Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Zipping Right Along

The Mini Quilt Trading Swap flickr group just finished up a great little side swap.  It was called the Little Surprise Pouch Swap.  I have to tell you, I have a bad case of zipper phobia, so joining this swap gave me a chance to work on a new skill.  Zipper fear does seem silly, especially since I sewed clothing for years and years and have installed many zippers, but fear isn't always rational, is it?  ; )  A dear friend gave me a couple zipper pouches that I have just loved since the moment I unwrapped them so I decided to make that kind of pouch for my swap partner.  The pattern is called "What's In Your Bag?" from Stitchin' Sisters.  

First I went to my stash to find a couple prints for a test run of the pattern.  I chose two Denyse Schmidt prints and set to work.  The first bag turned out surprisingly well, but I wasn't happy with the vinyl I used for the window.  It was rather thin and just didn't look as nice as it should, kinda wrinkly and bumpy.  Thankfully, I remembered that you could use a hot blower dryer over the surface for a few seconds as a way to "IRON" sheet vinyl.  This helped a lot, but I still wasn't satisfied with the appearance.  This little zippy lives here with me and is filled with cosmetics.  I'm really enjoying using it!

The next version of the zippy is a little different.  A roll of mesh found it's way home with me a few months ago, but hadn't ever been used, so out it came.  The mesh was fun to use and gives a very different look to the bag.  I'm looking forward to using it again one day.

This zippy is embellished with a french knot heart that contains approximately 2 million french knots! HA!  Felt like it anyway.  I like how the bright pink lining peeks out. This little zippy is for my lovely Daughter. 

After making two trial run zippy's and going on a shopping trip for a heavier weight of vinyl, it was time to get down to making something for my swap partner.  She goes by the screen name nanotchka, and is a very talented quilter.  She makes all kinds of beautiful things, has a shop on Etsy, writes patterns and her work has been featured in such publications as Quiltmania.  (click HERE to visit her photostream.) May I just say that making something for her was a little nerve wracking?  LOL  I decided that something simple, practical and well made was the way to go since I was tackling a new skill.  Nannette travels quite a bit, so a zippy bag might be useful for her.  As I was going through my stash my eye fell on the text print from the Maker fabric.  It seemed perfect for Nannette, so I grabbed it out, plus two prints from that line.  I decided to make two zippy bags and send her the one that turned out the best, although in the end both bags were just as nice.

I cut fabric and vinyl and began sewing, working on the two bags simultaneously.  I had the entire front of both bags finished when I realized I had goofed!  I'd missed adding the fusible fleece batting to the right and left sides of the window.  Well, there was no way to fix that, so into the trash it went  and I cut more fabric and began again.  Kept talking to myself over and over to make sure I didn't miss a step!  The second time things went just fine! The zippers were added and it was time to sew the side seams of the bags & finish the seams so the corners could be boxed and the bag turned right side out.  Well, on the green bag I did another dumb dumb thing.  I forgot to leave the zipper open so I could turn out the bag!  Thankfully I realized my mistake BEFORE it boxed the corners.  After fiddling with getting that zipper open for at least 15 minutes it FINALLY moved!  It was a joy filled moment, let me tell you!  A large sigh of relief was heard and the little green zippy was finished.  I love how it turned out!
 I did an even sillier stunt with the last one!  The side seams were all sewn up, the seam allowances finished with not just one row of zig zag stitching, oh no, there were TWO Rows.  Remembering the fun I had with the trying to turn the green bag when I'd forgotten to open the zipper, I stopped what I was doing to make sure the zipper was open.  Yeah, I discovered I'd sewn and finished the side seams with the wrong sides up!  That's a really really big oooopsie!  I took some deep breaths, grabbed my seam ripper and set to to work with it.  Thankfully all the stitching came out easily and after cleaning up the fuzzy bits and giving it a good pressing it was ready to be finished properly.  And again, I really love how it turned out!
This is the zippy bag that was sent to Nannette. 

A scissor charm became the zipper pull. 

Here's the chorus line of zippy bags!  Seeing them all together makes me smile! 
It was a great week in the sewing room. 

Now that I've had a successful zipper experience I'd like to try a tote bag next.  

Happy Zippin'! 


Leslie can't stop quilting said...

Oh my goodness Staci!!! I love the black one with your French knots! I know you were working hard on that one and I can't believe you didn't send her that one! I love the one you chose for her too tho!! You have been a very busy girl!!

margaret said...

It just was not your day when it comes to a project being smooth sailing but you ended up with 4 practical and pretty pouches, wondering if you had to use a special needle fr the vinyl and whether it was easy to sew.

Lesley Gilbert said...

Love your zipper bags. Thanks for the tip on using the hot blower, for wrinkles :)

Archie the wonder dog said...

I love all those pouches and they turned out great - you'd never know that some of them were very badly behaved during their creation!