Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Progress of My Zipper Bag Project

It's early this New Year's Eve morning. I've already been sewing, and put together this little bag. (Ummm. I like it.)This is probably the only end of the day I'll be awake to enjoy. It's never been a big draw for me to stay up until midnight to welcome in the new year. I'm definitely a morning person. But, for those of you who are prepared with your hats and party horns, make a lot of noise, and kiss someone for me. 

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!


Linda said...

I admire your perseverance and am so impressed with your progress! Very nicely done.

Linda M @ Pieceful Kingdom said...

Great bags. I only made one in 2014 but hope to make more this year. The zippers intimidate me!

Unknown said...

I love your 'history' and working it through.....too often we give up when it doesn't work as we envision it. But, keep trying, and adjusting. This is how we achieve, and our creativity growths. Lead on, oh fearless one! lol

Julie said...

Linda, I have to admit that zippers scared me, too, so I plunged into them. I found a great buy on some in bulk, and just practiced until I was happy. It took a few tries! Keep at it, and you'll soon add it to your "Can Do That" list. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help.

Julie said...

Thank you, Linda. I really appreciate your kind words. I'm so lucky to be able to devote myself to something that makes me SO happy. It's such a kick to wake up with a new idea, and turn it into reality! My projects don't always turn out just the way I've imagined, but I know I'm growing in the craft, and it's all good.

Julie said...

Fearless--that I agree with only because there's nothing to lose! Work out the kinks with fabric you're not in love with or find dirt cheap, and plug onward. My kids keep asking me what I'm working on, and I always tell them, "I"m just practicing." Then, occasionally, one will walk up to the sewing table, and say, "Now That's cute! Will you make me one?" Oh, happy, happy mama here, and I know my blog readers will love it, too.

magistra said...

Hi Julie!
I came over from the small blog Linky party thing :) I've really had a good time reading through some past blogs. I love the glitter houses you and your daughter made. And I'm totally in love with the trees and houses quilt! And to continue the compliments, I think the PUL fabríc is brilliant for the mug rugs. I found the story about the trucker very moving. Anyway, I signed up to get your emails. I wish you were available on bloglovin, though. That's how I usually keep up with my blogs. I can't wait to hear more about your doxies, alpaca, and children! Happy New Year!

Julie said...

Magistra, I'm so flattered with you compliments--surely I'm turning 'pink'. Really, thank you. Your comment is exactly what I want to hear when you say what it is you like to see. It's often very hard to guess what other people are looking for, so it's pretty much my own meandering interests, and life as it happens. Also, I sat down with my daughter for several hours yesterday, and we went over the technology aspect of the blog. There's a huge learner curve figuring out how to post, organize the page, etc., and a bloglovin button was the one thing we couldn't figure out. I'll try another kiddo today, and hopefully it will be there by the end of the weekend. Again, thank you, and Happy New Year to you, too.