Not Quite A Holiday!

Today Peter and I were supposed to be going on holiday but things didn’t quite go to plan. This morning, just as I was doing my packing (I always do it as late as possible) the telephone rang. It was the company we were due to travel with ringing to tell us that, due to last night’s rough weather, our ship was still in Ireland. Our cruise would therefore set sail 24 hours later than scheduled. Oh well, these things happen.

The question was what to do with the spare day. Well, the answer to that was easy as I had hoped to make a zip-top bag to take with me on holiday but had not had time to do it.

I knew the various elements that I wanted to include in the bag but it had been taking me a while to figure out exactly how to go about it. This was partly because I am very inexperienced at inserting zips and had been feeling a little apprehensive about tackling one. However, this morning my brain was obviously on excellent form as I knew how I wanted to construct the interior of the bag which then led to me having a bright idea about how to shape the exterior.

Of course, I set about making the bag in my usual haphazard way! I had cut the fabric for the outside of the bag earlier in the week then, this morning, I grabbed some fabric for the inside and set to work. 

I began by taking the fabric for the outside, which I was keeping in one piece, and decided how deep I wanted the outside pocket to be. I pinned the pocket in place and attached the lace along the edge. The next step was stitching the zip in place. I was using a zip that I already had but which was three or four inches too long – well, there’s no sense in making things too easy! When I had attached the zip to one side of the bag and interior, I top stitched it to keep it neat. 

Next came construction of the interior pockets. This was much simpler than I had originally thought it would be. I folded the fabric and put a row of stitching about 1/8″down from the fold and repeated that process for the second divider. I sewed a double row of stitching to make two different sized pockets between the two dividers. At this point I discovered that my piece of fabric for inside was not long enough so I had to use another piece that I had earmarked for another bag. I used this second piece for the lining on one side of the bag when I attached the zip to the second side. I even remembered to leave the zip part-open!

Probably because I didn’t follow a pattern and because I didn’t measure or plan properly, I found it quite difficult to work out exactly how to achieve the effects I wanted. I made three main mistakes during construction:

  • I stitched across the closed end of the zip although I had actually decided to have some of the excess length hanging outside the bag;
  • I made a bit of a hash of sewing the side seams. I did not want the bag to be flat but initially I stitched a straight seam rather than stitching at an angle;
  • When I was sewing the two sides together at the bottom of the lining, I sewed it the wrong way out.
Luckily, I noticed all of those errors before they caused any major problems and was able to put them right.
All in all, I am pleased with how the bag turned out. I am fairly certain that it will be perfect for the job for which it has been made.

The bag was made using:
New furnishing fabric for the outer @ £1.00 per metre = approximately 25pence;
Part of a new ‘second quality’ sheet that I was given by Toni = no cost;
Piece of cotton lace from a length that I was given by Christina = no cost;
Previously used blue zip given to me by a person unknown = no cost;
Thread I received from Val [I think it had belonged to her aunt] = no cost.
Total capital outlay on project = approximately 25pence.
It’s not quite a holiday but it sure is good value!
See you when I get back from Norway.


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