Try, try again, right?


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Yeah. So. My first non-quilted project? Big fat hideous failure. Sigh.

I decided to try this incredibly simple little lined zippered pouch tutorial at Skip to My Lou. It looks so easy, and it really should have been easy, even for a beginner.

I measured my Kindle, rounded up to 5 x 7 inches for good measure, and then added half an inch to each side for seam allowances. I cut the fabric as instructed by the tutorial. I added an extra step and sewed some extra firm interfacing to the back of the outer fabric to add some padding and protection for my Kindle. I sewed the interfacing on with a scant seam allowance so the extra stitches would be covered by my 1/4-inch seam allowance.

I was feeling pretty confident about the whole thing until I started working on the zipper. Zippers are supposed to be easy, right? Well. It was not easy for me.

I had bought a 9-inch zipper, because they didn’t have the color I wanted in the 7-inch zippers, so I needed to resize it. The instructions were simple enough. I just needed to whip stitch where I needed the zipper to stop, and then trim it 1/2-inch below the stitch. Easy.

I stitched it once, measured to double-check before cutting, and realized that I needed to trim the whole zipper to 7 1/2 inches including that extra 1/2-inch — not just the teeth. Rookie mistake, but whatever. I cut out my whip stitch, measured again, and stitched again.

When I measured to double check it again, it was still too short. I was confused, because I was pretty sure I’d measured correctly, but it was late, so I chalked it up to sleepiness. I cut my stitches and did it again. This time, I felt pretty good about it, so I went ahead and trimmed the zipper.

I was proudly surveying my work and feeling quite accomplished when I realized, to my horror, that I hadn’t miscalculated the measurements. I had just turned the zipper the wrong way when I double-checked it. I had made my final cut totally backwards.


I decided to stop for the night, put the project away, and go to bed in disgust. I needed a new zipper anyway, and it was too late to buy one.

The next day, I went out and picked up a 7-inch zipper in a different color. The smaller zipper would eliminate all the fuss of resizing. I began working on the project with renewed determination.

I struggled with my zipper foot, and I hated the whole process of inserting the zipper, but I knew that would get easier with practice. I zipped right through the rest of the sewing (no pun intended).

I wasn’t happy with the finished product. To me, it looks sloppy, and as you can see, I didn’t quite stitch that stinkin’ zipper all the way to the end, so the extra fabric was sticking out instead of tucking neatly into the seams. But I figured, whatever. It’s for me, I still think the fabric is adorable, who cares if it’s a little sloppy? What matters is that I have a cute little place to stash my Kindle.

Then I realized my Kindle doesn’t even fit in it! The Kindle is about 1/2-inch too wide. Since this is a family site, I will not share the words that erupted from my mouth upon this realization.

The good news is, I have plenty of extra fabric to try again. This time, I’ll add some extra width to the fabric to account for the turning (I think that’s why it was off). And hopefully I’ll have more success the second time around.

This really is going to be a learning process. I know I made similar rookie mistakes when I learned to quilt, even though I barely remember them now. (An incident where I cut an entire lot of fabric strips a half-an-inch narrower than the pattern instructed does come to mind, though. That was painful.)

What is it they say about failure, though? Try, try again. I’m not finished with you yet, lined zippered pouch.

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