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!

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Leather Bottom Pouch

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I am obsessed with sewing zippered pouches, especially this one: the open wide pouch by Anna Graham, the brilliant mind behind Noodlehead. I have made roughly 15 of these beauties and enjoyed every minute of sewing them.

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I love this pouch because the design is utterly practical. It opens wide (hence the name) and you can get at everything inside easily. This is perfect for me…the woman who throws everything into a bag willy nilly and then has to rummage around to find it later. My packing skills are truly atrocious.

The exterior fabric is from Pat Bravo’s Indie collection with Art Gallery Fabrics. I savor this print, and it’s hard for me to cut up the yardage from that collection, but this bag seemed worthy of the honor. The lining is a print from Anna Maria Horner’s versatile True Colors collection.

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I have been experimenting with sewing leather, and I decided to incorporate some into this bag. The bottom of the bag was cut from leather upholstery scraps generously given to me by my mother-in-law so that I could explore some of my sewing whims.

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I used a leather needle to sew all seams on the bottom portion of the bag. I also switched from my usual 100% cotton thread to a 100% polyester thread for the leather base. Cotton threads can be eaten away by the natural oils in leather, and I wanted this bag to last. Even though it added a few minutes to the process to re-thread the machine, I feel it is worth the extra time to have a durable product.