Zip It

I have been too long away from my sewing machine. I work a lot of evenings and weekends, especially during the summer, and the rest of the time has been filled with summery activities. I do love spending time in the sun with family and friends, but I really wanted to get some time in at my sewing machine.

I needed something quick and easy to sew in just a few free hours. I searched through my downloaded pattern file and found this Zippy Pouch tutorial from Sew Mama Sew. It is simply, but it had some wonky patchwork in the design, which added interest.

I whipped up two of these pouches in an afternoon. Very satisfying quick sewing.

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This one was made from some leftover neutrals, a fat quarter that my husband bought for me, and some free fabric that I got accidentally when fabric.com messed up my order once. It was a “use up the extras” type of project, but I like the way the neutral prints play off one another.

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The tutorial calls for the zipper to be inserted in a very basic way. While this was easier to sew, it leaves this undesirable puckering at the end.

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For the second pouch, I added fabric tabs at the ends of the zippers to alleviate some of the puckering. This helps with the aesthetic appearance of the pouch and gives a cleaner finish. However, it shortens the length of the zipper, making the pouch less functional as you have less room in the opening. I wish I wasn’t so picky – but I just couldn’t live with a puckering zipper.

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This is the second finished pouch. Brighter colors! This one will be a gift for someone soon.

I’m going to make another one of these, but with slightly adjusted zipper tabs. I also plan to use that square block on the front as an opportunity to showcase some of the hundreds of hexies I basted during the cold winter months. This pouch pattern is so simple, but that front patchwork really does offer a neat opportunity to showcase something cool: embroidery, applique, a stamp or screenprint – lots of possiblities!

Divided Basket for a New Baby

Babies are teeny tiny mysteries. I don’t have one, and I never have, so I don’t fully understand what they’re all about. Lots of myย friends and relatives are having babies, and as is customary, I give them baby-related gifts.ย My complete cluelessness about babies makes it challenging to identify an appropriate gifts for new parents and their babies.ย In my confusion, I usually just sew something and then add a book or two.

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Thank goodness for Anna Graham and her outstanding patterns. This is the second time I have made a divided basket as a baby shower gift, and it is such a versatile pattern. I was able to work completely from my stash (hurrah for frugality!) and fill up the basket with small but hopefully useful items for the new baby boy.

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The exterior fabric is an adorable Moda print featuring multicolored origami animals. It had a bunch of bright colors and a nice gray neutral, so it paired well with random items in my stash. I found the origami animal print while visiting Quiltwork Patches in Eugene, Oregon, and at the time I had no idea what I would do with it but I just had to have it. I am glad that I was able to put it to use – it is perfect for a baby gift.

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The basket is filled with some of my favorite board books, a small toy, and some extra onesies. I hear that babies are mighty messy. A change of clothes might come in handy.

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I used fusible fleece in addition to the recommended interfacing, as suggested in the pattern, and it made a sturdy basket that stands on its own. I wish I had done the fabric-covered handles because that would have helped bring it all together…but I was in a rush and wanted to get this sewn up and in the mail before the baby arrived. I hope the new baby (and his parents) like it!