Counting to 100 while simultaneously making masks and recording songs on the piano.
One of the group moderators in the Sew Sweetness Fans group has started a “100 Pouches in 100 Days” challenge to encourage us all to get our holiday gifts or items to sell for gifters made before the last minute. I’ve been making masks since the self-isolation began, so taking time to make one of the Sew Sweetness pouches on the approved list reduces the amount of time I have for mask making. I’ve also been taking voice lessons to prepare for singing with The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus again, and sewing means less practicing time. Not a good habit for me to get into.
The challenge began on September 1, 2020, and ends on December 9, 2020. I will be posting all the bags I make for this challenge here. I’ve posted them in chronological order, and the photos are all in a gallery at the bottom of the page. I hope you enjoy seeing these pouches. [A pouch is a small, less complicated bag. Ideally, pouches are easy and quick to make. Ideally. 🤣 Sometimes moreso than others.]
All patterns are designed by Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness.
View all the pictures.
Note: Mixed in with all the great individual pouch and bag patterns on the Sew Sweetness site, there are two pattern bundles. Called Minikins, the patterns in the bundles are quick, relatively easy projects with a minimum of bag hardware required. This makes them less expensive to sew, as the hardware is usually one of the more expensive aspects of bag making. Many of the bags being made for this challenge come from the two Minikins sets, but there are also other individual patterns that are included in the official list of patterns that meet the challenge.
Here are the Minikins contents, if you’re interested in making any of the bags I’ve made and wondered where they are on the Sew Sweetness site. I’ve included Instagram links to the many bag photos that have been posted there. Great inspiration!
Minikins Season 1 contains:
- Bellevue Pouch (3 sizes) IG Link
- Binary Pouch IG Link
- Cotton Candy Pouch (3 sizes) IG Link
- Desktop Cube (3 sizes) IG Link1/IG Link2
- Grab and Go Sleeve IG Link
- I-Spy Pouch (3 sizes) IG Link
- Jetset Cinched Bag IG Link
- Morsel Lunch Bag IG Link
- Moto Pouch (2 sizes) IG Link
- Sidewinder Pouch (3 sizes) IG Link
- Trifle Tumbler (3 sizes) IG Link
- Zeppelin Pouch IG Link
Minikins Season 2 contains:
- Bodega Grocery Bag and Produce Bag (4 sizes of produce bag) IG Link
- Charm School Wallet IG Link
- Dab Essential Oil Case (2 styles) IG Link
- Daytrip Cell Phone Bag (2 styles) IG Link
- Disco Double-Zip Pouch (2 sizes) IG Link
- Epicure Pouch IG Link
- Gloss Cosmetic Bag IG Link
- Kanga Supply Roll IG Link
- Metro Double-Zip Pouch (3 sizes) IG Link
- Picnic in the Park Cooler IG Link
- Sewing Room Stand IG Link
- Turnpike Convertible Wallet IG Link
- Vacation Packing Cubes (4 sizes) IG Link
A couple more notes:
I buy most of my zippers from ZipIt on Etsy.
I love using “Handmade” or “Handcrafted” zipper pulls to make them easier to open. The ones I like the most are from Emmaline Bags in Alberta, Canada. It takes a little longer to order them as they must come through customs, but the quality make it worth the wait.
On the last four bags, double zip bags, I used a zipper pull on each zipper. I bought the lobster claw clasps and jump rings from Emmaline, and Becky went to JoAnn’s or Michael’s a similar store and bought a charm for each bag with the giftee’s initial. Cool!
These are the small, medium, and large versions of the Persimmon Dumpling Pouch. The exterior fabric on all three is from Richloom Fabrics’ RV line of fabrics, designed by my nextdoor neighbor for use in upholstery in RVs. Number 1 was made 9/3; Number 2 on 9/4; Number 3 on 9/4.
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A Vacation Packing Cube made for my youngest grandchild, who lives in Amarillo with her mom and—very soon—her stepdad (my son), and two Chihuahuas. The fabric is “Picket Fence Pups” from the Whiskers & Tails collection by Bob Bowdige for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. The lining is also from Robert Kaufman’s Whiskers & Tails, “Dog Words” in Natural. Pouch finished on 9/5.
