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Weekend/Overnight Bag In Chinese Brocade


I’m really excited about my Minerva Bloggers project this month especially so because of the totally fabulous Chinese Brocade that I have used.  The colour is a vibrant Pillar Box Red and the motif is a repeating butterfly pattern which shimmers in the light due to the metallic thread running through the medium-heavy weight satin.

It can never be said that I’m afraid of colour!

Chinese brocade

As soon as I saw this fabric I was desperate to use it – I had considered a kimono style dressing gown as kimonos are very ‘in’ at the moment and it would make a very decadent one, but I don’t need another.

I do, however, need a new weekend bag as my old faithful is falling apart at the seams and looking extremely tatty. I wanted a pattern that wasn’t too fussy or detracted from the beautiful fabric which needs a starring rôle, so I was delighted when I stumbled upon Burda Style 7119.


I chose view ‘A’ which reminds me of the old Doctors’ bags or carpet bags.

carpet bag

The pattern has been classed as “Easy” by Burda and I have to agree, although the handles may prove fiddly for the absolute beginner.

easy beginners bag pattern

It has been commented that I like a more roomy bag (see my “Sew Retro” bag) and this one is no exception. My fabric choice makes it a softly structured option but I can see it working even better in a leatherette or vinyl.

In fact, although I ordered a metre of bright red leatherette, I only used a tiny amount to make the handles so there is plenty left to make up a smaller version. Maybe a wash bag with waterproof lining?

These are the supplies, including matching red cotton lining, zip and thread. What a happy photo – red makes me want to shout out loud!


The downside to using brocade is that it frays extremely easily. The pattern is not printed onto the fabric, it is woven with shimmery, metallic threads which are so beautiful (the photographs do not do it justice!) but which slide out at the slightest touch.


To prevent the fraying and to make sewing a much easier experience, I overlocked every single raw edge which I wouldn’t normally do when the edges are encased within a lining.

That’s better!


The zip went in easily enough and the placement makes a pleasant change from the norm.


The zip extends past the end of the bag by a few inches and I liked the leatherette detail as a stop tab.


When it came to making the handles, I altered the pattern slightly.

The design called for a tube to be sewn right sides together, turned inside out and tubes of handle wadding to be threaded through. I couldn’t source this anywhere so I improvised. I sewed the handles wrong sides together with two rows of stitching for strength and decoration, then poked some polyester toy wadding all the way through with a knitting needle.

leatherette bag handles

Three rows of stitching adds strength to where the handles join the bag.

P1040625 P1040633

The padded handles are really soft and comfortable too, an important consideration which is often overlooked.


The amount of interior space is quite impressive and I love that the lining is just as cheery a colour as the outside!


As I said, it’s a little floppy unless it’s stuffed full of clothes but the benefit is that it folds away neatly when stored. I’m not averse to the less structured look anyway.




I love it!

All in all it was a great pattern with easy to understand instructions and the fabric was a dream to work with after the fraying issue had been dealt with.

I can’t wait to use it – luckily we’ve got several overnight trips planned over the Easter break so it will get plenty of use. My husband has also planned our second wedding anniversary trip somewhere secret so it’s sure to get lots of second glances at the airport – it’s definitely a bag that stands out from the crowd.

It makes a lovely change from the generic overnight bags that you get in the shops and just proves the theory that hand made is best!

Weekend Bag

If you haven’t checked out Minerva Crafts yet, do hop over and have a look – the fabric selection alone is enormous and worth browsing over a cup of tea:)

Author: sewchet

Sewing, Crochet and other loveliness!

40 thoughts on “Weekend/Overnight Bag In Chinese Brocade

  1. This should make the tedious job of packing pretty pleasurable. Great job, and I love both the colour and all the very professional details 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Packing isn’t my strong point. We had to leave for Heathrow at 10am for our two week honeymoon in Bali and my sister offered to help carry the suitcases to the car at 9am. She nearly had kittens when I said I hadn’t even thought about the clothes we were taking, let alone get the suitcases out of the loft! We just shoved a few things in and hopped in the car:)

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The fabric’s stunning! Bet you can’t wait to get away! I’ll be filling my ikea bags when we get away over easter! lol 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are not afraid of colour! This is just fabulous, I am most impressed with your skills with bags!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I love using ‘in your face’ fabrics – any reaction is preferable to indifference to my mind, and may persuade others to consider something a bit bolder than they’d normally choose:)


