Scraphappy August 2021

The 15th of the month has whizzed round once again and, unlike last month, I was determined not to let it take me by surprise so had a rummage through my scraps to make something for Scraphappy Day.

Miss Tialys the Younger was visiting again so, continuing her sewing studies, I decided it was time for her to insert a zip.  Mean of me I know but if you’re going to sew the time will come when you will need to put a zip in, like it or not.

The project I chose uses scraps of fabric 8 inches x 6 inches and any length of zip which is good as I have a large zip stash bought as ‘mixed lots’ which means I have lengths I will never need and colours I would never want.

I had a small piece of this vintage style Scottie dog design from which I managed to cut two rectangles of the right size.

My ‘student’ chose a piece of cheaters patchwork fabric left over from a quilt I made a few years ago for my god-daughter’s new baby.

This must be the easiest way to insert a zip.  If you use one longer than you need it’s easy to keep the pull out of the way until it’s all sewn in.

Then sew the bottoms together and then, NOT FORGETTING TO OPEN THE ZIP HALFWAY (ask me how I know why you should do this!), sew up the sides running the stitches over both ends of the zip a couple of times to secure it.  Trim off most of the excess length from each end of the zip.

Turn inside out – through the half open zip! – and fold the corners to achieve the boxy shape you want.  I drew a line one inch up from each point and stitched across, then trimmed off a quarter of an inch from the stitch line.

Turn right side out and you have a cute little box pouch to keep little bits and pieces in.

We didn’t line these but you could do without too much difficulty and it would make it more sturdy and more able to stand up alone.  Full disclosure, I’ve cheated a bit for the photos and stuffed them full of paper.

My ‘student’ did well too.  What next for her?  She’s still scared of the rotary cutter so I think we’ll have to do some work with that as I rarely use scissors to cut anything out.  I’ll keep the Band Aids ready.


Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate or Gun (first names on the list) if you want to join in.

Kate , Gun, EvaSue, Lynn(me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
KerryClaireJeanJon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear,
Carol, Preeti, Edith and Debbierose


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  1. #1 by Wild Daffodil on August 15, 2021 - 08:23

    Thank you for the tutorial, I might have a go myself.

    • #2 by tialys on August 15, 2021 - 11:52

      Great little project for an idle half hour and little zipped pouches are always useful for something. Ooh! Could you make one with Boro rectangles perhaps?

  2. #3 by nanacathy2 on August 15, 2021 - 09:05

    Yes thank you for this, making a bag with zip was on my to do list two years ago until life got in the way! They both look lovely. Rotary cutters scared me, but I got there, minus injuries!

    • #4 by tialys on August 15, 2021 - 11:49

      I’ve only ever cut my finger once with a rotary cutter and I must have used them thousands of times by now. She just needs the confidence.

  3. #5 by lifebyacompassnotaclock on August 15, 2021 - 09:21

    Thank you for this … I need a new travel makeup case and this is perfect 😍

    • #6 by tialys on August 15, 2021 - 11:48

      If you feel like lining it, it would be more sturdy but I think it’s quite handy as it is too,

  4. #7 by claire93 on August 15, 2021 - 10:09

    Miss Tialys the younger has the best sewing instructor! and so many gorgeouss scraps to practice on ^^

    • #8 by tialys on August 15, 2021 - 11:48

      I’m slowly getting through them.

  5. #9 by DawnGillDesigns on August 15, 2021 - 10:24

    That’s a useful tutorial, thank you

    • #10 by tialys on August 15, 2021 - 11:47

      You’re welcome, I gave very basic instructions but easy to work out for anybody used to sewing.

  6. #11 by The Snail of Happiness on August 15, 2021 - 12:06

    She may not get on with a rotary cutter – I rarely use mine because I have discovered that I really do prefer scissors. The pouches are lovely. Somewhere I have a bag of random zips. If I ever find it, I might make a pouch or three!

    • #12 by tialys on August 15, 2021 - 14:31

      I find my fabric doesn’t shift so much if I’m using a rotary cutter – especially jersey type fabrics if I’m dressmaking. I need all the help I can get with accurate cutting.

  7. #13 by Moira on August 15, 2021 - 14:07

    great work on the pouches. Always so useful and great for little gifts as well.

    • #14 by tialys on August 15, 2021 - 14:32

      Yes – and even for holding little gifts too instead of wrapping paper or purchased gift boxes.

  8. #15 by katechiconi on August 15, 2021 - 14:07

    Another way to make the pouch more sturdy without bothering with a lining is to just iron interfacing onto the back. Cute results, and it looks like the zipper tutorial has ‘taken’! If Miss Tialys stays a bit iffy about a rotary cutter, try her with the 28mm size rather than the 45mm; they’re much smaller, more manoeuvrable and less intimidating. I use a small one all the time and find I prefer it.

