Zipper Bags

Do you ever start a project and think I am really not meant to make this? Originally I had brought the 2 blue fabrics used on these bags to make reading pillows but silly me didn’t read how much fabric was required and I didn’t have enough when I started to cut them out plus I didn’t have the correct size pillow inserts. I also needed to make a 3rd gift from fabric in my stash. No dramas plan b I will make 3 Zip and Go’s, easy pattern which I have made before.

Zip And Go Pattern

I brought the zippers to match each bag, cut out the fabrics and realised I never had enough fabric to make the straps out of the same fabric. Again no dramas all the fabric had white on it I’ll just make the straps out of white calico from my stash which I did. The Zip and Go pattern has clever instructions where you measure the front panel and slice it at different times in the instructions to insert the zips. I sliced my first panel as per instructions and realised I cut it ¾” too short. Now what to do. I was running out of ideas and time to make the gifts. I had all this usable fabric, I didn’t want to waste it.

2 Zip Bags Pocket

Now I think by this point I was up to plan c. Having made the Essential Wristlet pattern more times then I can remember I decided to use the zipper instructions from that to insert top opening zippers on the bags instead with a front pocket. It was a way to save all the fabric I cut and it was a pattern I was very familiar with.

2 Zip Bags 3

I was originally going to make the zip and go pattern as Christmas gifts this year for the same kids so I had all hardware in my stash. Sewing away it occurred to me that the straps I had made weren’t going to fit the hardware I had in my stash. I make my bag straps on tote bags and regular bags finished size 1″. The zip and go’s have a narrow strap and the hardware I had fitted the narrower strap.  I then had to do a quick online order to get 1″ hardware and have it sent Express Post to have it in time to finish them. I also had to remake the D ring tabs for the bags as I had made them for the smaller size. In the end I think having the tabs in white brings the bags together more as they are the same as the straps and it doesn’t make it look like I have just clipped on any old straps I had.

2 Zip Bags 4.JPG

The straps have sliders on them and I always get confused on how to sew them. I have to look at my handbag each time I attach them as even with pictorial instructions my brain get confused. Just as I was sewing the hardware on my last strap I still stitched it wrong so the slider wouldn’t move so I got my un picker out. When I started sewing them correctly I then broke a needle. I had my glasses on but luckily it wasn’t one of those fly off and hit in your face needle breaks which is why I wear my glasses sewing now.

2 Zip Bags 2

I’m pretty proud of myself. Even though I had drama after drama making these bags and they ended up taking about a week to make instead of a weekend like I’d planned. I never got stressed or angry making them. I ended up with 3 usable bags to give as gifts. I actually did mid week sewing on these which I don’t normally do. Normally my mind thinks if I am going to sew I need a big chunk of time but I did 20 – 30 mins each day and I got them completed. Using white thread meant I was able to batch sew them so I did one task a day during the week. Install one half of the zipper on all the bags one day, the other half of the zippers the next day. Top stitch all the zippers one day. Little chunks of sewing got the small tasks done so when I had a day off work I was able to finish them. By breaking sewing up into small tasks like I did on these bags I might be able to get through sewing all the things I want to make. I’m fortunate enough to not have to pack up my sewing area after each time I use it so mid week sewing is achievable for me.

2 Zip Bags 1

Even though I have now been sewing for 8 years I’m still learning from every project. This project I learnt how important it is to fully check your materials and instructions before you start. Go back and double check the small details as you are making the project, don’t assume or go on autopilot too much. You don’t need a lot of time to sew, break the tasks into small steps and you can get things done.

Cassiy

My Earbud Pouch

I made my friend an earbud pouch years ago but I never made myself one as I never needed one. I have been using ear phones at work for about 6 months and it suddenly occurred I need to make myself one!

The pattern is the Circle Zip earbud pouch by Dog Under My Desk. In my stash I found a couple of pieces of my favourite fabric. I don’t have much of this left now but I found just enough for this project. This like all of Erin’s patterns is super easy to make. I literally made it before work one morning (I do get up early) it only took about an hour to sew and maybe 10 – 15 mins the day before to cut out. This size holds regular ear phones but on the DUMD Facebook group others have said they have enlarged it to hold larger cords so you could make it to hold other electrical cords.

I am super happy I have a little something me made that I see each day at work in my favourite fabric. I don’t sew a lot for myself other than clothes so this is nice.

Cassiy

Zip And Go – First Attempt

Zip and Go is a pattern from Dog Under My Desk for a long time but I’ve never gotten around to making it. Recently I was looking for present to make so I decided now was the time to try it.