      • I agree! And bags are one place we can go bright and bold even if we don’t want to – or don’t because we no longer look good in bright colours – having something that pops beside you or hanging off your shoulder gives you a real lift. I love it!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh this was the perfect project to show off that gorgeous fabric. You’re very talented. You shouldn’t have to buy bags anymore since you can make so many beautiful ones in different shapes and sizes yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Beth, although you wouldn’t believe I’m not really a ‘bag’ person. I stick to the same handbag until it’s falling apart – or until the dog has diarrhoea on it, but that’s another story!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh no!! ! But you can’t tell us half a story!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, one Christmas my husband bought me some wellies. I know that sounds like a rubbish present, but they were Dubarry wellies costing well over £300. The following year he bought me a matching messenger bag which I was thrilled with and used constantly. Anyway, my tiny 12 year old Yorkies likes to curl up inside my handbags but even she couldn’t fit in this one, so she laid down on top of it. It’s part suede, part leather. Both dogs had stomach upsets one weekend and we woke up to find the kitchen and most things in it covered in doggie diarrhoea. My bag was beyond saving and we ended up throwing it out!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shouldn’t laugh, but I did, sorry! Glad I’ve not eaten my breakfast yet! 😳

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Just love your unusual choice of use for that fabric. It screams ‘kimono’ but is absolutely fabulous as a holdall!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s very Oriental, isn’t it? I so nearly changed my mind and went for the kimono. I love it and may well end up ordering some more to do just that. I can picture myself wearing it on the balcony outside our bedroom, sipping tea on a Sunday morning in the summer….


  6. It is gorgeous, and roomy, and the colour is stunning. There is no chance that your bag would be mistaken as someone else’s. I just wish I could sew that well. But I dont sew, unless the very bare basics.
    Congrats on a job perfectly done!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. WOWZA!! What a wonderful choice to show off that fab material. I can just imagine it shimmering in the sun. Just stunning!! I even liked the rose fabric that the pattern had to show off choice A. Beautiful roses always take my breath. My overnight bag is a stiff material which is red with white polka dots. I adore it! You are right .. You will get some looks but what the heck.. it shows you have class and loads of confidence. 🙂 So far I have taken three of the sewing classes and I can’t wait to get to the point where I can just grab a pattern and sew away! So far I am almost finished with the pajama pants. Just have the elastic to put in and the hemming of the pant legs. Sewing is so much fun. I know I will use that skill with crocheting and make some lovely projects.
    As always it is wonderful to hear from you and see the lovely pics you share. Lots of sewing/hookin love to you and the family. You rock my friend!!! 🙂
    xoxoxoxo Robin in the US of A!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your new sewing machine is getting lots of use then? I love crochet and, to a lesser extent knitting, but sewing is my passion. The results are instant and sometimes that’s what you want. Onto my next Minerva project – a cross body bag for carrying my tiny old dog when she’s too tired to walk any further:)


  8. The bag is so bright and cheerful, it really is lovely!! I hope you have some great breaks over Easter. Sharon x

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It’s beautiful! Reminds me a bit of Mary Poppins’ bag, in the best of ways! It’s just so bright and happy, too – and I’m sure it would look fabulous while out and about in the sun with all the butterflies catching the light just right!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow! What gorgeous fabric. I wouldn’t have though of making a bag with it either. But it’s perfect! Really love a carpet bag – must add that pattern to The List.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lovely bag, great idea to make the handles yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a fabulous bag 🙂 – the choice of project and fabric work so well together! It will. for sure, get many admiring glances – without a shadow of a doubt!!! I think I will definitely have to set aside time tomorrow, with a couple of brews, for Minerva Crafts site 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I waste hours browsing Minerva Crafts! It was a bold choice of fabric wasn’t it? And it makes a change to see something other than dressmaking on the blogger’s network, I think:)

      Liked by 1 person

      • It was indeed!! I think it needs more people like yourself to take a leap of faith, to create something outside the expected 😉 And, it will definitely add some ‘fabric bling’ to Minerva’s site 😀
        Sadly, I only managed a short tea break at Minerva crafts today, wanting to finish my little project before our daughter and her partner come for the weekend tomorrow…BUT, after some spring cleaning in the morn, I’m free to browse some more – can’t wait 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  13. How utterly gorgeous!! Marianne xx


  14. What a sexy bag! I’ve been thinking of ordering that pattern but nowhere can I find the finished measurements of the bags. Can you tell me what is the finished size of yours, which you say is Version A?

    Also, re the filling for the handles, there is a special cord that you buy at the fabric store (standard size for handles is ½ inch and it’s very cheap), and the “tubing” they refer to is transparent plastic tubing sold at hardware stores. It’s a matter of choice: if you want a slightly floppy handle, use the cord, and if you like the rigid kind that stands up all by itself, the tubing’s the thing.


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