Wednesday, October 15, 2008

FO: Weekender Bag, Version 3.0

When I finished my first weekender bag, I claimed it would be the last. When my sister requested one a few months later, I couldn’t help but give in, but swore this one would definitely be my last. Even then, I knew I would eventually make one for my mom. While the three of us have slightly different taste, there is definitely a common current within all of our style aesthetics. I credit my dad for this, the most opinionated and eager fashion critic in the family. (Seriously!) Anyway, I think his unique guy perspective taught all three of us to take a second look at various garments and bags and realize that some of our initial castoffs are actually fashion jewels in disguise. This phenomenon worked both ways. A sour facial expression of his could also soil what we originally found to be the “must-have” essential of the shopping trip. Now that I’m pushing 30, I don’t often bring my dad in tow when I go shopping, but I still find myself relying on his perspective, which invariably influences nearly every of my fashion purchases, and I’m sure those of my mother and sister.

Every once in a while, all three of us will stumble upon something that we all “need.” Most often, it’s my mom who discovers something so uniquely wonderful that she’ll buy one for each of us. My sister, who has the keenest eye for high fashion (while I was wearing homemade dresses and Birkenstocks in college, she was wearing Dior sunglasses and toting around Louis Vuitton bags), manages that arena. With the weekender, it’s my turn to give back.

A compilation of handmade goods - a handknit sweater and handknit bag. Oh, and a 8-month pregnant belly, but that's not really handmade, or is it?

Nearly two years after finishing the first, I completed my third weekender bag this past weekend. Lucky for my mom, version 3.0 is by far the best technically-executed of the three. I never even finished sewing the lining into my bag!

Pattern: Weekender Bag by Amy Butler
Exterior Fabric: Joel Dewberry, Ginseng Collection from Purl. 2 yards, Sand Spade Damask 1/2 yard Camel Modern Bud
Interior Fabric: Home Dec weight cotton in Mustard from
Other notions: Gunmetal Grey Zipper, Cotton Cording, Template Plastic, Interfacing, Timtex, etc. All from Joann.

I fell in love with Joel Dewberry fabrics while making this bag. I’ve been loving "grellow" lately and knew my mom would also love the colors, so choosing this palette was a no-brainer. I didn’t realize it until I started cutting, but the main fabric looks like little owls and the strap/cording fabric look like either little flowers or like the Family Circus cartoon characters (I flipped this fabric, so it looks more like flowers). Just a random observation :)

There’s really not more to say about this bag that I haven’t said before (or hasn't been said by others). Like the two other bags, I added a zipper pocket to one side of the interior and a wall of pockets on the other side. I would be lost without those pockets on my bag, they really are a must. I used a walking foot this time around in place of the standard foot, which helped a great deal. I still went through 3 or 4 needles while making this bag, one area I can’t seem to improve upon. Also, when the needle breaks, it usually bends my walking foot, which requires me to pry it back into shape with pliers. Fun.

Inside Zipper Pocket

I'm not a huge fan of hand-sewing, so sewing the lining to the exterior of the bag has been a problem area for me. I never finished it with my bag and my sister's is a little schlumpy. Rather than ultimately being disappointed with the final product, I sat down and watched Ironman and SNL and resigned myself to painstakingly finish the bag. I'm so glad I did. A few hours of work yielded a polished product, one of which I am proud. Now if I could just force myself to do that all the time...

Wall of Side Pockets

I’d say this one is definitely the last and that I will never make another weekender bag, but I’ve seen crazier things happen so I’ll just keep my mouth shut.

Zipper (duh)

In any case, Happy Birthday, Mom! I hope you enjoy the bag (once I finally send it to you). Now we just have to worry about all three of us not using them at the same time!


Jessie said...

I'm making one (my first one) for my mom's birthday right now! I'm about to start on the zipper part and I'm nervous! I'm so glad I have all you blogger's knowledge to draw from :) I already know I'll be making a second one for myself and maybe a third for my sister as well. The pattern produces such great results that it makes the 5 hours of cutting worth it lol.

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