Monday, August 12, 2013

Weekender Sew Along - Week 2

Have you picked your fabrics for the Amy Butler Weekender yet?  I found this awesome map print at Fabric Corner and paired it with apple green instead of my usual pink.

I decided to go the traditional route rather than quilting this so I had to cut out all those extra Peltex and Shape-Flex pieces.  The cutting definitely gets tedious but I took a tip from Stephanie and Natalie about the joys of sewing on vacation and decided to setup my "sweat" shop on the porch in Maine.

I did things a bit out of order and started with making my handles (Step 5).  They go together easily and the directions are clear.  Some people have suggested making them a bit wider.  I didn't but probably will next time, I'm afraid these are going to be hard on the shoulder.

Step 3:  I LOVE making bias binding!!!  I don't bother pinning, if you've got the overlap correct the needle will sit right inside the intersection.  I chain piece all my strips making sure not to get them twisted around.

I used Nancy Zieman's Wrap 'n Fuse Piping.  It really does bond so joining the ends at the bottom in Step 6 was a bit of a challenge but it saves you from step 3F, stitching the cording.  I didn't think it through before I started but I'm pretty sure that if you make two strips of piping each the length of 1 package of Wrap 'n Fuse you can get 1 pocket top and 1 main panel from each strip.

Step 4 is also well written and easy to follow.  I really like her Peltex sandwich method for putting together the various layers.  It prevents the bunchy look you get when you affix Decor-Bond to your exterior fabric and makes the bag nice and stiff.

The hardest part of Step 6 is pinning the straps through the layers of Peltex.  Next time I'll try a glue stick.  As suggested by some other bloggers, I stitched along my rows of topstitching up to the 9" mark and stitched an X at the top to make the straps more secure.

It definitely makes life easier to use Clover Wonder Clips to hold the layers together for Step 7.  

Remember to tuck your straps inside your pocket so they don't get stitched into your piping and just take it nice and slow.  It also helps to use coordinating thread.

And there you have it, your front and back bag panels:-)  Tune in next week when we tackle the dreaded zipper installation in Step 8;-)

Remember you can ask questions in our MQG Community Forum and add your progress pics to our Flickr pool.


  1. Great tips. I definitely think I'm going to make my handles wider. Those look very skinny.

  2. Wow! Beautiful! Alice, you make it look so easy! I can't sew along with you guys this time but these posts will be so useful if I ever manage to conquer my fear of this bag!

  3. Can I come to your porch in Maine just for a day? :)

  4. I'm still getting my supplies, but wanted to mention on Amazon they have 6 yard packages of the wrap'n'fuse. I haven't looked at the cuts on the pattern yet but I figured it might be easier with one long piece.

  5. What a gorgeous bag! Could you tell us a little more about the fabric? I've never seen it before, and I'm a fabric store-aholic! Is it quilting fabric or heavier weight? The bag looks amazing and your instructions make the bag look like a snap (which I KNOW it's not)! Thanks for the great tutorial.

  6. I also totally covet that map fabric--- is there any information in the selvedge? I live in NC but have a friend in concord, MA, who might be able to snag some for me!