Friday, May 15, 2020

Adding Bling to Some Bags / Beauties Pageant 81

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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  1. I love making beaded zipper pulls. This is a great tutorial on doing the wrap to finish them off.

  2. As a very proud owner of one of your beautiful pouches I can confirm you do perfect zippers!! I have started to think about blinging up the pulls on zippers. It's fun and adds a little bit more of a professional look. I find with the nylon zippers, the hole in the zipper head is too small for, say, a strip of leather. I'm beginning to experiment with metal zippers and that should provide more choices for zipper pulls. But I love the ones you added here!

  3. Hi Michelle! What pretty bags! I am certain that whoever received these bags, they were delighted. I have not made any bags or pouches myself - the whole thing intimidates the heck out of me. Thank you for the linky party today. I'm off to spread some comment love. ~smile~ Roseanne

  4. I haven't sewn many zippers (I can honestly only think of 2) and none of them recently. I really do try to stay focused on quilts as I worry that my crafty brain will just take on way more than I can accomplish!

  5. I like this pattern...must dig it out. I love your zipper pulls. I haven't done anything fancy like that, but I do need to make an effort next time.

  6. Your pouches are very pretty! I appreciate how challenging it is to learn to install a zipper. I first learned when I was 13 years old... when my mother taught me to sew clothing and my first garment was a "tent dress!" Good grief. I remember that the pattern had a long (like 22") zipper down the back, and it was installed as an overlap zipper (not centered). Even now I remember the challenges in that! But here I am now, putting in zippers like I've done it for 50 years. I have! :-) I have the same pink DS fabric in my stash. I'm running out of people to give my pouches to!

  7. I love your pouches! I haven't use a lot of zippers, but your idea is great!


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