Zipper Pouch Fail or Working without a Plan

Today  I am going to show you what I consider to be a failure. Something I wanted to make, and had an idea of how to do it, but no real plan. It was supposed to be quick and easy! Yeah, you can probably already see where this is going.


You may have seen a photo of my most recent handwork projects.

I’ve never done english paper piecing, preferring to cross-stitch when I needed something to do with my hands. Well, cross-stitch takes time and patience and, most of all, FOCUS. I needed something mindless to do at quilting get togethers with my friends. Long ago, they had all become enamored with sewing hexagons. Me, not so much. Back then, I told them they would never convert me! Now you know why I started with diamond shapes! (If I knew how, I’d put a winking emoji here!)


Anyway, I’m working on these and getting rather annoyed at having to bend them up to fit them in my little handwork pouch. I need a flat pouch! And, since I’ve made dozens of handbags and pouches of all kinds, I figure a flat zipper bag will be easy peasy! First of all, I go to my favorite handbag designer, Erin Gilbey, and find her tutorial on this exact thing just to solidify in my head what I need to do. Of course, I need something much larger, but it’s the same construction technique. I don’t need fancy, just done!

Here is Erin’s photo.

Okay. Deep breath! I feel like I’m submitting one of those “Pinterest Fails” photos, but here is mine:

Hey, that looks great! you say. That’s cuz I’m showing you the best side.
Here’s another:

Still good? Sigh. Okay. Here goes:

See, what happened was I was almost done with the whole pouch when I had an “aha!” moment. I needed a pocket to keep my supplies in! No problem. I’ll just undo the side seams and add a quickie zip pocket to the outside. (I should have put it all the way down at the bottom and all would have been well.) When I started the pouch, I decided my zipper would be at the top since my fabric was directional so I had to have a seam at the bottom. But, when it came time to actually sew the side seams, I decided it really would be much easier and look better to go with Erin’s original plan. After I put the pocket on I looked at it close up, saw that seam, and said, “Oops!” At this point, however, my ‘quick’ pouch had taken a couple of hours and it was getting late. But I was determined to finish it up.

There was a moment as I was sewing the pocket on that I thought, ‘darn, I should’ve made it vinyl so I could see what was in there!’ Oh, well. Maybe next time. And then, I was getting ready to sew the top edge to the bag when I realized that this looked like the pocket on Erin’s Two Zip Hipster bag.

So, I thought, ‘what the heck, I’ll leave the top open.’

And I went to bed. Next morning, I was showing it off to my daughter. She asked why I put the zipper in the pocket. Silly question! I don’t want the supplies falling out. She pointed out that they were going to fall out the top anyway. Huh? I don’t think so!

“Uh, yeah Mom. See?” I just started to laugh. Then I sewed the top down. In my sleepy, foggy brain of the night before, I’d forgotten that there are a whole bunch of extra steps taken to get those two pockets on Erin’s bag!

Here’s the finished project, along with another little vinyl window bag to keep my tiniest things in. (When I actually used the bag, I kept losing my thimble and bobbin of thread in the depths of the pocket.)

Moral of the story? Think it through before beginning, and don’t try new things late at night!



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