Monday 28 March 2016

Easter Monday

I hope you have been enjoying your long weekend here in the UK.

I made a little zip bag for a tutorial at sewing class then wondered what I was going to do with it. I decided to make up a little project kit to take to a 'waiting-around' situation that may arise at any time.

Inside it comprises a pattern leaflet, my hand painted bamboo crochet hook, the last bit of Natura Medium yarn in a shade of yellow, stitch marker and row counter.

Some such situation came around and I made this little chick although her wings look a little like headphones, she has still made me smile hanging amongst the eggs on our Easter twig.

These little kit bags are perfect for taking your crafting on the go. I saw this corner technique used by Stuart Hillard in a demonstration at the CHSI show and this is how you can use it to make a zip bag:

Cut 4 pieces of fabric 20 x 24cm (2 in outer and 2 in lining if contrasting) plus 2 in wadding. You will need a 20cm zip. 

Sew the lining along two short sides and one long side. 

Then triangle the corners remembering to match seams.Poke your finger into the corner and flatten it out. Mark a line about 3.5cm from the point. Sew straight across and cut off the excess. Repeat for the other side. This is the lining.

Now sew the top only (zip edge)of the outer pieces using a 1.5 seam allowance on basting stitch.

Lay the zip over the seam. Right side of zip to seam opening. Pin and tack in place.

Turn fabric to the right side and sew along the seam using a zipper foot.

Now take out the hand tacking and the machine basting with an unpicker.

OPEN THE ZIP HALF WAY. Then sew the three sides of the outer bag laying a piece of wadding on each side and catching it in the seams Repeat the corner technique as described for the lining. Do not turn out.

Slip the lining over the bag wrong sides together. Turn under a seam allowance along the zip edge and hand stitch the lining to the bag being careful that stitches do not show through to the outside.

Turn the bag out because you can. You definitely had the zip half open right!?

Decorate with hand sewn applique motifs or crocheted bits and bobs.

Now fill it with all the things you need to craft on the go or make it into a gift for a friend. I gave one to my mum for mothers day with all the things she needed to make an Elise shawl on her cruising holiday. This size fits a crochet hook and one ball of yarn.

Happy Sewing and Crafting. Jo xxx


  1. Hi Jo, what a great tutorial! I can always use another pouch! I love the fabric you used, can you tell me what it is, please?
    Barbara xx

    1. The selvedge edge has been cut off and I can't rightly tell you what it is, I bought it in Whitby last year from the undercover market area. It has a strong sense of Liberty about it doesn't it? It was a beautiful quality cotton. I made a Bettine dress in it.

  2. Oh my what lovely fabric a great idea and a lovely bag.

    Jackie xx

  3. Jo I am gonna give this a go later! thank you... great tutorial xxxx

    1. Hope it goes well. Show us what you make, I bet you have some fab vintage fabric to use. Jo x

  4. A lovely project and great tutorial, it would make great little gifts for my girls. I will have to give it a go when I have a moment to spare. Take care.

  5. Your little chick is sweet :)

    A dear friend gave me a zip project bag several years ago, and I lug it with me nearly everywhere I go to take advantage of odd waiting times that are just right to do a bit of stitching. Now you have given me such good clear directions I think I could make a project bag myself...even though I don't have a sewing machine! Thanks, Jo. xx

  6. Very nice bag, Jo. Thank you for sharing how you made it. I love that fabric, it reminds me of art nouveau, like something designed by Tiffany or Lalique. Beautiful.

  7. Thanks for the tutorial, little bags are on my list of things to sew. All my sewing is currently on hold as my daughter and her boyfriend picked up the keys to their house this weekend and we are in the process of gutting it.

  8. What an absolutely lovely idea for a gift. I think this might be beyond my sewing abilities but it's your tutorials always make it look so simple! x

  9. Lovely zip bags...thanks for the tutorial

  10. I needed this bag yesterday when I had a patient cancel and got stuck with nothing to do for two hours, I was to far away to come home. Fantastic idea my friend.