Thursday, June 19, 2008

Zippered Pouch Quest No. 5

I was getting jaded. After 4 zippered pouches, I couldn't find myself getting excited about zipper tutorial anymore until I chanced upon isew. A new way of doing zippers? Impossible! I thought I had done it all.

Isew uses fabric tabs at the end of the zipper. I can't believe it. It's such a clever and simple idea. This reduces the awkward corners I get when I did zippers the "other" way.

I am reformed.



See the fabric tabs? Ingenious.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Zippered Pouch Quest No. 4

After 3 zipper pouch tutorials, I realised that I liked little bits of each one but none that contained every detail that I felt would make a really comprehensive zipper pouch tutorial for me. So I was pleasantly surprised when I came across AfricanKelli. It came close to what I was looking for.

I made my son a stationery case using this tutorial. It was so easy I practically did it with my eyes closed.



Thursday, June 12, 2008

Zippered Pouch Quest No. 3

I can't believe I'm on my third zippered pouch this week. Each time I try out a tutorial I like to follow the author's way of working. This way, I find that I discover little details that I had not come across before.

When I stumbled upon "You're only bored when.." wristlet tutorial some time ago, I had some hesitation as this tutorial uses a whole cloth for the outer fabric and I had been used to 2 separate pieces. Still, I decided to give it a go as I had been curious. What changes when you use 1 whole piece of fabric instead of 2? Yes, these are serious stuff I occupy my mind with.

The first part of the tutorial is pretty detailed. I felt I breezed through. Until I came to the part that said "Repeat these steps for the other side of the zipper." When I first ventured into making bags last year, I would immediately abandon my project when I come across such an instruction. Seasoned bag makers usually assume that "repeat these steps" is a simple instruction but to a newbie, it meant some hair tearing. I managed to decipher the "repeat these steps" and sailed through the rest of the assembly.

I've discovered that using one piece of outer fabric makes it hard to topstitch the zipper. Also, the author does not topstitch the lining. I couldn't figure out why as I've always topstitched the lining together with the zipper and outer fabric. Another unique thing about this tutorial is I never sewed on the zipper on the side seams. Yet like magic, the pouch turned out perfectly with no gaps at the zipper ends.

A really different and interesting way of doing zippers. I'm glad I tried it out.

Once again, I cut up 2 of my girl's old dresses - for outer and lining


I added a little pocket

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Zippered Pouch Quest No. 2

Continuing my quest for better zippered pouch tutorial, I tried out BlueFlower Treasures.

This tutorial doesn't give as much hand-holding when it comes to putting the sandwich of outer fabric, lining and zipper together. It didn't help matters that the lining and the outer fabric are the same fabric!

But what's really great about this tutorial is it gives really useful tips about how to align the zipper before sewing the side seams. Another problem I had before was gaps at the end of the zipper. Again another great tip about where to sew.

I had no problems with how it handled the bottoms. That's exactly how I like to do it.


For this bag, I cut up my girl's old toddler capri. I think my girl's getting used to her old clothes being recycled. When she saw her old capri on my table, her question was what I intended to make instead of her usual dramatic "No!!!!!!" The white and pink check fabric looks so cute that I had to add a white crochet flower I had done ages ago. And what's a flower without a leaf?

No gaps at the end of the zipper

Zippered Pouch Quest No. 1

I've made so many drawstring bags that I could easily make one with my eyes closed. Right, I couldn't but you know what I mean. Zippers are still a challenge to me as I haven't made any zippered anything since January 17 this year. I had thought that after 4 zippered pouches, I would have retained the knowledge of handling zippers.

So here I am, down the zipper tutorial road again. I came across this zippered wristlet tutorial which comes in a pdf file. This tutorial is very detailed in how you should place your outer fabric and lining right down to the direction of your zipper. (very important info) The only problem I have is that it doesn't give any tips about how you should handle the zipper bit when sewing the seams. (this is the crucial bit!) Also sewing the bottoms is done in a rather ancient way. This tutorial is definitely for newbie.


For this little zippered pouch, I used my indigo/Sashiko thing. Though the opening looks small for a long purse, my hands are slender enough to go through.

Here's a view of the lining. See the little stain? I burnt something while pressing.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Crazy Thing About Crazy Patchwork

Once I was at Best Denki at IMM when I saw from far a Sakura sewing machine display station. I could not take my eyes off the gorgeous, to die-for handmade bags arranged around the sewing machines. No, I'm not a fan of Sakura sewing machine. I had a very basic Sakura sewing machine once and it kept breaking down on me. Anyway, back to the bags. I could not believe my good fortune as I went from bag to bag, checking out the seams, the embroidery, the lining, the closure, the..That was when I became aware of an older woman who was similarly checking out the bags turning them inside out committing the design to memory. Hmm, I enjoy a fellow seam loving bag maker. We giggled when our paths crossed occasionally. Our heady joy soon came to an end when a mannish woman marched up to us announcing in a too loud voice, "WE DO NOT SELL BAGS. DON'T TOUCH THE BAGS." My older accomplice fled leaving me to pretend to be interested in the sewing machine.

Well, me and the old lady didn't give up. We waited for the mannish woman to go away and each time she did, we would crouch and continue with turning the bags inside out and checking out the details as fast as we could before the hollering starts again. This hide-and-seek game went on for a while until I got tired of it.

The point of this story? I go to great length to learn any technique when it comes to bag making. Yet, when it comes to crazy patchwork I'm completely helpless. I've read countless books on it. I've had dreams of me creating beautiful crazy patches. I want to be reborn in the Victorian times even though it's chronologically impossible. When I finally took the plunge and made a crazy patchwork bag, the result is so, so lame. I want to weep but the tears won't come.

I seriously think I am crazy patchwork challenged.



Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I'm So Not Over Japanese Bags

May 2008 completely went by me without a single post. What with going for physical rehablitation sessions, most of my waking hours were spent doing more stretching and strengthening exercises at home. Okay, okay. I also spent half my waking hours watching 8 seasons of Will and Grace and Season 3 of Criminal Minds and Season 4 of Lost. It was exhausting. I couldn't find the energy to type out a post or take pictures.

Now that my obsession with TV series has ended, I can finally devote myself to other obsession like Japanese bags. For this bag I used a purple cotton and a gorgeous Japanese print cotton from Spotlight. When I bought the very expensive Japanese print, the cashier winked at me and asked me what I intended to make.

This bag is similar to another bag I had made in a previous post. I outdid myself by using 2 different fabric - it looks so, dare I say it - Japanese. I don't know why I added the giant yo yo. The bag looks fine without it. For the embroidery I did not use Sashiko - another current obsession of mine. Instead I opted for back stitch as I wanted more definition for the flowers.



This is the back view
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