Monday, May 08, 2006

My Weekender Bag

After a 10-hour sewing session on Saturday and a few more hours on Sunday, I finished my Weekender Bag. I can't find the words to express how thrilled I am to have finished this and to be completely happy with the outcome. Seriously, it took me ten minutes to write that last sentence and I'm not even sure it's grammatically correct. But enough stammering, here you go:
Weekender4

Weekender3

Weekender2

Weekender5

I started this bag 4 or so weeks ago, enamored with its cute vintage look and oblivious to how much time this would take to make. The outside fabric is from Amy Butler's Sunbloom line, for the lining and piping I got cocoa colored denim at my local Discount Fabrics. If you make this bag and want to center and match up your pattern, I suggest getting at least 2 yards of the main fabric. Instead of timtex I got peltex, which the sales lady claimed to be the same. I wonder though if it's not a bit thicker, as my bag is pretty sturdy and keeps its shape very well. Buy more than one big roll of thread and buy extra needles as well, I broke so many trying to go through a 3/8" layer of fabric. Because I couldn't find a 30" non-separating zipper in the color I wanted, I got a 36" separating zipper, sewed a zipper stop at 30" and chopped the rest off. It works perfectly. While the pattern instructions are easy to follow, they often didn't work for me and I used this book to help me especially with the zipper. After many failed attempts to have my pieces lining up correctly I stopped the pinning and sewing method. Instead I pushed the pins straight through
Pinning&Basting
then handbasted the layers, then sewed. Basting everything all the time through such thick layers takes a lot of time, but it was worth it, I had to rip and redo a lot less than in the beginning.
I would have liked some more explicit instructions on the cording/piping as well, instead of just "don't crowd the cording". When I made the piping, I sewed app. 1/4" inch from the raw edges, with my needle positioned in the middle (my sewing machine has a dial to adjust the placement of the needle, 3 is the middle, 4-5 move the needle to the left, 2-1 move the needle to the right). After you make the piping you will have to sew twice more, always to the left of the previous stitching line. When it came to sewing the piping onto the panel, I moved my needle to position four, while my zipper foot still sewed 1/4" from the raw edge. When you sew the last layer on with a 1/2" seam (the piping is now sandwiched between two layers), I moved my needle to position 5, my zipper foot still aligned to the raw edge (but the distance from the needle changed from 1/4" to 1/2" from the raw edge). I hope this is helpful. I'd recommend this project if you have patience. Mine was just about to run out, but my happiness over it now is already clouding the bad memories.

110 comments:

HPNY Knits said...

Louis Vuitton eat your heart out... amazing details!
where is the first trip to???

The Crafty Weasel said...

Wow, congratulations! It's absolutely gorgeous!!

swimknit said...

The bag is so beautiful!

amy said...

that is amazing! i bet you are happy you stuck with it. seriously, it is fabulous!

jessica said...

Your bag looks great! Congrats on finishing it.

blossom said...

the bag is absolutely gorgeous. and the artistic photos, too. you look so "vintage" in this outfit. wonderful. now i'm really inspired to make this bag. maybe with the handles longer so i can put it on my shoulder if needed.

Carol said...

oh my goodness, so lovely! wonderful photography too. such pretty green fabric...your bag really turned out beautifully.

iSeL said...

Stunning! You did an amazing job. The fabric, the sewing...it's just perfect.

I'd want to buy that bag if I saw it at a store. Of course, it would be ridiculously expensive and I'd be totally devastated...

What can I say? I'm jealous.

yahaira said...

I love, love, LOVE the bag! the fabric is so fresh and balances that shape perfectly.

so when are you sewing one for me? ; P

Kara said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! I have no other words...speechless.

Kelly said...

Oh. My. Gosh! You really outdid yourself this time! So beautiful. Must go buy fabric now! Seriously, your bag is an inspiration!

Diana said...

It came out so cute! Your bag is inspiring me to sew. The photos could be from a fashion magazine.

Stephanie said...

Awesome. I still have to do the lining - maybe this week I'll actually get that done.

bunchkin said...

So cute! I just started mine last night! Whoo hoo!

marirob said...

Wow! that is one fantastic bag. I love it! I'm so glad you're happy with it.

corinna said...

i should really "finish" (or just begin) mine - your bag is so wonderful!
and your clothes and the presentation are great, too!!!
congratulations!!!

Pink Rocket said...

It's bea-u-ti-ful!! I bought this pattern but haven't tired it yet. I have made another Amy Butler handbag and found the directions to be simple but so simple that her wording is hard to follow, like the "don't crowd the cording". I'll have to make one now!

Annie said...

