Despite the dozens of zippers I have installed in past projects, the process continues to intimidate me. I think the issue is that I sew with zippers in short spurts—when I, say, bang out Christmas presents for a small army or tackle the four zippers in a Sew Together Bag. There’s just enough time in between such projects that I begin to doubt my zipper acumen.
But recently, I had the need for some quick gifts—for Mother’s Day, as thank-you gifts—and I decided to make Amista Baker’s Popcorn Pouch pattern. It’s one that’s been on my radar screen since its release back in 2018, and it proved to be both a simple and a satisfying sew. In fact, the zipper installation is so straight-forward that it would be an appropriate project for beginners.
I love making pouches and bags because they’re practical gifts and I can never have enough of them myself. They’re also a good way to use stashed fabric that hasn’t worked for quilt projects. Look at that Cotton and Steel fabric at the top of the post. It’s lovely, but I struggled to fit it into more than one quilt top (this one). On a pouch or two, though, it’s the star.
And consider the Denyse Schmidt fabrics in the pouch below. They’re from collections sold at a national chain. Because they weren’t quilt-shop quality, I hesitated to use them in projects that would get washed over and over again. An item that won’t get laundered, though, is the perfect venue for them.
All the zippers, fabric, and interfacing used in the nine Popcorn Pouches I made came from my stash, so I thought I’d indulge in some crafty retail therapy by buying some charms to use as zipper pulls. They were inexpensive, were easy to install, and added a little personality to the finished products.
A question for my fellow bag makers: Have you upped your zipper-pull game? My first foray into adding a little bling to bags was simple: I attached single charms with jump rings. If you have any suggestions on what I can do in the future, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!
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