The Amy Butler Weekender Travel Bag

Weekenderbag 002

The fine folks at Pattern Review have a bunch of motivational tools to get me sewing.  Apparently, I love the contests!  I had bought the pattern for this bag and the fabric some time earlier last year and it would have languished in my "in" box were it not for the Bag Contest on the website.  So, here it is, sliding in barely under the deadline!  This is quite an accomplishment!  Many reviewers have made and written about this bag, so armed with expectations and tips, I went to work.
Pattern Description: Finished size is 14" wide across the top and 17" wide across the bottom by 14 1/2" tall.
Get ready for "WrestleMania" at your sewing machine.  That’s all I could think of every time I sat down to tame this beast.  This is a big bag with many thick layers.  Use a size 110 needle and go slow.
The instructions were very detailed.  Fine with me, I’d rather have too much instructions than too little.
I did several things differently, encouraged by the other reviews:
To make the cording, I used my machine’s beading foot.  I like this better than my zipper foot for holding the cording in place.
I used PelTex 70 instead of Timtex.  It was available at Joannes and it’s fusible.  This cuts down on all the basting steps.  I just fused the pattern pieces to the PelTex.  I used 2 layers for the bottom.
Before inserting the lining, I added feet to the base by sewing buttons to the bottom.  This was done after the bag was constructed, but you could easily do this before assembly:
Weekenderbag 004
I didn’t make a false bottom (I don’t use those anyway), or pockets in the lining.
I sewed the lining by machine to the top zipper seam allowance, not by hand.  Just do this by leaving a big opening in a bottom seam through which you can later turn the bag through (again with more wrestling) and hand stitch. 
Once I stitched up the lining, I inserted it and "creatively" ironed it to the inside of the bag.  By creative, I mean I put the iron down inside the bag and pressed the bottom and sides.
Weekenderbag 005
I did follow the directions for the sides and tops and used a sew-in interfacing for this area.  I think something stiffer would work better, not as stiff as the PelTex, but more so than the sew-in.
Fabric Used:  Amy Butler Lotus cotton.  I love this fabric.
Conclusion: IMO, this looks very high quality and I’m very pleased with the results.  If you’re wanting to tackle this yourself, I recommend sewing this up a few steps at a time and then setting it aside.  Take your time and go slow.  For me, this will make a great knitting bag!
Weekenderbag 006
Weekenderbag 001
    • margaret
    • May 9th, 2008

    Finally figured out how to leave a comment. Very interested in the bag since I made one too. I learned that I should consult the pattern reviews for tips. Your bag should win a prize. My bag is made following exactly the instructions and is not perfect. Fun project, tho. and I love the bright colors.

  1. January 2nd, 2011
    Trackback from : 2010 in review « SewEllen

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