OK, well, here she is: my Weekender bag in all her glory. Complete with adjustable shoulder strap and matching luggage tag. I won't lie - this bag was a wh0re to make, but I am absolutely in LOVE with it. I changed a lot of things from the pattern, so I cannot blame the pattern - it was clear and I did not follow the instructions. I'm really bad at following instructions.
Weekender Tip #1: Follow the pattern - not me
What did I change from the pattern? Well, lots of things - basically the whole construction of the bag. I constructed mine very similarly to Michelle's Weekender. I wanted pockets on the inside and no saggy lining, so I basted the lining to the bag pieces before I put them together - leaving 2 big shaggy seams exposed on the inside, which I had to cover with bias binding. I ended up having to stitch the bias on my hand because my machine wouldn't sew through all those layers. I also added an adjustable shoulder strap so I can wear it across my body - I rarely have a free hand.
Weekender tip #2: don't use a heavy canvas/duck cloth for the piping fabric
During my construction of the bag, I put my poor little machine to the test. I ended up using the piping foot to guide the bag through, but had to use my scissors as a presser foot to press the fabric together before each stitch. It took FOREVER. I couldn't pin the sides to the middle section, I did however end up using staples and that worked fine.
Weekender tip #3: Staples are better than pins
I added a 10" zippered pocket to the outside of the front pocket - to keep things like ID/plane tickets safe. That part was easy and didn't interfere with the construction of the rest of the bag.
I also added a zippered pocket and 2 open pockets to the inside lining of the bag. Even though I love how these came out, it was a huge pain in the arse to sew over these extra layers of fabric when attaching the sides to the middle section.
Weekender tip #4: If you add inside pockets - don't let them go all the way into the side seams
So maybe my favorite addition to the pattern was the bag feet (acorn nuts with allen bolts on the inside).
My hubs help me cut a masonite hard bottom for my bag, and I attached these 'feet' right through the fabric to help protect and extend the life of the bottom of the bag. It's also now super sturdy. I just added a false bottom that matches the lining to cover up the ugly masonite.
Weekender tip #5: Read the whole pattern through before starting, and understand all the cutting that you have to do.
The cutting is the biggest part of this bag, and it took FOREVER. It can be very frustrating when you want to just jump right in. It's also pretty boring.
So that's it! I'm off to The Sewing Summit this Thursday! Hubs and the kids are going to take care of each other for 3 whole nights. I can hardly wait - but there's still so much to do before then. I'm just really, really happy to have finished this bag in time to take with me.
Also check out Megan's bag!