March 10th, 2013

Weekender Bag

by Julie Hirt

I’ve joined the ranks of the “Weekender Elite”. YES! *fist pump*  Amy Butler‘s web site that should offer a Certificate of Achievement or something.

I don’t even know where to begin, so let’s start with pictures.  Lots and lots of pictures.

Weekender (10)

I will be changing the zipper pull at some point. Just don’t have anything right now.

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Quilted side pocket that matches the main panel quilting.

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Extra D-rings for an optional shoulder strap.

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The pattern didn’t come with interior pockets – what kind of bag doesn’t have those? I added a zipper pocket, large side panels and key fob holder.

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In love with the Architextures fabric collection.  Carolyn Friedlander is a genius.

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Zipper pocket – I attached a little strip of selvedge too, it’s from the pocket fabrics.

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Additional magnetic buttons for the large side pockets.

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I just love it.  Will I make another? Probably not. At least not until I forget all about that lining.  I was doing so well… the piping wasn’t a problem at all. Not even sewing through all those layers. (another *fist pump*)  I read horror stories about this step so I read up a lot, took precautions and went slooooow.  Not bad at all.

I was so close to being done and I thought, wow – people are such wimps! This bag wasn’t all that bad, just really time consuming. I was already in the beginning celebratory stages, then WHAM! Lining.

The lining pieces were prepped, the inside zipper and little pockets attached and so far, no major problems.   Then the pattern states you piece it together like you did for the exterior.  Piece of cake, right?  WRONG.

The bag did take 14 or 15 hours, but the last 3 were just putting that damn lining together.  What the shit man?  It did NOT line up. I had extra fabric that I didn’t know what to do with.  Like inches of it!  Not enough to fudge or make it work.

The lining called for a 3/4″ seam and I don’t know if that was my problem or what.  After ripping stitches a few times I gave up and thought “F – this!”.  Really, who’s going to see the inside besides me? And you, if you’re reading this.  So don’t look too closely.

One more not-so-teensy thing about the lining. I’ve read so many reviews where people whined about hand stitching the lining and I always thought they were big babies. I don’t love hand stitching but it’s not the devil.  Well, stitching in the lining just flat out sucked. I apologize to all of those people I thought were big babies. You were right.

If you want a bunch of tips and tricks, there are a plethora of them out there on the internets.  I’ll just list some of my additions and everything I want to point out in case my future self is ever crazy enough to make another.


  • The pattern is really well written and overall (not counting the lining) I had no issues.
  • Needles broken – ZERO!  Can you believe it?  I think it’s because I was stitching like a snail.
  • I used Oh, Fransson’s quilting method for the side panels, and all 4 side pockets.  That did take up some time.
  • Added piping to the little side pockets and my interior pocket. I had so much leftover I wasn’t about to waste it.
  • Quilters tape for the piping posed problems for me.  Sticky needle!  I won’t use it again.
  • I actually liked the piping process – it was a first for me. It looks so nice! I’ll make it again, just not with that tape.
  • Interior: Added a key fob holder, zipper pocket and side panel pockets.
  • Exterior: Added D-rings on the side so I can add a shoulder strap if I feel like it.
  • Exterior: Added magnetic button snaps to the large side pockets.
  • Piping  – use this method to creat 5 yards out of one fat quarter. It works!!
  • I remembered to add my little personal label. Teehee. I’m a nerd.
  • I used a 24″ zipper, not a 32″ and I had no problem whatsoever.
  • Cut the fabric for the handles 6″ wide instead of whatever it called for as well as making them a bit longer.
  • You NEED Clover Wonder Clips.


  • Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet in Cosmonaut – Top, sides and side pockets
  • Carolyn Friedlander Architextures Text in Navy – Main side panels
  • Lizzy House Supernova in Purple – Large side pockets
  • Carolyn Friedlander Architextures Hatch in Plum – lining and exterior pocket linings
  • Robert Kaufman Quilter’s Linen in Midnight – Piping and handles
  • Carolyn Friedlander Architextures Landscape in Blue – Interior Pockets

My bag is far from perfect but I love, Love, LOVE it.  Screw you imperfect lining!  Now I see why people go ape shit bananas for this thing.  It’s like I climbed the Mount Everest of sewing.  Since I’m a quilter, it’s a big frickin deal!

I’ll leave you with one more picture of my bag and the sweet machine I made it with. I’ve never gotten around to blogging about it, but I never could have made this bag on my old machine. NEVER.  It’s a Janome 6600 Memory Craft Pro and it’s a stitchin’ beast.

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Now I just need to talk my husband into going somewhere for a weekend.



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16 Responses to “Weekender Bag”

  1. Amazing job, Julie! You have to bring to work so I can see it in real life.

  2. Ok….I want a Julie Hirt made in Lenexa original! Before you are famous and leave us to open your store on the Plaza! Let me know how I can place the order!!!

  3. This is AWESOME!!! I love the fabrics you chose and all the wonderful little details you worked in there!

  4. Love your bag, excellent job! =)

  5. Wow! Love your bag. I’m thinking of attempting to tackle this pattern for a weekend trip to Orgeon in September. Did you use regular weight quilting cotton? Did you compensate at all (thicker interfacing etc0? I have a bunch of really fun quilting cottons that I could
    use if I knew it would turn out O_o

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