Betty Bowler

(35 customer reviews)


A vintage-inspired carry-all, roomy enough to fit anything you need for a day trip. This bag is about 17” wide and features four exterior slip pockets, a zippered pocket inside, and piping for a professionally-made look.

Printed paper pattern also includes a downloadable PDF pattern.




  • 17” wide
  • 11” tall
  • 7” deep


  • 1 yard 44” wide quilting weight exterior fabric
  • 1 yard 44” wide quilting weight lining fabric
  • 1/2 yard 44” wide quilting weight contrasting fabric
  • 1 1/2 yards foam interfacing (Pellon Flexfoam FF77)
  • 1/4 yard fusible heavy stabilizer (Pellon Peltex 71F)
  • 3 1/2 yards fusible woven interfacing (Pellon Shapeflex SF101)
  • 20” (or longer) all-purpose zipper (main compartment)
  • 9” all-purpose zipper (zippered pocket)
  • 4 yards pre-made piping
  • Four 1” rectangle rings
  • Fabric glue (Beacon Fabritac) (optional)
  • Coordinating thread
You should already be somewhat familiar with sewing patterns and common sewing terms.

You MAY sell bags you make with this pattern.

35 reviews for Betty Bowler

  1. Kathryn Hawley (verified owner)

    My covid quarantine project was to give sewing a try. I am a beginner but had A LOT of help from an expert and the Betty Bowler turned out so cute! Instructions were clear and easy for even me to follow. I was set on using (fake) leather for the straps and that gave us the most trouble. I wish the bag was a touch bigger (won’t fit the extra pair of shoes I always require) but otherwise it’s perfect.

    Betty Bowler
  2. Tasha Gray (verified owner)

    I adore this pattern. Pieces go together really well and you end up with an amazing bag. The last few steps for adding the lining could use another illustration or two so as to avoid confusion.

    Betty Bowler
  3. Deborah Blake

    I love it! The first time I made it, was very trying, Betty wasn’t anywhere near perfect but I loved her and still use her every wkend when I go away!
    The second and third and fourth and so on… were much neater. A breeze to sew. Again, I love Betty. She’s so classy…

  4. annbellas (verified owner)

    beautiful bag/ instructions easy to follow, but a bit too quick on the sewing of the zipped inside pocket. it is not clearly written that one should sew the rectangle with BOTH layers together and cut through both layers as well. i had to check on the youtube tutorial to make sure. a couple more pictures for the assembling would help too.
    thank you.

  5. abstractskulls (verified owner)

    I love bowler bags. Love them. Nearly impossible to find patterns for them. I reduced this to make a smaller bag and plan to make it again with a further reduction to purse size. Great instructions, I finally know how to do a hidden pocket!

  6. Anna (verified owner)

    I LOVE this bag. Made it for my ballet teacher sister-in-law to cart supplies around the city. The pattern is easy to prepare, and instructions easy to follow. Can’t wait to try another pattern from Swoon, but I could also make this one forever and never get tired of it!

  7. Cecilia (verified owner)

    Love this pattern!!!!

  8. Eman (verified owner)

    Love it

  9. Stacey

    I love Alicia’s designs. They are clean, modern, yet classically stylish. There are so many options to customize the bag to truly make it your own. These bags you can carry and enjoy for years, unlike many of the patterns I see out there today that are designed for the moment and will be out of style in a short time. Not Swoon bags…they are designs you can love for years to come!

  10. Shannon

    Betty is a fabulous lady! I love how structured she is. I learned some new awesome techniques from this pattern. The directions are very clear and straight forward, Alicia does an excellent job creating such beautiful, professional patterns. Thank You!!

  11. Kelly

    are you into vintage or mid century modern or is one of your friends? well then this bag is for you. the directions are well written and easy to follow. it makes the perfect gift

  12. Julie

    I LOVE this bag. I have made one for almost everyone in my family. The pattern is easy to follow and has step by step directions that are easy to follow. I will admit that the first one I made will never be photographed but that is due to a lack of piping skills which have since been greatly improved. This bag holds so much. I love it.

  13. Rena Cherry (verified owner)

    Betty was my first purchase. Made 6 as dance bags and they were loved. Easy pattern to follow

  14. Selene Hill

    I love Betty too. She’s great as a one-fabric bag or color blocked with multiple fabrics. So versatile and roomy.

  15. stacy alfano

    This bag did test me, but I pulled through and I love it! The directions were really easy to understand. Swoon patterns are by far my favorite bag patterns ever!

  16. Zoe (verified owner)

    I bought this pattern a while ago and finally cracked it out for a carry-on bag. The instructions were easy to understand – with bonus instructions on how to make your own piping – plus Ali Cat & Co have a sew-along. There is plenty of scope for changing up pockets and attachments depending on your skill level to make a bag that is truly yours. Its definitely an intermediate skill level bag but the results were fantastic.

