Sunday, April 24, 2011
I've contemplated making Amy Butler's Weekender pattern for a looooong time. When I started sewing (again) a couple of years ago, I made it a goal to eventually make myself a Weekender.
If you've ever met me, you know I don't go into things halfway: any task I undertake (or might!) is researched and studied to no end. It was no different with the Weekender, even when I knew that Amanda would be working on one at same time (it was like a mini Weekender support group!). Every blog I read, every post about making the bag talked about how hard the bag was to make. What did I get myself into?
I had reason to be nervous when I started the bag: I'd never made piping before, and I'm not sure I've made anything so structured. My experience working with Timtex is also limited. But the bag, truthfully, wasn't actually that difficult to make. More than anything, I found that there were a lot of steps--each piece requires a lot of basting--and that the actual sewing required patience. Believe it or not, I'd actually like to make another Weekender soon!
There's not much I would change about the pattern, except maybe the number of layers of Timtex in the bottom panel: the pattern calls for three, but I think that 2 would probably suffice. It certainly would have made sewing the bottom much easier, and it was really only that part of the bag I had real difficulty with. Also, when the pattern calls for the use of heavy duty needles, they really mean it. I broke four (4!) needles before I finally broke down and bought some meant for heavy duty use. Finally, I bent a lot of pins, so use binder clips to hold together all of those layers! (Amy Butler suggests that, too. As you can see, I'm a stubborn sewer sometimes.)
I used an Anna Maria Horner print in a home dec weight cotton for the exterior, and the Later Alligator print from the Tammis O'Keefe tribute line for the lining. For the piping, I used My Folklore. I'm really, really pleased with how my Weekender turned out, and I've been encouraging everyone I know to make their own. I promise you'll love it!