I’ve been struggling to make a little zippered pouch, and here’s attempt two.

I took a risk and made this one out of a fabric that I absolutely adore (Lou Lou Thi by Anna Maria Horner). I had this thought that I couldn’t possibly make mistakes with a beautiful design. Though it’s not that simple, the stunning fabric does hide mistakes well. Despite that, this time around I’m going to point out the blemishes and share lessons learned.

Blemish #1: The zipper ends are wonky and gap-ey. I hand-sewed the top closed. Here’s the problem: I’m having a little trouble sealing the zipper in the pouch corners. I have been doing corners by following a pattern in the book Weekend Sewing, and I’ve looked at many pictures of little sewn zippered pouches. It looks like the method in the book is very common, but it’s simply not working for me. The next pouch I make will have the zipper ends that look more like this, using a method I’ve seen a number of other sewists use, which a) looks more secure and b) eliminates the corner-closing problem.

Blemish #2: The bottom corner. I am pretty good at squaring corners, but it’s not quite as simple when you accidentally sew in the zipper, fully closed, and can’t turn the bag inside out… leading to much seam ripping and re-sewing. The problem: if you’ve already squared your corners, once you rip your seams, it’s really difficult to sew the squares back in. So lesson learned: Don’t rip out bag seams after you’ve already squared the corners; try very hard to identify the problem before you square, and it’ll save a big headache and a blemish.

But here’s the thing: I have a new attitude about troubled projects. I am searching for the positive in all of it for the sake of sewing because a) I truly love sewing and we should all feel positively about the things we love, and b) I am reading Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind and applying it as I learn this wonderful and often challenging craft.

So, despite the blemishes, I still love the bottom of the bag, where this big blue flower lined up so well on the seam:

And I love this fabric, which bought as a remnant, so it was 50% off. Who doesn’t love a deal?

I started sewing it after drinking this delicious seasonal brew, Hoptober, on one of the first gorgeous fall days of the season.

The fabric and I took in some early evening sun and cool Rocky Mountain breeze and then headed inside to sew.

And happy ending: I have a beautiful, though blemished, pouch holding my makeup on my bathroom sink.