Monday, June 6, 2011

Weekend Sewing: A Zipper and Some Binding

I'm pretty much fearless when it comes to trying anything new with knitting, but the idea of trying some sewing techniques makes me far more wiggly than I'd like. Buttonholes with the buttonhole foot? Get the smelling salts. Sewing in zippers? Forget about... oh, wait. Turns out that's easy peasey, especially with video assistance.

This is my first sewn-in zipper! I'll be the first to admit it's not perfect, but the bag itself is so appealing. I keep picking it up and unzipping, zipping, unzipping, zipping. ("You're like Eeyore," said my husband, which is exactly what I was thinking--you know, when he gets the broken bit of balloon and puts it into and out of his Useful Pot like anything?) I followed Wendi's Zippered Pouch pattern, which has helpful advice about making sure what direction your zipper teeth are pointing before you sew the whole thing together and why, and is very clear and simple.

If you already know how to sew in a zipper it might be too clear and simple, but if you already know that, you probably don't need a pattern to make this simple little pouch. But if you don't? Lovely little pattern with which to learn. I used scrap fabric--the outside is repurposed batik denim, and the inside is from a 1/2 yard bundle that I used to make project bags. Here's the other side--the denim overalls were made of many batik prints all sewn together.

Super, super cute.

I made another of Wendi's patterns this weekend, the Get to Work Apron. I think a pocketed apron will come in handy while I'm in the craft/art/sewing room, whether I'm working on my own projects or helping the kids with theirs. For starters, although you can't see it, I added a narrow pocket all the way to the right so I stop losing my damn pencils.

Is this colorful or what? Stash busting, is what I'm doing. One night last week I hauled up the bags and containers of fabric and organized it (boy did the living room look a sight about halfway through, making it really hard to justify that order I placed during Purl Soho's Memorial Day sale). At any rate, it's much easier now to find things, and I figure this makes a fun apron.

Again, it's not perfect, but it's useful and cute and I made my own binding tape. I couldn't find the right size doohickey at Joann's, so I just folded and ironed by hand and really, it didn't take that long, and my binding matches my pocket, which makes me smile. (One strap also puckers up a little, although I can smooth it out again. I think that must be a tension problem? Dunno.)

My daughter has already picked out fabric for her apron (and if you think mine is colorful, wait till you see hers), and when I showed my oldest the pencil pocket, his eyes lit up. He loves pockets. I let him know that the out-any-minute Action Pack 4 has instructions for a utility belt--that he can make himself, with my assistance as necessary, of course. The button to the left and the one on the sidebar will take you right to the Action Pack shop.

And also, my package from Purl Soho just arrived. And I have another apron to sew...


Rose Red said...

Zippers scare me too. And I've even put them in before - in garments even! (not very well, I hasten to add!)
I'm kind of glad I did not know about the Purl Soho sale!

Kate said...

That is Sasquatch's very favourite Winnie the Pooh story, so I know it by heart.

I've installed many a zipper in many a garment and have no fear of them, but I absolutely refuse to replace a broken zipper in pants or jeans. It is a giant pain in the derriere, and I will happily pay $20 to have somebody else do it for me.

Cute pouch, and cuter apron.

Michelle said...

Cute! I keep seeing cute aprons, but I can't decide to make one. I'm pretty sure I mostly need one to keep my scissors and rotary cutter on hand, but putting those in there just sounds like an accident waiting to happen. Especially as spacey as I am. I can just see myself forgetting to click the rotary tool shut and tucking it in one of those pockets . . .

Bells said...

Right, I'm going to follow your lead. Zippers here I come. Nicely done - it's very cute. As is the apron! I have so much fabric - most of it inherited. I need to bust it just so I can feel better about having so much.

Kerri said...

Hi there! I found your blog from Ravelry, and noticed you live near me (in S.RI!). Zippers *can* be daunting, indeed. I did a photo-based tutorial on Flickr that you might enjoy,'s a really easy little bag to make, and works great for purse packs of tissues, iPod cords and wires, I make them all the time, and use them to organize stuff in my purse.

Hope you like it, and happy stitching!