What We’re Making! Weekender Bag by Amy Butler

on Feb 16, 2013 in Sewing, What We're Making | 40 comments

The Weekender Bag from Amy Butler has been on my sewing bucket list since I first saw it. The recent surge of bloggers creating the Weekender inspired me to just do it! Many wonderful people have written about the Weekender Bag. Elizabeth Hartman’s blog post and beautiful bag using the quilt-as-you-go method gave me the courage I needed. I won’t bore you with all the details of my construction.  I will say. Take your time. Go slow and allow many days to complete this project. The instructions are very detailed and thorough. It took me about a month of, very sporadic work, to complete the bag. I enjoyed fiddling with it whenever I had time.

I added Nancy Zieman Rectangle Rings to the strap and made them a bit longer for over the shoulder use. Cut the strap into 4 pieces measuring 14 1/2 inches each. Attach the rings and stitch them to the front panel in the same location given in the directions. The upper portion of my strap is 34 inches long. This allows enough fabric to fold over the ring and stitch it down to secure it.

Many of the fabrics used were in my stash. The blue and orange in Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Sparkle became my color inspiration. The following fabrics are the main prints used.

Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet in Cosmonaut and Watermelon
Robert Kaufman Quilters Linen Midnight
Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Sparkle Phones Blue
Carolyn Friedlander Architextures Text Navy
Etsuko Furuya Echino Ni-Co 2012 Airplane Blue
Lotta Jansdotter Moira Deep Indigo
Ellen Lucket Baker Stamped Circle Flower Red

2 tips to keep in mind –

Wonder Clips will help hold the multiple layers together while sewing. I used up to 10 at a time.

Use a piping foot for making 5 yards of piping. I switched to the zipper foot when the layers got too thick for the piping foot.

A ton of pockets can be added to the interior to keep you completely organized!

The zipper specified in the instructions is a 30 inch non separating zipper. I found a zipper intended for use in a jacket, which unzips at both ends, allowing access to either end of the bag. Following in Elizbeth Hartman’s footsteps I chose to install the exposed zipper instead of concealed as instructed. I love the look of the exposed zipper.

Bag Feet give a very finished and professional quality to the base. Measure 2 inches from each corner to get the proper placement. I used an exacto knife to make a small slit through the fabric base and through the Peltex base. Push the metal brads through the hole, put the back on and fold over the prongs. Here is a tutorial from Joanne at Today We Made showing how to add bag feet.

Helpful blogs –

Oh, Fransson! by Elizabeth Hartman

Don’t Call Me Betsy by Elizabeth Dackson
Round 1
, Round 2 and the Final Round.

Bumble Bee Bliss

Girls in the Garden

I am in love with this bag. Can’t wait to fill it with all my goodies for Quiltcon. Please stop and say Hi if you spot me and my bag in Austin.

Happy sewing!
~Diana

    40 Comments

  1. Thanks Diana! Your bag is fabulous! I JUST about have all my “ingredients” collected so I can start my Weekender. All of your tips and links will be very helpful.

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    Mary on Lake Pulaski

    February 16, 2013

  2. Oh, your bag turned out beautiful! A lot of the people in my quilt guild have made this bag and I’ve got it on my ‘to do’ list as well. Thanks for all the tips and blogs for help with it!

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    elsa

    February 16, 2013

  3. Gorgeous colors, great fabrics. One of the best Weekenders I’ve Sseen

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    darci

    February 16, 2013

  4. I love the bag! i have been wanting to make one for a while… Is it hard to use quilting fabrics instead of home dec? There are a few super cute quilt weight fabrics i’d love to use but I’ve not sewn a bag of this complexity before so i’m not sure how to replace the weight fabric and still get a sturdy bag.

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    jessica alvarado

    February 16, 2013

  5. Oh I adore your version! It has some super special features and detailing that make it extra special!

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    Debbie

    February 16, 2013

  6. This is fantastic Diana! I love that little fussy-cut airplane you included. 🙂 Thanks for the tips too. I think I’ll eventually get around to making this bag as well and I’ll definitely bookmark this post to return to.

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    Jenelle

    February 16, 2013

  7. Love love love your version! Thanks also for the helpful resources. I just got my hands on this pattern and was reading it over and planning which fabrics I wanted to use myself.

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    Vanesa

    February 16, 2013

  8. That is by far, my favorite weekender bag!! (Which is kinda funny, ’cause I’m not normally a ‘navy’ person ~ but I LOVE this!!) Excellent construction, too

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    Tracy

    February 17, 2013

  9. Yeah Diana,
    It is a show stopper! Good for you for sticking with the project. Cheers, Kerry

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    Kerry

    February 17, 2013

  10. Love your weekender bag, I bought the pattern quite awhile ago, but kind of afraid to make it. Thanks for your tips.

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    Chris

    February 17, 2013

  11. wow, this is AWESOME!!! you did a fantastic job. makes me want to make another weekender!

