planning the Weekender

Since we've moved out of Brisbane, I think we've been away for more weekend (or longer) trips in the past few months, than ever before. Sam + the kids have been to Brisbane (without me) at least 2-3 times; I've been with them another 3 or so times. That's 6+ times (in the past 3 months) of packing clothes for four people into a random assortment of bags, baskets, totes. 

I decided, last time, while packing all the clothes (do you always take more than necessary for a long weekend visit?), that I really needed to change the bag situation. You'd think, wouldn't you, that we'd really have enough bags in our belongings. But none seem just suitable for a weekend away.

Finally, after a little bit of research, I decided to actually buy a new paper pattern. I normally don't like buying single patterns, as they are so much more expensive than a whole pattern book. But I've heard (read) good things about Amy Butler patterns, and really wanted this very specific Weekender Travel Bag. {I got mine from Kelani Fabric, who always has excellent speedy and free postage - within Australia. And a lovely website to browse through as well}.

I've read through the pattern about twice now, and it seems quite easy and very do-able. I must admit I've scared about the piping/cording - as I know I won't sew it as perfectly as I want to. There are some excellent tips from other sewers around. The scarier thing is that most of them say how hard, and what a challenge, this bag was to sew, even for experienced sewers. Not because of the pattern or the bag, but because of all the layers of fabric, interfacing + Peltex / Timtex that has to go through the machine. The excellent thing is that everyone says that even after the challenge (and swearing, unpicking, ripping out, hours of cutting the fabrics) they still love their bag.

I'm hoping I love it so much that I want to sew more than one. As I'm planning one for myself, and one each for the kids. And I've already been asked to make one for someone else (she even offered to have my kids while I sewed it). 

These are some posts that have really urged me on. here. here {love the fabric}. here. here {cute styling}. and here {great idea; extend zip so bag opens wider}. and here as well. oh and here and here as well. There are a lot of Weekender Travel Bags out there; I do hope at least some of them are going on regular holidays and not languishing in the wardrobe (though this is pretty languishing, isn't it).

My biggest challenges right now are ::
:: I can't decide what fabric to use. 
> I'm thinking of going with this Heather Ross Sleeping Beauty in grey linen. But only using it for the main outside pockets, and using a darker linen (which I have yet to find) for the rest of the bag body. But I'm really not sure if I'll get bored of the fabric after a short while; is it too cutesy?
> I've also been thinking of some Ikea fabric (though I don't even know what may be in store when I get there). But this involves going to Ikea; which I dread dread dread and don't have time to do on my next Brisbane trip. Ikea fabric is such an excellent bold design, cheap in price, but good quality woven fabric. But, I sometimes feel.think that it's sometimes just a bit too obvious. Is that a bad thing?
> And right now, I've just seen this Poppy fabric, over at Tree Fall. It's so pretty, and vintagey. I'm not at all sure if it's my colours - but then, does that really matter too much for a travel bag? Using piping in any of those four colours (yellow, light blue, dark blue or grey) would make a big difference to the finished look. {It's grey and raining here today, and cold.cold; this fabric is making me sunshine happy. Plus it's only about $9 yard}.
> Oh, and this is organic cotton, and such a great print. All Heather Moore's designs are excellent, aren't they.
> If you can suggest anything - please let me know. I think I'll never start the making, due to the planning!

:: Setting up my sewing machine involves finding the sewing foot in a box in the shipping container. I'm quite sure it's just there, out of reach, under something else. At least I know that I did label all my boxes.
:: It also involves going up the hill to my dad's house - as he has electricity and we don't. Which involves waiting until the kids are somewhere else, or with someone else (and not on school holidays). 
:: I have other sewing to do that NEEDS to be completed this week. A little tulle underskirt for Mishi's flower girl outfit, and the ring pillow that Ari (the pageboy) will carry down the aisle. Both for my brother-in-law + sister-in-law's (to be) wedding at the end of this month.

Until I start the cutting and stitching - there's a lot of dreaming and wishing happening around here. And lots more 'research' (you know the sort.... hours lost in looking for just the right fabric).

*Images from each fabric website listed. Others are Amy Butler images.