Sunday, 23 April 2017

Crochet Colour Blocks

This is a scheduled post.  By the time you read this, I should be on holiday!  (Unless anything has gone horribly wrong, that is.  I do have a fear when I schedule posts, that I might die before it goes live and it'll be horribly tragic when this post pops up merrily on the internet as though everything is fine and dandy!  Well, let's hope I'm not speaking to you from beyond the grave... and let's not go into what these thoughts say about my twisted mind...)

Moving swiftly on!  I thought I would share with you the first two blocks of the colour-block crochet blanket I'm working on (first mentioned here).

Bright colourful crochet colour-block squares.

It's going to be a very bold and bright blanket!  The two squares look quite unrelated to each other really, apart from the purple.  However, I'm hoping that as I make more blocks, using more of the colours in different combinations, they will start to work together better.

Bright colourful crochet colour-block squares.

Also, you can see that the squares are doing the typical granny-square-twist!  This is a standard occurrence with granny squares unfortunately.  I might try blocking them.  Or maybe when they're all sewn/crocheted together they might pull into a straighter shape??  I'll decide what to do later!

Bright colourful crochet colour-block squares.

However, I am pleased so far.  And looking forward to seeing the blocks in more colour combinations - it's quite motivating!

Which one do you like best?  I prefer the pink one.


Check out my completed crochet items here.


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Friday, 14 April 2017

Felt Easter Eggs

Happy Easter Weekend!  Here is a little bit of Easter crafty inspiration for you...

Full disclosure... these eggs have appeared on my blog before, right in the very first months of starting it - six years ago!  You can find the post about the six matching eggs here and the other two eggs here and here.

But my photos left a lot to be desired back then!  To be honest, they're not amazing now - but they're bigger on the page at least!


Looking for cute and easy Easter craft inspiration?  Try making these bright and colourful felt Easter eggs - quick and easy!  Click to find out more...

These are made by cutting out two egg shapes from coloured felt and embellishing them by sewing on ribbons and buttons, before sewing the two halves together, stuffing as you go.  Sew a ribbon into the top as you sew together, so that they can be hung from branches to decorate a pretty Easter tree.


Looking for cute and easy Easter craft inspiration?  Try making these bright and colourful felt Easter eggs - quick and easy!  Click to find out more...

I made a couple of extra variations using bondaweb to add a bit of fabric to the felt, which added a nice touch (the lilac and paler blue eggs above).

I'm getting quite a collection of decorative eggs... these felt eggs, my multi-coloured crochet eggs, my daisy crochet eggs, and my cute and easy crochet eggs.  Slightly excessive one might say?!  Nah!


Looking for cute and easy Easter craft inspiration?  Try making these bright and colourful felt Easter eggs - quick and easy!  Click to find out more...


Check out my other sewing projects here.


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Sunday, 9 April 2017

New Blanket Plans - Bright and Bold

Work has been crazily busy and very stressful lately.  But this weekend I've managed to relax a bit and make a start on a new blanket.  A funny thing to start when we've had the most beautiful warm sunny weather this weekend!

I know I should be carrying on with my blue stripy blanket but I wanted to try this out!  I was given the yarn for my birthday and Christmas in December and I have plans for a bright and bold colour-block blanket.

Looking for bright bold colour-block crochet blanket ideas?  Read more to see the start of one!

I've been trying out a couple of things to work out the sizing, and I'll be starting again with the red and blue to make the middle square bigger, but I've got a good feeling about it so far!

The picture gives a good idea of how it will look, the general feel of it, I think - I'm already excited to see it progress.

The yarn is King Cole Bamboo Cotton which I absolutely love working with.  It gives a lovely smooth finish, so I use it a lot for amigurumi.  It's also what I made my Japanese Flower Coasters out of - and I'm using those colours again here, with a few additions.

I hope to show you more soon(ish)!


Check out my completed crochet items here.


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Sunday, 2 April 2017

Defining My Style

I don't know about you, but sometimes I find myself so overwhelmed with all the inspiration out there that I find it hard to work out what my own style is.  I know that sounds strange - surely I'd know what I like?!

