Tis the season for sewing gifts (“Let it sew, let it sew, let it sew”) and this year, the most adventurous pattern I tackled was the Zip and Go bag from Dog Under My Desk. I’d previously written about one of the free tutorials offered from the pattern maker, Erin, on the same site (see my post about earbuds zipper pouches) but I’ve always wanted to try one of her paid patterns. The pattern was worth every penny – loved it!
(I apologize in advance for the lame lighting in these photos – I was antsy to wrap this and put it under the tree as soon as I finished, so I rushed through the photos on a cloudy day…)
I decided my mom needed the Zip and Go for her new lifestyle in a Florida retirement community. She’s not retired, but she’s got one foot in the retired lifestyle and attends lots of craft fairs, farmers markets — that sort of thing. I liked the Zip and Go because it looked light and compact, but big enough for day trip essentials like a phone and keys.
Even though I’ve made lots of zipper pouches and lined bags, I never could have wrapped my brain around the double-zipper/double-pocket layout of this one without the pattern. Also — I thought this part was so cool — on the front panel, you don’t need to whip out any fancy fussy-cut moves in order to get the fabric design to run continuously through where the zippers intersect it. If you follow the pattern, that just happens on its own. Really cool, especially for beginners who can’t be bothered with fussy-cutting.
This was also my first time venturing into the world of hardware like lobster clasps and strap slider thingies (I like to make up my own sewing terminology)… I had trouble finding the exact hardware I needed in the store, but thank goodness for etsy – I found some great prices when purchasing the hardware in sets of ten. Guess that means I will be sewing a few more Zip and Go bags! 😉
Erin’s pattern-writing skills are awesome. The pattern was loaded with photos and little sidebar reminders. So in other words, NOTHING like a “Big Four” store bought pattern written and illustrated by a caveman. Her patterns are great for beginners – I felt like I had an instructor alongside me the entire time I was sewing. Even when tackling skills that I thought I had already mastered, like zippers, I still learned some little tips and tricks to enhance my existing skills.
My mom said she loved the bag and already got compliments on it when she used it last weekend — she could be fibbing, because that’s what moms sometimes do when you give them handmade gifts (it’s a part of The Mom Law) but this bag has come a seriously long way from the types of handmade gifts I used to give her in like, 1991, so I’m going to give myself the benefit of the doubt and put my money on “she’s not fibbing.”
And as a testament to how much I love Dog Under My Desk, I’ve already purchased another pattern — the Takeoff Tote. Can’t wait to get started on that one… someday! Maybe I’m just feeling the Christmas burnout, but I’m already leaning towards declaring 2015 the year of “Selfish Sewing.” If I don’t take a break from gifting, I’ll never get around to the Takeoff Tote… or that darn duvet cover!
More gift-related posts coming soon. In the meantime… Happy New Year!