Manhattan bag review

I love this bag. I love how it looks, I love the hardware, I love how functional it is. Did I mention I love this bag?

I bought the Manhattan bag pattern from Emmaline Bags. Janelle MacKay, the Canadian designer, does a fantastic job with her instructions, and I have been pleased with every bag I’ve created. This one takes the cake.

The pattern comes in two sizes. The Mamma is a pretty large bag. I made it for my mom for Christmas. The top flap zips open to reveal an eyeglass case that’s velcroed inside.

Janelle offers a freeĀ tutorial for a small bag that fits inside. I made this one first (don’t mind the wrinkle) just to see how the pattern went. Gave that to my mom too!bag

Then I made the Manhattan Miss, a smaller version of the shoulder bag, for me. It’s just the right size for my wallet, my eyeglass case and my phone, which slips into the front pocket. I left off the zipper on the front flap. I really didn’t see any reason for that to open. The modification was pretty simple.

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Let me say that one of the main reasons I love these bags is the fabric I used. I bought it at the Houston Quilt Show and it is superior. I had never sewn with cork or pleather and it was surprisingly easy. I can’t wait to make something using more cork. Not as sure about the pleather because I think the quality is a deal breaker. And, if I can’t touch it, I don’t know if I want to spring for it. But from what I can tell, cork seems to be plentiful, it comes in so many gorgeous colors, and is getting rave reviews from bag makers.

The second thing I love about this bag is the hardware. Hardware makes the bag. I bought it all from the Emmaline Bags website, including the handmade label and the tassel I created with the leftover cork. Janelle has a lot of free tutorials on her site that make it so easy to add these important touches.

Next, I’m going to make her necessary clutch wallet in cork, and use my leftover shell looking fabric for the lining. I can’t wait!

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