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Topic: The Amy Butler Weekender Bag that took a year to finish ;D  (Read 8419 times)
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travelbug
« on: May 15, 2008 09:51:40 AM »

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 Wink 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!
« Last Edit: May 15, 2008 09:52:11 AM by travelbug » THIS ROCKS   Logged
orange_smurf
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2008 09:54:29 AM »

I wish I was this talented...you've got mad skills! 
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Genesis1:1
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2008 09:59:35 AM »

That is a great bag!  I Love that you matched up the pattern and it is centered so perfectly on the side!  The seamed pieces on the top by the zipper look intentional..great pattern design!  I agree about buying piping.  I have a love/hate relationship with pins Kiss
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2008 10:14:54 AM »

You did an amazing job! I have the pattern, too. Fell in love with it after I saw one in person. Every time I see one on Craftster, I want it! I have my fabric, but I've been so busy with other projects, I haven't even started. It's also a bit intimidating.

I know she suggests Timtex (or something like that) for the interfacing, but to my understanding, that's not sold anymore. What type did you use?
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2008 10:37:46 AM »

That is an amazing bag!
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JennyBear
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2008 10:40:50 AM »

Wow. Your bag looks great! The subject of your post caught my eye because I just finished my own Weekender Bag and it also took me about a year to finish! Cheesy It was  just too advanced a project for me to do given my limited sewing skills so after I cut out all the pieces it sat in my closet for at least 6 months because I just couldn't bare to look at it any more....all those pieces..just too overwhelming. Here's mine. You were right about using a stiffer fabric...mine is all saggy. Sad

Great work!
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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2008 10:42:12 AM »

Without all of the explanations of your mistakes, I never would have known. That looks like a very well made expensive bag. I would love to have one. I love how you made all of the extra pockets. I just bought a huge purse with tons of pockets. I love how i can load it up, or just take the essentials. It looks great either way!
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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2008 10:42:52 AM »

You did a great job with what fabric you had so well done on your patience.

I have read quite a few 'Amy Butler Weekender Bag Pattern Horror Stories' to put me off from even buying the pattern let alone making it up - sewing should be fun and not a pain is the arse/ass and Craftster's experiences of making this bag up seem to prove this - even with people who have been sewing for years.  I think there are some Craftster's who have also had problems with the Sofia pattern as well.

However - I am going to buy this pattern (and the Sofia one) and I will make the bag/s up, but first I am going to make a prototype (I have a duvet cover I no longer require) before I decide to make up the 'real thing' and spoil beautiful fabric.  Now that would make me cry  Grin.

I'm very impressed with what you did and don't be put off from making another one.  It is just a pattern - an inanimate object - don't let it beat you.
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cuppiecakes83
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2008 10:46:28 AM »

Wow! Great job! I have been wanting to try this pattern and make it into a diaper bag, but I have been too scared! Your's looks great ever with the extra seam and different fabric!
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ccswch
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2008 10:49:49 AM »

That bag is freaking fabulous!!! I love the pockets with the solid color/strip! I would never have known that it wasn't supposed to be that way. Great job!!!
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2008 11:15:25 AM »

That is so cool! You did a fabulous job!
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travelbug
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2008 11:31:30 AM »

Thanks guys Smiley

Nofury: I didn't know what Timtext was, so I used iron on medium weight interfacing. I ironed it to the lining because I find that if it is ironed to the exterior fabric it can sometimes leave wrinkles.

Jenny Bear: Your bag turned out great! I like the fabric that you used.

