Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow?Not really
I have now made three sets of this bag and am reminded each time of how deficient the instructions (even with pictures--they are using such light fabrics that you cannot tell what is being demonstrated) are. The first bag of each set I do is always a reorienting to what I didn't like about their instructions and what I do differently.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It is a fairly simple design that calls for serging all of the edges. Since I was taking the serging class I figured this was a good project to practice with but serging curves and having it look good and provide a consistent seam finish is tricky. For my money serging doesn't provide a sturdy enough seam finish for the handles--when I do this again I will probably line the bag using lighter weight fabric.
Since I am still using the first bags I made, which had serged edges, I can report that the bags are actually very strong; I have had no ripping or tearing--I fill them full and tell the grocery baggers to do the same. The method for serging the curves that works best for me is to straight stitch the SA about 3/8" and then clip the curves before serging. This gives me a nice neat serged seam finish. I would say experiment and do what works for you.
I also did not like where they located the pocket that the bag folds into for carrying in purses, etc. They locate it on one side about 2 inches down from the handle. I prefer to locate it in the middle of the bottom seam of the bag for a much neater and easier fit into the pocket.
Folding over the sides at the bottom seam allows plenty of room in the bag but it took me several reviews of their pictoral instructions to figure out what they were doing. It gives the room that squaring off the bottom would but is less bulk when folded. I would personally have done better with more complete written instructions. As it is the written instructions are minimal and the pictures don't add much. Fabric Used:cotton duck
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I agreed with one comment and decided to try and square off the bottom--bad idea. Doing this adds bulk that makes it even more difficult than it already is to fold/roll the bag into its pocket. I did change the location of the pocket and will do that in the future as well--see above.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will sew it again as my daughters all want one and if I am grocery shopping, one is not enough. I like the design and the size but I will finesse the finishing on future bags. I tried using seam binding on the handles and top opening but that added bulk as well. I plan to try lighter weight fabric lined or perhaps recycle jeans into a denim bag and see how that goes.
I have made these bags twice more, each time with a cotton duck that softens up with laundering. I have serged edges each time and will continue that. I love these bags as do my daughters. My biggest recommendation would be for Burda to rework their instructions.