Make Your Own Weekender Bag

A good upholstery fabric can be turned into a roomy weekender bag for your next trip. We've got the basic pattern of a weekender bag here-- use it as your canvas!

by CraftBits (Shellie Wilson)

Customise it with additional inner and outer pockets to your liking. This project takes time and patience, so be sure to start early to have it in time for your next weekend adventure.

What you need

PDF pattern (download below)
(5 pages across, 4 pages down)

Cut according to pattern:
Main fabric (we recommend upholstery weight)
Lining fabric

A zipper that's at least 55cm long
3meters of Piping in matching color
Grosgrain ribbon (optional)
Multipurpose adhesive (optional)

Instructions

Step 1: Let’s start by making the straps. Cut 2 long pieces of the main fabric measuring 14cm x 68cm. Take 1 Strap piece, press it down the centre vertically. Fold in the sides to meet at the centre line, then press. Then fold it into half and press

2-Next, fold the strap the other way so that the raw edges show on the outside (see pic above). Stitch down, 1cm from the edge. Repeat on the other end of the strap.

3-Trim the edges and turn the strap inside out. The trimming reduces the bulk inside the strap.

4-Pin and top stitch the strap all around.

Repeat steps 1 to 4 with the other strap.

5-Now for the Pocket. Line up the piping at the top of the main fabric– the chord part of the piping has to be positioned so that it falls after 1cm from the top edge of the fabric.
Stitch down with a zipper foot.

Tip: Dot some adhesive to tack down the piping onto the fabric. Be careful not to use too much adhesive!

6-Place the lining piece on top of the main fabric, right sides facing. Stitch at the top, 1cm from the edge– sandwiching the piping in between.

7-Turn it inside out and you will have this.

8-Place it on one of the Body (main fabric) pieces, aligning it to the bottom edge. Baste around the right, bottom and left sides of the pocket to keep it in place.

9-Now to sew on the straps onto the Body pieces. Mark the positions of the straps according to the PDF pattern. Position the straps so that they sit 6cm from the top edge of the bag. Stitch an X-ed square at the 3cm mark to sew the straps down. Repeat for the 3 remaining strap points.

10-Now for the Zipper Gusset. Stack the following pieces accordingly:

– Main piece, right side up
– Zipper, right side down
– Lining, right side down
Align the long edges. Pin and stitch down 1cm from the edge with a zipper foot.

11-On the other side of the zipper, stack the remaining Zipper Gusset pieces in the following order:
– Lining, right side up
– Unsewn side of zipper, right side up
– Main fabric, right side down
Align the long edges. Pin and stitch down 1cm from the edge with a zipper foot.

12-Press the seams.

13-Now we’ll assemble the gusset pieces.

Baste or dot some adhesive to hold the main fabric and lining of the Bottom Gusset, wrong sides facing.
Stack the Zipper Gusset and Bottom Gusset, right sides facing. Line up the edges (see pic above).

14-Stitch the pieces together, 1cm from the edge.

15-Repeat on the other side of the gusset pieces, and you’ll have a sort of donut piece. Press the seams flat.

Optional: Wrap the inner seamed edges with grosgrain ribbon or serge to hide the raw edges.

16-Baste or dot some adhesive to hold the main fabric and lining of the Body pieces together.

Using the same measuring technique in step 5, pin the piping all around each Body piece, starting from the bottom of the bag.

17-When your piping ends back at the bottom of the bag where you started, overlap the ends of the piping where they meet. Stitch the piping down with a zipper foot.

18-Using the marking on the PDF pattern, mark the 2 horizontal lines on the left and right of the Body pieces. This is the point where the Bottom Gusset seam starts.

19-Using those horizontal marks as a guide, pin the gusset all around one of the Body piece, distributing the edges so that they all lay flat.

Stitch all around, 1cm from the edge.
Repeat for the remaining Body piece.

20-Optional: Wrap the edges with grosgrain ribbon or serge to hide the raw edges.

And you’re done!

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