Crystal Clear Zipper Bags

It’s no joke that I’ve been on a hardware buying binge. Unfortunately, I have no real place to store my new goodies, so it was really just piling up on my table (overflowing a box). That is until I saw Katie’s post on Instagram about these cute zippered pouches from Sewn Ideas – and I knew I had to try it. It did not disappoint.

Originally, I set out to make one small and one large – only to discover that the small is really too small for my needs (it does fit all my rainbow hardware that I’ve been accumulating, though). I also made a few modifications to the pattern along the way so I thought I would point out what I did, just incase you decide to try this for yourself.

First off, “fabric”. While I have plenty of vinyl on hand, I did not have the right gauge for the clear vinyl (I had 12, not 20 on hand and my local store did not have it in stock when I looked), but went with it anyway. It worked, but I wonder about the integrity of this part over time, especially since I’ve stuffed it quite generously. If I was giving these as gifts, I would definitely go with the higher gauge, not just for stability, but because it feels more substantial too. My vinyls are both very different from each other as well, the shiny “reptile” prints are much thinner and more pliable while the printed “What We Do in the Shadows” design is very beefy. It didn’t effect how they sewed in the machine (they both stitch like butter!), but I did modify how I worked with them (more on that later).

I also discovered I really needed double sided (sewing) tape for the zipper. I couldn’t find mine (it’s apparently lost with my Wonder Clips that have gone AWOL), so I improvised. First I used spray baste… I don’t really recommend this. While it worked to keep the zipper in place, it made the backside too tacky and harder to run through the machine. The next time around I used painters tape. It helped, but still not the same. The moral of the story? Just get the double sided tape for this section, but in a pinch, try painters tape.

Now about how I modified that pattern: The instructions call for you to fold under the exterior edges of the vinyl when sewing the front and back together. I’m assuming this is done so that you get “clean” edges, but I just found this cumbersome… and thick (especially when it came to the printed vinyl which is much heavier)… and not very fun. So, I skipped it. Vinyl it doesn’t fray and since I cut my edges with a rotary cutter, they are already very smooth. If you were very concerned about keeping your edges straight, you could always use a slightly larger seam allowance and then even it out with a rotary cutter.

Overall, I loved this pattern. It was fun and easy and looks great in the end…. Plus it gave me the excuse to use some pretty zippers and pulls and fun sewing string. I might even make these as gifts this Christmas!