27 June 2014

Finish it up Friday: Lucy's Crab Shack Patchwork Weekender

I can quit any time.

No really. I just need one more of these. Or two. Or twelve. For all the vacations I don't take right now. But the law graduate is studying hard for the bar, and applying for jobs, so I just might, in the near future, get to go somewhere!

But seriously, who doesn't love the cuteness of these patchwork Weekender bags, even if I do only stay home and gaze adoringly at them?

Okay, as promised, here are my tips and tricks and links and love for the Amy Butler Weekender bag, even if I'm not such a fan of the designer.

1. Cut it all out in one sitting, if you can. Everything. Interfacing. Handles. Piping. It's the worst part of the whole thing, I promise. When that's done, have some chocolate and go to bed. I don't care if it's in the middle of the day. Go to bed. You've earned it. Also, cut your fusible fleece 1/2" smaller all around (trust me, you don't want that extra bulk in your seams!).

2. Related to #1: You will need the following for a patchwork bag just like mine:
  • 274 2.5" squares - that's less than 2 charm packs worth! One jelly roll will make 2 bags!
  • Canvas duck cloth - you will be cutting out two main panels, two pocket panels and two end pockets
  • Fusible fleece - cut the same as the duck cloth, but 1/2" small all around
  • Fabric for handles, piping, top zipper panels, and bottom panel (unless you want to piece this part too, which I didn't, so you're on your own there)
  • Fabric for lining, false bottom, inside zippy pockets
  • Cording
  • Lots and lots of needles
  • More chocolate. And Dr. Pepper for me. 
3. Heat n Bond. 3/8" wide X 10 yards. Just do it. You can even get it at Walmart. It makes the whole piping process that much easier. And you'll have enough for two bags!

 4. Zippers - zipit is my favorite shop for zippers. Great prices. Great colors. Fast shipping. I get the 30" long double pull zippers for my Weekenders.

5. I cut my handles a bit longer than Amy tells you to. Mine are 5" wide by 60" long. I like it to fit over my shoulder.

6. The patchwork pieces: the main panels are 8X9, the large pockets are 5X9, and the small pockets are 4X5. Remember, these are 2.5" squares. 

6. The quilting: Set your stitch length to 3.5ish. I like the look of this one. UPDATE: I've started using Isacord Polyester thread for my quilting, topstitching, and then when I piece the outer bag. Skipped stitches were plaguing me, and I tried EVERYTHING! Needle changes, hammering the thickness (no joke!). This was the only thing that worked. 

7. Piping foot. I got my set off e-bay, because my machine needs high shank feet. I love this little box o' piping and zipper feet. Figure out what you need and get it. The closer you can get, the tighter your seam next to the piping.

8. Here's me, making the piping using the Heat n Bond. Gorgeous stuff, that Heat n Bond.

8. If you haven't heard this before GO SLOW! Take your time. I go around the whole bag a few times, just in case I skip a stitch or something. It's okay.

9. Okay, I'm going to disagree with Amy on her pattern. She has you sew the lining with a 1" seam allowance (the outer bag is 1/2"). Trouble is, it doesn't fit very well. Just a smidge too small. I've found 3/4" is a pretty happy medium. Just my two cents. 

9. Inside zippy pockets: this is my favorite tutorial for these.

10. I topstitch my lining to the outer bag at the zipper seam. I still handstitch the lining to the outer bag and the seams (the piping covers it all up), but I like the sturdiness I get from doing that bit of machine stitching.

11. After that, I handstitch the lining at the inside seams underneath the piping so it really doesn't show. Get comfy, pick some favorite TV shows (Bobby Flay's Throwdown, and some Pioneer Woman for me!).  I tried desperately to get a picture, but darn it, my stitching was just so great, you couldn't see it through the camera! :)

12. Last of all: your false bottom piece. If you're lucky like me, and you've got a husband with bizarre hobbies, this stuff is out in the garage and you just need to find a razor blade (yeah right) and cut your piece. If not, pick some up at Joann's, or even Home Depot. It's the pretty thick, sturdy template plastic. It really helps the bag hold it's shape.

Linking up at Crazy Mom Quilts, and Confessions of a Fabric Addict. And probably Fabric Tuesday next week. Because I'm pretty much in love with this bag. Now I just need a vacation. Does a camping trip 45 minutes away count?

Cross this little lady off the 2QFAL list. Because I can refer to a bag as a little lady if I want to.

Also, a public service announcement. If you read my blog, and leave me comments, I will reply to you. Even if it's just a "Hey thanks, have a great weekend," I will respond. UNLESS you are a no-reply blogger and don't leave an e-mail. And it makes me so sad that I can't reply to you!

So if you haven't heard from me, EVER, guess what! You're a no-reply blogger and I can't send you a message. And you can't win any prizes, which is awful! So check it out, and fix it!


  1. Just reading your tips and tricks makes my blood pressure shoot up, I do not like to make complicated things! But I love to look at them and I adore this patchwork!!!

