Earlier this week I was all set for an evening of sewing and then I noticed this little hedgehog sauntering across my lawn. It’s so unusual to see them out during daylight tha I couldn’t help dashing out to have a closer look and take some photos – a reminder of how lovely the English summer is with with daylight lasting so long into the evening.
Of course summer is also the time for craft fairs and school fetes, so I thought I’d share with you the way I make small bags like makeup bags or pencil cases with zips which are ideal for selling at fetes.
Do you feel a little nervous of making projects with zips? There’s no need to be – as with so many techniques in sewing it’s just a case of taking it slowly and carefully. Once you feel comfortable putting zips in, there are huge numbers of patterns around using zips in makeup bags, pencil cases, cushions and much more besides.
two rectangles of fabric 9.1/2″ by 5″ in the top fabric and the same in lining fabric
8″ zip with two small rectangles about 1″ by 1.1/2″ in the top fabric for the ends of the zips
Making the makeup bag
Turn under a small hem on one short edge of the rectangle and sew it (with right side up) to the top of the zip just where the teeth stop. This is often more easy to sew by hand rather than machine. Do the same with the other rectangle at the bottom of the zip.
Lay one top fabric rectangle (pink) with right side up. Lay the zip along the edge with right side down and lay the lining fabric rectangle (blue/green) along the same edge with right side down. Line up the edges and pin in place.
Most sewing machines come with a zipper foot. It’s the one with an inlet on either side so that you can sew close to the zip.
Using this, sew along the seam to sew the three layers together.
Fold the two fabric rectangles away from the zip and pin them with wrong sides together to stop them getting in the way while you sew the other side of the zip.
Lay the second lining rectangle fabric with right side up. Lay the unsewn side of the zip along the edge with right side up. Lay the second pink rectangle on top with right side down. Pin and sew the seam as before. When opened out flat, your bag should look like the right hand photo.
Fold the fabrics so that you have the two pin rectangles against each other with right sides together and the two lining rectangles with right sides together. The zip will be hidden between the fabrics. Undo the zip so that you have a gap to turn the bag right side out when you have sewn it. Match the seam on the top layer with the seam on the bottom layer to make sure that you have neat corners for your pencil case.
Beginning one third of the way from the corner of the lining fabric, sew a seam all round the edge of the fabric, finishing one third of the way across the edge that you started with, so that you have a gap to turn the bag right side out. Sewing across the seam from green to pink will obviously require care because you are sewing across the folded zip as well.
Turn the bag right side out through the gap you left in the lining fabric. Push the lining through the zip opening and gently pull out the corners. You can now embellish with beads or embroidery. I like attaching a bead to the zip pull with embroidery thread to make easier to open and close the bag.
Here’s the video: