Saturday, November 17, 2012

My Weekender

Hey yall! :) Sorry I've been a little MIA the past few days... I had an interview on Thursday and that's kind of been on my mind. :) Fingers crossed because I'd really love to have that job!

Anyways, I told yall that I've been thinking about making an Amy Butler Weekender bag. Decided to do it. And did. :) The pattern has been around for a while now, and is considered by many many people in sewing/quilting/blogging circles to be one of the most difficult bags to make.
I've had the pattern for several months now...picked it up on sale. And honestly, I thought it'd sit in my patterns drawer for some time, maybe even years. But then, Lori at Lori H. Designs and Heidi at Fabric Mutt decided to do a Long Weekend Blog Hop to encourage all of us to make our own. I figured this was a good little prompt for me.

So, I bit the bullet and made one. And ... it ...wasn't...that...bad.

Here's my bag. :)


 I used Violet Craft's line, Road for my fabric. I did a quilt as you go method...sorta...for the exterior of the bag. Basically, I pieced together my panels and quilted each panel as a separate piece before assembling the bag. I used the now-popular method of quilting cotton, batting, and cotton duck to make the exterior panels. I didn't add any other interfacing. :) It definitely made this bag much easier to handle.

Some notes:
1. It's not that hard. Repeat after me it's not that hard.
2. I used store made piping. Two packages of it. That eliminated a whole bunch of time. When you have a 10 month old, time is important.
3. I also used store bought handles. Again, time. I also didn't make the handles extend all the way down the bottom of the large pockets. That's okay by me.
4. I added piping to the end smaller pockets. The pattern didn't call for it, but I think it looks more cohesive with the rest of the bag.
5. I didn't use the material suggested by the pattern for the bottom interfacing and the false bottom. Thank you, Pampers, for providing me with some cardboard.
6. The zipper is a pain. I used a 30 inch separating zipper and wish I hadn't. I should've used a smaller zipper, and a non-separating. I didn't like how the pattern had you install, and so mine is definitely not the best zipper install that I've done. Ehh. It's life.
7. Your bag will not be perfect. That's okay. :) None of us are. Just think of it as unique, with all it's little quirks. Just like me. :)
 Like a lot of other people, I had a hard time getting the end pockets to line up with the main panel pockets. Oh well. :)
 I used some pink heart ribbon for a zipper tag. I think it's fun.
 Here you can see my bag interior. I used lining fabric that I found at my local shop, Creative Sewing Machine Center. It's called Holly Holderman "Tattersal" by Lakehouse Dry Goods. It's an orange, pink, and white  print. It matched beautifully but still looked like a lining, ya know?
 See, the handles don't go all the way down to the bottom of the bag. I reinforced the stitching of the handles by making an X on the part that is hidden by the outside pocket.
I used straight line quilting for the exterior panels. This is more of a close up of the fabric and stitching. I quilted it using gutterman color no.22 (it's an off white color that matched my handles perfectly).

The biggest issue that I had with making this bag... hand sewing the lining. Thankfully, I watched some football with the hubs while doing that, so it did help. My fingers were hurting after it was in though.

Overall, I'm really pleased with this bag. Call me crazy, but I actually enjoyed making it. :) I'm already thinking about making another one. Not bad for my first bag.

This one is going to Reagan, as her day care bag. I know she'll need something everyday to carry all her essentials and food, etc. when she starts going to day care. This way, she'll have an extra special bag that Mommy made just for her.

Go here to see everyone else's FABULOUS weekender bags, and go here to see my Pinterest board with other gorgeous bags! :)
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