These days we are constantly being bombarded with beautiful images and inspiration - on Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, and all manner of other social media platforms that I can't keep up with!  There is so much that I really like - I have an appreciation for most styles if they are executed well.  But, I still found myself wondering what MY style actually is.  I may admire a lot, but what makes me most happy?  What do I want to surround myself with?  What are the elements that I am going to keep loving, not just current trends that I'm swayed by as they are all around me online and in the shops.

Well, these images below definitely make me happy!


Would you like to define your personal style, identify what you like and help shape your future purchases?  Read this post to find out how!

Sources clockwise from top left 1 / 2 / 3 /4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

But I'm jumping ahead!  (I just wanted to show you the pretty pictures!)  Let me back up a bit and explain how I arrived at this and how it helps...

My friend Kimberly from Swoon Worthy published an amazingly useful post on How to Use Pinterest to Define Your Personal Style, which helps you identify three buzz words that encapsulate your own personal style.  I recommend you read it and give it a go if you are feeling the same way I have been.  I couldn't wait to find my three words!

Create a Special Pinterest Board

Kimberly recommends creating a Pinterest board to which you only save pictures you really truly love - those that really speak to you.  You can make it secret if you prefer, but I didn't - you can find mine here.  Kimberly's post also gives some great tips on how to find those images when you don't really know what you're looking for.

The collection of pictures above narrows down a few of my pins from that board of favourites.  I just love how they look, especially all together like this!  Looking at that made me realise I've got it right - it really does make me feel happy.

Identify Your Three Key Words

Once you have enough pins on your board, you are ready for the exciting bit - identifying the patterns in your pins and finally arriving at your three buzz words!  So what are mine...?!  With a little help from Kimberly, we arrived on:


* BRIGHT * MODERN * PLAYFUL *


What do you think?  Would you agree?  I think it works for me!

But How do Your Three Words Help?

The main purpose of identifying your three key words is that it is something to keep in mind and allow to shape your purchases and focus your thoughts.  How often have you bought something on a whim because it catches your eye in a shop, but when you get it home you realise that it doesn't really go with anything.  Once you're out of that shopping-spree haze, you find yourself soon going off it.  If you take a moment to consider whether the item fits with any or all of your three words, this will help you identify whether it will fit in with your style and be something that you will continue to enjoy.

It's Not Just Interiors!

Now, I started this with interiors in mind, but I have realised that it applies to other areas too.  Take the crafting I do - I think it fits into these words as well...

Would you like to define your personal style, identify what you like and help shape your future purchases?  Read this post to find out how!

Above is a selection of my creations and I would say they are bright, modern and playful, wouldn't you?!  It really does sum up my style.  I've realised (with hindsight!) that when I make anything which doesn't fit into these words, I don't tend to like it that much.  Now that I've identified my style, I hopefully won't waste time making things that don't fit with it, that I'll ultimately be disappointed in.

This can be applied to clothes too.  I have always favoured colour in my clothes, but the other day I caught a glimpse of my reflection and realised how drab I looked!  Somehow, I'd lost my colourful tendencies and had been settling for duller clothes.  It doesn't help that over winter it's hard to find any clothes which aren't dark and dreary!  They look great on some people, but don't suit my colouring at all.  (Or my style, as we have just discovered!)

It's strange, as soon as we arrived on those three words, I knew we'd cracked it - they were right!  They define ME!  In fact, they seem so obvious, I don't know how I didn't already know this!  I now feel so much more focused when it comes to buying things for the home, clothes to wear, the craft things I will make.  Life is too short to surround ourselves with things which don't bring us joy, right?

These days we are constantly being advertised to, influenced, overwhelmed with possibilities... it's just nice to know that if it's not bright, modern or playful, I'll probably go off it in a week!


Would you like to define your personal style, identify what you like and help shape your future purchases? Read this post to find out how!


If you want to do the exercise yourself, check out Kimberly's post and let me know what your three words are, I'm interested to hear!




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Sunday, 26 March 2017

Cute and Easy Crochet Eggs

Yes, more crochet eggs!  There have been a lot around these parts lately, with the bright colourful Easter eggs I made for Hobbycraft - see them here.

