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UPDATE: Woo Hoo!!! My bag got featured on Sew Mama Sew Flickr Feature for Bag Month!! I don’t think I could be prouder of my bag than now! :) Go check out all the other wonderful bags for Bag Month here

So the Amy Butler Hawaii crafting fest begins with our first sewn object, the Weekender Bag. This pattern was my motivation for learning to sew. I loved this bag since I first saw it and was giddy the entire time I was putting it together. I felt like a proud mama when I finally got it done.

Fabric: Joann’s upholstery Fabric
Inspiration: Amy Butler Weekender Bag
Modifications: Added a sub par elastic pocket to the inside, used a separating zipper
Difficulty: 9
Enjoyment Factor:9
Sewing Time: Off and On for two weeks

The Good:

  • The pattern is very well written and I was never lost during the process which resulted in a very professional looking finished bag. I love all the attention to detail despite the price I paid in blood…literally.

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  • The fabric! I loved this fabric and bought it quite a while ago when JoAnn’s had it on sale for the first time at 50% off. When I saw it again for 75% off, I bought two more yards. It is very durable despite its delicate look. I love the quilting on it. It just looks so fresh and so clean clean.
  • The size of this bag is wonderful. When I saw the picture I thought that it might be a little small to handle a weekend worth of my stuff, but man can you really load this thing up. Not only did it hold a weekends worth of stuff

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3 pairs of pants, three shirts, a pair of shoes and my toiletry bag with some room to spare

 

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It also held my sewing machine with even more space for notions and accessories INSIDE, let along the outside pockets!!

The Bad:

  • The cording! Although I love the way it looks, it was the most labor intensive detail I have sewn yet. I probably ripped enough seams to have made this bag three times over. It was like the Goldilocks rhythm set to the act of sewing. I sew…oops didn’t sew close enough…rip. Sew…oops sewed too close and over the cording….rip. Ahh, sew between where I was the first time and second time….just right!

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  • What is up with the closed bottom 30″ zipper!! This thing does not seem to exist as a common place item. I had to use a separating zipper in a cream color, then I sewed over the open end and made my opening a little smaller to make sure that it would never get to the point of separation. It works fine, but why make us jump the hurdle of finding this elusive 30″ zipper. This is where I wish the pattern gave alternatives. Next time I may use the dual zipper so that you can open it from either side because on one hand it is cool, on the other it comes in 30″!
  • The layers on this bag are thick and murder on sewing pins. I had to throw away at least half the pins I had because they were so misshapen at the end of the project.
  • The pins! Because of the layers they were like razor sharp daggers jutting out of the bag. Ouch, ouch, Sh*t, ouch, damn it, ouch was pretty much my mantra throughout the process. I got the scars to prove it!
  • Although I LOVE the colors, I do realize that yellow is not the most practical and durable of colors when it comes to a travel bag. I will try to Scotch Guard it or something to help out the longevity a little
  • The time involved in sewing this bag is just what one would have expected in such a wonderful bag but it is still hard to take in. I sewed this bag over a two week period. Each step taking longer due to the layers, daggers of death (pins), and the rip rip ripping of progress.

The Ugly:

  • Although I didn’t show it I added a elastic pouch inside for holding my undergarments separate from the clothes. This was the first time I did this using the tutorial from here and it just didn’t come out right. It was just too loose in the end. It is starting to bother me a little since the rest of the bag came out so wonderfully. I will probably add some Velcro to achieve the effect I want.