Savannah Bag by Cozy Nest Designs

I love purses and bags - they always fit no matter what your size, you can pick any color under the sun, and they come in so many shapes and sizes that you can always find one to fit your personality and style.  My tight budget however does NOT love my love of bags!  I'm the girl who walks into a store and is somehow drawn to the most expensive bag - every single time!

For this reason - I love bag pattern designers.... I am so impressed at what they create, and the Savannah Bag by Cozy Nest Designs is no exception.  I seriously need to make this ASAP to have for summer.  My boys are in the midst of potty training, which means spare clothes, spare undies, tons of wipes, wet bags for the accidents, etc...etc....etc...  I swear I need to carry more things that when they were newborns and I had an over stuffed diaper bag!  This bag looks so perfect in size - and I love the style. 

Here is Kari to share all the details about creating your own Savannah bag!


Ahoy! Kari, sailing in from That's-Sew-Kari with a review of the Savannah Bag by Cozy Nest Designs - a charming bag featuring wrap-around, gathered pockets, piping-trimmed accent panels and an interior zippered pocket.

When I first saw the Savannah, I was immediately drawn to all the details.  Now, I haven't sewn many bags (really only a simple purse and also a diaper bag), but I really wanted to try it out.  The detailing was more difficult for me than I anticipated.  I do not, however, give up easily -- especially when I have people counting on me to meet a deadline ;)

Side view

Okay, lets talk pattern details first and then I will divulge some of my difficulties:

  • Finished size: 15w x 7 1/2h x 4”d (38x19x10cm)
  • Pattern Pieces: 8 pages to print / black&white
  • Tutorial: 10 pages of directions with included line drawings for key steps
  • Text-only directions included for the experienced seamstress
  • Labels included to pin to your cut pieces to help you keep track
  • Checklist of items needed as well as cuts needed
  • Skill level: Experienced Intermediate

Printing the pattern was a breeze.  It took me much, much longer to decide on fabrics.  In the end, I went with a nautical theme.  I used fabrics from my stash that I had found at Walmart from their mystery $1.50/yd bolts.  

Now that I've finished the project, though, I know my fabrics I chose were definitely not the wisest choice and caused me many issues.  The striped fabric is likely outdoor fabric and was much too thick to gather the bottom of the outside pocket.  I had to pleat the bottom of it in order for it to fit my foundation panel.  Even with a heavy duty needle, my machine jammed up frequently.

Closeup of handles

I had to ditch the handles in the pattern due to my fabric choices.  I could not get them turned out. Not even 1 little centimeter.  BUT, again, this was a "me" issue and not a reflection of the pattern.  So, I channeled my inner Tim Gunn and came up with roped handles that matched my nautical theme.    

I also had a tough time finding the interfacing mentioned in the pattern.  In fact, no one had them locally so I had to go with sew-in interfacing.  Next time, when I am not on a time crunch, I will order the fusible interfacing online.  

Roomy interior

My favorite part of the tutorial is the included labels to pin to your fabrics after you cut each piece.  Listen up, designers:  THIS IS AWESOME!!!!  You know that "dead space" on the pattern printouts?  Yes, please start including these :)  Pretty please!!

In the end, I am pleased with my finished bag.  I think if I weren't on a deadline, I could have taken the time to perfect some of the details.  It's a great first attempt and now I know what mistakes to avoid next time.  If you are doing the more advanced accent panel than I chose, I recommend practicing getting the sharp angle of the piping correct (on old fabric)... it's harder than it looks!

Zippered pocked inside