Now, here are some in a different - more subtle - style!

Looking for a free pattern to crochet some cute and easy eggs?  This quick and easy pattern is perfect to handmake some sweet easter decorations.

They are made with very thin embroidery cotton held alongside some white Rico Creative Cotton Aran yarn, which was left over from my other Easter eggs.  The thin embroidery cotton was given to me last year by a friend of my Mum - I have a mixture of Coats and Twilleys in size 20 - it's so thin!  (You might have seen it before when I showed the delicate snowflakes I made last year.)  So this was a completely stash-busting project!

Looking for a free pattern to crochet some cute and easy eggs?  This quick and easy pattern is perfect to handmake some sweet easter decorations.

What makes these so effective is that the thin coloured crochet cotton is variegated, so the colour darkening and lightening throughout the egg gives a lovely natural effect.  Ok, maybe not completely natural with some of the colours I've used!

Looking for a free pattern to crochet some cute and easy eggs?  This quick and easy pattern is perfect to handmake some sweet easter decorations.

The three one-coloured eggs use the orangey, the blue and the mint variegated cottons.  The multi-coloured egg was made by holding the blue, orangey and purple (non-variegated) together with the white aran cotton.

Looking for a free pattern to crochet some cute and easy eggs?  This quick and easy pattern is perfect to handmake some sweet easter decorations.

'Where can I find the pattern?', I hear you cry!  I can take no credit for the lovely idea or the pattern... it is from my friend Anna - find it free here!

Looking for a free pattern to crochet some cute and easy eggs?  This quick and easy pattern is perfect to handmake some sweet easter decorations.

DETAILS

Yarn
Rico Creative Cotton Aran - White
Mixture of size 20 crochet cottons - Coats/Twilleys

Hook
4mm

Pattern
Magical Eggs - by Anna at Nummer Elva

Looking for a free pattern to crochet some cute and easy eggs?  This quick and easy pattern is perfect to handmake some sweet easter decorations.

Check out my other completed crochet items here.


Like what you see?  Follow me on bloglovin!


Saturday, 18 March 2017

V-Stitch Crochet Baby Blanket

It's time to show you the completed baby blanket I was working on a few weeks back.  I made the whole blanket, from start to finish, in a week (including working full-time).  This is by far the quickest I've ever finished a blanket - I didn't think I had it in me!  (I think aran yarn, a 6mm hook, and v-stitch are a speedy combo!)


Looking for a quick and cute free pattern for a baby blanket?  Try this colourful unisex v-stitch crochet blanket!

The inspiration for the colour scheme is explained in this post.


Looking for a quick and cute free pattern for a baby blanket?  Try this colourful unisex v-stitch crochet blanket!

It is made with v-stitch, which is a great stitch.  This is my method, although the v-stitch pattern isn't mine.  I just want to have a reference in case I'd like to remember what I did in future!

V-Stitch = [dc, ch, dc] into same space/stitch

  • Chainless foundation of 113, plus 3 ch.
  • V-stitch into top of last chainless foundation st you made, *skip 2 st, v-stitch* until there is one st remaining, dc into last st, ch 3 and turn.
  • v-stitch into each ch space of previous row (into the middle of the v-stitch), dc into top of ch 3, ch 3 and turn.
Order:  2 rows white, 6 rows colour, ending on 2 rows white and a row of sc to mirror the sc row which is automatically part of the chainless foundation row to start.

Edges:
  • sc in white along both edges - 2 sc over each final/starting dc/ch 3 of the rows.  This gave a neat straight finish.  Because the v-stitch is a holey design, you can sc over the side stitches, rather than try to sc into them, as there are gaps there anyway, so you are not creating unsightly gaps.
  • 2 rows of v-stitch in white.
  • 1 row of sc in white.
Border:
  • 1 round of sc in green.
  • 1 round of crab stitch in green.


Looking for a quick and cute free pattern for a baby blanket?  Try this colourful unisex v-stitch crochet blanket!


This is the first time I've tried crab stitch, and I love it!  It is basically sc working backwards, instead of working into the stitch to your left, you work into the stitch to your right.  It feels a bit awkward to do, but the effect is great.  It's got a bit of substance and really finishes the blanket off nicely - it seems like a real edge.

