I made a birthday pouch! One of the ladies I know from the barn celebrated a birthday recently. A few of us went out to dinner and I didn't want to show up empty handed. I know her well but not incredibly well outside of a horsey context, so I went with my traditional approach of giving something that I would want. This little pouch certainly fits the bill. And after working on mostly quilts and knitting for a while a small, quick sewing project was SUPER fun to make.
Kepler really wanted to help. He jumped up on the desk and assisted (i.e. got in the way, but was cute nonetheless) while I cut out my pieces.
I had a lot of fun picking out fabric. It had been some time since I browsed through my stash, and I unearthed this floral print that I just love. I think this kind of project is perfect for a large scale print like this, and the neutral toile and linen seemed like a good pair to combine with such a bright neighbor.
It did all start out with this zipper, though. I have a few assorted zippers hanging around from the last time I went down to the San Jose Flea Market (serious deals!). The bright coral caught my eye as a color I think my friend would like so I started there and picked the fabrics to work with it.
I used a Gathered Clutch Tutorial I found some time ago (thank goodness for Pinterest or I never would have remembered it!) with a couple of changes. Instead of using the interfacing, which I did not have, I used steam-a-seam lite, which I did have, and because you can't just attach it to one piece of fabric I adhered a piece of muslin to the back of each panel. The stiffness of the muslin actually helped give the whole thing a little more oomph than I think even the interfacing would have.
The gathering and pressing wasn't as finicky as I feared, and the front panel turned out looking pretty neat. I chose a bright aqua thread to do my topstitching with, both across the band on the front and by the zipper. With the assembly of the pieces onto the zipper, as below, I think next time I need to take special care to be sure the zipper is set in enough from the panel edges. It was not obvious to me that you don't want to sew through the zipper piece in the final step. Counterintuitive, in fact. It still doesn't make that much sense to me.
In the end, I fudged it, and it turned out looking just fine with no hole showing like I thought might happen. I'm not sure how! But next time I'll just make sure to leave a generous 1/4" instead of the scant 1/8" I had on one side...
In general I'm not a great fan of working with zippers but I've gotten better at it. Just look at that nice neat zipper! And it even opens! The toile fabric inside is another one of my favorites and I'm tickled that I managed to get that lounging couple situated where you can see them peeking out when the pouch is open.
The tutorial gives options for adding dividers, pockets, and even credit card holders to make this truly a functional clutch. I wanted to leave it as an all purpose pouch instead so I didn't add any of the options. I know I use them a lot, and I think it was safer to give a pouch instead of a 'purse' type of article since I'm not sure she would use a purse with no strap.
I am so so happy with how this turned out, front, back, and inside, and I was amazed it only took me a couple of hours to make it. I bet it will be even faster the second time. Because there will be a second! And likely a third, fourth, fifth.... alas I have no more coral zippers so I can't make an exact copy, but I think I may make a couple more with this fabric combination for me and Mom because I love it so much. Then on to new ones for everyone else I know! I'm going to need more zippers.