Over a year ago I bought an Amy Butler Weekender Bag pattern. I had seen a finished one on craftster and fell in love with it. Now the only problem was/is that I can't follow sewing patterns! After a year of saying that I would do it, last night I finally decided to crack into the pattern. I had this great scrap piece of Amy Butler decor weight fabric on my shelf so I decided to use it up. Here are some pics, some of the problems I encountered and tips if you want to make your own.
Problem #1: There wasn't enough fabric. I'm not the most patient crafter, and I really wanted to start it last night so I decided to improvise
The pockets on the side are made from a different piece of scrap fabric. I used the tiny scraps that were left and sewed on a strip of the Amy Butler fabric to the pocket so that it would match better.
Problem #2: One of the pattern pieces was supposed to be placed against a folded piece of fabric before it was cut. I accidentally placed the wrong side of the pattern against the fold so that piece that I cut out coudn't be used. Oops. The funny part is that I ended up sewing the messed up piece to the zipper and it wasn't until I top stitched it that I saw it was a weird shape. I was so annoyed that I had to quit sewing for 2 hrs haha. I didn't have any more fabric to use, so I ended up cutting up the piece and sewing it together to resemble what it should have looked like (you can see in the 2nd picture that there is a seam in the fabric connected to the zipper...in the original pattern it's not supposed to be there)
I made a couple of modifications to it. The front and back pocket are pretty large and I decided to make them into 2 pockets. I just sewed a simple seam down the middle of the pocket and voila I now have 4 pockets. Now I have places to store flip flops, books etc. I also added a couple of pockets to the inside so that I could keep my keys and cellphone separate. You can kind of see the pocket seam better in this photo. PS the finished bag is massive. About twice as big as I expected it to be from looking at the picture. I decided to sew some more seams onto the straps as I was worried that if I packed the bag full it would put too much stress on the original stitching.
Some tips that I learned :
1) I bought pre-made piping. The pattern suggests that you make your own, but I think it'll save you about 30-45 mins. to just buy it.
2) Heavier fabric will keep it from being floppy. I used decor weight fabric for the outside and a canvas type fabric on the inside.
3) Cutting off all of the interfacing around the seams makes it easier for your machine to sew around the corners. I had to go back and do this because my machine was getting jammed on some of the thicker parts.
4) Use quilting pins (the ones with the plastic ball on the dull end). I think I have pin indentations still in my fingers from trying to stick normal pins through all of the layers LOL.
I'm looking forward to trying it out this weekend!