The reason I picked green, was that the green bands of colour were the only ones which were equidistant from each end of the blanket.  I considered going for blue, as I love blue, but I thought it might look odd on the edge of the blanket which starts with a blue stripe.  The colour looks more evenly distributed with the green.


Looking for a quick and cute free pattern for a baby blanket?  Try this colourful unisex v-stitch crochet blanket!


DETAILS

Yarn
Paintbox Simply Aran:
   Sky Blue (238)
   Daffodil Yellow (221)
   Spearmint Green (225)
   Mandarin Orange (217)
   Paper White (200) - x 2
Stylecraft Special Aran:
   Pomegranate (1083)

Hook
6mm

Dimensions
approx: 26.5 inches x 37.5 inches
approx: 67cm x 95cm 

What I'd do differently:
I'd start and end with colour, instead of the white.  This way I could work the white v-stitch edging all the way round the blanket, rather than adding just the two side edges afterwards.
I'd also make it a bit wider, as it may look a little too thin for the length.


Looking for a quick and cute free pattern for a baby blanket?  Try this colourful unisex v-stitch crochet blanket!


Looking for a quick and cute free pattern for a baby blanket?  Try this colourful unisex v-stitch crochet blanket!




Check out my other completed crochet items here.

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Saturday, 11 March 2017

Daisy Crochet Easter Eggs Pattern - Hobbycraft

Following on from my last post about the multi-coloured crochet Easter eggs I designed for Hobbycraft, here is my next Easter design for them... daisies!


Use this free pattern to create cute and colourful crochet easter eggs. Multi-coloured or daisy patterned, these will look great as part of your easter decorations!

These definitely have that spring feeling!


Use this free pattern to create cute and colourful crochet easter eggs. Multi-coloured or daisy patterned, these will look great as part of your easter decorations!

Along with the other design, they are perfect for hanging off a few branches, to decorate your home for Easter...




Now that looks cheery doesn't it?!  (Even if my boyfriend questioned why eggs would be hanging from a tree...!  It just looks pretty, alright?!)

You can find the patterns on the Hobbycraft blog at the links below:

Multi-Coloured Crochet Easter Eggs
Daisy Crochet Easter Eggs

Use this free pattern to create cute and colourful crochet easter eggs. Multi-coloured or daisy patterned, these will look great as part of your easter decorations!

Which is your favourite design?  I like them both, and I especially love how they look all together, but I think the multi-coloured design wins for me.  What do you think?


Use this free pattern to create cute and colourful crochet easter eggs. Multi-coloured or daisy patterned, these will look great as part of your easter decorations!


If you have a go at making these, please let me know, as I'd love to see them!

Use this free pattern to create cute and colourful crochet easter eggs. Multi-coloured or daisy patterned, these will look great as part of your easter decorations!



Check out my other completed crochet items here and my patterns/tutorials here.


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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Multi-Coloured Crochet Easter Eggs Pattern - Hobbycraft

Well, it's finally time for me to let you know about a little project I've been working on for Hobbycraft!  I was so excited when they approached me in November to create a spring or Easter pattern for their blog.  Hobbycraft is the most well known craft shop in the UK, so I was very pleased to get involved.

Firstly, they published a 'Meet the Maker' post on their blog, all about little old me!  You can check it out here.  (Does that make me famous?!)  :)

I created a cute and colourful crochet Easter egg pattern too...



I really enjoyed making these, I just love the bright colours!



There are two variations of pattern at the sides, for the penultimate round.  A filled in look shown in the yellow on the right, or a more open patterned look shown in the blue on the left.



If you'd like to make these, you can find the pattern over on the Hobbycraft blog here.

Please let me know if you make any, as I'd love to see them!

Use this free pattern to create cute and colourful crochet easter eggs. Multi-coloured or daisy patterned, these will look great as part of your easter decorations!



Check out my other completed crochet items here.


Like what you see?  Follow me on bloglovin!


