Tropical print blue green weekender

>> Sunday, July 30, 2006

I haven't posted in a while - I've been busy with my main project which was making another Amy Butler weekender bag in a new fabric. I do like the other one but I got inspired imagining the bag in this fabric. I wanted to get it done soon because I had my heart set on having this cute bag for my carry-on for our honeymoon in September. Once I had used the pattern the first time I realized I could do it with less fabric than the pattern called for as long as I cut out the pieces carefully. Which means I could make it with some leftover fabric from my fabric as wall art.

A lot of people love this bag and want to make it, so here are some more tips:

  • you can find a place to buy the pattern using this page as a jump off point
  • I didn't have trouble with sewing through thick layers but I have an old Singer lockstitch machine and they are work horses. Very good at handling heavy sewing. The old sturdy Singers did the whole family's household sewing for many years
  • the second time is easier - you learn quite a bit the first time round
  • if you want to align the design on the fabric, cut out the main panels first, then align the fabric for the large pockets
  • don't make extra cuts in the fabric until you know you have enough fabric for all the pieces - you may need a long strip later on
  • chalk outlines from the patterns before cutting out to make sure you have enough
  • if you don't quite have enough fabric you can cut the top part in two pieces and attach them - I had to do that for one half of the top & side pieces and it's not very noticeable
  • you can add pockets to the lining before you assemble it - I added a zippered pocket on one side for papers etc.
  • attaching the lining can be time consuming - don't try skipping the tacking-it-in-place step though or it won't look as good at the end - it will be floppy instead of held in place
The two sides of my version are different. I did align the pattern - it is more trouble but I think it was worth it.
This is the bag from one side. The piping is a dark turquoise knit fabric and the handles are very dark brown corduroy.
The lining is a pale turquoise.
This is what the inside looks like - my zippered pocket is one addition I made that's not in the pattern. When I tacked the bottom part of the lining in place I found it easier to do with the bag inside out.
A view of the bottom:
And finally, a word about copyright issues. I'm passing this information on because it's something I learned more about recently. It clearly states on this pattern that you can't sell things made with Amy Butler patterns. And in some cases you will find out that this restriction applies to free online patterns too, and it may not always be clearly indicated on the pattern.

I found out to my chagrin that I shouldn't have sold my knitted bag without permission from the publisher of the pattern. I had an anonymous comment that drew my attention to this, so I wrote to Yarn magazine and was given permission for that one bag. I was quite worried about this so I thought I'd share the information on my blog so others can avoid making this mistake. The general idea is that while you own a copy of the pattern you don't own the design. There is an article about this at

While looking up copyright rules I also learned that the same restrictions can even apply to selling things made with copyrighted fabric! I found a good discussion of the issue at so I won't go over it again. Needless to say I'm no expert so I probably won't be able to answer further questions about this - but searching on the internet will turn up lots of articles for those of you who sell your crafts and are interested.

I also recently learned that you aren't allowed to link to your shop from your Flickr pictures according to their rules. I discovered this after reading a discussion in one of the groups dedicated to hand crafted shop goods for sale. You can only have a link to your shop from your profile. If you have shop links on your pictures they can kick you out. It's too bad because I see so many wonderful crafts on Flickr and I personally love the opportunity to have the link handy and scoop some of them up in people's etsy shops!

So that's what I've been up to. Thanks so much to everyone for all the nice comments about my Amy Butler bag. This one is really worth the work. Coming up next: my flower pincushion for the pincushion challenge!


Kate July 30, 2006  

Thanks for the information on copyright - not something I've thought about that much until now. Love your weekender bags - they look fantastic.

Junie Moon July 31, 2006  

I know you said matching the design print was problematic but I think it looks great and gives it a professional polish.

Thanks also for the copyright info.

Shirley July 31, 2006  

I really like your weekend bags! I wish I could make some but I have a horrible sewing machine. It's fighting me again and I'm only trying to make a simple apron!

Anonymous,  July 31, 2006  

Hey! You totally made the leftover fabric work! I agree that it was worth the trouble to align the pattern - a little touch that makes a big difference to the finished product.

Ruth Singer July 31, 2006  

Really useful stuff about copyright. I have been worrying about it since I started selling stuff, and have opted for using plain fabrics for that very reason. Good of you to be so honest too, it really helps other people starting out.

Susan Mitchell August 01, 2006  

You must be very patient - these weekender bags are so beautifully detailed - well done! :)

Anonymous,  August 02, 2006  

Gorgeous bag and beautiful fabric! I love how you fussy cut the pieces so that the front and back pockets matched. I may have to buy the weekender pattern and have a go myself. Thanx for the inspiration!

Anonymous,  August 02, 2006  

okay- I give in- I'm going to order this pattern now- I LOVE it!

I love the print you chose- it's gorgeous.
Thanks for the copyright info, it's god to be reminded about that- I'm off to look at the links you added.

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