Osoberry: the free foxflat-illustrated purse pattern

Thank you friends for all of your (fun and unpretentious) name suggestions! I’m going to give the award to Sandra, landscape architect extraordinaire and former roomie, who suggested “Osoberry”. Sandra, I’m sitting here with Samson and we’re commiserating about how much we miss you. He even confesses to missing Rider…

Sandra and Rider

So, back to this bag and its new name. Osoberry, also called “Indian Plum,” is native to the Pacific Northwest and it’s one of the first plants to flower in early spring. Yeah!! What a positive namesake. And appropriate. For some reason the bag feels very Pacific-Northwesty…maybe because most Boston ladies I know carry nice leather handbags. I’ve considered assimilating, but with my track record of busted pens and spilled hair oil, investing in a pricey handbag seems ill-advised.

Osoberry, also called Indian Plum; Syn. Nuttallia cerasiformis (c) J.G. in S.F.

I had in mind a tall fold-over shape, but wasn’t sure how to construct the bottom until I saw the $4 reusable bags in the checkout aisle of Market Basket in Somerville (best grocery store ever, by the way). The body of the Market Basket bags is made from one piece, which just needed a little height to reach the fold-over shape I was envisioning. I added a reinforced bottom that doubles as a set of exterior pockets, and replaced the double handles with one long shoulder strap.

Osoberry bag- folded over

Unfolded, it can fit a lot...lunch, a knitting project, some books...

The blue fabric is from IKEA, and the orange and purple are dissected thriftstore pants. I used light blue thread for some fun contrast. Last week someone asked where I bought it, which as all knitters and sewers know, translates as “that doesn’t immediately strike me as homemade.”  Exccccellent…

bag closeup

Osoberry bag closeup. Blue IKEA fabric plus two pairs of thrifted pants

Inspired by an  Enchanted Broccoli Forest cookbook that I bought at a used book sale this fall, I wrote out the pattern by hand. So if you’re in need of a new bag, a one-day project, and a way to use up some mismatched fabric, click here for the very special foxflat-illustrated Osoberry Bag Pattern. Happy Spring!


My birthday present from Read is peeking out of the upper right-hand corner. No more sharing a laptop with a grad student in residence! yay!!



  1. JillCDagless · April 23, 2014

    Great pattern & instructions – thank you
    Here’s my variation with wider strap and longer foldover.. http://goo.gl/v2EBT5

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  3. Pfarrfräuchen · July 9, 2013

    Hi Katie,
    I LOVE your bag! And your drawings are incredibly cute!
    I did some modifications (I needed a zipper, so I tried it out, worked not perfectly but fine enough) and you can see it here: http://diegutestepfarrfrau.blogspot.ch/2013/07/osoberrybag.html
    I just would like to ask you if you’d allow me to post a step-by-step instruction including photos of the process and your drawing with the measurements converted into the metric system. That would be too cool!
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. AnnCharlotte · November 7, 2012

    Hello Katie,
    what a easy way to get a new bag! thanks for your idea and your instruction page.
    look here my bag: http://anncharlottekreativ.blogspot.de/2012/11/taschen-kann-man-ja-nie-genug-haben.html

    • foxflat · November 7, 2012

      so colorful and cute! I love the owls. Thank you for sharing a photo!!!

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  9. Michelle · June 20, 2011

    This looks awesome – I’m going to make it tomorrow! I’m wondering what your seam allowance was, as I think I’m going to have to biggify your measurements slightly to accommodate my quilting hoop.
    I guess knowing what your final dimensions of the bag are, and where the bag folds over (how many inches from the top) would be very helpful.
    Thank you for the generous pattern!

    • foxflat · June 23, 2011

      Hi Michelle! My seam allowance is typically around 5/8″ (sometimes a little thinner when I’m not paying attention). This is definitely a pattern that you could easily upsize…just add the same width to pieces A,B,C,D and/or the same height to A,B (C,D too if you want a deeper front pocket).

      The strap hits 4″ below the top of the bag.

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  11. bonniehull · April 7, 2011

    unanimous…the drawings are wonderful (I mean…the bag is nice too!)…

  12. kara franke · April 4, 2011

    Katie, I love this bag! And I really love your pattern pages. I’m going to try making it after we move (we’re moving!). I think it will make a perfect light-weight diaper bag for short trips. 🙂

    • foxflat · April 4, 2011

      ooo yeah it would be really good for that (in my largely-unqualified-opinion)…but still! I saw on Drew’s wall that you were moving. Too bad we’re not moving to CO – I love your house. It’s adorable.

  13. Beth Godard Williams · April 4, 2011

    Katie, your pattern drawings look like you are an engineer too! This looks like a project that I could try – what with bags of extra fabric collected over the years.

  14. Ron Olisar · April 4, 2011

    Hi Katie – Your Osoberry Bag instruction page is amazing … You are artist, illustrator, teacher, engineer, designer, and inspirational writer. You clearly could publish and sell DIY blog/books:-) When Sally tells me you’ve updated your blog, I’m all over it because it is always fun to see you, Read, Sam, Edith, and Teddy through your lens! Ron

    • foxflat · April 4, 2011

      Ron!! Sally told me you were a reader 🙂 You’re too kind…coming from an engineer, your compliments on the pattern are all the more meaningful!

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