I can't explain what exactly possesses people (like me, and maybe you) to think, "Yeah, I'm gonna sew up my very own luggage!" Because when you tackle the Weekender, that's what you're doing. Don't fool yourself by thinking you're going to be making a "bag." This is hardcore.
And totally doable, I might add. Yes, you'll cuss. And you'll likely break a sweat when sewing all the layers together. But you can do it.
I made a few little changes, like adding top stitching where the bottom panel meets the side pockets (above).
I was very skeptical about how the pattern has you install the zipper, but I followed the directions and I love the result.
All-in-all, a very satisfying project. It helps if you have a friend making one too, so that you can work on them together.
Here are some suggestions and/or changes that I made as I went along:
*I used fusible hem tape to make my piping (no line of stitches to worry about hiding when sewing everything together later.
*Added piping to the end pockets.
*When you're done sewing the piping on the large pockets (and end pockets, if you add it there), gently pull a little bit of the cording out and trim it. That way you can eliminate the bulk of the cording in your seams, which will make a HUGE difference in how difficult it is when sewing through all those layers.
*I added a D-ring attached with nylon webbing into the bottom of each end pocket. I will be making a shoulder strap that can attach there if I want to use it, but the hardware stays hidden in the pockets when I don't need it.
*Make sure you have more than one heavy duty needle. I'm surprised that I didn't break any during the assembly and would hate to have to stop midway because I didn't have an extra needle handy.
*I used a two-way zipper - it has a zipper pull at each end so that the bag can open from either side.
*Speaking of zippers - the directions have you pin the zipper in place in such a way that the pins are under your fabric when stitching the zipper in place. I went slowly but was very nervous about having the pins where I couldn't see them. If I make this bag again I'll use some Wonder Tape to hold the zipper in place while stitching.
*I'm adding four large metal purse/bag feet to the bottom to help cut down on wear-and-tear.
That's about it! Now I need to take a trip somewhere so I can use it.
Pattern - Amy Butler's Weekender
Fabrics - viewmasters are Ruby Star Rising by Melody Miller, gray dot is a canvas from Hometown by Sweetwater, piping is a pink twill