Artsy Zipper Pouches Galore

Who would have thought that a week of jury-duty waiting would turn out to be the beginning of a month-long creative adventure?

At the end of last year I was called for jury duty. I checked my status online twice a day, knowing I could be called to court at any moment. I couldn’t make any plans, but had to keep my mind and hands busy. So I started working on small, non-committal stitch meditations. I made three, and on Friday, the very last day, was ready to start the fourth. But then something strange happened.

I looked over the small piles of scraps I had arranged by color on my cutting table. I tried to decide which color pallet to choose for the next textile sketch. My eyes kept going to the fuchsia/purple pile (you might know by now that purple is my favorite color).

When I started selecting pieces, though, I realized that I had a little rebellion on my hands. The magenta scraps simply didn’t want to become a 5-inch-square textile collage. Instead, they insisted on becoming an artsy zippered pouch.

There really wasn’t much I could do.

I just happened to have a long strip of very thin, white cotton fabric that I didn’t know what to do with. Hannah gave it to me when I volunteered at FabMo several weeks before. I took it out and cut a piece, then divided it in two and started playing.

I selected a perfect zipper from my collection.

And found a matching, luxurious-feeling lining in my stacks:

It took a few hours, but by the end of the work day I had a wonderful little clutch:

I loved everything about it! A tactile bonanza, it combined lots of different textures in beautifully-matching colors. It was fun to touch and to hold, and so I adopted it for myself.

Once it was complete, I couldn’t help but see those scraps on my table in an entirely new light! Soon, that little pouch became the beginning of a new series, followed by more textile collages:

I sewed each with three different colors of thread, to blend the color of the different pieces together and add some visual interest:

I matched them with the most beautiful linings I could find, some cotton brocades, some silk:

When I finished them, I made custom zipper pulls out of my selection of wooden beads. These added even more color and zest:

Over the following month, I made twenty eight scrap collages, which turned into fourteen artsy zipper pouches.

They were the ultimate autumn sewing.

They were delightful.

And they made perfect holiday gifts for some of the special women in my life!

Want to make your own artsy pouch? I have a detailed tutorial in my Etsy shop! Don’t feel like matching fabrics yourself? I’ve got you covered with a ready-to-sew Textile Collage Zipper Kit!

When you sew your own, make sure to show me pictures 🙂

6 thoughts on “Artsy Zipper Pouches Galore

    • No seams. The composition is raw-edge applique, with zigzag stitches all around. There’s also a web of straight stitches to hold it more firmly together (and add visual interest).

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