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Pattern Reviews> Loes Hinse Designs> 5401 (Weekender Bag)

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Reviewed by:Lisa Laree
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Member since: 8/24/02
Reviews: 250 (patterns: 231)
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Posted on:2/2/07 7:28 PM
Last Updated:2/20/15 9:31 PM
Project Photo:photo3

Pattern Photo:Loes Hinse Designs 5401
Loes Hinse Designs Pattern Info
Pattern Rating:Recommend, with Modifications
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people    Very Helpful by 17 people   
See other patterns in this category: Accessories    
Available for sale on PR: $12.00 Pattern Details
Fabric:Upholstery Tapestry  [See other projects in this fabric]
photo link updated AGAIN 2/13/15

Two and a half years ago, we sold our house with a very short closing time. Five friends came and helped pack things up and really saved my neck. Shortly after we moved, I bought some upholstery fabric with which to make Weekender bags as appreciation gifts for each of them. But, well, things happened and I'm just now getting them done. (sheepish look)

Pattern Description: Lined tote bag w/ inside pocket w/zipper closure.

Pattern Sizing:One size; bottom of the bag is 13" x 8" and the bag is 17" tall.

Fabric: Three different upholstery fabrics, plus a little recycled denim for the blue stripe versions. I used coordinating fashion fabrics for the linings.

Construction:If you follow the directions carefully, you will end up with the bag as pictured. But I did some kinda different things:

1) I cut two bag bottoms from the lining. Then, I cut a 7 1/2" x 12" rectangle of double-sided Peltex (this is the stuff that is used to make those 'fabric bowls'), sandwiched it between the wrong sides of the lining bag bottoms and fused it to both sides. This give some nice support to the bag bottom.
2) When stitching the pocket in the lining, I did *not* edgestitch across the top, but sturdily zig-zagged the top edges at the corners. This makes an open pocket behind the zipper pocket . In hindsight, it would've been good to fuse some interfacing to the wrong side of the lining where those corners are stitched, but I didn't think of it until it was too late. Next time, I'll do that.
3) I cut and lined a rectangle of fabric (on the green and print bags; on the stripe bag, I used a rectangle cut from the bottom of the legs of a multi-patched pair of retired blue jeans, and I didn't line it...just used the hem as the top edge. I also cut the button tabs from the same jeans)to put between the handles on the button side of the bag to make an exterior pocket; I found some nice fuse-on letters to personalize these bags, which I put on the outer pocket.

A few tips:
You *can* place the joining seam of the handle pieces (straps) on the fold and avoid the seam; it worked for my print, but I don't think it would've worked as well for the other two fabrics...they had a stiffener on the back and were bulkier and I don't think I could've managed to turn that much length.
Also, after making the first three, I waited until the very last to seam the handles together on the last two bags. On my earlier attempts, the loops kept catching on the corners of my sewing table, which was rather aggravating. By closing the handles last, that problem goes away. ;)
After learning from the first bag, I trimmed the extra seam allowance out of the handles before I topstitched them; the directions just say to overlap them...but the handle is folded over and topstitched; there's really no compelling reason to leave that bulk in the handles.
I also sewed backer buttons behind the large closure buttons to help support them.
Another thing I did was to machine baste the 'turning opening' in the lining closed until I was ready to turn the bag. That let me press that seam really well, so that the edges were easy to close. But I just pulled that seam out, with the seam allowances turned in together, and edgestitched it closed, like a bagged jacket lining. It makes a bit of a rigid, welt-like seam, but it's in the inside of the bag, so... ;)
I also 'basted in the ditch' on the last two bags, so I could make a more accurate bag-shaping tuck. Oh...on the last one, I figured out that it was a little sturdier if I started stitching on the fold about 1" up from the bottom of the facing, angling down so that the needle was the prescribed 3/4" away from the fold at the bottom of the facing, then turned and stitched up to the edge, turned again and stitched back down to the bottom of the facing.