  17. Ann

    Betty – she stands out from the crowd. This pattern is so versatile, retro, and chic! The instructions are clearly written, and provide multiple chances for customization. I used Soft n Stable to make her stand up proud. I love this Betty pattern and will make many more!

  18. Dyna (verified owner)

    Love this bag!! It is very easy to assemble. The instructions a easy to follow and you end up with a very roomy professional looking bag. Keep up the good work Alicia.

  19. Amanda

    I love this pattern! These patterns are so well made and easy to follow! The bag itself is deceptively roomy and has a good feel when you carry it. I’ve only made one and had a little trouble with the lining at the ends of the opening, but a little handstiching fixed it right up.

  20. Thais

    Just finished it and it turned out amazing!
    It was my first ever bag and I couldn’t follow up through the instructions so I followed the sew along at Ali Cat & Co and it was a lot easier than I expected!

    Really amazing pattern!

  21. Kylie

    This pattern is amazing!! I can’t wait to make it!!

  22. Kylie

    I love love love this pattern!!!

  23. Essence Underwood (verified owner)

    This was the first bag I ever made and I made it along with a sew a long. Everything is so well written in the instructions and the “make your own piping” tutorial is something I will keep in my file for years to come. As a beginner, I loved it and plan on making myself another because my son “borrowed” mine!

  24. Mikaylah

    The Betty Bowler is a great bag, perfect for a weekend away. I made mine as a part of a sew along and I’m so happy with the end results! The pattern is thorough and easy to understand. If you run into any problems, the designer is just an email away! Great support and great pattern!

  25. Deirdre (verified owner)

    This was my first Swoon pattern, I purchased this and joined the sew-along and had a blast. I love this pattern and how my bag turned out. I am looking for my pattern as we speak.

  26. Neshocka ortiz (verified owner)

    I have to start off saying
    That at first I was scared of this pattern…. But the hardest part was cutting… Lol!!!! This has gots to be one oft most favorite patterns!!!! Looks soooo nice… And lots of room… Great over night bag…. Most if my family wants one now… Lol!!! Very well put together and the instructions are very good too… Love love!!!!

  27. darciemg (verified owner)

    I’ve made a number of fabric bags before, but I really enjoy the design of the Betty Bowler. So professional and classy! Not floppy or frumpy. I love the piping all around, and the fun outside vertical zipper. The design is perfect for showing off fun fabrics, or creating your own design with the center stripes. I also liked the handle options. I will definitely make more!

  28. Katie (verified owner)

    The Betty Bowler bag was only my second bag and it came together so well. It is the perfect size for an overnight bag. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. The only hard part was picking out fabric! I can’t wait to make another one.

  29. Lorena Gonzalez (verified owner)

    Love the Betty Bag. It has clear and precise instructions. This bag has great function and it’s beautiful as well. This was my first Betty and I’m looking forward to making more.

  30. Sarah (verified owner)

    Betty was the first bag I ever sewed, and what a rewarding challenge she was. The instructions are clear and precise and the finished bag beautiful. Unlike many PDF bag patterns, I appreciate that this one includes multiple inner pockets and not just one.

  31. Gale M

    Great bag! The size is very versatile but not overly large. I have made and used the 3 Bettys I’ve made (i have made other swoon patterns too! ) and will be making more for gifts. The size is large enough to carry clothing and toiletries for a couple days for adults and children. The difficulty level says 3 out of 4 – I consider myself an advanced beginner and mine all turned out very nice. Instructions are very clear to follow and offers alternatives along the way to make easier or more adventurous as you grow as a seamstress.

  32. Holly Tolman (verified owner)

    The Betty Bowler Bag is an amazing alliteration of a bag. She has a versatile personality as well as lots of space and pockets already added to the pattern. I made one as a gift for a friend due soon and it is the perfect size for a diaper bag or an overnight/quick trip bag. Alicia, the designer, and the groups on Facebook are always available to answer any questions and give assistance where needed.

  33. Renee

    The Betty is one of my favorite things to make. It’s a pretty large bag, and there’s so much you can do to personalize it. The directions are easy to read and understand and the finished product is professional looking and all you! If you get lost or are unsure about parts, the designer and Swoon community are the most helpful and kind people out there. You really can’t go wrong with this pattern.

  34. Dee Alexander

    This is one of my favorite bags to sew. Easy to follow instructions. Interfacing suggestions provide great structure. Professional piping with a free tutorial. Extended slip pocket, great for my reading nook! Perfect size for use as carry-on luggage. Versatile handle options provides various uses. Great pattern with outside zipper. Awesome as a gift!!!

  35. Amy (verified owner)

    I LOVED the Betty Bowler! It was my first bag pattern purchase, and first bag that i have ever made. It comes together beautifully, has great detailed written instructions and the finished product is beautiful. Very pleased with this pattern!

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