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:
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
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.