Thursday, February 9, 2012

New things from old things ....and a whole lot of zips.

The Large Tote was one of the first patterns I developed for teaching bag-making, long before I had a pattern range.  I wanted a simple shape that would teach all the basics of bag-making and design variation. 
These are the latest versions, made to demonstrate different interfacing effects and a new bunch of zipper applications.  This one was made with a piece that I made to demonstrate simple embellishment methods at a teacher's conference last December.

Oh, I do like a little zip on the side.  The pocket is for easy-access to phone, train tickets etc, and for a bit of contrast that ties the colour of the embroidery into the overall bag design.
Inside the zippered top of the bag, I've added a zippered divider pocket and an exposed zipper in the facing seam (as in the bags in my book, for anyone who has made those). 
There have been a lot of crossover discoveries with zips and interfacings this week. I've been playing with a few little ideas that have been a-swimming about in my little brain for a while.  My little brain is a-POPPING with lots of new techniques to teach in my Interfacings and Zipper Workshops*.
This is the Large Tote in Joel Dewberry deco-weight fabric.  See that seam and dangling zipper pull?  Yep - another pocket. I also added a non-zippered pocket on the other side of this bag - thinking of a place to pop a book or water bottle.
And did I mention that I've discovered Great New Things with Ye Olde Zipper Gusset technique? Revolution, I tell you, Revolution.

This bag also has a zippered divider pocket (slightly different technique than the other one) and an exposed zipper in the middle of the lining (not visible in this pic).
 I also made a Day Bag (again, using Embellishments workshop leftovers).
 ...with some zippy bells and whistles.
This sewing week has provided lots of little inner-squeals-of-delight and a sense of achievement, but it's also been a necessary sort of think music for me.  In real life, there has been news of future upheaval and out-of-the-blue Complete Rethinking Of Everything.  There has also been news of a dear, dear friend with a huge battle ahead.  I'm reeling, but I'm keeping my focus firmly on where I'm going.  Sewing, designing and planning classes is keeping me upright and moving forward (....and I plan to move forward with a roll of 6mm Vliesofix tape in my hand.  I'm LOVING this stuff!).

Ok, back to sewing....

* The zipper workshop is currently fully booked and has a waiting list.  There interfacings class is headed that way, too. Don't dispair - I'll be looking at my calendar at the next available opportunity and will contact anyone on the waiting list before I advertise the next class.


Tania said...

Only YOU could reinvent the zipper wheel. One day I'm going to reclaim enough of my life to crash-course everything you’re teaching

PS. My new zipper foot is perched at the base of my computer. Calling to me in a small but growingly insistent voice.

PPS. One foot in front of the other, love.

Tas said...

See, there I go feeling like a know a wee bit about making a bag and then you come along and make me feel like a novice lol.

So sorry to hear about your friend's battle. xx

Don't stress about the US market. It took our Kylie a long time to break into the market there too ;)

Alison said...

I love zippers and I love what you've done with them. I just got some double ended zips (is that what they're called?? You know, 2 zipper pulls that go in opposite directions) that are bag sized! They have gorgeous pulls with the words "Covers" on them. My friend tells me that's a brand of clothes. I know nothing of such things. :) But the zippers...I have big plans for them!

МамаФиалка said...


Fiona said...

Ohhh ... a zippered divider pocket ... I want to know how to make one of those! Those bags look fabulous!

Sorry to hear about your friend .. xx

A Peppermint Penguin said...

I think T meant one zipper foot in front of the other. Glad zips are providing the necc distraction.

see all that technical stuff you just said? Want.

Will get my mitts on that book of yours just as soon as I can!

Katy Cameron said...

I want to come play *sigh* Very cool bags though

Annie said...

I'm loving your free motion sewing - and those zips . . . don't tempt me! I'm quite happy with my bag at the moment. The panel is working well.

Fer said...

I never get tired of admiring your zipper awesomeness!

Lotti said...

your bags are just gorgeous ... such talent.

Anne said...

I am dying to know more about the revolutionary zipper gusset. I make these frequently and do some tweaks here and there, but nothing that amounts to any more than a border skirmish. I want to join the revolution!

meli B said...

I am so scared of zips. I love your bag with all the pockets and zippers. A bag needs compartments. I will do one of your classes one of these days and delist zips from my too hard list.

our shabby cottage said...

Oh, that zipper divider pocket made my eyes 'pop' Nikki, love it, I must learn how to do that!!!