Tuesday, March 13, 2012

amy butler weekender, part 2

The Weekender Travel Bag pattern is detailed and very clear. I can't imagine you will go wrong if you are careful in following it. Myself, I just noticed a big black ribbon across the top with advice to "...read through all of the instructions before you get started on your project. Be sure to pre-wash and press all of your fabric..." Oops.

But pre-reading (in addition to pre-washing) is a good idea. In particular, reading through the pattern is helpful in gathering supplies. As others have noted, one only needs 4 pieces of cording, not 5 continuous yards. And as the cording along the pockets runs straight, it can be covered in fabric cut with the grain instead of on the bias. I did this and was able to stretch my fabric, as I did not have quite enough. You can see below how much I had to piece fabric to get a bias strip. The two straight pieces sit beneath the bias strip.
One reason I was tight on fabric is that I added an inch in length to the bag. I wanted to be able to slip my laptop inside, and the extra inch made that possible.

The other reason was a cutting mistake. Because of the way the pattern was folded to fit inside its cover, I inadvertently used it as the fold line even though the actual fold line is very clearly and heavily marked. So my advice, if you are careless like I am, is to tape the non-functional crease straight as I finally did, below.
Evening One went like this:
  • cut out all pieces, including Peltex and interfacing pieces. This is time-consuming, particularly when changing the dimensions, as I did. 1" needed to be added to all affected pieces, which is to say, to all pieces. I also added 1" and 4" to the width and length, respectively, of the carrying straps and associated Peltex pieces.
  • made cording. As noted, I had to stretch my fabric a bit due to my changes and hastiness. If you make the bag as written and are careful in following directions, making the cording is a simple procedure. You cut and sew together bias strips, then wrap the strips around your cotton cording, sealing with Stitch Witchery or something similar.
  • made the main pocket with cording
  • made the handles
  • attached the handles, main pocket and cording to the main panels. If adding any details to the main pocket (i.e., a snap closure or zipper), do so before stitching the pocket to the main panel.
This first evening ended with the two main panels complete.

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