Per the norm… it all started with a trip to my local fabric store….
They have a second building with tons of home decor fabrics at discount prices. Rolls upon rolls of upholstery fabrics that are just a delight to behold. Most of them run about $18-25 a yard which is super cheap compared to most places.
But still…. Ouch!
I’ve been going to make me one of these Amy Butler Weekender carry on bags since I first saw the pattern, years ago. Well, this week I decided it was finally time. I need one! My usual carry on isn’t big enough for my laptop and if I have to gate check it then the purse I carry is dictated by the size of plane I am traveling on because I then have to toss my laptop in to my purse. This is so not cool.
I spent probably an hour trying to decide on which fabric to pick, what coordinate for the lining and piping… “Ouch, this is going to be way more expensive than I thought or dreamt”, kept rolling through my head, hindering a decision. Then I spotted the green print propped up along the side wall and thought that was sweet with the raspberry and orange flowers, but of course I’d done that 100 times already. Everything in there is sweet! But this one wouldn’t show the grunge of traveling like the off white Parisian print I was carrying around on a 54″ roll…. As I continue digging around, trying not to have all these rolls spill down on me, while holding on to fabric… I spot the orange one and it is has the same raspberry in it and appears to come from the same collection. Then I spot the sign that says all rolls of fabric 1.00 off per yard. Can’t beat that. I take a look at the tag and what??? 4.97??? Then a dollar off? Woah! You’ve got my attention now!
It’s it funny how quickly you can decide on fabric choices when there is a bargain to be had?!!
And yes, I bought way too much fabric, I didn’t have the pattern with me and apparently reading those small numbers, off a website from my phone, cost me a yard and a quarter of fabric, I didn’t have to spend. At least now I have extra to make coordinating pieces…
I’ve made lots of bags and this pattern had no real surprises to it. It does get really, really thick in places and you’ll want to have a stock of heavy-duty needles, because no doubt your break at least one, I broke 2. I started out on my newer machine, a Janome 6600P. I’m not a big fan of the 3 different zipper feet I have for this machine and since that’s what you use pretty much the whole time, because of all the cording, I wasn’t having fun. Once the fabric got to about 10 thicknesses, that machine makes a horrible noise and says “stopping for safety reasons” and there you are, stuck. Turn it off, turn it back on, wait for it to reload…. Adjust all the settings, again, or else hit the zipper foot with the needle…. Every time I turned around… What is up with that? Does anyone know how to bypass that? I don’t believe it stopping for safety. I just want to sew!!!
That’s when I decided to step up to my older machine, which I highly prefer for zippers and cording, anyway. I say step up because this one is set up as at counter top height as a standing sewing machine, which I really do love! I bought this Bernina 1080 in the early 90’s, back when it was still made in Switzerland. At that time I was sewing, for a living, out of my home, and this baby was a powerhouse, still is. It has put in more replacement zippers than most people can even imagine. The throat on this machine isn’t as large as on the Janome, but that really wasn’t an issue here. The only reason I bought the Janome was because this one was aging and I knew I would eventually need a back up machine for service time, which can be slow.
So the changes I made, weren’t changes as much as additions. I added a 6″ x 8″ patch style pocket on one side of the interior and on the other I added a pocket the full width, lined with Peltex, similar to the exterior pockets. It’s the perfect size for my Macbook Pro!
I happened to already own the Peltex, the super, heavy-duty interfacing, the pattern called for, so I did use it on the front, back, base, large interior pocket, handles and just two layers in which Amy refers to as the false bottom… I did not use any other interfacing. With the heavier weight fabric, it was just not needed. Plus the time involved in cutting, ironing…. not a fan, if not absolutely necessary. And it wasn’t.
I changed the way the zipper went in because I am persnickety about zippers. The way I did it caused the lining to need less seam allowances so it needed to be trimmed off close to an inch, on each side, before the center panel was treated as one. I stitched and folded the lining back tightly against the zipper so there is no chance of the lining getting caught in the zipper. Actually I stopped reading the pattern about here, because I don’t believe in hand stitching. If you can figure it out, you can work the lining and the front piece, kissing good sides together and stitch from one bottom corner, over the top and down the other side, (with the top zippered panel inside it), then pull it inside out and Wa La! No hand stitching! Repeat for the other side.
I lengthened the shoulder straps to 52″, the perfect, toss it over my shoulder length for me.
I also added these heavy-duty brass swivel snap clips with a tab attached down, in the side pocket, allowing me to attach a detachable shoulder strap, if I pack it too heavy. And because this bag holds so much, it weighed it at about 30 pounds, fully loaded this morning.
Finished Dimensions for the Weekender Bag:
14” wide across the top of the bag
17” wide across the bottom
14 1/2” tall
7 1/2” deep
And in just four short hours and less than 20$ later, it is done, and I am out of here!!
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