Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,
I gave my nieces and nephew gift cards for Christmas, but I wanted to spice them up just a little bit, so I decided to make little pouches as "wrapping" and included some lip balm in each one, too:To make these, I first used a word processor program to print out really big letters onto a piece of paper:
I then cut out a piece of "Wonder Under" which was slightly larger than my letters. (Note that "Wonder Under" is a material which may be ironed onto most fabrics to make the fabric fusible, and may be purchased at any fabric store.) I traced the letters onto the paper side of the Wonder Under *backwards*. It was helpful to place the paper and Wonder Under on a window for tracing:
Once the tracing was all done...
...I ironed the Wonder Under onto the *back* of the fabric:
I recommend holding the iron for no more than three seconds in each position while ironing the Wonder Under to the fabric; otherwise, it can be difficult to remove the paper backing later on... Cut out the letters; see how they are not backwards any more:
Remove the paper backing from the letters. If you find it difficult to get the paper to start to come off of the fabric, try stretching the fabric a little bit on the diagonal which will tear the paper and make it easier to grab. Then, iron each letter to a piece of 6"x12" bag fabric (I used denim), placing the top of the letter 1.25" from one of the 6" sides of the bag fabric. Stitch around the letter using a satin stitch (zig zag having a 0.5mm stitch length):
...and up close:
Next, install the zipper. I usually have "Make-A-Zipper" on hand, which is a roll of zipper tape having plenty of zipper "pulls" on it; I just cut the zipper to the right size, which in this case would be about 7". However, a 7" purchased zipper will work, or really any length zipper which might have been recycled from some old clothing...just as long as it won't harm your sewing machine to stitch through the zipper and you can cut off the extra length after it is sewn into the bag. Nylon zippers work great for this:
Stitch one long side of the zipper tape to one 6" end of the bag fabric with right sides together. Then, stitch the other long side of the zipper tape to the other 6" end of the bag fabric right sides together. You will now have a little tube.
Open the zipper about halfway. It is really important to do this, because otherwise you will not be able to turn your bag right side out! With right sides together, and with zipper positioned near the top of the bag, stitch along each side of the bag. (See photo above - zipper is positioned properly, and so just stitch along each side.) Then, to give the bag a little bit of depth, pull out each lower corner and stitch across forming a triangle as shown in this photo:
Here is the finished product, wrong side out.
Turn it right side out, poking corners out. Iron seams and corners as needed, add a piece of ribbon to the zipper pull...and that's it!
My nieces and nephews were finding all sorts of things to put in the bags for safe keeping, ranging from Legos to barrettes... :-)