(Free!) Buttercup Bag Sewing Pattern

This pattern uses a mere fat quarter of fabric for the outer + a little less of another fabric for lining.  If you’re using quilting cotton for the outer fabric, I recommend using a fusible interfacing to strengthen it. You’ll also need a magnetic snap and (optionally) a couple of buttons, although it looks pretty cute without the buttons too. I think this would also look great with some piping or ric-rac over the pleats…I can’t wait to see what y’all do with this one!

While I appreciate links to this post (but not directly to the pattern), please don’t “borrow” my pictures without permission. Thanks and enjoy!

TERMS OF USE: This pattern is offered for free with the understanding that my readers will use it for personal use only.  If you would like to sell Buttercup Bags, please purchase a copy of the pattern (which not only includes two sizes of the bag but comes with a commercial license to sell).  You may not sell or distribute copies of this pattern to others; instead, please refer others who are interested in this pattern to my blog so they can download it for themselves. Questions? Please feel free to email me. I have already happily made exceptions for charity, but please ask first.

ARE YOU A HOME SEWIST WHO IS INTERESTED IN SELLING BUTTERCUP BAGS? Read more here.

WOULD YOU PREFER TO PURCHASE A BUTTERCUP BAG FROM A TALENTED LICENSED BUTTERCUP SELLER? See the Buttercup Bag Seller’s List here.

After reading the Terms of Use (above),
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FINISHED DIMENSIONS
Smaller Buttercup’s measurements:
12.5″ wide / 8″ tall / 9″ opening
Larger Buttercup’s measurements (note: larger size is ONLY available in the purchased version, see below):
16″ wide / 10″ tall / 12″ opening

Or, if you would prefer to purchase the Buttercup Bag Pattern (BOTH sizes) + License to Sell…

$10 – Buttercup Bag Pattern (Large/Small Size) + License to Sell

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The digital PDF including pattern and instructions will be sent to your Paypal email address (please do not request that we forward to a different address. Thanks!) via instant download link as soon as payment is received. **Please read my purchasing/printing instructions first if you have never purchased an instant download PDF pattern before. Thanks!**

His and His: Spring Shirts for Mr Rae and Elliot


I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I made these. I’ve always been the sort of person who is thrown into silent hysterics when confronted with people in matching outfits in public. But I’ve noticed something since we’ve had our little guy — whenever Nate has to pick out clothes for Elliot, he always picks stuff that looks exactly like the clothes he wears. No big surprise there I guess (a friend explained this phenomenon by saying that dads like having a “Mini-Me”), I just never thought it would happen to us. I have to admit though, when it’s your own husband and son, it’s actually pretty cute.

: : Pearl snaps on Nate’s shirt : :

I made these for a birthday gift for Nate (whose b-day is today!). I hauled out the ol’ birthday garland again, made some cupcakes, bought some balloons and this morning he got to open presents. The one for Elliot I guess technically isn’t a present for him…or is it? I made another shirt (will post soon) for Nate too so it was a totally handmade birthday on my end.

: : little boy version – about a 4T maybe? : :

Pattern: Simplicity 4287 (I made another one just like this last summer for Summer Top Week)

Fabric: Heather Ross’ Happy Campers, no longer available online; it’s out of print and can only be found here and there for ridiculous prices.

Pearl snaps: A new addition this time on Nate’s shirt. I have a hand-held snap press for putting snaps on bibs and such, but when I tried using it with the pearl snaps I found it cracked the pearly part. So sad. So if you’re going to try these, definitely use the hammer/spool method as directed on the package.

This pattern is definitely not a beginner pattern (as I think I mentioned last time). It’s got plenty of details that can easily frustrate the beginner. Now that I’ve done it a couple of times, I like it but it’s definitely time consuming. We’ll call it a labor of love.

Zig-Zag Inspiration

I don’t think I’ve ever done a random compilation here but I’ve been seeing the ZigZag all over the place lately and love it. I thought if I put up these pictures it would guilt me into actually doing the project that’s been in my head for the last week.


1. Zig-Zag Quilt, 2. Front of zig zag quilt, 3. Zigzag-Quilt, Detail, 4. Zig Zag Quilt from Purl Bee , 5. Henny’s Quilt from Hillary Lang, 6. mendocino zigzag

I’d also like to mention that the bottom left photo, while linked to some random person’s Flickr (where I found it), actually originated at the Purl Bee.

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Toy Bag from Spoonflower Swatch

Lately I’ve been spending a good amount of my free (i.e. nap) time making fabric designs to print out on Spoonflower. It’s so much fun! Since the colors don’t always come out exactly the way I want them to, I’ve been ordering 8×8″ swatches before I commit to a whole yard, resulting in a ton of leftover swatches that I don’t know what to do with.

So the other day I put one to use as part of a toy bag for E’s train set (the fabric in the center is the swatch I designed):


Here’s a quick how-to:

Note: I used a 1/4″ seam allowance and serged all of the seams, but this would work fine with a normal sewing machine, just pink your edges so they don’t fray inside the bag.

  1. Sew a strip of fabric 3.5″ wide along the bottom of your swatch. Trim the edges so it’s edges line up with the swatch. Repeat with a 5″ strip along the top of the swatch (this one’s bigger to accommodate the drawstring).
  2. Sew two 3.5″ x 16″ strips along the sides (as you can see, one of mine is made up of two fabrics because my scraps weren’t big enough. I liked the patchy look though). Trim these so they are even with the middle section.
  3. Sew multiple strips (cut them between 3 to 5″ wide and about 15″ long) together to form the back of the bag until you have a rectangle about 16″ tall. (Again, my top two strips weren’t long enough so I placed one sideways to extend them to the edge).
  4. Trim the back so that it’s the same size as the front. My finished pieces were about 14″ wide and 15.5″ tall.
  5. Sew the front and back together around sides and bottom, leaving the top 1.25″ inches of one side unsewn for drawstring hole.
  6. Press seam apart at this hole and sew down edges with zigzag stitch.
  7. Fold and press over 1/4″ at top of bag. Fold another 1″ over and press to form drawstring casing. Sew along edge of casing to close. Thread 1.5 yards of ribbon through casing and tie for drawstring.

:: back view::

Here are some alternate colorways of the little houses design that I’ve tried (the lighting here in the Snowy North is a bit dim, so these look brighter in real life):


This one needs a little adjustment yet; I’d like the pastels to be a litle lighter:


Some more info on Spoonflower:

  • It’s a website where you can upload your images and they print them onto fabric for you
  • The fabric runs about $18/yd, but you can order 8×8 swatches to test out your designs before you commit to an entire yard; you can also order fat quarters and 1/2 yards
  • You no longer need to have an invite to join!
  • I use Inkscape to make my designs (which is free software you can download from the Inkscape website), but I think that you get better results with colors if you use Photoshop or Illustrator.
  • If you want to learn how to do some basic design and color testing, go to Rachel’s site — she has some really great Spoonflower tutorials that I learned a TON from. Thanks Rachel!