On the DUMD facebook group I have seen many people make this before and I was always amazed at how they pattern matched the front of this bag. Most times I don’t even attempt at pattern matching as I am hopeless at it. In the process of making this bag I found out how everyone was achieving this crazy pattern matching wizardry, at different parts of the pattern you slice the front portion therefore creating the pattern matching! Like all of Erin’s patterns the tutorial that accompanies the pattern is really clear and easy to follow. This bag is actually relatively simple to make following the tutorial. I made this over a weekend and actually enjoyed sewing it. Often of late if I am sewing to a deadline I haven’t enjoyed the process of sewing, more rushing to get the item done. This bag was actually really pleasant to make.

Admittedly I did buy the fabric for this bag. I was too busy to look through my stash for suitable fabric so I went to my local material shop and brought it.  To be honest of late I have gotten out of the habit of fully planning my sewing projects ahead of time and checking for suitable fabrics and notions in my stash before heading to the shops. I did make my gift list for this year but I haven’t stuck to it at all. I am behind on other gifts for this year as I just haven’t felt like sewing or the pattern I picked I wasn’t instantly gelling with therefore I never made it and gift deadline after gift deadline snow balled and suddenly I’m racing to get things done. This gift was done on time but I have 3 gifts that I haven’t done yet and birthdays have passed. I will get on track again, time to kick myself up the butt and play in my stash to find gifts I actually feel like making.

In terms of this pattern I am going to make it again. I have plans to make as Christmas gifts but it might also get made for a few birthday gifts this year too.

Cassiy

Owl Zipper Pouch

For the first time in months on Saturday I actually got on my sewing machine! I was one gift behind on my gifts this year so I got in and made this zipper pouch to get me up to date.

The pattern I used was my old favourite Dog Under My Desk pattern the Essential Wristlet. Without doubt this is my go to pattern whenever I want a zipper pouch. I have made so many of them over the years for gifts but also for myself. This is the enlarged version where the pattern piece I used measured 50% bigger than the regular size that comes in the pattern, it is simple to enlarge to set the printer to print at 150% not 100% and extend the length of your zipper by about 2″ I need to make more of these for myself, they are a great size bag for yarn projects.

If you have followed my blog over the years I’m sure you have guessed this is for my owl obsessed niece. I’m still always on the hunt for owl fabrics, when I went to the craft show this year my mission was to hunt down owl fabric for this pouch. I really like the outer fabric, it is fun but just a little bit grown up which means she can use this for years to come.

Cassiy

Toiletry Bag

This year I am going away a couple of times to different things so decided to make myself up a toiletry bag.

toiletery-bag

For this bag I used the same enlarged Dog Under My Desk Essential Wristlet pattern I used when I made my rose bag. To recap I enlarged the original pattern to 150% when I printed it out and used a longer zipper (12″ not 8″) Both the exterior and interior is made from ripstop which is a waterproof nylon fabric.

toiletry-bag-inside-size

The inside of the bag is very large. I can easily fit a full size bottle of body wash in there plus all the other bits and bobs I’ll need for a weekend away. As I found out at the Frocktails event you can fit a lot in this size bag whether it be as a handbag or a toiletry.

8-feet-accessory-kit

Last year when I worked with ripstop and when I was making the Activity Go Case I had issues with the ripstop and the vinyl sticking to my machine and the presser foot. In January I was able to pick up in a half price sale a 8 Feet Accessory Kit from Spotlight. I wasn’t sure if the feet would fit my machine or not but luckily the feet just snap on to the shank already on my machine so I am able to use them. I’m not sure about the ruffler foot (that kind of scares me) but I have both high and low shank machines so it should fit at least one of them. I used the Teflon foot from the set for the first time on this project.

toiletery-bag-clip

The Teflon foot worked really well. The fabric feed through the machine easily. The only thing I perhaps would’ve done differently had I know is use pins in the seam allowance not clips. Because I am used to using a walking foot and having the fabric feed through the machine evenly but with the Teflon foot no downward movement to hold it in place and move it through the top piece slipped a little bit. It I had pinned more and not clipped I think it may have kept it more in line. Overall it wasn’t that much of a big of deal. The most important thing was the foot didn’t stick to the fabric.

toiletery-bag-oops

To prevent the ripstop from sticking to the sewing bed and the extension table next to my machine I placed my Teflon applique mat under my work. I um perhaps may of had it a bit too close to the presser foot at one stage and stitch my mat in the seam. I didn’t want to undo the seam and it was tiny little piece so I did cut the mat away from it and now I have a tiny crescent shape in my applique mat edge….

toiletery-bag-zipper

The only sticking issue I had was with the zipper. Someone needs to invent a Teflon zipper foot. I haven’t checked maybe there is one out there…. Ok I just did a quick Google search and yes you can actually get a Teflon zipper foot. I am putting it on my wishlist now!