    • #16 by tialys on August 15, 2021 - 14:35

      Interfacing would work but some of it does ‘scuff’ a bit with usage. I might try it with a medium weight one though.
      I have a small rotary cutter and mostly use it for cutting round dressmaking patterns – I’ll try it out with her next time she’s here. I also have a pinking one which, needless to say, rarely gets used as I find it catches too much on the rulers.

  9. #17 by Quimper Hitty on August 15, 2021 - 15:42

    This is so perfect for a beginner! I will try it out with my own beginner!

    • #18 by tialys on August 15, 2021 - 19:05

      Yes do I know you can’t always put zips in this way but it’s a good place to start so that a beginner can say they’ve put in a zip.

  10. #19 by Laurie Graves on August 15, 2021 - 16:17

    Oh, so darned cute! I am in awe of both you.

    • #20 by tialys on August 15, 2021 - 19:05

      Well, it’s a simple enough project but the results are quite pleasing aren’t they and she was happy.

  11. #21 by simplylive1452 on August 15, 2021 - 18:47

    What a fun project to learn zipper skills! You have motivated me to get going on some pieces I want to create. Thanks!

    • #22 by tialys on August 15, 2021 - 19:07

      You’re very welcome. I love to hear I’ve motivated somebody.

  12. #23 by kathyreeves on August 15, 2021 - 19:45

    Great little project to remove zipper installation anxiety. 😅

    • #24 by tialys on August 16, 2021 - 10:12

      ‘Zipper Installation Anxiety’ That should definitely be a recognised condition.

  13. #25 by Emmely on August 15, 2021 - 20:12

    I’ve seen people wear cut resistant gloves when using a rotary cutter. Perhaps that’ll sway her?

    • #26 by tialys on August 16, 2021 - 10:13

      I’ve never heard of those. Personally I don’t think I’d like to wear them but I’ll suggest it to her, thank you.

  14. #27 by onesmallstitch on August 15, 2021 - 21:17

    lucky Miss Tialys to have such a great teacher – and she gets a lovely,useful little bag.

    • #28 by tialys on August 16, 2021 - 10:14

      The biggest step will be for her to actually take my spare machine home with her and sew completely on her own.

  15. #29 by rutigt on August 16, 2021 - 09:15

    The pouches are lovely! It´s great to know how to make one, because you can never have too much pouches!!!

    • #30 by tialys on August 16, 2021 - 10:14

      Thank you – a nice quick project which I might elaborate on a little bit to make more sturdy ones.

  16. #31 by Bear on August 16, 2021 - 20:51

    Haha, I don’t need to ask why… LOL! I learned the hard way because I didn’t listen to my Granny when she told me not to zip it all the way shut. Hmmm, what to do next… Maybe handsew a button hole. I mean, there will come a time when you need a button hole for either a button or tie, but don’t want the hassle of doing it on a machine, right? I have a button-hole foot for my machine, but it’s never been used… wouldn’t know how. My Granny taught me to do it by hand, and I find I like that method. Oh, sorry bout my link not working. Long story. Suffice it to say I have a new WordPress site altogether. Here’s the link, though no Scrappy this month because of the chaos…

    • #32 by tialys on August 17, 2021 - 10:12

      I ought to learn to do buttonholes by hand as it scares me half to death when I’ve worked hard on a garment and the buttonholes are the last thing to do so getting them wrong would spoil the whole thing, My buttonhole attachment usually behaves but not always – especially on something thick like denim,

      • #33 by Bear on August 17, 2021 - 14:08

        I’ve done a few buttonholes by machine and have never gotten the hang of them. I like the sturdiness of hand sewn.

  17. #34 by Born To Organize on August 18, 2021 - 06:27

    I’m not sure why, but I’ve always been charmed by small pouches. I like your fabric choices, and the finished results. These would make charming gifts or gift wrap. We receive a number of donated pouches for our women’s program, mostly from various cosmetic companies. Last summer, though, we received forty, hand-made pouches. They were an eclectic mix, so everyone could choose a favorite color or style. I hope your daughter falls in love with sewing. You’ve certainly given her every reason to do so.

  18. #35 by cedar51 on August 21, 2021 - 07:44

    Somehow my sewing skills of maybe 4 + decades ago, have slid away where time goes…and although when I was in my teens, I made clothes for myself, after I left home, the boutiques called to me and I rarely made another dress – zip, buttonholes, facings etc.

    • #36 by tialys on August 21, 2021 - 09:20

      I’m a fairly standard size so clothes shopping isn’t difficult for me – and I enjoy it (probably too much) – but I still like the process of making clothes even though I don’t really need any more. I have slowed it down a lot now not least because I no longer have the space to store loads of clothing any more.

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