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The Manhattan Bag by Janelle MacKay

Michelle Burke

The Manhattan Bag by Janelle MacKay of Emmaline Bags can be made in two sizes, the larger "Mamma" size and the smaller "Miss" size.  I had a customer ask me to make The Manhattan Mamma Bag for her.  The Manhattan Mamma is a nice, large bag with plenty of pockets to keep everything organized.  This bag would be perfect for a day spent out around town and can be made to look dressier or more casual depending on what fabrics are used.  

The Manhattan Mamma has several pockets including a large zipper pocket on the back of the bag, a slip pocket under the flap and another slip pocket inside the bag. The flap on The Manhattan Mamma makes this bag unique, it is actually a large pocket that opens with a zipper that spans the entire curved edge of the flap. Inside, there is another surprise - a case, perfect for sunglasses that is secured into the flap pocket with hook and loop tape - how ingenious!

Janelle, of Emmaline Bags, writes this pattern clearly and includes great illustrations, making it easy to sew The Manhattan Bag.  Although I only made the larger, Mamma size, pattern pieces and instructions for cutting and sewing both sizes are included in this pattern.  This bag went together quite quickly for a large bag.  The darts that give this bag its great shape are easy to sew and the zipper on the flap is easy to install with Janelle's great instructions.

There are some nice design features about The Manhattan Bag that make it easy to vary the look of it.  The zipper on the curved edge of the flap can either match or contrast with the fabric used on the bag.  When the zipper contrasts with the fabric, it frames the flap fabric beautifully.  The Manhattan Mamma bag I made has a black zipper to match the fabric, but I have seen pictures of Manhattan Bags others have made with contrasting zippers that look amazing.  The Manhattan Mamma also has a middle section that is partially covered by the flap where you can use a coordinating fabric.  In all, you could use four different fabrics on this bag, one for the flap, one for the main body of the bag, one for the middle section of the front of the bag, and one for the lining.  My customer wanted the entire exterior of her Manhattan Mamma Bag to have the same New York City-themed fabric.  I suggested, and my customer agreed, that adding a red contrasting piping on either side of the middle section of the front of the bag would add a nice pop of color - she loved it!

I loved making this bag and I hope to make one for myself very soon!  You can by the Manhattan Bag on Janelle's website, Emmaline Bags.


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