Sewed 10 basic zipper pouches last week.
Now I have a sewing-headache.
Am I a wimp?
Sigh.
There’s a reason I avoid making anything in large quantities…
I just temporarily forgot.
Nevertheless, it was for a good reason.
 
It started with wanting to help a local outreach program.
I’m crappy at the face to face stuff.
But when I learned that this ministry had need of supplies to hand out to young women,
I thought,
“Here is something I can help with.”
Went shopping for items to create toiletry kits.
T-shirts.
Combs.
Tooth brushes and tooth paste.
Floss.
Nail files and clippers.
Chapstick.
Lotion.
The request for help called these supplies “Hope in a Bag.”
And suggested the items be bagged in recycled grocery bags.
Could have done that.
But,
If these bags of supplies are given out as a message,
Wouldn’t it be better to present the items in something durable, reusable and a pretty?
Could taking the time to sew a zipper fabric bag to place everything in add to the message?
To tell a young lady that people care.
That she is worth something.
Maybe.
I figured “maybe” was enough of an answer.
And got to work.
 I wanted each bag to measure 12 inches across by 15 inches long.
I use this sized bag as “project bags” to hold my various knitting and crochet projects.
They fold flat when not use.
But are roomy enough to hold a couple skeins of yarn and most works in progress.
In this case, 
Each bag was plenty big enough to hold the toiletry items I put together.
 With room for a few other personal items should the need arise.
Below are my notes and tips for making these basic zipper pouches.
  •  To make one pouch, you will need one standard 12-inch zipper and two pieces of cotton fabric; each cut into a 13.25-inch by 16.25-inch rectangle.  I recommend cutting the fabric using a rotary cutter, quilting ruler and a large cutting mat.
  • Sew with a 5/8-inch seam allowance.
  • The zipper is sewn to one of the 13.25-inch sides of the fabric rectangle.  Let’s call this fabric edge the “zipper-edge.”
  • Before attaching the zipper, I finished the “zipper-edge” of the fabric rectangle with the serger.
  • Center the zipper to “zipper-edge” of one fabric rectangle.  Right side of zipper should face right side of fabric.  Sew zipper to zipper edge of fabric.
  • Repeat with second edge of zipper and second piece of fabric.
  • Press seams along both sides of the zipper.
  • Once the zipper is attached to both pieces of fabric, open the zipper midway.  Then pin the edges of the bag body together, right side to right side. 
  • Sew the remaining three edges of the bag body together.
  • Serge the three sides to finish the edges.
  • Weave serged thread ends into the stitches and trim as necessary.
  • Flip bag right side out.
  • Press.
 It’s a bit of a process.
I tried to speed things up a bit by working factory style.
I cut the fabric for all ten bags at once.
Then serged all “zipper edges.”
Then moved onto zippers…
You get the picture.
Even so, it was slow going.
(or hec, maybe I’m just slow).
I worked for three afternoons.
At least three hours and change each time.
Finished and filled ten bags.
 This is going to be an ongoing thing.
Just need to figure out the “how many” and “how often” part.
In the meantime,
Hoping these first ten toiletry bags and kits can be of some little help.