OMG...I am *drooling* at how adorable and professional looking your bag is! I wish I was this advanced with sewing. Definitely gives me some inspiration!

gleek said...

that is possibly one of the most beautiful handmade bags i have ever seen! it looks like you picked up in a store!!! i would love to see pictures of the inside :) do you have any more photos? i've been thinking about picking up one of her patterns and i'm glad to hear that you liked it.

congrats on an absolutely stunning FO!

Marie said...

It's fantastic!! And I love the photos and and photo location!!

diana said...

Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous! It was worth all the hard work.

Erin said...

I am in awe. It looks so beautiful and elegant. I love the photo shoot too--great pictures. I want to learn to sew!

kris said...

oh holy crap! so incredibly beautiful! the photos are amazing as well.

Stinkerbell said...

wow I cant even begin to tell you how adorable it is and how I would so become a kleptomaniacif left with in its general vicinity.

I want one so bad now its not even funny :) I blame you and YaiAnn!

nikki the blogless said...

Oh wow! It is really, truly beautiful. :)

Beth (big geek) said...

your bag is lovely!

Alissa said...

Love your bag AND your photos. I have the pattern but haven't found a fabric I want to use yet. Thanks for all your helpful tips!

carol said...

Fabulous bag!

Purly Whites said...

Fabulous! And fabulous photos! I hate sewing, but seeing this kinda makes me want to.

Angela said...

Lovely Steph! It does take a lot of patience, and needles and more than one spool of thread. Yes, I can attest to that as well. Well done missy! And I love the pictures! If only my boy were as cooperative as yours! ;)

Jo said...

WOW! It's stunning! I so wish my sewing was up to such a task. Instead I am simply in awe.

jess said...

wow... je l'adore! may i ask: what was the most complex project you'd done before this? i've been trying to gauge whether my sewing skills are up to snuff enough to give this bag a go.

Robyn said...

Um, wow! I love. I also really like your photos. Oh, and those stylin' boots!

Liz said...

Your weekender is lovely. I'm new to you blog and took the liberty of admiring your other beautiful FOs. Nice work!

Shima said...

This bag rocks! You did an awesome job

Kate said...

It looks amazing!

Veronique said...

Wow! Stunning!
Gleek and I saw this pattern in a store and thought it was cute, but your rendition is quite impressive. Like Jess, I have to ask how difficult you would rate this pattern to be?

knitties said...

How absolutely gorgeous! Your photos are even better than the Amy Butler ads!!! You did a fantastic job with the bag :)

cynic the lamb said...

Wow! Excellent job there! The bag looks great; all your efforts were justly rewarded. Love the photographs, too.

Shayla said...

WOW You did an awesome job!! It's soooooo cute!

grumperina said...

Oh how I wish I could sew! Your bag is a beauty, and obviously completely worth any hassles :)

Vanessa said...

Wow! Wow! Wow! I'm speechless..gorgeous pictures gorgeous bag. Amazing! Great job girl!

uhoava gnu said...

That is SO beautiful bag! And great pictures, too! Congratulations, you've done great work :)

Anne said...

Super coole Tasche und tolles Shooting. Gratulation!

Julia said...

Absolutely amazing! Very cool pictures, too. Totally stylin!

julia said...

wow, wow, wow is really all I can say. I wish I could sew...

joujouka said...

So fantastic and stylish!!
Very very cool bag and photos.

Anna said...

Awesome!

Terhi said...

It is totally gorgeous! And your photos - beautiful! I'll be coming back to look at these many times...

Minna said...

Wow, it's perfect! Great job!

Carola said...

I'm stunned. Fantastic pictures and what a beautiful bag! You must be very proud - of course, you did a great job!

hege said...

That is an awesome bag! Congratulations, you did such a great job!

KnittenKnots said...

Ummmmm...GORGEOUS!! I love the bag - you did an awesome job on the colors and the sewing. Your last post cracked me up - it sucks that you don't like the yarn color on your kit but that kitty pic made me smile regardless.

Zeila said...

But Steph, do you really think it's a good idea to stand on the railroad tracks???

I do love the bag and you did a beautiful job.

quenna said...

Beautiful bag -- your photos belong in a magazine layout!

Monica said...

The photos are really cool -- and the bag too!

erin said...

The bag is fabulous and so are the photos - like right out of Vogue magazine!

Lynette said...

your bag is amazing! after seeing it, i bit the bullet and called Joann's to sign up for a sewing class. ;)

Megan said...

I'm going to add my applause to all who have gone before me - that bag is FANTASTIC! I love and adore it.

Siow Chin said...

