Sew…can I sew? Well I won’t say I’m an experienced seamstress. I mean, I can sew a little, have made duvet covers and pillow cases. I once got full grades at school for making a simple dress with pockets, that I sewed on the front and through the back and couldn’t understand why it wouldn’t slip over my head. A simple tote bag and some curtains but nothing as advanced at this.
I fell in love with this bag back in 2008. I HAD to make it no matter what. I even thought about commissioning someone to make for me. I was excited. I was desperate. Brought the pattern and thought woohooo…..here I go! Who was I kidding, ME….make that? No way. That idea was forgotten. This year, after clearing out some things, the pattern reappears and I make a rash decision to rehome the pattern to someone who may be able to make it. No sooner the pattern leaves my hand, a sense of regret and my heart longs for the bag and I fall in love with it all over again and repurchase the pattern, stupid yeah. This time, I WILL attempt to make it, you watch me.
Yet again, it never fails, always happens to me. A cat fight with two other ladies for the fabric. I saw it walking away, clutched under the arms of a lady. Then another lady has her eye on it. Why me?? But I did get the final cut and enough to make two bags.
Clarke & Clarke Celeste Home Decor Weight 100% Cotton
Right…..cut the chat, time to reveal what all the fuss is all about.
My Amy Butler Weekend Bag
I really cannot believe I did it. I worked on it everyday, every spare minute. I had to pinch myself and rub my eyes, hold it at arms length. I am so proud of myself. Even Mr Snobs is speechless. He had faith in me, he knew I could do it and I love him for that.
I didn’t think my old Singer sewing machine could handle the thickness of the piping, several layers of fabric and Timtex but it did. Good old sewing machine! Pinning was hard, my fingertips were so sore and tender and I hated those pin pricks but whatever the pain, it was well worth it.
Piping and Front Pocket
Front Panel, temorary attached but you get the idea
Wasn’t too happy about the instructions on attaching the zip, so I did it my way.
I knew these funky bulldog clips would come in useful one day! I still have the inner lining to sew and attach.
My tips for a successful Weekend Bag:
- Read several times the insructions before you start and pin up the instructions sheet
- Take time to position and cut your pieces
- Take into consideration how you position your pattern pieces, ie pattern repeats etc
- Buy extra fabric so you can cut pieces so they are symmetrical on each side
- Pin and baste (tack) pieces
- Be patient, don’t rush, encourage yourself, YOU CAN DO IT
- Buy extra sewing needles if required
- Bulldog clips are essential as pinning will be hard on the fingers when assembling the bag
- Purchase bag feet, this will keep your bag off the floor
- Choose your fabric carefully, especially the weight of the fabric. Home decor weight gives a much sturdy bag and retains the shape well
- Buy Timtex, it’s a much thicker stabilizer
- Research on other methods of joining piping, I preferred End to End piping (a great tutorial on preparing and sewing piping)
- Sew and press, give a more professional finish
- And last but not least enjoy every minute of it, the end result will be amazing
…..and if you’re lucky, your DH may reward you with a beast! I mean my new Serger, or Overlocker, whatever you call it, together with all the accessories and feet, 12 cones of thread, a set of scissors and a carry case.
It’s a monster! Threading that is, but once you got it, you’re away!