I woke up one morning and decided I was going to make this. All the fabric and supplies came from my stash so it was a real sew my stash project.

Cassiy

 

Make-Up Bags

I love it when an idea turns out the way you imagined it would in your head. These make-up bags are Christmas gifts this year for some special people. These bags came from me having 6 zippers in my stash that I wanted to use up.

make-up-pouches

The pattern I used is the bonus Box Corner pattern that comes in the Essential Wristlet pattern by Dog Under My Desk. I find DUMD patterns super easy to follow with clear instructions and tips throughout the pattern. In these make-up bag I was working with unfamiliar fabrics so I wanted a pattern that I could clearly follow to avoid any stress in making them and having made the regular version of the Wristlets before I knew it was the perfect pattern. As I wanted make-up bags and not purses I left off the D-ring and handle. This was actually easy to do as DUMD patterns are written in stages so I just skipped the stages where it is said to make/insert the D-ring or handle. You can do that with DUMD patterns and not get lost as to where you are up to.

make-up-pouches-interiror

So I started with 6 zippers that I got in one of the Sew Boxes from last year. I needed to make 6 gifts so it was a logic way to use them up. After I made my waterproof draft stoppers this year using the ripstop I saw at the time I could get ripstop in a colour that would match my zippers. It is perfect to line these bags with. It is waterproof, you can wipe it clean if anything spills in it. I love the colour of it, a bit of fun when you open up the inside of the make-up bag.

tear-away-on-sticky-fabric

The first time I used ripstop I had no real issues working with it. This time I had a little bit of trouble with it but I think it was due to the more complicated pattern I was making (there are few stitching lines in a draft stopper) When I was working with the reverse side of the fabric it would stick to my machine, to get around this I used tearaway stabilizer on both sides of the piece as I fed it through the machine. I don’t have a Teflon foot and at first I did try putting tap on the bottom of the foot but it was still sticking but when I tried the stabilizer it ran smoothly. You don’t need a lot of tearaway, only enough to cover your stitching line. When I was doing top stitching and working with the right side of the fabric I didn’t have any problems it was only the white reverse side that stuck.

make-up-pouches-exterior

The exterior fabric on each one I painted myself. I did it to match the zippers. I had a lot of fun with these. Painting with liquid radiance and salting the fabrics as I have done on these it is a bit of a mystery as to how things will turn out. You have a rough idea of how they will turn out but until they are dry you don’t know for certain. I had my zippers near me when I was painting the fabric and I was adding a few drops extra colour here and there hoping to get the colours I needed. As I mentioned in my previous post one of the pinks turned a little more orange that I would’ve liked so I did use the reverse side of the fabric which was lighter. There are no rules you just go with whatever works.

painted-fabric-and-zips

These make-up bags are one off, I’m so excited with how they turned out. I loved the process of making them. I had to think all the way along the process from choosing the interior fabrics, working out the colours to paint with, problem solving the stickiness of the ripstop. To others that might seem a nightmare but to me it was thinking in a good way as it was my creative brain working. Sometimes I feel I get more out of  making a project than the recipients do. I know those you do get them are going to really like them.

Cassiy

Police Box Wristlet

Now that my Dr Who swap partner has received her parcel I can reveal the main item I made for her a Police Box Wristlet.

Police Box Wristlet

I came across the tutorial to make this on the DUMD website and instantly knew I had to make this for the swap. The free tutorial shows you how to piece the front panel of the wristlet. If you want to make the actual wristlet you need to purchase the Essential Wristlet pattern for full instructions. I strongly suggest you do as Erin writes great patterns. The wristlet is a great little pattern to have in your collection.

On my sewing machine I can do lettering as part of the regular stitch patterns so that is how I did the lettering. The tutorial shows you to do it with a zig zag stitch. I used wool felt to do the windows and the sign. I assembled the handle a little different to the tutorial. You do a double fold to enclose the raw edges of the strap then top stitch around it all. My strap was so narrow that when I did it I wasn’t comfortable with top stitching around both sides of the edge so instead once the strap was folded I pinned it and ladder stitched all around the open edge to secure it by hand. I then did a single line of top stitching down the centre of the strap. It took no time at all to do it this way and it was less than trying to fiddle with the sewing machine. I also used my small travel sewing machine to do the top stitching on the handle as it has a smaller free arm sewing area when you remove the sewing bed and I could turn the loop easier as the handle loop isn’t very big. The handle was a good challenge for me to work out how am I going to do this and with what resources.