I'm greeting the new year with both youthful anticipation and a little melancholy. I'm so thankful for the venture into sewing and quilting, and would say it's one of the best things to happen to me in the last year. The melancholy would also be from events that happen as a family ages, and our roles switch from children to parents to grandparents. It's all change, and takes adjustment, but such is the nature of life.
I've been immersed in quilt making since October, 2013, and blogging here since August, 2014. It's been mainly quilt after quilt, and I felt like I needed a bit of a reprieve. Last week I happened upon a great deal on some zippers, and the rest was history. I've spent the whole week making little bags.
I started out designing in my own way to figure out what would work. Sometimes you figure out an easier way to do things, and other times you hit the wall. The 3 dimensional structure of bags was killing me when it came to getting the lining and multiple pockets together. Then there was the actual zipper issue--How to install it to both look great, and function properly. That was trickier than I had anticipated.
So I broke down and started reading tutorials on zippered bags, and there are oodles out there, thankfully. Round, moon-shaped, boxed, flat rectangles, etc. Pinterest is full of pictures that made my mouth water, and I back-tracked to the websites they were pinned from. I found out how to fix the little problems I was having, and I was ready to start again. It was just practice, practice, practice.
Here were my originals. Not stellar, but okay. I was really trying to put the zipper on top, and kept choosing my metal zippers. I had a little gap at the end of the zipper where it should close, and the metal zippers just weren't friendly to my fingers. They look hip, but they bite. Nylon are a better choice unless you really want the metal look or need a heavy duty zip.
I layered the outer fabric and liner fabric with batting here, and quilted the layers. Then I simply serged. I think it goes well with the metal zipper look. I used bright fabric inside, and it peeks through the edges.
These were my next step after researching. Flat laid zippers are slightly simpler, and the whole bag is flat, making it the ideal form to slip into a purse or briefcase.
I whipped up this last little bag that's in the top of the post in about half an hour this morning. My construction methods are evolving, and the bags are better made. I added fabric to the ends of the zipper to get rid of the 'gap' I was battling, and it's fun to get in another contrasting fabric.
I pulled scraps from my bin to make this bag, and the back and front are different.
You can get an idea how easy it is when you view it started this way.
Just like a quilt, you must keep things squared up.
Iron-on interfacing gives weight and stability to your outer fabric. I was digging through some bits and pieces of it, and found it works perfectly as well if you patchwork your interfacing, if you must. We all have odds and ends of interfacing. Just butt the edges, or overlap slightly, and iron down. Frugal mama here.
For your coming New Year, may I toast you with Benjamin Franklin's words I love.
Be at war with your voices,
at peace with your neighbors,
and let every New Year find you a better man, (or woman).
Happy New Year!