This is an incredible looking bag! Just amazing and so beautifully brought out by your photo shots.

sue said...

Wow what a gorgeous bag. It looks just as good as Yaiann's bag. How clever you girls are. Maybe one day I will get motivated to sew a bag like that, just not yet though.

vera said...

can't wait to see your finished clapotis. love the colour! x

Janette said...

Fabulous bag!

Claire Louise Milne said...

Wow! When I first saw your picture on sew-i-knit I thought it was from a fashion magazine. You have great style, and the bag is gorgeous!!

Heidi said...

This looks so cool on you!I absolutly love big bags and after I saw yours I love them even more. Also the sewing looks so professional. Great job!

katie knits said...

you're right to be proud, this is stunning. thanks for the tips, as well, in case i feel brave enough to ever try similar!

(lovely photos, too.)

Elli said...

I obviously need to get on the hand-basting boat! Your bag looks absolutely perfect! I love your photos too.

Chris said...

Your bag is wonderful - and your photos sublime!! Yay, you!!

Siri said...

Incredible! Well worth the time and effort. I'm sure you've inspired many others to make one of these.
(When I first clicked on your site and saw that 22nd street sign, I thought I was looking at freezer paper printed t-shirt...until I scrolled down.

JulieFrick said...

Oh, my jealous, jealous heart.

elizabeth said...

that bag is amazing!!!! i am in awe :)

kim said...

Your bag is gorgeous!!! I've seen the pattern all over and have never been inspired to make myself one, until NOW! I want that bag so bad, I can taste it. I think the combination of prints is what really makes it stand out. The Sunbloom Lotus print you used is gorgeous and not too overstated. Great Job! Would you mind if I linked to this post on my blog?

Rebecca said...

Awesome bag! I'm literally drooling with envy. And, I have that vintage knitting booklet. ;)

cheers

Kathy said...

That is jaw-dropping gorgeous!!! Congratulations!!!!

marietta said...

the bag is just fantastic! i have been meaning to make it for ages and it is nice to see a finished one that is not on the pattern cover - gives a different perspective. thanks for the hints..i love that yuor pattern repeat matches all over - sides and pockets...very nice

Krawuggl said...

Da fehlen mir auch die Worte, die Tasche ist einfach unglaublich toll geworden, super, phantastisch, großartig!!! Du bist das reinste Nähgenie, wenn ich mir allein deine Beschreibung durchlese - so kompliziert, und du hast alle Hürden so bravourös gemeistert. Zum Glück gibst du nicht so schnell auf, wie ich es normalerweise tue! Ich kann dir gar nicht sagen, wie ich dich beneide, sie ist einfach zu schön! Und dazu noch die tollen Fotos - meine allerallerallerbesten Glückwünsche zu dieser traumhaften Tasche!
Liebe Grüße,
Suzi

Cutie said...

This is my first time at you blog, I followed a link to look at some lace sock pattern, and saw this. These pics of you with this bag literally took my breath away- so pretty, and perfect, looks like a modelling shoot!

Anyhoo, great job. I totally need to learn to sew now!!!!

Emms :)

Areli said...

Gorgeous!! I love your pictures, they show it off so well. The size is great, you will get so much use out of it, too.

oscarcat said...

Great bag, and great photos!

I am so jonesing to make one myself. i could probably justify it too!

Thanks for the inspiration. :)

Anonymous said...

OH. MY. GOD. THAT IS SO AWESOME! can i ask where the pattern is from?

Drew

http://colorguardblog.blogs.com/knitblog/

jacqueline said...

i wish i could sew half as good as you. that is absolutely gorgeous!

WOW!!

sarah said...

This project has single-handedly inspired me to learn to sew. It is so, so perfect, would sell for megabucks at a department store Love it!

Shelina said...

Wow, these look like pictures from a catalog. The bag is wonderful, and you chose a perfect place to photograph it.

stacy said...

Your bag turned out absolutely beautiful - and your pictures are straight out of a catalog. Nice work!

keohinani said...

wow.

Ronda said...

I just finished with this, too! It's great. Yours looks wonderful. I'll definitely do it again. The first one was a gift and she loved it. I used a vintage looking decorator fabric. Nice job!

posidriv said...

It is GORGEOUS! I love it! And the pictures are just beautiful!!!

Heels said...

I am in awe of the serious gorgeous-osity this bag has. I am trying to decide if I can make one for myself and I think it's way beyond my machine skills, but I so want to try.

Lovely. Amazing.

Pamelamama said...

Bah! I am seething with jealousy! Seething, I tell you!

Ali said...

Love it!!! (Great photos too. Hey, may I ask who your boots are by? I'm looking for something like them for fall.)

