Monday 14 September 2015

Another Sewing Post ....

When trawling Pinterest to see what I could make with my fat quarters I was really drawn to the idea of making zippered pouches. 

I've seen loads that I really like including a double zippered pouch on Japenese Sewing Books, a kind of patchwork zippered pouch on a website, all in Japanese, but with good pictures, and another cool pouch here with details on how to cover the zip ends. 

This post is definitely not a tutorial on how to make a zippered pouch, but if you're going to have a go, it might help you to avoid the mistakes I made along the way. 

I've got some really lovely pink and cerise sewing themed fabric and decided I would use this to make my first pouch and decided to go for the double zippered design. 

I'm not sure what I was thinking of, I've never put a zip in before, never mind two. Anyway, I was desperate to crack on so headed into town for zips and interfacing. 

Things didn't quite go to plan.  Unfortunately the market didn't have the coloured zip that I wanted in their 50p box so I ended up buying two from the Co-op at £1.50 each. I won't be doing that again, but more about that later. 

I was also gutted to find, after traipsing all over town and the local retail park, on foot, that there was no interfacing to be had in Tamworth, not even in Hobbycraft! Back home and I managed to source some cheap heavy wight interfacing on Ebay from The Haberdashery Cart and had to postpone my efforts until it arrived. 

A Few days later and I was good to go. 

The instructions for making this pouch and really good and there are pictures of every step, which really help. 

When it comes to inserting zips, it is a bit of a baptism of fire as you end up stitching along the zip edge seven times!! 

After a fair amount of unpicking, having got the lining the wrong way round twice, this is what I ended up with. 
Not perfect, but not bad for a first go and definitely usable. It did seem a bit lumpy around the very expensive zip ends and because the interfacing was quite thick it was quite hard to poke the corners out, so maybe not good enough for my Etsy shop or my new Facebook page .... Hand Made at Number 27.

I then found a really old and grubby white zip in my sewing box and decided to have another bash at a different type of pouch. I gave the the zip a good wash in washing up liquid and it came up like new. 

This time I decided to have a go at a kind of patchwork design, with some really cheerful nautical fabric and thought I'd also have a go at covering the zip ends. 

I loved how this one turned out, though the strips are quite narrow so it is hard to really see the pattern on the fabric ... and I managed to get the anchor fabric, at the top, upside down. Also, again, the interfacing has made the thing just a little bit lumpy, as it's hard to fuse the interfacing across all of the seams. 

So, again, not perfect, but definitely usable and already full of my crochet hooks and bits and pieces.
The one thing I would say about this one is that, whilst it's fairly simple to make up, doing it in patchwork does mean there is a lot more sewing to be done, both in stitching everything together and then in the top stitching, which makes for a nice finish. I'm not sure how commercially viable this would be. 

So, now completely out of zips and needing a lighter weight interfacing I got back on ebay and put in another order for some medium weight interfacing and started hunting for cheaper zips. 

A few days later, before I had come to a decision about which zips to order, I had a call from mum, who had made a shopping trip over to Burton on Trent. She said there was a man on the market selling zips, all colours and sizes, for 30p each and did I want her to get me some. Hell yeah, mum, most definitely!!  She picked me up a great selection to get me going. 

Finally, I had my medium weight interfacing and my cheap zips, which were fab by the way, and I was ready to have another bash. 
I was back onto the double zippered pouch and wanted to put my learning into practice. I made another one with the sewing themed fabric, with covered zip ends and the medium weight interfacing and it has come out quite well. 

There is just one thing that I am not happy with and that is that I have not pressed the lining back fully in the front pocket so there is the danger that this may catch on the zip. It's no fun being a flippin' perfectionist!  The covered zip ends look great though and I think the medium weight interfacing is definitely a better option. 

On a roll I decided to make another straight away. I went for a pirate themed fabric this time and all went really well. The zips looked great and the lining was all where it was supposed to be. Could this be as good as I was going to get? 
On giving the pouch it's final press, the blinking iron only went and deposited a load of gunk on the top right hand corner, leaving me with yet another non-perfect pouch and wondering if I would ever get this completely right. 

Not one to be easily deterred I decided to try something different and went back to my patchwork design. Only bigger and with owls. I'm not really keen on this one at all. It's all out of proportion and I think the top strip is too wide. Also the bottom strips have gone a bit wonky. Not my finest hour.  In fact I so don't like that I've not even taken any pictures of it.

I decided to have one last go. I dumped the patchwork and went for a single zippered version in two types of the nautical fabric with contrasting ruffle and binding on the front. The combination of the simplicity of the design, the style of the fabric and all of my learning ended up with a pouch that I am really happy with and I will definitely repeat, maybe in different sizes. 
I used an 18cm zip and this is a great size for a pencil case but may be a bit big for, say a make up bag, so I am sure I will try it again a bit smaller. 
Feeling a bit more confident I have made two more pouches since then. I've used up the rest of the owl fabric on a ruffle design, and had another go at a sewing themed double zippered version. Both have turned out great and the sewing themed one is already in my Etsy shop.
So, out of the 8 pouches I have made so far ... I have two that I will use myself, three that are definitely good enough for gifts, one that is on sale on Etsy and two that I am not sure what I will do with.

I do plan to make more of these and made a trip myself to Burton market on the train last week to buy more zips. I bought 25, in different sizes and colours so hopefully you will soon see more of these both in my Etsy shop and on my Facebook page.
If you're planning on having a go at making a pouch, I hope you found my tips and experiences useful.

Thanks for letting me share.

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