Amy Butler Weekender Bag

September 20, 2012 at 12:46 am (Sewing)

I did it! I did it! (Imagine me doing a happy dance…which I actually did when I completed this…)  I actually completed the holy grail of sewing patterns…the Amy Butler Weekender Bag.  I’ve had the fabric for this bag for about 3 months, the pattern for about 3 years and I’ve wanted to make it for waaaay longer than that.  What stopped me you ask? Several things– finding the perfect fabric was key (I finally found it in a tiny, hip, fabric store that I dragged my fiance into in Spokane, WA called The Top Stitch.  Yup– this Jersey Girl travelled all the way to Washington for the perfect fabric– if that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is!), but really, it was all the negative reviews of this pattern found online.   I seriously have never read a positive review about this pattern, and yet, every sewist who lays eyes on it must, must, *must* make it.  I guess it’s a right of passage…. or maybe it’s the bragging rights? Maybe it’s a sickness? Who knows.  Whatever it is- when I first saw it years ago, I knew I had to make one.

I finally got up the courage this weekend to tackle this huge endeavor.  I’m going away next week (back to Washington– I may have to stop into the fabric store to show it off!), and I thought it might make the perfect carry-on bag, and now that it’s done, I know it’ll be perfect!  The excitement of having this bag in front of me is already starting to cloud out all the bad memories of sewing it– the cutting….and cutting….and cutting (there’s over 50 pieces), the piping (made from scratch nonetheless!), and oh– that stiff peltex and layers of interfacing.  In the end though- it was worth it.

Without further adu– my beast of a bag! (Seriously- it could be considered a small piece of luggage rather than a bag!)

A little recap:

Closeup of the fabric chosen.  It’s from the Amy Butler Home Decor “Lark” line– it’s called “Charcoal, Floral Couture”  Purchased at the Top Stitch in Spokane, WA.

The infamous pattern!

50+ pieces!

I used one of the many tips I read online and “pinned” my bag with clothespins rather than straight pins.  Seriously– nothing was penetrating the 10 layers of fabric that I had to sew through at one point.

Speaking of sewing through all that fabric…. here’s the first of 4 sewing machine needles I bent or broke:

Not only that, I broke two separate sewing machines! (Thankfully, they were both fixable)

Some tips and changes I made:

First of all, if I were to make one again, I’d invest in a welting foot.  I used a zipper foot, but even then, I had to sew some seams 3 or 4 times, getting a little bit closer to the piping each time.  It was a pain!

I’m also glad I took the time to line up the fabric for the pockets– makes for a much more polished finished look!  (I also doubled the pocket pieces and added a second set of pockets on the inside of the bag.  Four outside pockets is nice, but I like to have some organization on the inside too!

And last, I couldn’t believe the handles were attached with a little line of sewing!  I made mine more secure by sewing a box with an “X” inside.

All in all, it’s a great bag.  I might consider making another….but not any time soon!  My fingers need a little R&R from being pricked by needles and alllllll that handsewing to get the lining sewn to the inside of the bag (ha– you should have seen me sewing the lining in…I practically climbed into the bag to do it.  I wish I had a picture!).  But, I do love it’s size– it’s all ready to go here with my magazine and water bottle!

I think I might add a handle cover and a zipper pull, but it’ll have to wait for now!

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3 Comments

  1. Amy Butler Bag- Status: Complete! « Snapshots of Time ~ 2011 ~ 365 Day Project said,

    […] For more information and pictures, check out my crafting blog: https://sewin2disney.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/amy-butler-weekender-bag/ […]

  2. carriesews said,

    We call this the 3 needle bag!

  3. Carolyn said,

    Dana I love this bag. I can see why you had to use the clothespins. Those are some thick layers! I have seen from others that it is a lot of work.

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