love both sets of cover photos, but agree that the second one shows the bags off more clearly and dramatically. Will post and blog as soon as I can get to this one. I have to finish some orders first.

  13. Will this be available as a separate pattern, too?

    1. Hi Mary, yes it will be available on my website July 1st, when the club is over. Thank you!

  14. I love the looks of the new bag! I like cover #1 best, although the second cover colors show the detail of the bag more clearly. Can't wait to make it.

  15. love the shape of the Manhattan Bag, Janelle, and I'm really looking forward to making it. I especially like how the design has a lot of original elements, and yet it requires regular hardware. Your lineup of tester bags is very impressive and inspiring!! They have my wheels turning, for sure!

    I like the first set of bags for the cover because of the bag with the Manhattan fabric (which is so cool!!) but really, either one would be fine for me.

    This will be my first Emmaline pattern (I've been waiting for an opportunity and HERE IT IS!) :)

  16. I'm so excited about this pattern. I have been wanting a bag with a curved, zippered flap forever. I definitely think the 2nd photo should be the cover; it's much easier to see the bag's attributes in it. Plus, it's brighter and makes me want the pattern more. :)

  17. This is beautiful! I'm soo fussy when it comes to bags but I love this! so practical yet I love how you can put a pop print on the front, can't wait till it's released! :) x x x

  18. All bag are very beautiful. Fantastic design and totally samples different. I like it very much. Thank you and keep sharing with us....

  19. Beautiful bags! Thank you so much for share.....

  20. Not to mention that it is super fashionable and goes with any outfit. It is a great bag from best backpack brands and will work through the change of seasons.

  21. Beautiful bags! :) Looking forward to start making one. Personally, I prefer cover #2. I think cover #1 it's a bit too dark.

  22. Loved making the Manhattan Mamma as part of the Bag of the Month Club! It's a great size for those of us who like to schlep along a lot of things. Plus there are enough pockets to keep items separated. I hope to find time to make more of these. :)

  23. wow !! all bags are gorgeous, your talent blessed with God....I am pretty impressed with you. Thank you for this great post.


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The contents of this blog, including text, original photos and ideas are the sole property of the author. If you intend to use my text or images, please link back to this blog and give credit to Emmaline Bags & Patterns. A notification email would be greatly appreciated too! Please do not ever republish an entire post, any tutorials, or post photos of my family. Thank you, Janelle