From Beth: Jessica wrote this great review for the Betsy Ross All For One Shoulder Bag pattern. She ran into a few snags with the pattern, fixed them for us all (she contacted the Betsy Ross people!) and gives great ideas about how to perfect this bag. Enjoy her review and her introduction. Jessica’s Jump Up and Down blog and Etsy shop will fill you in on more of her crafty creations; as she writes on her blog Jessica has “so many ideas” and “so little time!” I’m sure we can all relate!

Betsy Ross All For One Shoulder Bag
An all-purpose tote bag with a stylish shape.


All For One Shoulder Bag by Jessica, Jump Up and Down

2/3 yard heavyweight fabric, matching thread.

Overall Design 3 stars
This bag is nice and roomy and has a great look to it. It would make a perfect bag for anyone who has lots of things to carry. It is a large bag and unless made with a very heavy fabric, interfacing and lining be needed to add form and stability. If these were included in the pattern, I think I would have given it five stars. I love how my bag turned out, but it took a lot of work that wasn’t in the pattern to get it like that and I think a bag made according to the instructions would most likely lack stability and would have unsightly open seams on the inside.


Written Instructions 4 stars
The instructions were adequate. Many other reviewers have commented that Betsy Ross patterns have “chatty” instructions. I would not say that of this pattern. The instructions were fairly upfront and clear.
Diagrams / Images 4 stars
There are illustrations with every step of this pattern, and most of them are helpful.
Pattern Pieces 2 stars
The pattern pieces were labeled clearly and made of a sturdy-weight paper. However, my gusset piece was 1.5 inches short. I contacted Betsy Ross about this and they are sending Sew, Mama, Sew new pattern pieces with a longer gusset. Luckily, I had used a different fabric for my lining so I had enough to cut another piece.
Overall Level of Difficulty Beginner to Intermediate
As the pattern is written, it is a beginner project. To add to the utility and form of the bag, I would recommend adding interfacing, lining, and possibly pockets which would turn it into an intermediate project.
Modifications + Tips


Bag interfacing.

I added a heavy weight interfacing which gives my bag more stability. A medium weight would also work well and be less rigid. You will need 1 yard of interfacing. Incorporating the interfacing into your bag is fairly simple to do – just baste the interfacing (or use fusible for even greater ease) to your outer pieces and then construct as instructed.

I also added lining. You will need 2/3 of a yard of fabric for a lining. To incorporate it, just cut extra pieces from your desired lining fabric of the front, back, and gusset and sew them just as you would the outer pieces. Next, put the lining inside of the outer piece, pin, and continue as directed by applying the binding. You can also utilize this lining tutorial on the SMS blog for more help.


Bias binding.

I would also recommend cutting the binding on the bias for and easier fit around the curves. This may increase the amount of fabric you will need, but would probably be well worth your trouble. I used a contrasting fabric for this and needed about 1/2 of a yard.

I also added pockets – with such a large bag, little things would get lost without a few pockets to stash them in. For instructions, I’ll refer you to Autumn’s recent and excellent tutorial on adding pockets.


Button and thread loop.

This bag can easily become your own with a little bit of appliqué, embroidery, or any other technique to add your own artistic touch. I appliqued a little bird on the front of mine and added a button and thread loop for a closure.
Fabric Recommendations
With a medium or heavy interfacing, you could use any woven fabric. As written, this pattern would work well with heavy canvas, corduroy, or denim.

I love the shape and look of this bag. I love how large it is – I’m a mom of two little ones and always need lots of room for carrying everything. I was disappointed that instructions for adding lining and interfacing were not included – this is something that would have added a lot to the overall utility and quality of the bag. I thought it was unacceptable that the gusset piece was too short (this could have easily been avoided by having a few people test the pattern before distribution), but I am pleased that after contacting Betsy Ross, they will be rectifying the problem.

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