Monday, October 27, 2008

Amy Butler Weekender Bag

Remember that adorable bag I've been so excited about? Well, I finished it. It was indeed a lot of work, but not as much as I had read about on other blogs.

It's a very big, very stiff bag. It uses tons of stabilizer. When I was making bags for my business, I used Craft Fuse, but this is about 100 times stiffer than that. This makes it quite hard to work with, especially if you don't have a heavy duty machine. I used Pellon Peltex 72F, which turned out to be double-sided fusible. I didn't really know this, and she wanted sew-in, but it should have been about the same weight.

I think the reason the sew-in is best is because she recommends sewing it on the piece and then trimming the stabilizer so that it's not really in the seam allowances. As you can see on my bag, there are edges that are not very smooth. This is because that super-stiff stuff is in the seam allowances and won't lay flat, especially on the top of the bag. It also would have made sewing the bag much easier if I'd done it this way. Instead, I just fused my stabilizer on and didn't trim it out of the seam allowances.

The supplies for this bag were pretty pricey. The stabilizer is pretty expensive, and between the stabilizer, interfacing, lining and outer fabric, you need a lot of yards. Also, I found it annoying that the pattern didn't even include all the pieces. For the bottom, false bottom and straps, you are just given dimensions and have to make your own. The pattern itself costs more than most other patterns and only offers a pattern for one item, compared to three or four on many patterns. Seems like the least they could do is give you all the pieces.

All in all, I love this bag! It will be perfect as a carry-on for my next trip. It took several hours of cutting, then I worked on the piping one day before work and then a couple of days of sewing on my days off. The lining has to be hand sewn into the bag, so that took a little time, too. I would do it again, but with the suggestions above for smoother seams.

Amy Butler Weekender Bag
Amy Butler Weekender Bag
Amy Butler Weekender Bag

I also added interior pockets -- one flap pocket with velcro closure and one divided pocket for cell phone, iPod, pens, etc. The more pockets, the better, in my opinion!

Amy Butler Weekender Bag
Amy Butler Weekender Bag


emmma said...

That is awesome! I'm so impressed that you sewed that yourself. Love the fabric, too.

Happyplace. said...

Unbelievable. I stand in awe of your sewing abilities. (soo jealous.)

Concha said...

I bought this pattern some months ago but never seem to find the time to make it... everyone says it's so hard! I enjoyed reading your own experience, you don't make it seem so difficult!

Robyn said...

It wasn't hard in the sense of being a complicated pattern. It was just hard because it has a lot of thick layers and trying to sew them on a regular sewing machine AND deal with piping was a challenge. But I think that would be a challenge whether you are a great sewer or a newer sewer.

Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


PaisleyJade said...

That bag is amazing!!!!

Megan of Sanourra Designs said...

I love your blog title! This bag kicks some hiney, too.

I read in another post, one about the stingy bag, that you've shut down your bag-making shop. Would it be too invasive to ask why?

I'm trying to start up my own stitching business right now, and I'm wondering what your experience with it has been.