  2. I like this one best of the weekender bags you've made :) hope you get a chance to take it on a trip soon! :)

  3. Gorgeous patchwork bag! Love it! Thanks for all the tips.

  4. Thanks so much for your tips. Now I'm not so afraid to make this bag. Live yours in Lucy's Crab Shack.

  5. Your bag is great! I have made a few bags, but nothing this large. Thanks for your tips!!

  6. I've just bought this pattern and I'm anxious to make it. Thanks so much for the tips...and for doing the math on how many charm packs I need!

  7. I've come to my senses: I can't possibly fit a pieced Weekender into my sewing schedule anytime soon. I'm going to have to settle for coveting yours! ; )

  8. Your bag is great and it sounds like it is not your first ( or last!)

  9. Gorgeous! Well done for a cross of your list :)

  10. If I ever work up the nerve to do a Weekender, I'll come back here to re-review your tips! Your bag came out great!

  11. Love the tips. I'm saving this, printing it and putting it with my pattern. Thank you. I now have a reason to by those little 2.5 squares or cut my 5" charms of Lucy's Crab Shack. I love your bag. You could sure sell these! It's prettier than Vera Bradley for sure!!
    jlblvn at gmail dot com

  12. Thanks so much for the great tips! I love this bag!

  13. I'm so excited Jennie. I ordered my pattern and also ordered a piping for for my Pfaff. I'm thinking about using Avalon fabric for my bag.

  14. Gorgeous bag and fabulous stitching!
    Thank you for your tips!!!

  15. Absolutely love the bag, although to complicated for me to make. Keep studying for that bar exam, I always wanted to be a lawyer and didn't go for it, I'm 58 now still watching crime shows and saying to myself I would have made a good lawyer. lol.................

  16. Gorgeous bag! You certainly did a nice job!! I have this pattern somewhere...Makes me want to make one.:))

  17. love all the tips and yes camping 45 minutes away is taking a trip and you should use that cute awesome bag!

  18. I am almost ready to try this!! You made a beautiful bag!!! It's inspired me to give it a try. Even though I've never used piping. Or zippers. Lol

  19. I recently bought this bag pattern because I saw so many girls on Instagram making them. I'm still a little hesitant about starting it but when I saw your Lucy's Crab Shack version I told myself to pull that pattern out and make one. We'll see what the weeks ahead bring but hopefully I get up my nerve and just make it.
    Peggy in NJ

  20. love this! LeeAnna at not afraid of color

  21. I LOVE this bag! I just ordered the pattern this morning and I cannot wait to get started! Thank you so much for the great tips! I do have a question... you mentioned that the 2.5" squares would take less than 2 charm packs.. How many 5" squares per charm pack? I didn't realize that they came in different amounts. I hope you see this before I get started! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome bag! If you can't see my email... :)

  22. Thank you so much for the fabulous tips and information. this bag or the aeroplane bag is one of my 2015 want to do projects

  23. Have you ever used the pre-quilted fabric to make one of these bags? I just saw some beautiful Whitewashed by Moda that looks very cottagey and wondering how that would work. Please give me your advice since you've made several of these. Thanks!

  24. Love your bag. I have one started and will use your tips when ever I get back to it. I am doing the quilt as you go method. I probable should have just made a regular one first but I never do things the easy way.

  25. LOVE this. LOVE this. LOVE THIS BAG!! Thank you for your tips! I just convinced a friend of mine to tackle this bag with me over the Fall/Winter this year. I don't want to do it alone because frankly, I'm scare of this bag but I neeeeed one! I think I have a fabric line all picked out for it and I just need to wait for it to come into stock and I'm starting. Oh yeah. Need to get the pattern too. :P

  26. The tips and tricks---priceless! Have you ever put "feet" in your bags? I haven't either and an wondering how they work out. I'm not a blogger, I'm a lurker and I don't think you can reply to this unless I give you my email, correct? I do have blog at my business website, (use it occasionally but don't koow what I'm doing)

  27. This is fabulous. And the patchwork literally took my breath away! I'm starting the sew-a-long and have to say I'm a bit scared. ha! Your supply list included needles--lots of them--Is it normal to break a lot of needles? I have to ask because I've made 1 other small bag project and my machine ATE needles! I thought I was doing something terribly wrong and swore to never make another project like that again. Hah! And do you use a walking foot? I did and it kept falling apart. :( Just a few questions.... Thanks for this fun project post!!!

  28. Tres joli ce sac weekenderw­čî╝, merci pour le partage et les conseils, la longueur des anses plus pratiques , m├¬me le dodo et le chocolat, j'aime. Bravo. Isabelle Jolly.

  29. Tr├Ęs joli sac weekender. Bravo. Merci pour les conseils m├¬me le dodo et le chocolat, j'aime. Isabelle Jolly. jollyi@gmx. Fr


"The more things you do, the more you can do."

Lucille Ball