Sunday, 5 March 2017

Stash-Busting WIP-Finishing 2017 - Jan/Feb

I mentioned in a previous post that a bit of a goal I have for 2017 is to try to use crafty items from my stash, and to finish projects I've had hanging around a while.  Meanwhile, attempting not to buy more supplies unless they have an imminent purpose.

So... how did I do in January and February?


Not too badly!

STASH-BUSTING

There was the stabby granny made with very old stash.  I actually made a couple more, so I need to continue and try to turn them into a useful object!

I made a finger sloth using a pattern I bought last year and materials from my stash, with no extra purchases required.

I also made a zipped pouch using materials from my stash, again with no extra purchases required.

WIP-FINISHING

I blogged about my very long-standing WIP - the stripy blanket.  It was two-thirds through when I posted that, but I've made a bit more progress since.  I've done 4 colour stripes, of the 15 I had left to go.  Which equated to 14 rows of 60.  46 rows to go!  This is the most progress I've made on it in a long while, so - although it's not a finished WIP - I'm pleased that I've progressed with it.

PURCHASES

Did I buy anything, though?  Yes, I'm afraid I did!  However... it was for a purpose - the baby blanket for a friend's new baby.  I did not have the yarn required in my stash, so had to buy what I needed.  The blanket has been finished (in record time for the Slowy McSlow-Slow I am!) and I will show you more soon.

What I bought:

  • 7 balls of aran yarn (5 colours, 2 white).  (All used for the blanket: PASS)
  • Knitters/tapestry needles (pack of 2) - I needed some larger ones than the ones I had.  (Useful tools, rather than usable craft stash: PASS)
  • Daisy button - I was trying to break into the next postal bracket to get cheaper postage!  (Not required: FAIL - cost 26p)
Here is that naughty button - an unnecessary craft purchase!



I just better make sure I use it, eh?!

And... despite my baby blanket yarn being a "necessary" purchase, with a purpose in mind that has been fulfilled... the leftovers still add to the stash!


I am now left with the above, which I did not have before, adding to my craftroom stock.  So, now I need to try to use this up too - it's a tricky business, this stash-busting!

Check back soon to see the finished baby blanket!




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Sunday, 26 February 2017

New Project: Crochet V-Stitch Baby Blanket

I have started a new project!  And - despite my goals for a stash-busting, WIP finishing year - I have bought new yarn for it.  However, it was yarn for a purpose, rather than just to stock pile!

Let me back up... last year a friend of mine and Rob's from work (we work for the same company) announced that him and his wife were expecting a baby.  In a moment of goodwill and enthusiasm, I said that I would make a blanket for the baby.  Well, the little one arrived five weeks early on 8th February (a completely well and healthy boy weighing 7 lb 1 oz!) and was there a blanket to be seen?  No, there was not!  I can't blame the early arrival, I hadn't started or even bought yarn.

I nearly didn't bother, but after chatting to our friend I felt he actually would really appreciate the blanket, even though he didn't expect it.  So, fuelled by a big dose of my own guilt, I have been spurred into action!

Below was my inspiration, it is the border version of the wallpaper they have in their nursery.  So I wanted blue, green, orange, yellow and a soft red.


I made a yarn order late on Wednesday night from Love Knitting which arrived on Friday - lovely and quick!


I didn't get a picture before I started using the colours, as it was too dark when I got home from work on Friday.  I think the colours work - they are not as muted as the wallpaper, but I like the brightness.  I think it'll give a pop of colour, whilst coordinating with the nursery theme.  (I hope they'll agree!  It's always a bit nerve-wracking!  But without taking a swatch of wallpaper into a yarn shop, it would have been a difficult to get a perfect match... I'm actually starting to worry about whether they'll like the colours as I type this...!  Must stop worrying!)

Colours are:

Paintbox Simply Aran:
Paper White
Sky Blue
Daffodil Yellow
Mandarin Orange
Spearmint Green

Stylecraft Special Aran:
Pomegranate

I've never tried Paintbox yarns before, so I decided to give them a go after hearing good things.  I wanted a soft red, though, and they didn't seem to have what I wanted, so I went with the Stylecraft Pomegranate which I've used before and knew was the colour I was after.


