Weekender Sew Along: Planning, Fabrics & Materials

Weekender Sew Along: Planning, Fabrics & Materials
April 30, 2014 nicole

Hi friends! It’s finally here – week 1 of our Weekender Sew Along.


Today we are talking about Planning, Fabrics and Materials – so let’s dig in!

Modern Handcraft - Weekender Sew Along : Planning / Fabrics / MaterialsIf you have been following along so far since our announcement you might remember that Chrissy, Christen and I are all making our bags a little differently. I am the only one making the bag for the first time, so please enjoy this first post as the most carefree and non stressful post of the entire sew along. All kidding aside, I am really excited to start this bag, and like many of you just a touch nervous. My version will be different because I am adding hexies to my bag’s main pockets.


Modern Handcraft - Weekender Sew Along : Planning / Fabrics / MaterialsIf you would like to make your bag along with me and add hexies I have a pdf attached that has the size hexagons I am using for my bag’s main pockets.

If you are new to hexies a great video tutorial I always refer to is by my friend Jennifer Mathis over at Ellison Lane, click here for the video.

I am still waiting on my bag pattern, which should arrive this week to see how many hexies I will actually need, so until then I am just making an assortment and plan on using any extras to make a matching zipper bag, a wallet, passport holder, laptop bag….you get the idea, any extras will not go to waste. Hexies tend to scare people off because they are so time consuming but I promise – we will make this as simple as possible. I am going to use a method of gluing the hexies down and machine stitching around each one – I have a tutorial here showing the method on a mini quilt. This is much faster and I LOVE the result – won’t this make for a fun pocket?

Modern Handcraft Hexagon Mini Quilt TutorialChoosing your fabrics:

Modern Handcraft - Weekender Sew Along : Planning / Fabrics / MaterialsThe pattern calls for

  • 1 5/8 yards of 54″ wide heavier Home Decor weight fabric for the Exterior
  • 2 yards of 54″ wide heavier Home Decor weight fabric for the Lining, Handles and Cording.

I was all set for a specific color scheme for my Weekender bag until I went to the fabric store and found this fun fabric – then everything changed.

Modern Handcraft - Weekender Sew Along : Planning / Fabrics / MaterialsI am not sure which of the fabrics I am going to use for the outside, the piping and the lining but I hope it all makes sense when I start cutting out the pattern. The hexies are from an assortment of light gray, mustard, and white scrap fabrics I had in my scrap bin. Some of the yellows are a little different but I feel like they blend nicely. These colors are so happy and I know that I will be able to use this bag for all seasons. I keep hearing that this bag is a difficult one to make, I can now see that choosing your fabrics is part of the difficulty.

Modern Handcraft - Weekender Sew Along : Planning / Fabrics / MaterialsThe gray and mustard fabrics are actually a canvas that is pretty stiff – hoping that this helps eliminate the many layers of interfacing I plan on using, I am going to feel it out as I go to see how much I will really need.

Modern Handcraft - Weekender Sew Along : Planning / Fabrics / MaterialsI created my hexies with regular quilting cotton – I wouldn’t recommend making these with your home decor weight fabrics.

Materials needed:

  • 30″ Zipper – ย it called for a non-separating one…but where in the world would you find one of those? After reading online that a separating one is ok with the end stitched up that Is what I went with.
  • Coordinating thread – I went with the recommended Coats Dual Duty xp in light gray.
  • Jeans / denim sharp point sewing needles 100/16. I bought a package of three since I hear that breaking a needle is common (always be prepared)
  • Machine feet – regular piecing foot, piping foot, walking foot, zipper foot. Many of us do not have all of these feet but from the tips I have been reading online you can improvise with a zipper foot.
  • Clover Wonder Clips – these are highly recommended – apparently the thicker layers are a disaster with straight pins. Note to self buy these asap.
  • Fabric marking pen
  • 5 yards of 6/32″ cotton cording
  • 3 yards of 20″ fusible woven interfacing – I am using Heat N Bond Woven Fusible Soft
  • 2 yards of 20″ extra heavy stabilizer – I am usingย StitchnSew non-Woven craft sew-in interfacing
  • Sewing machine and notions
  • Weekender Bag pattern by Amy Butler – Chrissy has these available in her shop on sale at a great price until today 4/30/14!


Other than adding the hexies to the main pockets here are some modifications that I will probably end up making to the bag:

  • Make the straps longer
  • Add piping to the top of the end pockets
  • Add bag feet – Joanne at Today We Make has a great tutorial
  • Use a spray adhesive to hold the extra heavy stabilizer to the interfaced fabric pieces.
  • Using some Heat N Bond hem to make my piping – Jen at Just Aother Day in the Lives of has some great tips.
  • Adding interior pockets.

I do hope you will join us as we tackle this Weekender bag together! If you have questions along the way or tips please comment here or email me at Nicole@modernhandcraft.com. Please I beg you….if i am doing something wrong do not hesitate to tell me ๐Ÿ™‚

You can also follow along with us on Instagram while we prep and make the bag: Add your pics with the #WSA2014 – can’t wait to see the fun fabrics you choose!

Thanks for stopping by friends!


Comments (8)

  1. Chrissy L 4 years ago

    Great post! This will be a stunner!

  2. Karen 4 years ago

    Hi Nicole, I’m planning to follow along with you and the other girls in making a weekender bag, just ordered my bag. I always find picking the fabrics the hardest of any project I make. I was already thinking that I’d like to add feet to my bag so I was excited to see that you are as well. I saw that you will be adding pockets to the interior and as I don’t have my pattern yet I was surprised that this would be an add on. Who doesn’t want a pocket inside their bag? Can’t wait to get started.

  3. Karen C. 4 years ago

    So looking forward to some online support! I follow you ladies on IG and am inspired to get this done!!

  4. Author
    nicole 4 years ago

    Thanks Chrissy! I cannot wait to see your patchwork version ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Author
    nicole 4 years ago

    Yay! I am so happy to hear that you will be joining us Karen! I honestly wouldn’t surprise myself if I changed my mind on my fabrics again – there are way too many fun options. I still need to get my feet and the materials it calls for but really think that it will make the bottom of the bag last so much longer. The funny thing about the inside pockets…is that I have no clue either! hahaha I just keep reading that people are adding in pockets so I am not sure if that means more than it calls for or just pockets in general. So happy to read all of the fun tips online – such a big help.

  6. Author
    nicole 4 years ago

    Awesome Karen! Can’t wait to work together on these bags ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Brandy Fossett 4 years ago

    Oh my gosh! You are the cutest thing ever!! Just found you through the wsa2014 but I love your posts! And totally love your fabric choices for this! It’s my first time too so this should be an adventure!

  8. Author
    nicole 4 years ago

    Yay! So happy that you found me and I hope you are going to join us in the Sew along! I am cutting my fabrics out this afternoon – my two year old is delaying my productivity a bit ๐Ÿ™‚

I would love to hear from you, let's chat!

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