A Potato Chip Thing

Are you a pouch person? Generally speaking, it seems like people love pouches and in terms of sewing, they may be a potato chip thing. Make one. Make many.

The bag on the left features in today's video on my YouTube channel about how to get neat, square zipper tabs. The fabric is made using a similar method to the bags on the right which are the focus of this post. Both utilized already fused bits left over from a textile art piece.

1/2" fused fabric strips and two backgrounds to build purse parts

The last two bags made from these scraps used bigger random shapes. For this one... which eventually became two... I wanted to try something different so I started by cutting the fabrics into 1/2" strips. When I decided to allow the background to show, I chose this batik print as a base. It was also in the original art piece and went with the scraps.

1/2" fabric strips being fused to background working from the center out and making two

To make sure I'd have enough for each background piece, I worked back and forth adding first to one and then to the other, starting from the middle and working toward the edges. If I ran out of strips before the end, at least the placement would be even.

Two backgrounds covered with 1/2" fused fabric scraps to be used for pouches

When the strips were fused to both pieces, I started playing with ideas for the shape of the bag but the size was either too small or too big. I didn't want to add to or take away from so instead, I decided to make two pouches and explore different choices for each one. They ended up turquoise and orange. Both were layered with batting before adding anymore details which were stitched through all layers.

Two small zipper pouches one with turquoise and one with orange

With the turquoise pouch, I used turquoise coloured thread to add rows of zigzag stitching over the edges of the fused bits in a horizontal direction and then rows of straight stitching in a vertical direction. Both were spaced the distance of the presser foot. I then added a row of straight stitching using an olive coloured thread vertically and horizontally centered between the previous rows of stitching. The zipper and lining of this pouch are turquoise.

With the orange bag. I used a purple-grey coloured thread to make vertical and horizontal rows of zigzag stitching presser foot distance apart and then added horizontal rows of straight stitching with an orange coloured thread. The zipper and lining of this pouch are orange.

details of zipper and bottom corners on two separate scrap fabric pouches

With both of the pouches, the edges of the fused strips are raw. Even though the stitching and the fusible web are keeping them somewhat secure, they will fray and soften over the time giving the pouches an increasingly soft and tactile feel.

Side view of two scrap fabric pouches

The boxed corners are made using the technique I talked about in last week's video where I roll the seam to make sure it's sitting correctly, cover it with a pressing cloth, warm it with the iron, and then use a household hammer to reduce the bulk and create a crisp edge.

Small plate of remaining fused fabric scraps

This is all I had left and since I don't keep miniscule amounts, I decided to move them along and then I came across an idea for fabric beads that would have used them. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not because now I'm seeing potential in even smaller bits and figuring out how to save them too even though I am already feeling overwhelmed by scraps and trying to figure out that storage system. I think these could go in a jar.

On top of that, I've started another bag from scraps that I would have considered useless years ago and it's creating even more miniscule scraps that - sigh - are now useful. I may need to be rescued from my stash. Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - free projects, endless ideas.