I decided to go for a v-stitch design, with 6 rows of colour separated by 2 rows of white.  The red was in a bit of a shadow in this picture, it's not as deep as it looks there.  This shows it better...


Looking at that picture, I do love the colours.  I think they make a lovely cheery baby blanket.

As you can see, I am doing rather well considering I didn't get the yarn unil after work on Friday evening!  This is by far the quickest I have every progressed with any crochet blanket.  I've been working my fingers to the bone on this one - guilt will do that!


I still have plenty of ends to sew in, as you can see.  But... I have tried running the white yarn up the side of the blanket rather than cutting it off, to minimise on the ends.  I'm planning to go round the blanket with a row of white single crochet, so the white carried yarn should be hidden away.  I will let you know how it goes!

Anyway... I haven't got time for blogging - I've got to get this blanket finished!!





Check out my completed crochet items here.


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Sunday, 19 February 2017

Knitting?

If you follow this blog, you probably know me more for crocheting than anything else, although I enjoy all manner of crafty pursuits!

I've actually known how to knit for far longer than I've known how to crochet, as my Mum taught me to knit when I was a child.  You can see a few of my knitted creations in my Knitting Tab.  There are, in fact, only five that I've made since blogging!  (There is a lot more to see in my Crochet Tab.)



But do you ever get the feeling you're being pulled/pushed in a certain direction?!  I think more knitting is definitely on the cards for me!

Firstly, my boyfriend's Mum gave me a knitting machine that she refurbished for my birthday/Christmas in December.  I need to put aside some time to set it up and learn how to use it.  I haven't got a clue at present, but I'm looking forward to experimenting, once I pluck up the courage - it's a bit daunting!

Then in December I won an advent competition run by @knitcrafthq (the yarny part of Hobbycraft) on Instagram - you can follow me @dinki_dots.  I didn't actually know what the prize was going to be, until it arrived in January... an amazing set of KnitPro Symfonie knitting needles!



Now these are some fancy-pants knitting needles - they aren't cheap and they feel so smooth to the touch.  The yarn must just glide over them, I really need to get started on a knitting project to try them out!

Then... as if knitting wasn't calling my name loudly enough... my kind friend Alex of The Interior DIYer sent me this Cath Kidston knitting bag!



How gorgeous is that?!  She wasn't really using it, and felt that it would find a more useful home with me.  It was a complete surprise package to come home from work to, which was very exciting!  I was very touched and it will receive lots of love with me!  Thanks Alex!



It's such a cool bag, with the retro styling on the outside and the classic Cath Kidston florals in the lining.

Those fabulous knitting needles featured in the bag were a gift from my friend Anna for my 30th birthday seven (seven?? - how did that happen?!) years ago.  I used one of the pairs to make my knitted cowl which I have got loads of wear out of.

So, I think I can safely say I'm well kitted out for this knitting malarkey and it's about time I got my backside in gear and got on with it!





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Sunday, 12 February 2017

Zip Pouch with Neat Corners

I have a small zip pouch that I keep in my handbag, containing a few make-up supplies - powder, lip balm, lipstick.  Just to try to keep me vaguely presentable during the day!

For the last four years (nearly) I've been using this one I made.  It has held up really well despite being in constant use.  However, a month or so ago the pull on the zip broke so I decided to make a new pouch.  It was also looking a bit grubby from four years of abuse (I suppose I could have washed it....!) and, well, it's nice to have a change every now and then.

So, without further ado, here is the new pouch!


I decided to record a bit more detail this time - the measurements of the fabric, etc - in case it's useful to anyone, and in case I want to make another one in the future.


These are the pieces I used.  I had the zip in my stash, and the fabric was a gift from my friend Anna for Christmas 2015.  It is so cheerful and bright, I love it!  This project means I can enjoy it every day.


Measurements:
Lining pieces:  17cm x 15cm
Outer top pieces:  17cm x 10.5cm
Outer bottom pieces:  17cm x 6cm
Zip tabs:  1 inch x 2 inches
(Yes, that was a flagrant swapping between metric and imperial units of measurement!)
Zip:  My zip was longer than needed, so I cut it down to size by eye, lining up against the fabric.

