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Speaking the unspoken…..


Ok, I’m laying myself bare with this post, but its something I cannot ignore and I feel its important I say it. Controversial it may be and a post that I may end up regretting in time because of its sensitive subject, but here goes….

I love the Amy Butler Weekender Bag, the shape, the size, the possibility of making something stylish and unique to me – no wonder its so popular. 
It has been on my “I’d love to make one someday” list for so long. With the Fat Quarter Retreat coming up my mind started thinking of possibilites. Then came along Art Gallery Fabric’s Make it Right Challenge using Angela Walters Right Angles Panel from the Textures collection. Perfect partners, win win. Make a bag, in a gorgeous fabric with the added bonus of entering it into a contest to win fantastic prizes.

Right Angles Panel by Angela Walters
Image taken from Art Gallery Fabrics blog

I love this panel, it is so me, the colours and geometric shapes.
I tracked down a UK supplier and bought a couple of panels, before I lost impetus. I must say it is even more lovely in real life. I haven’t used Art Gallery Fabric before and now I know why it is such a favourite, it feels so soft to handle. 
After planning in the time and dithering over which method to use I decided to go with the popular QAYG method and spent a few hours last night and a few more this afternoon ‘internet’ shopping around for the rest of the supplies.

It works out cheaper to buy the coordinating solid fabric (for the lining, handles and piping) from the US (by approx. £10). It will shorten my make up time having it shipped from US, it will be a rush but I can live with that. (The contest rules state that you have to use the Pure Elements fabric as ‘fillers’).
I also need to buy some Duck Cloth/Canvas, Aurifil thread, bag feet, piping, the pattern and the zip. And I’d like the bag to have those rectangle rings on the handles. I’ve got the pattern on hold at John Lewis to pick up tomorrow and I’ll buy the piping while I’m there. I’d shopped around to get the best prices and lowest delivery cost for the remaining bits and bobs and have everything in my virtual shopping carts ready to buy. 
This is when I got the calculator out for my total spend. Are you ready for this.

For supplies and delivery charges (not including the zip or piping as I don’t have a cost for them yet or the rectangle handle rings because they aren’t a necessity) my Weekender bag is going to cost me….. £91.36!!!

How do can I justify spending this amount of money when we are a one income family and it’s not something I especially need? I honestly don’t think I can go ahead with the bag, the cost makes it too inhibitive. And there I was planning a post tomorrow about the projects I’ve got coming up. I may need to re-think.

Please be assured that I’m not writing this blog post for sympathy but only to highlight the cost of supplies.

On a totally different note, I would like to say a huge Thank You to everyone who has entered my giveaway so far. I’ve been astounded by the number of you that have entered, thank you. 

Sarah xx

14 Responses to Speaking the unspoken…..

  1. Nat at Made in Home May 10, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

    I was reflecting exactly on this this week! I now try to think on how much a bag/blanket etc would cost me and whether it is worth making it myself… Or splash out when sales are on!

  2. House of Pinheiro May 10, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    It’s so true, when we use out stash we don’t see the whole cost of a project nuts it’s important to stop and think about it from time to time

  3. Sonia May 10, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    It’s so true! I’ve always looked at the Weekender but am now being swayed towards the Aeroplane bag (and there’s a code for 20% off the pattern price until tomorrow if you’re interested) but it’s still going to work out pricier than I could maybe buy in the shops. I think sometimes we forgive the spending for having something unique, especially if we’re doing it from stash but planning something out from new supplies can be costly and make us think 🙁 Hope you manage to come to some kind of compromise x

  4. heart of charnwood May 10, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    Wowsers, that is phenomenal! When I made the Getaway bag by Lisa Lam i worked out it was about £50ish, and that made me cringe! I think her required fabric quantities are way out from what others have said. I managed to save a lot of cost on mine by using some scraps for QAYG, the batting was an offcut from a quilt, so scrap again, Mandy gave us the canvas for backing the QAYG which you wont see, as it’s on the inside, any heavy scrap fabric would do. If you buy a reel of piping off ebay (£6) it can also be used for other projects. If you don’t enter the contest, there will definitely be more room for you to save the costs, and i think you could easily do it for half the cost or less! :O)

  5. Fran May 10, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    Me too, I’ve been weighing up the cost of a small quilt I’ve made this week as a gift…I do so hope it’s appreciated (I think it will be) but it is so easy to plough ahead with a project without calculating the cost.

