This is my first time making a weekender bag and I am happy to say that it is completed. I feel like I have gone through some sort of rite of passage. The process of making this bag can be related to childbirth... it is a lot of work, painful, but so rewarding afterwards. When you finish it, you think "I am never making this again!" However, as time passes on you look back and think "It's so cute, I should make another..."
Amy Butler's Weekender Bag is a great pattern. It is very detailed and well explained. This bag is definitely a complicated project, but so worth it in the end.
There are so many tips and suggestions out there on the internet that offer ways to alter the original pattern or to just make the process a little easier. Here is a link to one blog that makes a lot of great suggestions... Splendora Falls Weekender.
If you search for "Weekender Bag Tips" on the internet or Pinterest, you will find a ton of information. There are so many links on Pinterest! There is even a support group on Flickr... The Amy Butler Weekender Bag Support Group Pool where pictures and tips are shared.
I decided to make the first one as the pattern states so I could decide for myself what the pros and cons are. I am going to make two more, one for my other sister and one for myself. However those two will be quilted and will have batting for stability instead of the Peltex. For this bag she did not want the quilted look so the pattern worked out perfectly.
Peltex is so great as a stabilizer, but it is such a pain to sew with. The best tips I can give you are to thoroughly read the pattern's directions, take your time and be prepared to build some arm muscles! It is pretty easy going up until you have to sew the different sections together. Everyone suggests using Clover Wonder Clips to hold the layers together which I am going to try next time.
The other adjustments that I am going to make for the next bags are:
- slightly wider straps for shoulder comfort
- slightly longer straps for more comfortable over the shoulder use
- use duck lining along with quilt batting
- maybe add some interior pockets
This one is a birthday present for my sister. I cannot take credit for the fabric selection. She knew exactly what she wanted. I love the fabrics that she picked especially the stars!
I had to be very careful because I wanted the white to stay very white and clean. I had to make sure that my iron and ironing board cover stayed clean. I made sure that I washed my hands before sewing and I kept my sewing machine area very clean.
The first thing I told her when she received it was to hose this baby down with Scotch Guard (ok, test a small part on the bottom first, then hose it down). It has to stay clean and pretty!
I found some cute charms on Etsy from Bead Sources, but they are not the only shop that sells them. Just search for charms on Etsy and you will find a ton of options!
The only change I would make is to put in a metal zipper. There is nothing wrong with the white, I just like the shiny that a metal zipper adds to a project.
I also made her a couple of zipper bags to match. This one is lined with the fabric that I used for the weekender lining, piping and handles. I cut out a square with "The World" on it and made it into a label. This bag is 12" by 12".
The second bag is reversed with the lining fabric for the exterior and the star fabric as the lining.
Added another charm... I love these!
It all came together nicely. This was not a quick project, but it helped me to improve my sewing skills. I am very proud that I completed it and now that a little time has passed, I am ready to make another one.