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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2008 07:02:29 PM »

You are brave, I have that pattern but am not brave enough to make it, her instructions leave my cornfused.
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2008 08:48:45 PM »

Nofury:  I've made other Amy Butler patterns that call for Timtex, and I've found that extra-heavy weight non-fusible interfacing is the same exact thing, only MUCH cheaper.  I think that I bought mine at JoAnn's.  Hope this helps!
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2008 09:00:01 PM »

Well worth the wait, I am a new fan of the Amy Butler fabric because of these CUTE bags!!
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2008 09:33:49 PM »

Wow, I'm impressed. I wouldn't have even noticed the happy accidents if you didn't say anything - the pockets look great, like they were made to be that way.
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zuliblu
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2008 10:18:51 PM »

Great job!!!
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MightyMouse
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2008 05:44:27 AM »

This bag looks so great I can't believe something went wrong sewing it - I totally envy your sewing skills!
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« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2008 12:05:55 PM »

As a beginner sewer I truly appreciate your patience with this bag!!!!!  It can get so frustrating when things don't go right or (if you're like me) the pattern is hard to understand.  But great job!!!  This bag is a testimony to persistence!  Enjoy it!!
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JennasMommy
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2008 12:31:33 PM »

Lovely bag! It looks perfect to me Grin. I like many of you love AB's patterns. One day I would love to make this particular one but I feel like I don't have the advanced skills it takes Roll Eyes. Thank you for all the pointers and tips, it will save me alot of grief in the near future. Awesome job!!!!!

Mary
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YukinaKipling
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2008 08:17:10 PM »

wow, you're my hero making this bag. this bag seems so difficult, but you pulled it off. great job
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.mandabear.
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2008 08:57:22 PM »

its really nice i like the fabric !
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kathigarn
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2008 04:47:32 AM »

You made that in one night?  I'm impressed!!  I love the Weekender, but I have not been brave enough to even buy the pattern!!!!!!!
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Padester
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2008 08:08:23 AM »

Okay - so now I need to get this pattern.  I've seen so many of these and they are all gorgeous (yours included!), and now I need to make one.  Can you get the pattern in a store, or just online?

Love your fabric, the finished bag, the works!  Great job!
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« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2008 09:32:13 AM »

Awesome job~
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M.Carmen
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2008 04:48:20 PM »

You are a genius! the bag is just perfect!!
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loralie
« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2008 02:41:31 PM »

Amazing.  Really amazing.  I have several AB bag patterns collecting dust because the instructions did me in.  I am seriously impressed.
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PoodlyBooty
« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2008 02:59:28 PM »

Awesome bag, you did a super great job!!!
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lowree
« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2008 07:02:09 PM »

Oh My Heavens, you did an awesome job on that bag.... and thanks for the tips!
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« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2008 07:23:32 PM »

I love this fabric and the bag is absolutely amazing!!!
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inwonderland
« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2008 05:00:27 AM »

Amazing bag!
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« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2008 09:45:54 AM »

Wow! You're so talented!!
I love how you matched up the pattern at the front - it looks perfect!
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mommy-2-Brayden
« Reply #32 on: May 19, 2008 06:43:25 PM »

This bag is fantastic!! I might have to try making one! Then again probably not because it looks like a lot of work!! LOL

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Bandwife
« Reply #33 on: May 27, 2008 06:58:39 AM »

Love your bag! You did a great job! I just finished my weekender bag and I added more interior pockets as well.
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« Reply #34 on: June 03, 2008 09:47:14 PM »

I love it so much! It's the best Amy Butler Weekender I've seen! One of these days, I'm gonna get up the courage to try it...
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« Reply #35 on: June 03, 2008 09:56:30 PM »

Good for you for finally finishing this gorgeous and professional-looking bag!!  I'm so loving i!!  Cheesy
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NicoleRC
« Reply #36 on: June 04, 2008 05:31:55 AM »

I'd love to try making one of these.  You did a great job!
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my2girls
« Reply #37 on: June 21, 2008 06:40:51 PM »

I love your bag.  I always see this pattern but I'm to scared to try it.
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« Reply #38 on: June 27, 2008 04:42:08 PM »

This is a really beautiful bag.

you are a bag mistress my dear.
I'm sure that bag knows who's boss. ;-)
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