  6. Jenny Larking May 10, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    Spot on! When we bought our present house the owner was a quilter and when I asked her if she sold her quilts she said people wouldn’t pay the going rate so she only made for family and friends. This was before I too became a quilter and soon realised how true that was. I am making a double quilt for my nephew’s wedding and the cost, without labour factored in is already more than £100. I know they will appreciate it but will have no idea of how much it cost to make.

  7. made by ChrissieD May 11, 2013 at 3:52 am #

    I’ve heard a lot of people commenting/complaining about the prohibitive cost of making the Amy Butler Weekender bag. Since I moved to the States I hear lots of complaints about the cost of fabrics, etc, while I’m just busy thinking everything’s a bargain compared to English prices! 🙂

  8. Celtic Thistle May 11, 2013 at 8:35 am #

    It is easy to get swept up in the excitement of new patterns, new fabrics isn’t it? I think it is good to have a reality check now and again to work out the actual cost of some of the must-have items, it is often frightening.

  9. Erin Quinn May 11, 2013 at 9:45 am #

    As much as I love the look of the weekender it does seem like a very expensive project. I’m sure there are cheaper ways to make it, but then you might not be happy with the final project because it’s not what you envisioned. I guess it comes down to whether this a project you really want to do and if it’s worth the investment? If you really want to do it and you’ll see have enjoyment doing it on the deadline then this is your special project for the season!
    E xx

  10. Alison May 11, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    Wow, that is a lot of money. I am on a mission to stash bust at the moment so I am not buying any new fabric or wool but I did price the yarn required to crochet myself a gorgeous cardigan, it came to £87, for a cardi… I can get an ethical one from people tree or seasalt for less than that which is crazy!


  11. Nita May 11, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    Quilting in general is a very expensive hobby if you don’t live near discount fabric shops and/or want to sew with good quality materials. We have one quilt shop in my town and prices average $18 – $20/metre. Painful!

  12. pennydog May 12, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    OK long reply coming up 😉

    I feel like that about dressmaking, it’s cheaper for me to actually buy a dress and I can use the time sewing a quilt instead.

    With my Weekender I was thrifty. The pattern was less than £4 in the JL sale, I only used scraps I already had for the QAYG, plus the inside of the pockets were from some rags that OH’s aunt was throwing out, the wadding I used was sheds of lefts over curtain fleece interfacing which was cheap from the curtain making shop up the road anyway, I have a good size roll of webbing for the handles I bought when I was making dog collars and found cheap on eBay and the canvas I did buy, but it came too late and we thrifted it out of dirty offcuts from Mandy’s husband who’s an artist and has left over bits. The lining fabrics was some my friend was sick of as she used to have a soft furnishing business so I asked if I could take some of hat, same with the piping. I only had to buy a zip, the pattern, some bag feet (but again I sold mine a little while ago to the same friend so I might be able to buy some back), template plastic, a spool of thread (because QAYG uses LOADS) and a FQ for the piping fabric. If there’s a cheaper way of doing things I’ll find it but I know not everyone has access to the friends who happen to have this kind of stuff.

    I try and have a fabric budget of £60 a month, but then there’s always wadding and stuff. I use thrifted fabrics for the back not only for the ethical element but also for cost reasons so I can buy the prettier ones for the front. Making a quilt probably costs around £150 otherwise which is crazy. And then people sell them on Etsy and Folksy (and even at quilt shows) for about the same price, where is the logic in that?

  13. Tammy May 12, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    It’s crazy isn’t it. I am lucky that I have a Fabricland near me as they are much cheaper than JL. They have a hideous website but you have to order over the phone and watch out for their postage costs as they charge the actual Royal Mail cost rather than a flat rate.

  14. Two Wednesdays May 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    I know what you mean! I actually have a pristine weekender pattern that I bought in January in the JL sale. I do have a stash of fabric, but it is mostly from sales – either in the US or the UK. Like you I just can’t justify the cost full price, and we’re a two income household!That doesn’t mean I think the UK prices are unreasonable when you factor in all the overheads but I only have so much budget. That panel is gorgeous by the way – I can see why you fell for it

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