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    Carolyn

    February 18, 2013

  12. Diana- It was great to meet you and Kathy at Quiltcon! Seeing your bag in person was just the push I needed to make my own. I am gathering my supplies now! Thanks!

    View Comment
    Jeri

    February 25, 2013

  13. Your version is just awesome! I bet you were stopped by a lot of people, who didn’t even know anything about that bag before. If you told a non-sewist that you made it, I bet they would think your’e nuts! lol

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    Amy DeCesare

    March 2, 2013

  14. I have been trying to locate this pattern. Can you tell me where to find it?

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    Mary R.

    April 19, 2013

    • Hi Mary R. – we are out of stock again on this pattern. Should be back in by next Thursday. Thank you!

      View Comment
      Kathy

      April 20, 2013

  15. GREAT tutorial and great job! One of the best I’ve seen so far. Love the added D rings on the straps – looks better, stronger and less crooked like some others look. Do you have any tutorials for your beautiful pockets? I take it the orig patterns doesn’t have pockets? I’ve done some before, but your look great! Also was going to try the quilt as you go w/ this one. Just gives it so much more substance.

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    Pat Hayes

    August 10, 2013

  16. this is such a great bag, love the fabrics you used and all those little add-ons. Thanks so much for sharing, you totally inspired me to try something like that (an easier version though 🙂 myself..

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    claudia machen und tun

    August 14, 2013

  17. Love your bag and I love the exposed zip…would you share how you modified it for the exposed zipper? Thank you!

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    Lisa

    September 25, 2013

    • Hi Lisa, The exposed zipper… I knew someone would call me out on that at some point. I have made a bazillion little zipper pouches. I always install them with the lining and exterior at the same time. I must admit this caused a little figuring when it came time to attach the rest of the lining to the zipper panel. So beware that you will have to make more adjustments later. Here is a link to a zip pouch by Noodlehead. http://www.noodle-head.com/2012/06/open-wide-zippered-pouch-diy-tutorial.html

      Ina nut shell – The lining was then installed as I would with most any other bag pattern leaving an opening in the side to turn the whole bag through it. Sure hope that makes sense. ~Diana

      View Comment
      Diana

      September 25, 2013

      • Thank you Diana! It didn’t even occur to me to try it like that. The funny thing is that I JUST finished making a dozen of those open wide pouches for my Hood to Coast teammates! :). My bag is not quilt as you go, but rather the peltex version…not quite sure if I could get that whole bag turned inside out and through a hole in the lining…

        My biggest concern is how to handle the panels at each end of the zipper…since the zipper doesn’t go completely to the ends. I found this tutorial that I thought might work…but I am a little nervous to try it out… http://www.patternrunway.com/2012/06/how-to-sew-exposed-zipper-with-seam.html

        Thank you for your reply…I guess I need to quit wringing my hands and decide which route to try…. 🙂

        View Comment
        Lisa

        September 25, 2013

        • Love your link Lisa! That technique would work well with the pattern design. The way I did it had a domino effect causing more issues along the way. The Pattern Runway technique eliminates all of my other adjustments. I would go with that to install the zipper and finish the bag as per Amy’s instructions. Thank you for including that in your reply. I think I may need to do a blog post to share this tutorial with. Happy sewing! ~Diana

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          Diana

          September 25, 2013

          • I am glad that was helpful…I am going to have to do a practice one before attempting on my actual bag. I will watch your blog, I would love to know your thoughts after you give it a go.

            Best!
            Lisa

            View Comment
            Lisa

            September 25, 2013

  18. I love your weekender bag! Just getting around to trying this out for myself (some selfish sewing, if you will ????). Anyway, I was reading the fabric requirements online (as I am waiting on the pattern to arrive) and it suggests 54″ wide fabric, how did you address this in your construction? I see many panels, but wondering if I need more of anything before I get started (I have yardage of the fabrics I intend to use). Thank you for any response!
    Tamara

    View Comment
    Tamara

    April 4, 2015

  19. Hello,

    I just found this site and LOVE the bag shown!! How would I obtain the pattern? I also read one person’s comment on the zipper insertion. How is that done in the pattern that is different than the person asked?? Zippers seem to be one of those things that intimidate me so that’s why I am asking! If this pattern can be obtained, please email me with the specifics, and thank you! Thank you also for sharing your project with us!!

    View Comment
    Anne Wickman

    August 23, 2016

  20. The pattern does not appear to be available anymore. Any suggestions?

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    Betsy Stone

    April 16, 2017

  21. Lindo amei seu trabalho
    Quero te agradecer por ter
    Compartilhado com todos
    Muito,muito obrigada

    View Comment
    ANGELA

    July 11, 2018

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