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Today’s project came from a lovely tutorial from ikatbag.
It stands up all by itself, even when it is empty!
Suggested fabrics for this pouch are a heavier weight home dec or similar fabric for the outer and then a lining fabric. The lining fabric shown in the tutorial is a ripstop nylon. I did not have any ripstop nylon and opted to use quilter’s cotton for both the outer and lining fabrics. I also considered and then ignored the suggestion of reinforcing the outer fabric with a thicker piece of fabric.
I did, however, use two pieces of fabric for the base/front wall piece. Since this is attached with bias binding, layering the two pieces together was an easy-peasy way to add a bit of strength. I did consider using a piece of denim there, but the idea of sewing through denim + double folded bias binding + three layers of quilters cottons (inner, outer and template plastic holder) + the zipper tape seemed like more fun than I was ready to handle this afternoon.
The piece that contains the template plastic is visible inside the pouch. I am not sure what the reasoning was on this. It seemed like I could have put this on the wrong side of the lining piece and it might have been less noticeable. If I make another one, I may try it that way. (And then I will probably have to come back and tell you there was a really good reason for having it the way it is!)
The original has a little pocket on the piece that is referred to in the tutorial as the base/front wall, which is the blue solid that is surrounded with white bias binding in the photo above. When the pouch is zipped, the pocket would be folded and could not contain anything substantial. I left it off. The tutorial does not have any photos that show anything in the pocket, so I am not sure about its intended use.
At one point, use of a separating zipper is suggested. What is not mentioned (or I missed it) is what size and length of zipper should be used. I did not have a separating zipper in a suitable length, so I ended up just using a non-separating zipper, which worked out fine. I believe the one I used was 14″, as the instructions called for a zipper at least 3″ longer than the opening. I left it at that length when I put the tab on the end, but I feel like it would work just as well if I had shortened it to have less extra.
My stitching on the zipper is a bit too close to the teeth near where the front wall attached and the pull gets stuck sometimes. I will be more careful next time to leave more of the zipper tape visible so the pull has more room to zoom about. If I were going to give this to one of my kids, I would probably also use a zipper with bigger teeth, though this one works.
Attaching the zipper is not difficult, getting the base/front wall piece on is much more fiddly – and annoying. I did pin the center and lined up what ends up being the top of the front wall to keep the sides even. This ended up being the most challenging part. Normally I would use wondertape on it, but I didn’t want to do that here since I wasn’t planning to wash the bag. (Wondertape washes out, and it is great to keep wiggly things in place while sewing.) There are also some small Wonder Clips out now that I think would be worth trying for this. I have this size Wonder Clips, but the new smaller mini Wonder Clips might be better for this situation.
Having the contents of the bag upright is a really nice feature, particularly if you are using this for colored pencils or markers. With a regular zip pencil bag, the color you want always seems to be at the bottom. You either have to dig through everything over and over or pull everything out and just leave things out while you are using them. This upright bag is a portable pencil cup, perfect for occupying a preschooler in a restaurant as well as a tween who wants every color available for her latest project.
This bag has 50 colored pencils in it. As you can see, there is plenty of room for more!
I thought it would be a good idea to give the instructions a test run before handing everyone materials at retreat. These little bags are a great way to practice free motion quilting – and as you can see, I clearly need more practice!
The blue one was first, and making it was a learning experience. First, I didn’t make the tabs on the zipper come up far enough. See how the zip is all crazy at the end?
I decided to run the side seam through the serger, but that resulted in the thread pulling and being more visible than I liked when I turned the bag right side out.
(And check out my quilting – you’re feeling better about your occasional wonky stitch length now, aren’t you?)
So, when I made the red bag, I sewed the seam on the sewing machine and then just used the serger to finish the edges. I used a narrower 3-thread overlock stitch for the finishing, especially on the zipper where there just wasn’t enough space to get in there nicely with the serger foot.
Also, because reading directions is not always my strong suit, I forgot to topstitch the first side by the zip before I had attached the other side. This meant topstitching both sides while it the bag was in a tube shape, which was not fun. It probably would have been faster to just rip out one side to at least topstitch the first side more easily. But where’s the challenge in that? Ha.
See how the top of the zip looks so much cleaner when I placed the zipper tab in the right spot? Directions. Crazy how much reading them helps! One note, though – as long as you have a rectangle, the dimensions can be whatever size you want. You just need a zipper that is long enough for your bag.
Don’t you love these cute little charms attached to the zipper pull? It took way too long to connect the pile of charms to split rings, but they are such a fun addition. Definitely worth it!
My daughter requested a couple of these. I told her she can have the one with the flowers, I’ll keep the slightly wonky blue one. She wants one for her basketball bag, one for her school locker, one for her backpack… I see zipper sewing in her future. :)
Pop over to the Moda blog, read the instructions better than I did, and have fun making some of these!
Here’s the Serendipity Studio booth at Spring 2015 Quilt Market.
They had a cute little make and take project to sew a little bird. I’m so bummed I missed getting a pin at this shop!
It was nice to see the sewn up patterns in person. Though Kay has great photos on her patterns, there’s something about actually seeing them in person that really makes me think I need them all. Her spring collection includes the Aspen tunic pattern, which is shown sewn as a dress or tunic on Kay’s blog.
Have you tried any patterns from Serendipity Studio? Do you have any favorites to recommend?
I was going to try to put this all in one post, but the Lion from Violet Craft is so amazing that it didn’t seem fair to the other quilts to have to follow it! Plus, the Michael Miller booth had SO many great quilts I want to share as many as I can with you.
This quilt pattern is King’s Cross by Tara Faughnan and it was quilted by Terri Carpenter. You can find directions for this pattern on the Michael Miller website. The fabrics are from the Melodies line by Sarah Campbell.
This quilt is called Starstruck and is by Marsha Evans Moore using fabrics from the Painter’s Canvas collection. You can find the pattern and instructions on the Michael Miller website as well.
This quilt is by Caroline Gre and is called Sea Glass Medallion. If you want to see more pictures (and you do, trust me) or buy this pattern, check out Nightingale Quilts.
Here’s the last one for today. The quilt is Birdcage on a Chain by Anna Maria Horner. It’s made with an assortment of Michael Miller fabrics. Fabric info can be found here and the quilt pattern can be found on Anna Maria Horner’s website here. Anna Maria has been kind enough to share lots of patterns, so check those out as well.
Today we are going to hop back to Quilt Market with a stop by the Michael Miller booth. Here are some quilts made with the Cotton Couture line. First, solids, starting with Twirling Trellis by Jen Sorenson.
Cotton Couture Dot by Emily Herrick.
This is Over the Rainbow by Emily Herrick. Sorry about the weird crop, there was some stuff in front of it. Here’s the pattern from Michael Miller for this quilt.
This amazing Jungle Abstractions Lion Quilt is by Violet Craft. It is a foundation paper piece quilt made with one striking large scale block and measures 60″ x 60″. If you want to make your own Lion Quilt, you can pop over to the Violet Craft website and get it there. Be warned, it prints on 35 pages that are 11×17 in size.
Here’s a link to the Cotton Couture line. So many solids! Love.