Likes/Dislikes: This bag is designed with as few seam intersections as possible; the facing is turned 90 degrees from the bag so that its seams are at the center of the front and back instead of at the sides, which is where the bag body seams are. A dislike is that the bag is not really all that well illustrated in the directions; some of the drawings are a bit confusing. Make sure to clip and match all notches! Also, don't make the mistake I made on my first bag; the handles connect along the sides of the bag, not over the top (See photo number 4 in the album; the bag on the right is correct, the bag on the left is wrong). I have no idea why I had it in my head that they went over the bag; but the only sketch of the finished bag is on the pattern envelope; there is none on the guide sheet. (Yes, I picked out the stitching on the first bag and fixed it).

Results: I have five bags that I'm not one whit ashamed to give to my friends...even if I am a little red-faced at how long it took me to get around to making them.

Conclusion: I like this bag and, now that I've trialed-and-errored my way through five, feel like I have figured this pattern out. If/when I find another piece of really cool upholstery fabric, I think I'll make one for myself.
Available for sale on PR: $12.00 Pattern Details
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16 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
Lisa Laree said... (2/20/15 9:27 PM) Reply
Sorry to bump it up; forgot to click the 'do not bump' box. And I believe I missed putting a photo of the inside of the bag in the new links; if I can find a blog photo I'll link that up.
oldshebear said... (12/31/08 8:03 AM) Reply
Great tips. I will put this bag on my wish list because of this review. Thanks
Athene said... (10/5/07 10:25 PM) Reply
Thank you for the great review. I think I must get this pattern and give it a try
Puddin Pop said... (2/7/07 12:40 PM) Reply
Hey, I cheated and just looked at the beautiful pictures. I love the inside of that one, WOW, compartments and everything.
Tee Jay said... (2/6/07 8:47 AM) Reply
Your bags look lovely. This is my standard patttern for a tote and have made three to give to friends. I made the same mistake with the handles!! I make mine 3" shorter so I have some room under my arm. Love this pattern.
AnneM said... (2/5/07 3:53 PM) Reply
Nice gift idea, and it will bring back memories for them. (Memories like "ouch I just dropped that on my foot", "oh my aching back" ? ;) )
Linda E. said... (2/3/07 8:45 PM) Reply
You did an excellent job..
GorgeousFabrics said... (2/3/07 1:43 PM) Reply
Lisa, your bags turned out great. Believe me, you're not the only sheepish one who is late getting thank-yous to friends!
j222b said... (2/3/07 1:16 PM) Reply
Can I help you move the next time? Late, but GREAT!
SueV said... (2/3/07 12:00 PM) Reply
I REALLY like them, your choice of fabrics and monogram... they are wonderful. Um.... I think I need to put this in the sewing que
suzanrossi said... (2/3/07 11:05 AM) Reply
Totes are so wonderful - some of us feel lost and bereft without our transitional objects to lug around with us. Your bags certainly are classy. Love the personal embroidery touch, too.
blue mooney said... (2/3/07 8:15 AM) Reply
It's nice to know that someone besides me is late with appreciation gifts. These bags are very nice and your helpers should be thrilled with them. Thanks for the helpful tips in the review.
JenSews2 said... (2/3/07 0:14 AM) Reply
Looks great! The pics work for me.
Lisa Laree said... (2/2/07 11:01 PM) Reply
Arrg! Well, my computer and the Internet took all evening but they finally decided to stay on speaking terms for more than 5 minutes and I fixed the photo links. Turns out that Yahoo's new so-called 'Smart' albums cannot be set for public viewing, so I had to make a new 'Stupid' album that could be made public. This could turn into a long ranting blog post, but perhaps the steam that has been rising from my head will abate by the time I get around to doing the blog tomorrow. Anyway, I have logged out of yahoo and then checked the links, and they appear to be ok now. Crossing my fingers....
PVA said... (2/2/07 10:12 PM) Reply
Some kind of a glitch with your photos but I certainly do appreciate all the details in your review. Thank you!
OP Gal said... (2/2/07 8:05 PM) Reply
Uh-oh! Something bad happened when I tried to access your pictures. :-) What an ambitious project. Thanks for the thorough review. Would love to see the end result.
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