I have been wanting to make Amy Butler's Weekender travel bag for a long time now and finally got up the courage. Everyone said how awful it was to make and what a pain it was to sew it so I was SOOO nervous. I am here to say that it was way easier then everyone made me to think. It does take a long time especially with all the cutting you have to do but it is worth it!
Here are the little changes that I made to make mine an easier process:
1. I bought pre-made cording/piping. The pre-made is from JoAnn's and is smaller then the pattern tells you to make the cording but I didn't care it eliminated me having to make it.
2. I used Decor Bond which is fusible instead of Peltex. Everyone said how hard it was to sew with the Peltex so I thought getting something that was not as thick would make my experience better. I used 2 layers of Decor Bond. Decor Bond is 40" wide so you can buy the same amount as the pattern says to buy for Peltex (which is only 20" wide).
3. I bought ShirTailor fusible Nonwoven Interfacing since I couldn't find what the pattern asked for and it worked awesome.
4. I used an 18 needle since I would be sewing with thick layers.
5. Fusible Tape! It made sewing the cording really easy.
6. I cut the handles at 4" x 56". It made the handles longer so it would go over my shoulder. Then I cut the Decor Bond for inside the handles at 1" (instead of the 7/8" as the pattern asks)
7. I bought a 30" zipper that is separating. I knew that I could hand sew the end of the zipper to keep it from separating and also with the zig zag stitch the pattern tells you to do on each end of the zipper the zipper would not separate.
8. I did not hand sew the lining inside. After the bag was all done I pinned the lining along the zipper on the inside of the bag and sewed it on along the zipper seam on the right side of the zipper (the top of the bag) so that stitching you wouldn't see since it was on the already stitched line you made when you sewed the zipper onto the bag. Hopefully that makes since here is a picture.
9. I cut 2 extra halves of the main panel out of the lining fabric and added in the shirtailer interfacing to make 2 pockets in the lining. I then sewed the pockets onto the main panel lining.
10. I added a zipper pocket to the main front pocket. I cut out an extra pocket lining and sewed an 16" zipper to the lining and the main fabric so that I have 2 pockets in one!
This makes it so you don't have to do cording on this pocket.
11. I reinforced the handles on with an X pattern to help the handles be stronger.
My interior lining is actually really nice looking with machine sewing the lining on the zipper. I was pleasantly surprised!
Needless to say have fun and make the bag your own. It really isn't that hard to make! I promise.
Even with the Decor Bond it stands on its own and has lots of strength.
Well I am ready now for The Sewing Summit and I will be having tons of fun traveling with my handmade Weekender!!!