Sewing Level: Beginner
Sewing Tutorial: Youtube - Made Everyday: How to Sew a Lined Zipper Pouch
Husband's Personal Opinion: "It's beginner friendly because there was a video to follow and it was a lot of straight sewing"
Fabric Choice: You are Magical - Rainbows & Multi Spot Blender - Lavender
For those who don't know, my husband Rajan and I opened the fabric store together & it's safe to say that he has learned A LOT over a short amount of time.
Prior to opening the store, I had purchased a Brother SE600 Sewing & Embroidery machine which caught Rajan's attention. He decided that he would like to learn how to embroider & initially began practicing embroidering onto small scraps of fabric with various stabilizers to see which would yield the best result. With practice he became more confident using the machine and decided that he wanted to embroider onto an actual garment or accessory.
Recently, I have been testing out some beginner sewing projects so that I can begin classes by October/November. I came across a simple pencil case tutorial that is fully lined and has a zipper, which I really like because it helps the finished product to look professional & store bought. While cutting my fabrics for the zipper case, my husband began to put some fabrics together to help me with some designs & it occurred to me that this would be a great project for him to test out!
First he brainstormed who he would make this for and decided that it would be for his niece who was starting Kindergarten (so sweet!). Next, he looked through our cotton fabrics and picked the You Are Magical Rainbows print for the outside and the Multi Spot Blender in Lavender for the lining. He also needed a zipper and chose one of our funkier styles that matched the colors of his fabric choice perfectly and it also has a O Ring slider which is beneficial as it helps to open to the case easier.
Next, we followed the tutorial's suggestion for cutting the fabrics - it's important that the fabric edge that the zipper goes on is the same as the length of the entire zipper (from top to bottom). Why? Well you need some room to sew & if you made the cut edge of fabric the exact size of where the zipper pull begins & ends, you'd sew over the zipper itself when attaching the pieces together.
Once everything was cut, Rajan set up the embroidery machine so that he could add his niece's name to the pencil case. He used the 808 Craft Fuse one-sided fusible stabilizer on the wrong side of the outside piece, attached the fabrics in the hoop, picked a font of his liking & the embroidery machine did the rest!
Once the embroidery was complete, Rajan stitched the pencil case together by following the tutorial. Sidenote: It is important to ensure that you know how to thread the machine in order to sew successfully. Also, always test out your threading & stitching on a scrap piece of fabric to make sure the stitches are correct.
The zipper installation is made easier if you use a zipper foot! One thing that I showed Rajan as he was sewing the zipper was that you should pull the zipper pull down about halfway, then once you are approaching the zipper pull to do a quick backstitch, lift your presser foot and needle then pull the zipper back to the top, then continue stitching from the backstitch to the bottom of the zipper . This is to ensure you have a nice straight stitch and so your foot doesn't hit the zipper pull and go off course. I hope this explanation makes sense....
Once the zipper is installed, the last step is to stitch around the entire pencil case, leaving a 3-4 inch gap to turn the pencil case right side out. The instructions are very clear and the best part about watching tutorials for beginners is that they can rewind as many times as needed to double check instructions before they get started! During this tutorial Rajan picked up a new sewing technique called pivoting. Pivoting helps to create nice & sharp corners and is fairly simple.
Once the pencil case was finished Rajan felt a great sense of accomplishment for being able to create a hand-made gift for his niece. He also has more confidence about his sewing skills & is ready for the next project!