Note:
I use the side of my sewing machine foot as my seam allowance - which is between 7 and 8 mm.  Depending on what you decide to use as a seam allowance, cut the outer pieces accordingly.  As a guide, measure as below:

Outer top pieces:  17cm x 10cm+seam allowance
Outer bottom pieces:  17cm x 5cm+seam allowance


Sew the outer pieces together, as above.  If you have a directional print, such as my top fabric, remember to ensure it is the right way round when sewing.

It is also a good idea to put your outer fabrics (once sewn together) on top of your lining fabric and if there is any difference in size, give them a little trim.

I'm not going to go into a full tutorial on resizing a zip and using zip tabs, as it has been covered online by far more skillful sewists than me (and I kind of muddled my way through!)  However, here are a few notes...


I tried something I've not done before, with regards to the zip, in an attempt to create neat corners at the top of the pouch.  It is notoriously tricky to sew a zip into a pouch without creating a lot of bulk in the corners, where the ends of the zip and lots of excess fabric seem to gather, leaving dented not-that-neat corners.

Trimming the excess zip ends off and encasing them in zip tabs helps remove bulk.  When I made the previous zip pouch, I did this.  However, I sewed the tabs into the sides of the pouch when sewing it together, which is a common method.  The corners are not the best, though, and I guess I probably should have tried to trim some of the bulk in those places after sewing together, before turning the fabric to the right side (I can't really remember what I did now!)

Old pouch - zip tabs reach to width of the pouch fabric

In fact, looking at this - I think I may not have trimmed the zip within the tabs... that would definitely have made it bulky in the corners!

I have since seen another method, where the zip tabs do not get sewn into the sides at all.  This naturally leaves less bulk, but means that there would actually be small openings in those corners.  That thought bothered me, but I thought it was time to give it a go.  Therefore you will notice that my zip - once trimmed and with tabs on - is the width of the pouch fabric, minus a seam allowance on each side.

New pouch - zip tabs do not reach to width of the pouch fabric

To make a zip tab, fold the 2 inch length in half (making it 1 inch), open it and fold both ends into the middle and fold it back in half again, giving it a good press with an iron.  Do this for both zip tabs and these little 'sandwiches' then get sewn onto the ends of the zip, trimming your zip to size as you go.  (Again, best to consult other tutorials online if you need help with this.)

Sew the outer and lining fabrics to the zip as per usual pouch making, top stitching afterwards.

Sew the pouch together as normal, leaving a 2 inch gap in the bottom of the lining for turning, and ensuring that the zip is half open.  When sewing past the zip on both sides, sew close to the tab but do not sew through it.  I also like to sew back and forth a couple of times when going past the zip, to reinforce that section.

Before turning the pouch the right way round, I trimmed down the seam allowance fabric next to the zip a bit, to help reduce bulk there.  I also trimmed down the seam allowance in the corners to help create nice pointed corners at the bottom of the pouch when turned the right way.

Once turned round, poke all the corners out neatly and carefully.  I used a crochet hook inserted into the gap in the lining, to push the corners out.  Sew the lining up by hand and press the finished pouch.


I cut out the top pieces so that I focused on different parts of the design on each side.  I love that they are different on each side!  Which side do you prefer?  (The side with the strawberries is a bit wonky as I cut lined up to the selvage which I thought would be straight... not sure what happened there, probably something I should know not to do!  For the other side I did it by eye more carefully.  But I don't really mind the wonkiness, I don't think it matters.)


So... did the zip method work to create neat corners?  I would say they are the neatest I've managed when making pouches.  And what of the openings in the corners?  Well, they are nothing to worry about!  I don't think you would realise there was a gap there without examining it, and you couldn't get anything in or out of it, so I am quite content!


This is zoomed in on one of the 'openings' (the other one is actually more tightly closed) and you can see compared to the size of my nail that it is small.  There are also no raw edges, everything is encased.  I was bothered by the idea of a gap before trying it, but I am happy with this, and would use this method again.

Wow, that was a long post - I hope it will be useful to someone out there!  (Maybe just me in the future...)


Sew a cute zip pouch with neat corners, perfect for make-up.



Check out my other sewing projects here.


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