Friday, 1 March 2013

Success with a zipper pouch

Recently I took part in a swap where we made zipped pouches and filled them with chocolates and such. My efforts were poor.

In my long ago past I could design a garment, draft a pattern and sew well. I entered competitions, competed against professional couturiers and won prizes. Somewhere along life's journey I lost nearly all those skills. Bah! It is definitely time to relearn how to sew.
The best photo of the disastrous pouch.
Note the dreadful ends on the zip.
Of course I tried to hide the faults.
The old sewing machine wore out and I bought a new one, fancier and with more modern features. Learning how to use that is a continuing challenge and I frequently become annoyed. These days I sew only plain things. Patchwork with straight lines and wobbles. Shapeless clothes for a pudgy body.

So joining this swap was a good idea. Zippers? They are not inserted the old way any more. Too old? Live with it!

What happened? The strip piecing I used to make the first pouch was a remnant from some patchwork classes taken years ago. A bit more here and there and a zipper from my hoard and I thought it would all be a cakewalk. Wrong! How many times could I sew and unpick? Unfortunately after a few times the fabric was starting to stretch. Interlining or quilting would have prevented that. Why not try this fancy technique for the zipper ends? Why? Because I did not think the process through completely and it was a failure, that's why. Did that part only three times. Broke four needles.

Found some other fabric and made a different pouch much simpler in design. Still not perfect, but actually my best effort at the time. Filled and posted it to my partner far away in the northern hemisphere.
Re-made pouch.
Slightly smaller due to dodgy previous attempts.
Zipper inserted differently.
The handle seems to have shrunk.
Needs further analysis and development.

So ... I went to the machine and re-made the pouch I should have made the first time.
Open-topped pockets inside. No internal zipped pockets. Little loopy handle to prevent it getting lost in a pile. Still not excellent but definitely better than fair. The stripes do not match and that is fine with me. The design is not marvellous actually because setting the corners makes the top appear too long. A better design would flair towards the base to compensate. Access to the contents would still be good and the bag would stand more attractively. Nitpicking.
My pouch in this photo is filled with jewellery. Diamonds and pearls? No. Low cost jewellery I really like, but all in the same colour range. Nothing worth stealing. Organised. The new pouch is useful, although not perfect. Now it is time to make a few more for the gift drawer. Hopefully they will be even better.


  1. I love your little zipper pouch :) Like you I used to sew a lot and now find I have to work a bit harder to make things fit. I also have to haul the sewing machine out onto a little folding table, and don't have much room, but I do realise that is all just excuses. I am doing a weaving course at the moment - really enjoying it.

    1. Years ago I studied weaving. Did not do an apprenticeship though. Weavers were employed to design fabrics, a job now done by computers. My biggest issue with weaving for pleasure was that I could rarely use the finished product. I knew how many long hours went into making the object or fabric and the thought of slicing into it was too much. I threw away my looms and decided to do something else I could live with.

  2. You are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pouch. I really enjoy the colors you used for the stripes.


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