TheSteph said...

This is the most awesome bag I've ever seen.

Henriette said...

I LOVE IT...sell it to me...please! Do you remember how many hours it took you to make it?

Coley said...

i am totally in love love love with this bag!!!

Elizabeth Gwen Originals said...

That is the most gorgeous bag ever! Congrats :)

Anonymous said...

Very very nice bag !! congatulation :)

I hope I can find a tutorial or somthing the same as this, I am in the middle east and it's defficult to find buy the pattern :(

Thank you for sharing it, and well done. keep sewing & goodluck.

Ghada

littlegreen said...

i wasn't going to comment cause I can see you have about ten million comments already... But I just had to to tell you you are an inspiration. I had absolutely no desire to make that bag, even using my imagination for all sorts of color combinations, but now I feel like I must order the pattern and the fabric immediately. Thanks for your beautiful eye in creativity!

Anonymous said...

LOVE this bag. I am looking for a nice overnight bag and can't seem to find one. want to make me one, i'm so not crafty? just kidding. but i do love it.

Shannon said...

Your bag looks wonderful! I just bought this pattern, so I definitely appreciate reading about what it was like for you to put it together. Thanks!

Charlotte said...

Thank you very much for relaying your experience in making this bag as I have heard it is an absolute nightmare and to me sewing is supposed to a relaxing interest not stressful. I personally appreciate the photographs taken of you with the bag as this gives me at least the idea of how big this bag actually is against a body - and it is bigger than I thought - which is good. I would really like to have a go at making this and will probably make a toile first - I would much rather spend the extra money on doing that and getting it 'right in my head' than use the fabric of my ideal choice and ruin it - that would break my heart. And besides - the toile - if good enough - could be used for something else. I have bookmarked this page for future reference. Thank you again. Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

Just noticed though - no purse/bag feet/studs. After all of that work I would have put at least 6 on it (3 either side).

craftoholic said...

Thanks Charlotte :-)
The pattern is really not difficult....it's just the layers, ugh! So just give yourself time and enjoy the process. Some sewers out there have finished this bag in a weekend, I am a slow sewer, so it took me at least a month.

"Anonymus": I thought about adding purse feet, but I don't like them so decided against. I never put any of my purses on the ground, there's always a chair or sofa my bag can sit on when I'm out with it. Besides, I've messed it up big time once with dirt, and it cleaned beautifully.

Jen said...

I just did the Swing Bag. The Weekender was too ambitious for me.

It is a great looking bag.

Zilla said...

Hey there! Been a little while since you made this adorable bag! Wanted to see how the Peltex held up over the years. Did it soften at all, or it is still nice and stiff and shapely? I'm FINALLY going to make mine, but Timtex is no longer. Thanks! :)

Eraina said...

That is the absolute cutest bag ever. I love it. Seriously - ditto on the LV eat your heart out comment. Does Amy Butler still have that green fabric? Or do you know the name of it?

craftoholic said...

Eraina,
the pattern is called 'Lotus', but I'm certain it is discontinued. maybe you can still find it on ebay?
-Steph

nayandra said...

It's a hi from Indonesia...I don't know where to start to adore your bags here. Cheers!!

eeloh said...

Hey, I love your bag! Though my heart goes out to you making the piping and lining from denim. Ouch!

I finally tracked down some Timtex (in Australia at my local quilting shop) after I'd done the bag. I couldn't believe how different it was from what I ended up using - buckram, on the advice of someone at a fabric store. Buckram is like canvas, incredibly stiff. It was a b*** to sew.

But even with its imperfections, it was still worth it. I love that bag.

Miss Piggy said...

Hello,

would you make one or two for me? different pattern of course. If interested please contact me through myblog madaboutpink or by email.
Thanks

jess.shulman said...

I know this is a four-year-old post but I just wanted to add my congratulations on this gorgeous bag!! I was just typing this sentence to a friend about the weekender pattern: "I'm dying to try but scared 'cause I bet it'll be a huge time investment (not to mention investment in beautiful fabric) and I'm not sure my skills are worthy of such an investment yet... but maybe I"ll just go for it." and I went online to find a link to the pattern to send her, and stumbled across your post. I am a) amazed and proud (can you be proud of someone you don't know? sure!), and b) thankful for your accurate depiction of how hard and time-consuming this thing will be. Helps me to set my expectations. THANKS!! I hope you are still using and loving that bag today.

craftoholic said...

Thanks so much for that lovely comment, Jess! Yes, I still love my weekender bag, currently it's used to store some yarn! Making it was definitely a challenge, but I focused on the process and took my time. I say make it, it's worth the effort!