Handmade Holidays | Zip Pouch

Welcome to the Handmade Holidays on Buttons Galore! For the next 3 days, we’ll be joining in by sharing ideas for handmade Christmas gifts using – of course – buttons!

HANDMADE HOLIDAYS hop - HORIZONTALOur handmade gift project today is a handy little zippered notions bag that is perfect for the sewing enthusiast or frequent traveler in your life! It’s made from a pattern called Everyday Zips by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Company that is available online or at a local quilt store (which is where I got mine).

Zippered Notions Bag


One of the most underestimated tasks in the success of a sewing project may be the selection of fabric. Just choose colors you like, right? Not exactly. Color, pattern, and other choices can make the difference between a project you are happy with and one that just isn’t satisfying.

Notions tote under construction

On this project, the pattern called for the body of the bag to be a neutral colored lightweight canvas. But I had found this neutral background vintage sewing themed quilt fabric that I was in love with at my local quilt store. This project seemed like a great excuse to use it! Plus, since this is a “notions tote”, the fabric would reinforce the theme.

I also chose a light color for the interior (not seen here) – an ivory tone on tone chevron design.

For the contrast panel, I chose the black rulers to pull the black out of the background and reinforce the sewing notions theme. That left me the prairie points to decide on. Red, white and black is a classic vintage color scheme, and so it seemed the natural answer here.

But as you can see above during construction, the red is incredibly stark against all that neutral. To me, it made the design look off balance. That’s where the buttons come in! By putting a row of red buttons above the zipper, it balances out the red prairie points and mutes their visual aggressiveness somewhat. And, as a bonus, the buttons add to the sewing theme!

Sometimes color choices make practical sense too. The pattern called for the strap to be the same color as the prairie points but I thought that would be too bold. The best alternative was to use the black ruler fabric, as it is the least likely of the fabrics that I was using to show dirt from while I was handling it.

Even the zipper color choices can make a night and day difference. I really could have used black or natural for either of the zippers. I could have positioned them so the zipper contrasted with the surrounding background, or so that the zipper blended with the background. But I’m well aware that sewing zippers isn’t my most proficient sewing skill. By choosing zipper colors that blend with the fabric around the zipper, I provided a bit of camouflage for any wonky sewing of the zippers. Choosing a contrasting color for the zippers would have the opposite effect: highlighting any errors on the zipper.

One thing that I made sure to avoid on a project like this that had tons of straight seams? Fabric that had stripes or other straight lines in the pattern (such as dots arranged in neat lines) was a no-no. Straight lines in the fabric would only highlight any errors in getting my pieces cut square or sewn straight. The ruler fabric does have straight lines but they are somewhat rough and not continuous so the pattern was workable.

Since the project is mostly just straight seams, sewing the zippers are the most challenging parts of making this tote. While I admit that zippers aren’t my best talent, I do have one secret weapon:

Zipper Foot

This is the zipper foot on my sewing machine. While it is possible to sew zippers without them, the zipper foot makes it infinitely easier. Having the right tools is often half the battle in producing a quality result. If you are going to sew a zipper, I highly recommend that you invest a few dollars in a zipper foot for your machine. You won’t regret it!

Now, to the blog hop…

Did I mention there are fabulous prizes?


We are having a giveaway of over $600 in craft supplies to help you make this holiday handmade! Enter to win using the widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to all of the sponsors of the hop and giveaway!


HANDMADE HOLIDAYS SPONSORSThanks for stopping by, and make sure to use the widget below to visit the other hop participants!


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Nancy Nally

Nancy Nally is the social media manager of Buttons Galore, and the owner of Nally Studios LLC., which publishes ScrapbookUpdate.com and CraftCritique.com.


46 Responses to Handmade Holidays | Zip Pouch

  1. Karly Mauldin November 6, 2015 at 9:41 AM #

    This bag is so creative! I collect buttons and this company is awesome!

  2. Debbie Whitmore November 6, 2015 at 11:11 AM #

    Thank you so much for this inspiration. I love totes and bags of any kind.

  3. Nancy Nally November 6, 2015 at 11:12 AM #

    Make sure you come back again on Sunday, then! ;-)

  4. Susan L. November 6, 2015 at 12:24 PM #

    Adorable pouch. Love those colors and the triangle tabs! Thanks!

  5. Jennifer Priest November 6, 2015 at 12:37 PM #

    What a fun project! I love the little fabric points on there. Great tutorial!

  6. Cathy Homan November 6, 2015 at 3:37 PM #

    Not a sewer – but looks like a fun project. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Laura November 6, 2015 at 5:26 PM #

    I love your fabric and embellishment choices. Thanks for letting us in to your head about choices you made that resulted in a better bag. Zippers are a challenge for me.

  8. Marisela November 6, 2015 at 5:30 PM #

    Me ha encantado su proyecto, yo también podré usar unas telas que tengo esperando algo así, gracias por la inspiración.

