Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Weekender Travel Bag

A bit amazed today at how gorgeous the weather is, sitting at plus 20 degrees celcius.  In the sunroom for the first time this year, with the windows open....
recovering from my attmpt to put together the Weekender Bag from Amy Butler. 
My general opinion.. this is not a project for the faint of heart.

It all started when we got in a great panel with printed grandmother's flower garden blocks on it. I forgot to take a photo of it before I started cutting it up.
the panel itself is about 30 inches by 44 inches, and you could certainly just use it as a  baby quilt, but I thought I would use it for a tote bag of some sort.
 then, I came upon a tote bag that someone had made called the Weekender Bag, and lo and behold, I already had the pattern at home, but had never tried it. 
I really liked the shape of it, and when I saw it made up in real life, it was a nice size. 
 I wanted to stitch around the pattern on the fabric to make it look more like it had been pieced. The pattern has two side panel pockets that seemed to be a good place to put the panel design.  I made a copy of the pattern piece for the pocket, and cut the panel fabric and the stiffener fabric a bit larger all around that the pattern piece.  I used Annies soft and stable foam instead of Timtex that was called for on the pattern.  I don't think it had been invented yet when the pattern was written, because it is just perfect to use for bags and totes.  I really keeps it's shape, and it is soft as butter to sew through.
You can see how doing the stitching really emphasizes the pattern:

After I had quilted the pieces, I cut them to the right size, using the pattern piece I had made.

 That was the easy part. 
Then, I started to cut out all the other pieces I needed, as well as accumulating the other supplies:  some timtex for the stiff bottom, a 30 inch zipper,
 The bag pattern called for cording to be put in around the edges, so I cut the bias pieces and basted them around 5 meters of 1/4" cotton cording.
 The next five hours passed in a blurry state of studying the instructions, sewing and trying to figure out what I was doing. 
At some point I realized that the cording was just not going to happen for me.  Maybe another time. After all, I do have 5 meters of it. 
 I've gotten it to this stage now, where I have to hand stitch in the lining which I have prepared. 
Parts of this project were pretty easy, others were definitely for a better sewer than me. 
I still like the proportions of the bag, and I will probably try it again, but again probably not with the cording, and minus the lining.  I think I'll make the sizes like a quilt, with the exterior and the lining quilted to the soft and stable, and then just finish the seams rather than adding a whole new lining.  who knows..
On another note, at some point I decided to iron my Timtex to remove a fold crease.  I discovered that my timtex was fusible on one side, so I got some sticky stuff on my iron.
Fortunately I had a tube of this iron cleaner, so I tried it out and it worked wonderfully!
You just squeeze a blob of it onto a rag, and then iron it with your hot, dry iron in circles, and the iron plate is magically cleaned off!  Yay. 

If you have made this Weekender Bag, I salute you. 


  1. Your weekender bag looks pretty good even if it was brain gymnastics. I don't know what it is about Amy Butler's patterns but half the time they seem unduly complicated. I have the Weekender pattern may just stay in my pattern pouches for a while longer!

  2. yes - i second that thought patti!
    but it is a lovely bag, michelle.

  3. You did a great job for your first attempt! I'm too cowardly to give it a go, but you need to talk to Lisa. She is a champion Weekender maker!

  4. Pattil, it was seeing Lisa's bag that got me thinking I could make this, but, .... I agree with Patti E, it could have been easier. also, I looked back at the photo I took of Lisa's bag, and she even made the straps more detailed, with d-rings, for goodness sake, she must be some kind of tote bag making genius,

  5. Its good to see a positive change in the weather...finally... oh the bag is really great. loving the color and the make. gatwick chauffeur parking

  6. The patterns on the bag are so captivating. It really is very beautiful. cheap gatwick parking

  7. the bags and the other things are really pretty i like them and their color combination. really appreciable. Car Parking Manchester


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