Zip it

I recently got a sewing machine for my birthday from my wonderful OH. I haven’t sewn with a machine since I was at my parent’s home and even then it was very simple things

So I decided to practice on a few projects. First of all I didn’t want to spend much money on fabrics as I would be too afraid to cut them up and make a mess with them. So I got some fabric on sale from Hobby Craft and some even cheaper stuff from Ikea – a pound a meter in fact. Some of it is thicker fabric but still very usable for practice projects. I am not going to be making complicated dresses which need fine fabrics for a while yet!

I was jealous after reading quite a few Australian blogs finding that their “Op Shops” often have a haberdashery section. I figured out that this is their equivalent of charity shops and I thought “lucky sods, we don’t have that!”. However next time I went in one I opened my eyes and it did have a section. So I bought loads of zips to practice with – 20p each – hurrah!

The first thing I wanted to make was a pencil case, I am starting teacher training next week and I wanted something funky to hold all my pens in. Now, zips scare me, never having done one before so I sat down and watched loads of You Tube videos. After a while I decided the only way to do it was just to try. So I did.

I didn’t take photos through the process, as I wasn’t blogging when I made this a few weeks ago.

After a lot of messing about I finally managed to do it, but there was big holes at the end where my zip met the fabric. After having a think I thought I would sew on little tabs to cover this and to make it easier to open it. You can still see the holes if you look hard enough and the tabs were hand sewn, which isn’t great, but still.

Handsewn tags

Handsewn tags

I am very, very proud of my pencil case! The blue blob is where I put a pen in without the lid on and all the colour leeched out. I have decided this makes it look used and loved!

finished case

finished case

So this project has helped me get over the fear of cutting fabric and just getting on with it, and I have something which is unique and makes me smile every time I use it. So what if there are small holes in each end?


5 thoughts on “Zip it

  1. juliab says:

    hello … you can find lots of brilliant tutorials for things like this on the Uhandblog. It’s brilliant and got me started on difficult things like zips and pockets etc., Don’t be afraid of mistakes. Often there is more to be learned from them (that applies to everything I suppose!!), and fabric, even if cut, can always be turned into something. Try using denim from old jeans too. xx

  2. Hi Julia, I found Uhandbag just yesterday – its is awesome and really clear, simple instructions.

    I am learning not to be afraid of making mistakes and part of that is getting over the fear of cutting. This is why I wanted to post my projects even when they are in no way perfect, hopefully it will encourage others! Practice makes perfect, hey!


  3. lori says:

    great pencil case…keep at it and you will be amazed at what you’ll be able to do

  4. verdant1 says:

    Hey, good work! Ir eally like the fabric – and the artistic blob!
    I hope you’re feeling proud – “you done good, gal”
    Personally, I hate putting in zips – I have done lots of experiments with buttons, safety pins and ‘creative’ ties/knots, but your pens would fall out!
    One thing: I’ve found using a zip a little bit longer than the seam stops those annoying gaps – just make sure the excess bit sits inside.

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