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Topic: The Amy Butler Weekender Bag that took a year to finish ;D  (Read 12498 times)
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« 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
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2008 09:54:29 AM »

I wish I was this talented...you've got mad skills! 
« 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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« 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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« 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!
« 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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