Super Zippy Pouch Quick Tutorial

This is a super quick tutorial for a "Super Zippy Pouch". My kids are laughing at the cheesy name but I loved it! The point is, you can add as many zippers as you want to make this pouch. There is no limit!

I got this idea from a smiggle pouch that my daughter has. It has zippers all around. I don't have enough so I made the other side with quilted fabrics. It still looks fantastic and funny.

The inside of the pouch is basic with bias binding. 

It's a pretty versatile pouch. You can use long or short zippers (whatever you have in your stash) in any length or width or type. You can try to handsew too! It just takes triple the time. 

Follow the steps here::

Step 1: Gather all materials. Zippers (of course), 2 fat eighths if you are using 6~8 zippers (lining and backing), 1 fat eighth interfacing (great to have a fusible one but it's ok too if you don't have).

Step 2: Arrange the zippers as you desired. Make sure the zipper pulls are in alternate directions. 

Step 3: Sew the zippers together. I use a regular machine foot but it will be good if you change to zipper foot. It might boost your confidence in sewing zippers! But anyway, it doesn't really matter because we are stitching the zippers together close to the edges.

ps: you can use pins to help you during sewing. I am lazy so I just aligned them by eyeballing.

Important point: Whenever about 1 inch reaching any zipper pull, stop stitching with needle down. Lift up the presser foot and slip your fingers in to pull the zipper pull behind and away form the needle. It takes a little patience to master this skill. But once you get it, it gets really easy.

Then continue sewing to the end of the zippers. Repeat for the rest of the remaining zippers.

Step 4: Place backing fabric (wrong side up) then interfacing then lining fabric (right side up). *If you are using fusible interfacing, you may fuse it to the lining fabric first.* Machine or hand quilt them together. 

Step 5: Assemble the zippers part (wrong side up) and lining/backing part (lining side up). Pin and sew a quarter inch all around the four sides. Make sure you leave one zipper unzipped for turning the pouch inside out. Trim and edges. 

Step 6: Sew bias binding to cover up all the raw edges. I used ready made one. The pictures above show step by step on how I added the bias binding. Machine sew on the zipper side then finish off with hand sewing on the fabric side. 

I like to snip a little off the four corners so I will not get sharp corners.

The last part of sewing the short ends of pouch. 

And you have a super zipper pouch all ready to go! All you take is less than one to two hours. It's so easy and satisfying seriously!

Christmas is coming and I think this pouch makes a wonderful gift for your kids or loved ones!xx

Zakka Home Book Tour

Taking more than half a year break from sewing and social media was something I needed for the longest time. For the past months, I spent most of my time cooking, reading, learning new skills and being just there for my family and children. We travelled a fair bit and caught up with the joy of being together every single hour. It was a wonderful period of living the moment.

When Sedef sent me a mail for this book tour, I felt so ready to take the plunge and handsew again. It was the perfect timing to pick up my needles and enjoy the pleasure of every stitch and knot.

Zakka Home seems like it's written just for me. Every project is so beautiful and very zakka. The projects are useful and pretty. I love everything in the book and it was so hard to choose one to showcase. Sedef always make eye candy sewing stuff.

Because we were leaving for a quick trip to China, I finally decided to choose to make "Sashiko coasters" so I could bring the project along with me.

It was the best choice ever.

I have started sashiko sewing more than ten years back so it was like meeting an old friend again.

There are several rules for sashiko sewing but this time, I only followed one rule: no two stitches should touch. The rest of the stitching, I followed my heart.

Never did I know I would fall in love with hand sewing again with this project. So I am thankful. I sew each stitch with peace and calmness in my heart and mind.

I got to handsew under the autumn trees which was truly amazing.

Instead of using the real sashiko thread, I tried valdini thread and Lecien silver thread. Both look really fantastic with the monotone coloured fabrics (Robert Kaufman).

Before stitching close the openings after flipping over.

I added lace on the reverse sides so the coasters can be used either way.

This book is perfect for beginners and intermediates with clear simple straight-forard instructions. It is also great for advanced sewists who is looking for fast easy projects for your home or loved ones.

I am so grateful to handsew these sashiko coasters.