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I thought my granddaughter would like the I-Spy pouch to keep her school supplies together. The pouch has a vinyl insert on the front, allowing the use to see what’s inside. There was a problem in its construction that made me feel it wasn’t good enough to gift, so I kept it for myself. It sits by one of my sewing machines, holding large spools of thread. It’s made of a lovely cork fabric that Sara Lawson sells in her online shop. The lining is from Robert Kaufman’s Whiskers & Tails collection, “Dog Words” in Natural. Pouch finished on 9/7.
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Before I started the 100 Pouches challenge, I had made a Vacation Packing Cube for myself, in hopes that someday we’ll be able to travel again, sans Covid-19. I love these cat fabrics that are part of the Whiskers & Tails collection for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. The first one I made was size Large. This is size Medium, and in a different colorway. There is also a version with a pink background. It appears to be sold out everywhere that stocked it. If I can find a half yard of it, I will make a third pouch to complete the set.The designer of these darling adorned cats is the brilliant artist Neiko Ng. Pouch finished on 9/27.
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A pattern I had not made before is the Disco Double-Zip Pouch. Two things about this make: 1) I didn’t realize the fabric was a Christmas Cat print. I thought it was only a Cat print. So I thought no one would buy a Christmas fabric to use year around and it was therefore not suitable to put in my Etsy shop. I have since changed my mind on that issue. 2) The way the zippers are put in the top is narrow strips on the outsides and a wider strip in the center. Oops. I put the wider strip on one of the outsides and a narrow strip in the middle. Again, I thought everyone would see that error and the bag wasn’t good enough to sell. When I posted the photo on the Sew Sweetness Fans Facebook page, several people said they couldn’t see the narrow vs. wide error, so—again—I’m changing my mind and posting it on Etsy. Pouch finished on 10/2.
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Another pattern I hadn’t made before—the Moto pouch—is like a half a Disco Double-Zip Pouch. Since I had just finished the Disco, this was an easy make for me. Pouch started on 10/3; realized I didn’t have enough of the lining fabric. Ordered on 10/3. I had bought the lining fabric at Interquilten, a LQS that used to be located in Interlochen, Michigan, about two miles from Interlochen Center for the Arts, my happy place. A couple of years ago they moved into Traverse City, across Airport Road from the mall. I’m sure they get much more traffic there than they did so far from the city. But I bought it back in around 2014, so it was no longer in stores. But that’s the beauty of Etsy fabric vendors. They buy their stock when it first comes out, and you’re frequently able to find new old fabric when you run out of something you love. Mine came, I finished the pouch, and the date was October 14.
Another Vacation Packing Cube for me. Like Pouch 6, only in the pink colorway and size small. I especially love the black polka dots on white ground. It makes me wish I had done the large and medium with polka dots. Ah, I’m sure I’ll find another pouch to use that idea on. Now to get vaccinations and be able to travel again. Finished at the end of October.
A Persimmon Dumpling Pouch in of a gorgeous melange of colors. I really am such a fabric freak. (There’s another term that’s used, but this is a family-friendly space.) I bought this Allison Glass fabric for a Rockstar Bag sewalong. Don’t look for the blog post about it; I haven’t finished it yet! The exterior fabric is Lilliput and the color is Sunset. The lining fabric is Starfish and the color is Ocean. Finished November 4.
The Metro Double-Zip Pouch is one of my favorite patterns. I wish I knew how many of them I have made—I’m sure the number is at least 30. (Here’s the post from when I first started making them.) My daughter-in-law and her [10yo] baby girl, whom I refer to as “Miss C”, were in town for three weeks to help my son prepare to move to Amarillo to finally get to live with his wife. I was excited when Miss C asked for a sewing date with me to make a bag for herself. The day before our date, I had a Covid exposure scare, so cancelled the date, but set up a page where she could choose the fabric she wanted. She chose two fabrics the Tula Pink “Zuma” collection. The exterior fabric is “High Tide” in Aquamarine. The lining is “Tower 7″ in Aquamarine. I added ½” to the width of the pouch to make sure the main part of the bag would hold her phone with its chunky, blingy case. And she requested a crossbody strap. I made both the crossbody and the wristlet straps so she’ll have more flexibility when she uses the bag. I was in such a hurry to get the bag to them before they left to return home to Amarillo that I forgot to take photos. Thanks to Miss C’s mama for snapping the pics for me. Finished November 15.
