Saturday, March 3, 2012


(Oh hell, boy am I'm lazy.  I've had this post written since last weekend, and all I needed to do was take pictures of my semi-finished bag.  I just got around to it today. Sheesh!)

The Weekender Travel Bag is a pattern by Amy Butler that I've been stalking eying for months.  It's such a lovely looking bag, and appeared to be a great size.  So when the pattern appeared for sale, about a month ago, on Stitch Steals I jumped on making the purchase.

When the pattern arrived I already had my main fabric choice picked out.  A little over a year ago, before blogging,  I had scored a whole bunch of fabric at a garage sale two houses down from me.  I had scored almost three yards of some home decor Waverly, vintage, fabric ($5 for a bag full of fabric).  I've used some of this fabric on a previous project, Phoebe Bag, so what I had left was just barely over two yards, much less than what the Weekender Travel bag called for, but I was determined to see what I could get out of it.

I opted to use the vintage fabric for as much as I could for the interior and exterior; I wanted to keep cost down.  Ha, but that didn't happen.  Well, I guess I did since I didn't have to buy two yards of exterior fabric, and I spent three days buying the other supplies from Joann's using my phone app 40% off coupons. You know, one day buy two items using the two 40% off coupons, Peltex (interfacing, some fabric) using the 40% off any single cut coupon, and the 40% off any notion (zipper, template plastic, cording).  This seems like it could be a hassle, but Joann's is right around the block from me so I'd run by before I picked up the kids up from school.

Pretty zipper. 
Slowly I started the process on a Saturday cutting everything out. Everything was going smoothly until
Tuesday night.  My two large panels were completed, large pockets in place, with pipping, and straps.  I just finished sewing in my zipper into the top panels and it looked great.  So pleased with how the zipper came out.  Then I looked at the picture on the pattern.  Hmmmm?  The top panel assembly with the zipper didn't appear to be the same shape as what I just completed.  It was almost inverted, or the opposite shape of what was shown.  The pattern showed a narrow center with wide ends, and what I had was a wide center with narrow ends.  Huh?

What my top panel looked like.
Surely this pattern had the incorrect drawing/image.  Do I continue?  I decided to look online to see if there were any corrections to the pattern.  There were two, but it looked like my pattern had already been updated.  Hmmm?  What happened?  I sat and looked at the pattern/instructions for a few minutes to see if I could decipher what I was doing or what I did.  Then I saw it.  OMG!  I placed the wrong side of the pattern on the fold.  Instead of placing the narrow side of the pattern on the fold I placed the wide side.  UGH!!!  I had already cut out all my fabric and did not have enough of this vintage fabric to redo these panels.  I wanted to cry.
What the top panel SHOULD look like.  Ugh! *Sniff Sniff*

See?  It was so pretty.  So sad to seam rip it all. 
I threw my nicely made incorrect top panel on the table walked away, feeling defeat, and was headed for bed.  I wanted this bag for my trip the next day, and had already spent a lot of time getting to this point.  It wasn't going to get done, and without my deadline who knows when I'll get around to fixing/finishing it. Not only did I no longer have anymore of this exterior fabric but I would also have to go back to the store to buy more interfacing for these panels.  This project had already added up to be pricey (way more than I would have liked, WITH coupons), the thought of spending more money on it was so irritating.  I was sad...the zipper came out so pretty

For a second I wondered what would happen if I continued the pattern with my inverted top panel.  Would the pattern still piece together?  If so what would be the downside to it?  Then it clicked.  Take the panels apart, remove the zipper, seam rip all the stitches, cut the panels in half, then re-attach the correct way.

Holy Cow! This worked!!!!!  YAY!!!!  I was sooo happy.  Granted I have two seams that shouldn't be on this bag, but I didn't have to buy anymore supplies, and I got this fixed that night (after all the taking know how cumbersome seam ripping can be.  Especially when you've reinforced around a zipper). 

Top panel cut in half and attached the correct way. 
The next morning, Wednesday the day of my trip, I attached the top, bottom and side panels together.  Holy Cow!  Let me tell you that was the hardest thing I've sewn to date.  This bag has so many layer of fabric, with pipping, interfacing, and Peltex it was hard to maneuver. If I'm counting correctly it's 8 layers.  (Lets panel is 3 layers of interfacing plus 1 layer of fabric.  Large panel exterior fabric, interfacing, plus 2 layers for the piping (since fabric is folded in half around the cording).  The Peltex is not actually sewn through, but the hassle here is that it (along with the pipping) tended to push my zipper foot off to the side, so it was hard keeping my 1/2" seam allowance at a 1/2".  I wasn't able crowd the pipping as much as I should have.
Unfinished bag guts innards.
After all that was said and done the exterior of my bag was done, and from afar it looks nice, but don't look at my non-crowded pipping.  I started to look at the interior assembly instructions and realized I didn't have time to finish that step since I still had to pack and get ready to leave that day.  So I took my bag as is.  Phew!

You could see on the seam on the top panel where I had to cut and sew the panel back together. 
Side bag pocket.
Now, back from my trip I am happy that my bag held up.  I don't know why, but I always have a fear when I make things that they will self destruct.  Completely unravel, like in a cartoon.  I could see myself carrying the bag full of clothes, and it just falls apart like box where all four sides just fall open to the floor.  Isn't this the strangest thought?  Especially since I've been using a purse I've made for over a year, and it hasn't fallen apart....yet.  However, I could see where some seams of my travel bag were a little stressed, by the fullness of my packing, but since I haven't inserted my interior lining I can go back and reinforce my stitching around the bag and possibly crowd the pipping. 

I'd love to make another one, but it will be awhile due to the cost of all the supplies.  At least I have one, and that makes me happy.

Happy Sewing!


  1. I can empathize with you on the Realisation of your mistake. Well done for moving past it. I can see from the photographs it was worth the struggle.

  2. It looks like the seam was meant to be there because it's centred (or as you Yanks call it, centered *wink*) Well done, I have a free Amy butler bag pattern that I bought all the stuff for and then chickened out.
    I TOTALLY get the cramming feeling of trying to get something done, hours before you need it (that's SO me). And then ruining it and feeling like you wish a 2yr old's tantrum would fix it! Good on you for coming up with a solution!