Pattern Review – Amy Butler Weekender Travel Bag

Hello.  Hope you enjoy and the pattern review on the Amy Butler Weekender Travel Bag.  We have an Update with a few added bag enhancement just here.

In the Update I’ve added a couple of new ideas like: velcro for the outside pockets and inserting a small inner pocket.

Yes, see it here.  Oh, but before you do, best read the tips and tricks below – these will help you with the pattern basics.  ps. here’s a pic of the latest one I’ve made. x

Review: Feb 2012

Sewing Level: IntermediateAmy Butler Weekender Travel Bag Pattern Review & Tips

I really enjoyed making the Amy Butler Weekender Travel Bag. I found the pattern to be comprehensive and relatively easy to follow.

As always, I’d recommend that you read through the pattern (at least once!) before beginning.  Actually read through the cutting layout instructions and guide several times – to ensure that you have enough fabric!  This gives you a good overall feel for what you’ll be doing in each step.

With piping, zip, interfacing, ‘bulk’ sewing and hand-sewing, ,this pattern is suitable for the intermediate sewer.  I’d recommend that you have had some experience with inserting a zipper.  The piping instructions are quite straight-forward. When joining pieces all together, sewing does become very bulky – just go slow, relax and take your time!

I did do a few things differently, which I’ve outlined below – hopefully this will help you when you are making your own bag.

I used heavyweight fusible interfacing rather than pellon – the finish is a little different (not as thick & cushy), but it still sits beautifully, it was a little easier to sew (less bulky) and was also more cost effective.

Step 10 – Actually iron in the 3 peltex/heavy interfacing bottom inserts to the wrong side of the exterior bottom, along with the lightweight interfacing (rather than waiting to insert them in Step 11E) – this will ensure that the bottom panel remains flat and does not buckle/pucker when trying to place the inserts at a later stage.

Step 10 Decrease seam allowance to 1/4″ when sewing the lightweight interfacing to the Exterior Bottom.  This will ensure that the seam can’t be seen once joined to main panels.  (The pattern recommends that you use 1/2″ seam for both).

Step 11 – Once you have pinned the top and bottom panels to the main panels, clip the curves before you sew.  This will minimise puckering at the curves.

Step 13 – Iron in the peltex/heavy interfacing to the wrong side of the false bottom (rather than inserting later) this will ensure that the false bottom remains flat and does not buckle/pucker when trying to place the insert at a later stage.

Pros:
Easy to follow instructions & helpful diagrams (visual is everything in sewing!)

Involved a number of sewing techniques, including interfacing, piping, inserting a zipper, hand sewing and top sewing

One gorgeous, comfortable and good sized travel bag – which I always receive compliments on!

Cons:
The bag was quite fiddly to sew at times – including joining the main panels with top/bottom panels, particularly around the corners.  Preventing puckering was quite difficult, especially because of the bulk of the bag pieces – however, going slowly and clipping the seams before sewing helped a lot!

Sewing the lining in was quite tricky, only because of space limitations (you’re hand sewing it into the bag) – to overcome this, just fold each side of the bag right down to the base, then hand the sew seam allowances together at certain points (my sewing points were about 15cm apart, and always on curved corners).

In Three Words:  Persist with fun!

Enjoy Peeps x