This is technically number 12, as it’s a pouch and it was just barely within the date range for the 100 days, but I didn’t post it as such in the Sew Sweetness Facebook group or on Instagram. This was a gift for my nextdoor neighbor’s birthday. If I chose who I wanted to be my closest neighbor from all the people in the world, I couldn’t have chosen a nicer family than they. She is a textile designer and shares her samples with me, her husband and my Spousal Equivalent enjoy doing projects together, and their son is a budding violinist whom I love to hear practice across our backyards. This bag is the Bello Pouch, which is a new pattern in 2020 for designer Sara Lawson. There are three sizes, and this is medium. I can’t wait to make a size large in some of my neighbor’s yummiest of faux leathers. This beautiful batik in the sweetest of pastels is one of my favorite fabrics from my stash. I saw it on a website somewhere in the past eighteen months, and have been petting it as frequently as possible until I could find just the right pattern. I was happy to cut into it for this Bello. The lining fabric is another batik. It sorta looks like rice in the color salmon or tangerine. Love this pouch and will make many more. Finished December 10. Here’s the Instagram link so you can see more examples of the Bello
I was now past the ending date of the 100 days, and I was nowhere near the magic number. But I had had fun. And I did a couple of other sewing projects along the way, as well as recording a bunch of tracks for my students to sing to in their juries (final exams for applied music students). I made some masks and I started piecing a quilt top in a quiltalong. Oh, and I learned how to play for a Catholic mass, which I subsequently did on Christmas Eve. (I grew up in the Seventh-day Adventist church, and we didn’t have a liturgy, so the roadmap for such a service is foreign to me.)
One day, a few days into December, I received a text from Becky, the mother of one of my favorite students, a young woman with a lovely voice and a friendly and loving nature. Becky asked if I could make four bags for her to give as Christmas gifts—one for my student, one for the student’s two grandmas, and one for her to keep for herself. I was in the middle of mask-making at that moment, so I pointed her to the page of fabric choices I had created for Miss C so Becky could shop my stash. Luckily for me, she loved the Metro Double Zip. (When made without that extra center snap pocket, it’s a very simple and quick sew. I would have no problem getting these done before Christmas.) She looked at the photo of Tula Pink’s at-that-time latest collection, Linework, and was drawn to the Hexy fabric. I had the Hexy in color “Ink.” She looked at the little hexagons and decided she wanted each bag to have a different color lining, matched to one of hexagons. She requested purple, yellow, light green, and pink. I searched Tula Pink’s fabrics online and found her “Mineral” design. I was able to order a bundle (a half yard of each color in the line) from an Etsy shop and chose four colors to use for linings. I placed a big order from my favorite zipper store, ZipIt on Etsy. (Zippers purchased in bulk from an Etsy shop usually means a 75% savings over walking into JoAnn Fabrics for your zippers. Just a tip.) I was able to finish the pouches and deliver them on the day before Christmas Eve. A week later, I received a text from my student, thanking me for making the bag for her and saying she’d think of me each time she used it. ❤️ Finished December 23.
There’s a whole other story about damaging my 2019 Acura RDX as I was attempting to find Becky’s office in the dark on one of the shortest days of the year. I thought I couldn’t have done much damage as I rolled over the edge of and onto a large landscape boulder. When I took it into the dealer the week after Christmas, they put it up on the lift and said there was damage to the passenger-side doors and a smidge of damage to the undercarriage. The next week, I took it to the USAA-recommended local body shop. The initial estimate was $2450 (with a $250 deductible for me to pay). They scheduled the repair to begin a week later, 2/11. When they did their look-see at the car upon my arrival, they noticed a problem they hadn’t seen before, and increased the estimate to $2600. Enterprise brought me a sweet little BMW 330i to drive for what I thought would be two or three days. The next day my body shop contact called me and said once his people had it on the lift, they saw damage to the rocker arm. The estimate had just shot up to $6000. Thankfully, I have very good insurance with USAA. But I’m thinking my rates may go up after this fiasco. Oh, and that sweet little BMW? I’m going to have it until February 5! 😲
This Moto started before the 100-day clock started ticking, but I was short on lining fabric, and it took a month or more for the fabric to arrive. So I haven’t considered it in the count, but wanted you to see it. For me, the Moto lining is difficult to machine-sew into place. But I love handsewing, and will keep making this pouch for the sheer luxury of spending quiet time with a pretty bag and a sharp needle.