If you've been following my Instagram feed, you know I'm involved in the Around the World Craft Swap. It's my first swap ever, and while I wish it were sewing specific, I'm pleased to be involved in a travel-related swap. I love traveling!
I made what my partner really asked for, but the designs haven't taken that much effort, and I felt like I wanted to include another small sewn item. She did say that she'd love something useful, and I thought I'd try a zippy pouch! I've never made one, but I found this cute Everyday Zip pattern by Fig Tree and Co. at a local shop and thought it'd be perfect. Simple, but a little fancied up with the prairie points and focal fabric.
I opted to skip the canvas and use regular cotton, and I used the same cotton for the lining as the main bag. I pulled this cute Paris print from my stash and found a number of 2" squares that matched perfectly. They are all from the Hometown line by Sweetwater.
I got everything cut out and sewed it up at my neighborhood sewing retreat!
So, here are my thoughts on the pattern.
I do think it's adorable. I like the boxed corners and that it incorporates a strip of focal fabric and prairie points. It's a great way to show off fun prints. The zipper went in really easily, and with the way it's constructed, the zipper ends lay flat (no ugly pinches!). It's also a great size.
I did have some problems, though.
First, I read through it several times and really struggled to understand what I was supposed to do before I started. I'd hoped it'd make more sense while I was sewing. I chose to make the smallest coin purse size, and the instructions are different because it doesn't have a front zipper. The problem is, she doesn't make it clear where you are supposed to start sewing for that pouch, as the first several steps are all for the front zipper panel used in the other two pouches. I appreciate that she's included a variety of sizes and styles in one pattern, but she didn't execute the pattern in a way that makes it easy to make them. In addition to the difficulty in figuring out where to start the coin purse, the other differences are explained on the last page at the very end of the pattern. It's not easy to pair those noted differences with the actual steps and I actually missed the note to shorten the wrist strap. I wish instead the pattern had included parenthetical notes in the steps with the changes.
Second, she constructed the pouches in such a way that the seam is inside the pouch, not enclosed between the lining and the exterior. She instructs you to zigzag the edge to finish it, so clearly this is what she intends, but it seems a little unfinished to me, especially since I expected the lining to be "finished." And, I used a contrasting thread because I was too lazy to change it and I was sure it was going to wind up hidden. It's not a bad contrast (it matches the focal fabric...) but still. I would have used a matching thread, which I had with me, if I'd known. I have a really hard time visualizing patterns as I read through them, so pre-reading didn't help me.
Overall, the pattern was difficult for me to follow and took twice as long as it should have given the simplicity of the item. Now that I've done it once, I'm sure it would go together much easier in the future, but with the exposed seams, I'm not sure I'll make it again as is. I'm really disappointed in the exposed seams, and I'll probably try to figure out a way to incorporate the focal fabric and prairie points into a pouch with a finished lining. I'd rather have a bottom seam with all the seams hidden than exposed side seams.
I would not recommend this pattern to a friend, and wished I'd purchased a different pattern. And that's okay--I'm embracing the idea that you never know until you try. :-)