Here is the tour schedule for this book tour:

22 October - Sedef Imer - Down Grapevine Lane - @downgrapevinelane
23 October - Jemima Flendt - Tied With A Ribbon - @tiedwitharibbon
24 October - Minki Kim - Minki's Work Table - @zeriano
25 October - Jane Davidson - Quilt Jane - @quiltjane
26 October - Elizabeth Chappell - Quilters Candy Box - @quilterscandybox
27 October - Lauren Wright - Molly and Mama - @mollyandmama
28 October - Sarah Scott - Piccolo Studio - @piccolostudio_sarah
29 October - Alyce Blyth - Blossom Heart Quilts - @blossomheartquilts
30 October - Emily Dennis - Quilty Love - @emily_dennis_
31 October - Sharon Burgess - Lilabelle Lane Creations - @lilabellelane
1 November - Wynn Tan - Zakka Art - @zakkaArt 
2 November - Amanda Woodruff - A Crafty Fox -
4 November - Samantha Dorn - Aqua Paisley Studio - @aqua_paisley
5 November - Love Patchwork & Quilting - @lovequiltingmag
6 November - Kate May - The Homemakery - @thehomemakery
7 November - Ayda Algin - Cafe Nohut - @cafenohut
8 November  - Faith Essenburg - Sarana Ave - @faithessenburg
9 November - Nadra Ridgeway - Ellis & Higgs - @ellisandhiggs
10 November - Fat Quarter Shop - @fatquartershop
11 November - Laura Cunningham - @laura_zuckerkuss
12 November - Bev McCullough - Flamingo Toes - @flamingotoes
13 November - Amy Smart - Diary of a Quilter - @diaryofaquilter
14 November - Riley Blake Designs - @rileyblakedesigns
15 November - Michelle Hickson - @coleandtaffy
16 November - Christopher Thompson - The Tattooed Quilter - @the_tattooed_quilter
17 November - Ange Hamilton - A Little Patchwork - @alittlepatchwork
18 November - Sarah Ashford - Sarah Ashford Studio - @sarahashfordstudio
19 November -  Sedef Imer - Down Grapevine Lane - @downgrapevinelane (ROUND UP)

Thank you Sedef and Tuva Publishing for including me in this book tour together with other awesome sewing friends.xx

{Book Review} Coloring With Thread

Seriously you can't make me do this. That was the very thought in my mind when Jodi (the content editor of F+W & The Quilting Company) emailed me about sending a book all about embroidery. "You've got to see it. It's a really beautiful book." Jodi told me.

Oh well, she's so so right.

I am completely in love with all the projects in this "Coloring with Thread" book. I mean, how can the animals and florals look so artistic yet pretty in their very own way? However, I was daunted by the fact that I was not too good in embroidery. Well, I have never stitched a full embroidery piece of work. It has always been small flowers to go with patchwork pouches. I shared my fear for hand embroidery with Jodi but she was so reassuring and encouraging that made me wanted to just give it a go.

And this is what I chose: Topiary.

This is the actual picture from the book. What an exquisite work of art.

Here's my try for Topiary.

What do you think? 

I kinda like how it turned out.

I did not follow all the stitches and opted out some illustrations.

Since I did not have much time to continue stitching the inner petals, I chose to use a fabric to appliqué. *Fabric from Lecien*

Work in progress: I started but stopped sewing for a few days because I did not know how to proceed. A struggle initially but a breeze followed. *Embroidery Thread from DMC*

Halfway through sewing, I realised I could do better by doing a branch stitch instead of normal back stitching to outline the branches.

And then painting the flowers was too rigid until the idea came to me that I could guide the needle in between the stitches for a more realistic picture. Can you see from the close up photo?

It felt so good doing French knots properly for the first time. I did not want to stop.

Trying to be as neat at the back as the front.

The most important point is, I finally tried doing a full hand embroidery!

The stitch guide and instructions were wonderful and very clear which helped me a lot in understanding different embroidery stitches and when to use them. 

What I have learnt from hand embroidery this project is, there's no right or wrong. You just stitch to your hearts content! I tried following the tracings initially but the pen markings faded after a day or two. When I retraced, the positions were not as accurate anymore so I had to draw with naked eye. So I just roughly outlined the florals and branches and started sewing in my own way. It was the most liberating and peaceful moment ever to sew like you are painting a picture. I was completely in awe with myself for stitching without thinking much. 

This is an amazing book you should get if you would like to try hand embroidery even if it's for the first time. You will be do motivated and inspired to try even more embroidery projects as you move on.

Thank you The Quilting Company for this wonderful opportunity to try hand embroidery! 

Coloring with Thread will be available from December 20. You can get this from here and here and here.