So, I've been drooling over these bags all over the internet and finally decided to make one of my own. I spent a long time trying to pick fabrics and ended up using Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks.
Looking around at various reviews of the pattern, I decided to add a few things, like an inside loop for keys and a magnetic snap (using this great tutorial).
I really like having the key loop, but I'm not sure I really need the snap closure. Although the bag is rather large, the opening is smaller and hard enough to get in and out of without worrying about a snap. The bag is also pretty sturdy, stands up on its own and all, so I'm not too worried about it tipping over and spilling out my stuff. But I'm still glad I put the snap in, if only for the experience adding magnetic snaps and making buttonholes with my sewing machine.
Other things I learned while making this bag: I need a new ironing board cover, and I really hate the smell of fusible interfacing. :-P
The pattern was pretty easy to follow, although I thought the gussets could have been explained a bit better (although they're easy once you figure it out). There's also a correction for the pattern that makes the way to attach the bands clearer. The thing I had the most trouble with was the final stitching of the bands (I don't know if I had trouble because of all the layers, but I couldn't get things to line up perfectly and didn't like how it looked inside, so I ended up hand stitching the last bit.)
Overall, I'm really happy with how this turned out. I've been stuffing my birdie and taking it with me everywhere! I hope to try out some more Amy Butler patterns soon -- currently pining for the Anna Tunic and the High Street Messenger Bag.
Have you made your birdie yet? :-)