Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas project

It's been a while since I've posted. Unfortunately, I haven't sewn as much this last year as I would have liked. I am currently working on a project which will hopefully be done soon. Stay tuned for that one...

I took a little hiatus from my main project to whip up some Christmas gifts for my coworkers. I usually don't give out many holiday presents. I don't like to do things that will add stress and luckily at work gifts are given on a on a want-to-give basis.  However, my coworkers are more than that; they are my friends and my family. I wanted to do something this year, and also get out an easy project to boost my sewing confidence. I found this great blog Jedi Craft Girl which had a zipper pouch tutorial that had pictures and clear directions. I also like how polished these zipper pouches look, with the zipper top having nice fabric edges and lined inside.

This project was fun, once I got the hang of it. First I went to Hart's Fabric and picked up some very fun fat quarter packs the staff had put together. I of course bought more than I needed, knowing that mistakes would happen and not knowing what part of the print I might want to use. I bought one pack with cat prints (my coworkers LOVE cats) and two packs of some fun dia de los muertos and skull prints. Zippers and fleece interfacing completed my purchase. (I was happy to have a $50 gift certificate to help!!)

I became a one woman assembly line: pressing all the fabric, cutting all the fabric, then attaching the interfacing pieces. Once all the prep work was done I stayed up a couple of nights and sewed and sewed. Once I got the hang of it, I could make them without the instructions quite easily.

Each project I do, I learn something, usually by something I did wrong or different from what the pattern called for (usually this means I assume things in the instructions or don't pay attention at all). In this one I learned that usually a step that seems trivial will end up being for an important reason that I find out later when it goes wrong. Case in point: the step that talks about cutting off the end tab of the zipper seemed unimportant as the ends of the zipper were hidden in the tab fabric at the top of the pouch. On my third pouch I realized that not cutting out that small piece of metal would come into play when I was sewing up the edges. That tiny piece of a metal tab and the sewing machine needle were not friends…many error messages later on the machine and I realized I had to pay a little more attention to instructions!

(one woman sweat shop)

I ended up making one tester bag and seven more bags for my coworkers. On Christmas Eve, I decided I needed a couple more gifts and easily sewed up two more for members of my family.

I did change one thing from the pattern. The last step calls for top stitching the opening in the lining that you use to push the bag right side out. The first sewing project I did was a bag for my mom and in that project I learned how to do a ladder stitch to sneakily close that opening. It just added a little more polish to the end result. Plus I find the ladder stitch to be kind of fun!

I think they liked the bags!