5.26.2009

Amy Butler Weekender Bag

After seeing so many wonderful versions of this bag across the blogosphere, I knew that I wanted to tackle it. Knowing that it would be perfect for my two girls - each could use one for the long weekend getaway that we were planning and for the various trips to visit family over the summer - I decided to make TWO (what is wrong with me?). 


So I quickly ordered the pattern and fabrics, and anxiously awaited their delivery. As soon as the UPS man rang the bell alerting me that my packages had come, I set to work deciphering the pattern instructions and cutting (and cutting and cutting and cutting).

Bag 1 - for my 6 year-old because she LOVES the 3 little pigs!


Bag 2 - for my 3 year-old because I love the 
Little Red print, and her favorite color is blue!


That was over 2 months ago...

And my pile of fabric sits. And mocks me. It calls me a scaredy cat.


Which I am. The instructions are just so daunting! And you know how I. Hate. Patterns. 

We just got back from our long weekend getaway and the girls had to use backpacks to carry their belongings. Another trip is planned for 2 and 1/2 weeks from now. I really hope that this pile goes away.

p.s. Has anyone tried this pattern? I would love any advice that you have to offer!

28 comments:

roseylittlethings said...

It is super cute, I love the fabrics you chose! I made one of her other bags, and I love it, but it was a bit time consuming!

Cassie said...

You crack me up! I so get this. I think you are very brave. I couldn't even buy the pattern. It taunted me in the store...nanny, nanny, boo-boo, I will drive you crazy... I plugged my ears and walked the other way. Good luck to you, Kristen. I know you can do it. I can't wait to see the finished bags. You go girl!

Cassie

Katie said...

I have heard that pattern is pretty tough, but you should see it in person when it is done!! so cute!!

Susan said...

I haven't done that pattern but I made two Nappy bags for a double baby shower. Oy. I totally understand the intimidation. But I have total faith that you can do. You just need a cheerleading squad and a deadline, which looks like you have both! Go to it.

jane said...

just take your time. Once you tackle the weekender bag you can tackle just about anything!

Julie said...

I've loved this bag for so long! You're doing better than me - I couldn't even bring myself to buy the pattern because I'm afraid the same thing will happen to me!

householder/surface said...

I was pretty nervous when even the pattern itself says to be careful and take your time. It's not too difficult if you go slowly. One thing I added: inside pockets. My sewing machine seemed to handle the bulk just fine, and I just have the least expensive model Singer makes. You should definitely be able to do this in your time frame. I had my pattern sitting around for months (fabric uncut) and was able to accomplish the entire thing in a week of evenings. Happy sewing!

The Vinson Five said...

I thought the same thing and didn't even buy the pattern. You know what they say about eating an elephant... it also holds true for tough patterns.

Your cool friend Cheryl said...

Ahhh, this is the story of my life...

Good luck! I'm sure once you get started it won't be as bad as you thought (it always works that way), and the second will be a breeze.

Robin (rsislandcrafts) said...

I completely understand your hesitation. Patterns seem too complicated when I first read them. I read through them fast at first, then slowly another time or two...or three.

When I have a hard pattern to follow, I just take it very, very slow. I read one line of directions at a time and do (and worry) about only one step at a time.

When you are all done with the two bags you will have such a sense of accomplishment.

Good luck!

Luke & Kelsie Frazier said...

you should try the Sew Mama Sew blog. They have forums and such and I'm sure people would give you tips on it.

Simone Howell said...

Oh my! Prepare yourself. This is a tough bag. I make bags, that's what I do, this pattern.. takes a long time and is tough BUT it was well worth it! You can do it! Anyone can.. just prepare yourself for 10-12 hours per bag and take your time. I would suggest not trying to do it all in one sitting.

You can see my finished bag here http://www.flickr.com/photos/gardenhouse/3367438214/

One pointer, I did not use the peltex for the middle panel that has the zipper on it, nor on the handles. I use a heavy weight fusible fleece for those two areas and it worked fine.

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

What cute fabric choices! Good luck.

Megan said...

oh you brave soul! Good luck im excited to see the end product!

Nora said...

The bag is so cute! I can't wait to see what you come up with. You are SO talented!

Macy and Lucy said...

If anybody can do it, you can!! Can't wait to see the results.

Don't you love the UPS man when you've got something on order??!!

LeslieW. said...

I can't wait to see them finished! Where did you find that fabric? I love it!

Janet said...

My friend has made that bag and all I know is how much work it was. I'm dying to see yours made up. I'm trying to decipher a bag pattern at the moment but it's nowhere as complicated looking.

Becca said...

Oh, woman, you have some long hours ahead. I made a surprisingly complicated diaper bag (no where near as cute though). I didn't really realize that the bag would have over 30 pattern pieces, and I would need that in 2 fabrics, felt, and pellum. I was totally done with bags when I finished. The pattern I used had a place where there was supposed to be a dart, but they didn't call it a dart, and it seemed like it wasn't supposed to be a dart. I just had no clue what it was supposed to be. I figured out what it was by the 3rd corner.

Be prepared to make friends with your seam ripper. There is a reason why its expensive to buy handmade bags. Time. But, hey the second bag should go MUCH faster!

StephyG UK said...

You've just gotta give it a go though, your fabric choices are just TOO gorgeous not to!

Southern jezeBelle said...

i'm lusting for this pattern! i have some great paisley fabric for it but have not committed to buying it. I can't wait to see how yours turns out.

I did make myself an amy butler pattern dress for easter. it's the anna style. I did ok but the top leaves a bit to be desired. the thing I like is the glossery on her patterns.

can't WAIT to see it! maybe you'll inspire me to do it.

www.lalalollipop.com for all my of craftiness!

Abby Jo said...

Try the Birdie Sling pattern of hers... not bad at all.

Megan said...

I haven't used that pattern, I am rather scared of patterns, but I absolutely adore that fabric! Too cute! Hope it goes well for you, I'm excited to see the final project!

SoBella Creations said...

I have a Amy Butler bag pattern also. I hope to tackle it this summer.

Gail :) said...

Really! I ordered the weekender pattern before I read blogs. I loved the look of it. I have been sewing FOREVER, so I thought this shouldn't be that hard. I hate patterns too, and when I opened this one and read it I immediately closed it and put it on my desk. It is crazy!!! I love your fabric choices, maybe if you do it I will be motivated to make one for me :) Best of luck!

Candice said...

I JUST bought the pattern and am a bit hesitant as well, however I hope the outcome makes up for everything! :o)

PS- I love the fabrics you picked for your girls, so cute!

Marie said...

I've finished mine yesterday...after around 10 hours. But it really worth it. I'm quite proud of the result.
The essential is to be patient, and have a huge amount of strong needles, as well as a comprehensive sewing machine equiped with a jeans needle.
Patterns explainations are clear.
Pictures will come by the end of the week on my blog http://marikou.canalblog.com

Anonymous said...

Just do it! This bag is not all that hard because the intructions are so detailed. If you follow them a step at a time, the bag really goes together fairly easily. I have made six. Cutting out is time consuming - and one point if you are using 45" wide fabric is to cut the handles first along the selvedge of the lining fabric. The second hardest thing is sewing the top and bottom to the sides. Others have suggested you hand-baste the pieces together and I agree - at least around the corners. Don't plan to make the bag in one sitting. Finally, go to the Amy Butler web site and print the changes to the instructions. The new instructions have you cut the peltex pieces 1/2" smaller all the way around and fuse it to the pockets and front and back with fusible web. I haven't tried this method yet, but it should definitely cut down on the bulk.