Friday, February 21, 2014

Weekender Bag Complete!

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.

Star Weekender

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

Star Weekend Bag

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!

Star Amy Butler Weekender Bag

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!

Weekender Bag Charm

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! 

Weekender Zipper

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.

Star Zipper Bag

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".

Travel Zipper Bags

The second bag is reversed with the lining fabric for the exterior and the star fabric as the lining.

Zipper Bag Charm

Added another charm... I love these!

Weekend Bundle

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.

Happy Sewing!


  1. Beautiful weekend bag! Love it! Thanks for the tips!

  2. Fantastic. I've never made one, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. (Someday.)

  3. I've never made one either...only totes. This is beautiful fabric and you did a fantastic job on all of them!

  4. Just beautiful!!I`ve never done one.

  5. Great bag! Love the fabric you chose.

  6. What a great bag..and wee bags to match too. Looks like a lot of work alright. I made the quilt as you go bag by Tara Rebman and I am loving using was a project though! Yours looks great!

  7. Did you break any needles, could your machine handle all of it? It looks like it did as it turned out beautifully.

    1. Thank you! No, I didn't break any needles. I used a denim needle and took my time, which were her instructions in the pattern. Taking your time is key! My machine could handle it. I have a Janome Horizon and it does really well with heavy, bulky projects. Now my older Janome, that I used before the Horizon, is a more simple machine and it would not be able to handle the project. This bag definitely requires a sturdy machine.

  8. Oh, this is so great on every level!!!

  9. Candace, your bag is just perfect. Your fabric placement is so nice. You can tell so much thought has gone into it, a true labor of love! It makes me want to try one, but I am not sure I am up to the task. It certainly would help advance my sewing techniques. Sometimes it's good to challenge yourself. Good Job!

  10. That is a lovely set :) The weekender bag sounds hard ... might hone my sewing skills a little more before attempting that one!

  11. I haven't tried a weekender yet, but what I found with handbag patters is...if it doesn't make sense the first/second time you read it, then it's time to take a break! One fine day I'll give this a try...probably Thanks for sharing your project, good feedback!

  12. That's some very stylish matching luggage!

  13. This is a beautiful bag - you did such a great job. Congratulations, can't wait to see the next two.

  14. How great is this?! I don't know if I'm more impressed with the skills you possess to do this, or with your ability to keep it stain free. ;)

  15. What a great weekend bag set. Your sister is so lucky. Your bag looks so "professionally" made.

  16. That is really handsome! I havent recovered yet from the only bag I ever made (4 years ago) and it didn't even have a zipper.

  17. Beautiful job! This is on my "to do" list, guess I'll have to give it a try!

  18. Wow well done for finishing this gorgeous bag! And for linking up to TGIFF!

  19. Beautiful! I'm getting ready to try making one too and I appreciate the links that you shared. Thanks!

  20. Wonderful job. Such a high class looking set. Great fabrics.

  21. nice job of matching the pattern!

  22. Congratulations on this fabulous bag. It's wonderful. What a terrific sister you are!

  23. WOW. Your sis better love you eternally! What great gifts!! I am very tempted to try to make one of these bags, but all the pain and fear and twitching that will go along with it will be tripled due to the fact that I don't have my own house right now and thus would probably have to sew on the floor. XD Maybe someday later...

  24. visiting from sew many ways. I love this. And the matching pouches to go with it are lovely.

  25. Congratulations on your delivery of a beautiful, bouncing baby Bag! It's just gorgeous!

  26. Congratulations on your finish. I'm in awe every time I see someone finish one. I can't believe you are going to do this two more times.

  27. Umm..this is pretty much the cutest weekender bag I have seen! Your choice of fabric is spot on! I love how it turned out! I am glad you stuck with it even though it was tough--it was definitely worth it!

    Thank you for linking up to Fabric Frenzy Friday!
    Fabric Frenzy Friday

  28. Beautiful bag!! Love the fabric you used for this one (drool!) Have you ever tried By Annie's Soft and Stable interfacing? I've used it in a couple of bags and it's awesome to sew with!

  29. This is absolutely beautiful! ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic

  30. Your work is exceptional. Looks like a professional job there. Love the fabrics your sister chose and the little labels on the bags and the zipper pulls are precious.

  31. It turns out gorgeous. PErfect match with zipper charms and all. Love it. Became anew follower to your blog today and had fun visiting your past posts! I love your photos!


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