  9. Roberta Birnbaum November 6, 2015 at 6:30 PM #

    Love this pouch, Nancy

  10. Jean Bullock November 6, 2015 at 7:53 PM #

    Wonderful gift. Makes me want to get out my old sewing machine and see if it still works. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  11. Karen Osborne November 6, 2015 at 8:31 PM #

    How easy, I really should do more with my sewing machine. This would be a fun gift.

  12. Chris November 7, 2015 at 12:36 AM #

    I love your pouch. I have finished 3 quilts, 3 to go but I might make 2 or 3 of these as well.

  13. TracyM #6773 November 7, 2015 at 3:32 AM #

    PRETTY & PRACTICAL gift :)
    THANK YOU for sharing your tutorial too, I appreciate all the tips!!!

  14. Виктория Юрьевна November 7, 2015 at 5:26 AM #

    Красивая ткань!

  15. Cathleen Yahn November 7, 2015 at 8:40 AM #

    Love how you made the zippered bag; I however am not a great sewer so I used a premade zippered bag and decorated it. Thank you Happy Crafting

  16. Janelle Rourke November 7, 2015 at 10:20 AM #

    Cute bag ! Will make an awesome gift. Thanks for sharing and for the opportunity to win!

  17. Patricia B November 7, 2015 at 10:35 AM #

    Super cute idea! Buttons are my life!! lol Okay not my life, although I truly love them!!!

  18. Nichole Harrison November 7, 2015 at 10:39 AM #

    My girls will love one of these!

  19. jen November 7, 2015 at 11:12 AM #

    I made a handful of zipper pouches last year as gifts. they were so well received. I may have to make some more. :) Thanks for sharing!

  20. Rhonda Gillette November 7, 2015 at 11:14 AM #

    What a cute Bag. Love the fabric choice and buttons. : )

  21. Pam Hall November 7, 2015 at 11:19 AM #

    Absolutely adore this little pouch and have friends who would love it, too!

  22. beth November 7, 2015 at 11:33 AM #


  23. judi November 7, 2015 at 12:23 PM #

    Love these ideas

  24. Stacee November 7, 2015 at 12:24 PM #


  25. Heidi November 7, 2015 at 1:08 PM #

    Pretty! Love the fabric and color combo.

  26. Linda Storey November 7, 2015 at 2:45 PM #

    Great project. I LOVE buttons!

  27. Lora November 7, 2015 at 2:49 PM #

    Tooo cute….

  28. aj November 7, 2015 at 4:40 PM #

    What an adorable little stuff bag! I can’t wait to get our sewing machine up and running again, so I can start making fun gifts like this for Giftmas!

  29. Maggie M November 7, 2015 at 4:42 PM #

    I love the fabric used for the carryall! It’s perfect! Great Christmas idea for those who are always searching their purse for makeup:)

  30. Theresa November 7, 2015 at 6:01 PM #

    What I love about this project is that I could use up a lot of my scrap fabric.

  31. Carol Mina November 7, 2015 at 6:55 PM #

    Fabric makes this project interesting.

  32. Jan November 7, 2015 at 7:06 PM #

    Thank you for the great tutorial and ideas and the chance for some crafting loot!

  33. Emma Farley November 7, 2015 at 8:17 PM #

    That’s fabulous. Love the fabrics!

  34. Karrie November 7, 2015 at 10:01 PM #

    The buttons add a fun look to this pouch. Thanks for the inspiration.

  35. Vinita Jain November 7, 2015 at 11:52 PM #

    Wow, I haven’t seen this type of creation before! Love this zipper oriented creation and how to do! Thanks for sharing!

  36. Diana S. November 8, 2015 at 7:53 AM #

    I love this bag, it’s a great idea and so cute. thanks for being part of the blog hop.

  37. Jan E November 8, 2015 at 11:15 AM #

    Wow, I just finished a sample zip bag using vinyl fuse and a cat food bag. Now I have even more motivation with your ideas! Yikes, I am already behind!

  38. barb macaskill November 8, 2015 at 11:19 AM #

    So many awesome creations on this hop!!!! LOVELOVELOVE it!!! TFS!

  39. wanda November 8, 2015 at 2:47 PM #

    cute bag.

  40. Katie B. November 8, 2015 at 7:11 PM #

    Awesome idea! Would love to try to make this! :) Thanks for sharing.

    Katie B.

  41. Janis in ID November 9, 2015 at 12:05 AM #

    What a wonderful project! Love the choice of patterns and colors. Also, love that you have two zippered parts. Terrific sewing!
    <3 J

  42. karen sabin November 9, 2015 at 6:59 AM #

    I love this tote

  43. Arianna Barbara November 9, 2015 at 11:10 AM #

    Thank you for this amazing giveaway!!!!

  44. Sue D November 9, 2015 at 2:05 PM #

    Fabulous–I like the fabrics and the buttons are the perfect embellishment.

  45. Halina November 9, 2015 at 4:32 PM #

    Super project. Thanks for the chance to win.

  46. Anne December 18, 2015 at 5:44 PM #


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