Years ago I made a small simple tote bag for my sister-in-law and she still comments on how she loved it and uses it. Earlier this year she requested for Christmas I make her a larger tote, a weekender bag that she can use when going over night some where. Her color requests were navy and citron (that lime/yellow color that’s been popular).
Of course while I had this information for months, did I start this project right away so it could be done and I wouldn’t have to worry about it. Of course not! I procrastinated, like any good person would. However, I will say that I did finish it before Thanksgiving, which I think is pretty good. A whole month early!!
Anywho, onto the details. I wanted to find a pattern that wouldn’t be overly complex, I’m fine with a challenge but I didn’t want to sign myself up for the impossible with a deadline looming. The pattern also needed to be a good size and I wanted it to have some pockets for functionality. Oh, and it had to be downloadable because I’m too impatient to wait for it to come in the mail. In the end I found a pattern called the Stella Weekender. You can purchase it from Swoon Sewing Patterns. The downloadable PDF sells for $5.95. I thought this was a pretty reasonable price. I’ve never purchased anything from Swoon before, but I found the pattern easy to follow and would order from them again.
The fabric I chose from JoAnn’s. I used a heavier weight upholstery fabric for the exterior and a cotton for the lining. The exterior fabric is a navy and white pattern, I was hoping to find a pattern that had both navy and citron in it, but no such luck. The lining is a citron which a tone on tone pattern. This project also requires fusible fleece, stabilizer, and interfacing. In addition to the fabric you’ll need two magnetic snaps, two zippers, 2 D rings, and 2 swivel snap clips.
After getting all my materials it was time to get cutting! This probably took the longest, especially since you’re cutting following pattern pieces and not just squares, rectangles or triangles. Once everything was cut, you fuse the appropriate pieces, and then you can get to sewing. I really like how the bag turned out overall and it was fun to try something new. I had never sewn cargo pockets before, but now have! Also, the pattern has an interesting technique for adding a zippered pattern, and for adding the main zipper. I’ve since applied the main zipper technique to another project.
Overall I found the pattern easy too follow, and I don’t recall having to rip out to many mistakes – one on the zipper (I have a hard time sewing close to the zipper but not too close, I think I need a better zipper foot for my machine). The bag turned out super cute, not perfect but what is right? I really love all the pockets, you can easily pack lots of things away in them and still have the large main area open for clothes and whatever else. Another friend thought it would make a great diaper bag, so it can be multi-functional as well.