Monday, October 3, 2011

More Like A 3-Weeker Than a Weekender

 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!


  1. Genius!! Love the feet! Love the whole bag, really, but those feet are genius! Also, I love that you used staples instead of pins. Have fun at the Summit!

  2. I really love how yours turned out!! Nice additions! I wanted to add feet to mine too...maybe I should take a look around my husbands tool box?? :) I am just about done, just need to do little bit of hand sewing and it's ready for The Summit. I'll be posting tomorrow about it.

  3. That is so pretty! and the fabrics are fabulous. I have heard this is quite the project. I need to save up some patience before I dive into this project. Have fun at The Summit!

  4. I love this Jill ~ what a project! It turned out beautifully :)

  5. wow right on! have a great time and i've been thinking of you! bag is fab U lous..

  6. Love it! You do wonderful work. I used binder clips instead of pins but staples are a great idea. ;) Have fun this weekend for all of us who cannot go!

  7. I love everything about your bag. I made one a couple of months ago. Whew. I wish I would have thought about staples--genius idea. I just did NOT have the energy to add all the extras that you did. Yours is my favorite. Have fun!

  8. holy mother of gawd. You amaze me girl!!!

  9. Congrats on finishing the weekender bag! It looks Fabulous!

    Remember to take lots of pics at the Sewing Summit for those of us stuck at home! Hope you have a wonderful time!

  10. I wanted to do the bag feet to but ran out of time since I wanted to take mine to SS! I will add them next time I make this bag. Yours is super gorgeous. Can't wait to see it in person.

  11. Awesome Jill! Love it and would love to see it in person when you get back from your fabulous adventure :)


  12. Hi Jill,

    Wanted to say HI after meeting you at the Sewing Summit. I have the ruler you gave me in a place of honour in my sewing room. Those rulers were fantastic!! What a cute bag, I should have paid more attention in person so I could have seen it!


  13. Hey there, Jill!! It was so fun to meet you at Sewing Summit! I'm loving my new ruler & thinking of all of the templates I need made. ;)

    Do you ever do trade?

  14. so now it's a year later, and I'm making MY Weekender for my first year at SS! I think yours is so lovely - and great job on all those extra pocket!