Friday 21 October 2016

The Weekender Bag - I made it!

Well technically I made it back in June but only got around to finally putting in the lining last week.

Where to begin?

Well it's not difficult but it is tricky.

There's a million and one blog posts out there about it, some with step-by-step instructions but I'm not sure I have that much more to add so these are just my comments on the whole process.

Like a lot of people, I used Peltex, wadding and then scraps of fabric - all the ones I used were canvas weight.

I'm not particularly sure what my colour scheme was - perhaps mustard, burgundy and blue with a bit of teal.

Then once you've done the two main panels, it's on to the front and back pockets which require a line of piping on the top of each.

Top right is the lining for each of the pockets and it's a home furnishings weight fabric.

Then it's sewing the pocket to the main panel, plus the straps which are my only regret.

I wish I'd made them wider and possibly sturdier. It's a big old bag and if you really do stuff it to the max, you're going to need the strongest handles possible. Can't remember what the instructions were for sewing the handles on but just know I went above and beyond what the instructions said, to make sure they stayed secure. I also made my handles longer than the instructions.

Then you sew the piping all the way around the edge of the bag and get so excited you need to stop, model half a bag and have your photo taken for posterity.

You also need to have your photo taken because from here on in, it does start to get tricky and you need to remember that moment and hold on to it.

Actually, I tell a lie, there's the attaching the zipper to the long, long panel. That step is not too bad.  Although it's such a long piece of required fabric, I just sewed scraps together to get to requisite length.

On the right that's the laminate fabric I decided to use for bottom exterior - you know, wipe clean and all that.

Right, now this bit is tricky and all the tutorials I read said SWITCH TO A JEANS NEEDLE. Do it. If you don't you'll have broken needles.

Fortunately I finished the whole project with no broken needles because I think I used a jeans needle at this stage and because I took it oh so slowly. You're using your zipper foot for this stage and you are attempting to get as close to the edge of the piping as possible.
You may need to go back at certain points and redo - I did.

So attaching one main panel to the zipper panel is fiddly/annoying/time consuming/stress inducing but it is completely achievable.

Where the tricky levels ramp up a notch or two is sewing the other main panel to the pic above. Then you need to take it stitch by stitch. All told, I think it took me about 20 minutes to accomplish that step.

Then you are just giddy with 'OMG, I just made a Weekender'. I can achieve anything.
Or thereabouts.

So giddy, that you feel the need to make a mosaic of your Herculean achievement.

Then, I think I was just so over making it, I couldn't face the lining.

It sat there for four months until I realised I actually did want to use it and that wasn't going to happen until I'd made and inserted the lining.

Which I did.

And I can't find the photos I took but they are on my Instagram feed (link in right hand side bar) if you are interested.

You are slip stitching (by hand) the lining in and that is timing consuming and especially fiddly once you get to the zip ends. You can just see in this pic that I chose a home dec weight pink fabric for where I would be hand stitching but the bulk of the lining is a laminate.

And then it is done and you have one finished Weekender Bag.

Did I actually need one - no.
is it good value to make - absolutely not.
Would I make one again - absolutely yes.


Because it's a challenge, a real achievement when you finish one.
Because I happen to think it is one of the best looking and professional bag patterns out there at the moment.

For those reasons alone I would recommend you make it.
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