I tell you this: never again.
Why yes, that's a (finished-but-not) Weekender Bag. Why yes, I did finish sewing in the lining by hand this morning. Why yes, this is my greatest artistic accomplishment of 2007.
I can't believe I actually finished it. Or almost finished it. I still need to make the false bottom, which I will get to tonight or tomorrow night. (And trust me, it hardly needs a false bottom - this thing stands up like a tense soldier.)
Where to start? This is bar none the most difficult, challenging, makes-me-spit-in-anger project I've ever attempted. You start by making your own cording, which is daunting for a not-so-confident sewer. (Note: if I were to do this again, which I won't, I would make the cord binding a little wider than the pattern specifies since you do so much basting and seaming and basting again. Give yourself some room.) Then you attach Timtex (or its Joann counterpart) to everything that isn't nailed down. The actual construction of the bag is fascinating, especially how the side pockets are attached.
For me, the hardest part was getting past my mental blocks. There was a lot of walking away during the eight months I worked on this on and off. I finally hunkered down Saturday night, most of the day on Sunday and last night to get it finished. I also had difficulty figuring out how to get the lining together. My interior fabric doesn't have a right or a wrong side, so that made things doubly confusing. Putting the outside together is actually pretty easy because everything is so stiff and you can actually see the form of the bag as you're pinning. Not the case with the lining.
There are definitely some major flaws, but I'm okay with that. I did it all on my own and that's all that matters.