Amy Butler's Weekender Bag

It's a good thing when friends motivate you.  When we're in a slump, or simply don't believe we're capable, a little motivation from a good friend is usually all it takes.

I never used to think I could do distance running. In an effort to "keep up with my super cool friends" I've run 5km, 8km, and 10km races. (I just ran a personal best 5km in 28 minutes!)

So, when my friend Julie asked if I was interested in tackling a notoriously difficult sewing project: Amy Butler's Weekender Bag, I was oddly motivated by her eagerness. I read blog after blog where talented, competent sewers tackled this bag. Each review emphasized the importance of patience, and that the patience would definitely pay off.

It was difficult. 5 hours of cutting, approximately 15 hours of sewing, broken needles, broken pins.

Let's take a minute and go back to the race talk.

Every race I run, I find myself questioning why I decided to run the race to begin with. Oh, right, my friends were all doing it. About 15 minutes into the race, I vow never to sign up for a race again. But, and there is a but, by the time I get to the finish line, I'm overwhelmed with pride and can't wait to sign up for the next race.

I kept hoping that this weekender bag would follow a similar trend.

The final product really was shockingly impressive. The bags that Julie and I produced were fantastic. Fabric choices were so different, but great. Julie chose a red damask with polka dot piping; I used a graphic birdcage print with grey piping.  All the difficult parts that we laboured over (some parts took me 4 tries to sew correctly) were barely noticeable.

But I probably won't sew another one again.  :(  It's the most difficult project I've tackled to date. I wanted to forget all the hardship and remember just the final product. I think I need more time...

Perhaps I need another friend to motivate me again one day!

As a side note, our other friend Kelly tackled a different Amy Butler bag and finished it in just one day. Isn't it just the cutest? Her choice of "patchwork-like" fabric added the perfect touch to bring the bag to another level.

Mrs. Niles and Juanita  – (June 23, 2011 at 6:37 AM)  

I love all the bags! So fantastic. You need some motivation, just say the word :)!!!!

S and O  – (June 24, 2011 at 12:08 AM)  

It's great that you have such talented friends you can share hobbies with :D
The bags came out really lovely!

kelly z –   – (June 24, 2011 at 1:07 PM)  

woo hoo, our bags are famous! thanks for posting kel, i think yours and julie's look especially awesome and i hope to see them in action soon. you both did a great job! :)

Julie –   – (June 24, 2011 at 1:37 PM)  

Amazing! The photography makes mine look good, love it. On another note- I just interviewed for a family studies teaching position with a unit of sewing... thank god you taught me how to use my machine! I thought you would be proud though:)

Kelly  – (June 24, 2011 at 7:38 PM)  

Julie! that's awesome! I dream about being a family studies teacher! You would be aMAZING!

carolyn  – (June 25, 2011 at 10:11 PM)  

LOVE this whole post Kel! I can totally relate, although I don't sew. I love having friends that motivate and inspire me to try new things.

OneCraftyFox  – (June 27, 2011 at 8:00 PM)  

These bags look awesome!! I have never tried tackling a bag other than a simple tote.

I completely filled my Etsy shop lately with new skirts and tunics and wear something new and handmade to work almost every day, lol.

We really need to hook up and sew together!!

Jennifer Anne  – (June 30, 2011 at 7:23 PM)  

So blown away by your skill -- as always.

Krystle K.  – (July 19, 2011 at 7:06 PM)  

Both types of bags are simply gorgeous! I love the piping, makes it look so professional. Can I have one? =P

Sewandthecity  – (September 23, 2011 at 4:33 PM)  

Hi, I have featured this lovely idea in a blog post called 20 ways with piping. Please check it out if you’d like.

Best regards

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