Well the Amy Butler Weekender is done! And like many things that you build up to frighteningly insurmountable proportions in your mind - it wasn't bad at all. In fact, I loved making it.
Here it is in all it's glory....
Ready to be packed and taken to hospital.
I read many blogs about making this bag before I started and on the advice of many other "Weekender Warriors" decided to add some inner pockets. For the zippered pocket I followed this fantastic tutorial at U-handbag.
For the pocket below I just used the outer pocket pattern, lined it in black and reinforced it with the sew in interfacing. For the finish along the top I used the same method as for the outer side pockets. I divided the pocket into two with two rows of stitching about 1/8th of an inch apart.
I was so in lurve with my AB bag that I decided I needed a matching toiletries bag. Voila!
So, in review here are what I consider the pros and cons of this challenging pattern and my hot tips for successful sewing.
Pros - The pattern is really well written and when it is finished it is a lovely bag that will hold heaps. For the photo shoot I packed it with 7 bath towels, a hand towel and two face washers. Now that's a lot of manchester for one bag!
The timtex can be very difficult to manoeuvre through the machine but the lovely stiffness of the the finished product is worth it.
Cons - it is a very expensive bag to make. If I made it again I wouldn't use Amy Butler fabric for the lining; I'd go for something like a cotton drill in a plain colour.
The cutting takes a long time.
It can be physically very difficult to coax the bag through the machine. I had very sore shoulders for several days after finishing the project. But no pain, no gain right?
Tips - These items could make your Weekender Bag experience much easier. They did for me.
The pattern calls for you to sew the many layers (in some cases over 6) together with a zipper foot. Craziness!!!! I don't know how anyone would even attempt to make this bag without a walking foot to help you evenly sew through all of those layers.
I also found using the binder clips to be a winner when in the final construction stage of the bag.
Finally, I attached a magnetic fabric guide to my machine mark the 1/2" seam allowance. This gave me something to butt the fabric hard up against and kept my seams nice and even.
For other blogs featuring awesome weekender bags check out
As for the swearing....I have to admit to letting about 6 magic words fly during the construction of this bag. And they were all of the type that would make a sailor blush.