Saturday, March 14, 2009

Get to the gym! And how I conquered the zipper

I can't believe I'm such a slacker. Wow. Ten days without a post? Where have I been?

Well, I do know that I've been at my sewing machine a bit. I am in a cool swap on Craftster (of course!) where we are creating motivational crafts to help our partner lose weight. I decided to make my sweet partner a gym bag:

It's my take on Amy Butler's Weekender, but much, much simpler. I almost tried the Weekender pattern, but almost every review I read said it was difficult, hard to follow, all the little bits drove a person crazy, etc., so I just decided to make my own.

This bag was the most difficult bag I've ever made, mostly because of the zipper. Now, I can sew zippers, but this one just had me befuddled. I wanted to install a zipper, with lining, without any seams showing. I didn't want to do a concealed top-edge zipper like this one. And most of the zipper tutorials I found had the plackets only attached on the long edges to the bag, but not on the short ends. I didn't want any gaps.

I couldn't find a tutorial on the web to describe the type I wanted, so I let it stew in my mind for a few days. Seriously, I day-dreamed about zippers and linings. My brain hurt. This tutorial, on how to install a recessed zipper, probably set my mind in the right direction.

I ended up attaching the zipper placket to the top exterior of the bag, right sides together, and treating it like an extension of the outer fabric. The placket already had both the outer fabric and the lining attached. When I sewed the exterior to the lining, all the seams (including those on the zipper and placket) were hidden! It was tricky for me, mostly because of the shape and bulk of the bag. I can honestly say I'm not in a big hurry to make another one.

I also whipped up an insulated water bottle cozy:

And a key chain to remind her to just GO to the gym. That's half the battle, right? Just getting yourself motivated to go?

My partner said she needed encouragement to bring healthy foods and snacks to work with her, so I came up with this nifty lunch kit:

The cute little bow serves to keep the contents secure, and also as a handle:

There is also a pair of adjustable inner flaps (beneath the bow) with velcro. This way, the contents can be changed up and customized.

This fits a sandwich-sized container, plus two smaller containers. I bought them at Wal-Mart for about $4. Take out one (or both) of the smaller containers, and you can add a diet soda and/or some fruit.

It's washable and reversible. The next time I make one of these, I may add a layer of PUL to help keep any condensation or leakage to a minimum.

Well, I think that's it for today. I'll have more later, as I've been busy sewing and crafting. Oh, and planning for my sweet Monkey 6's birthday party tomorrow -- he'll be 5 on Monday!
Moving update -- STILL no news. Hubby's still working out of town; he's in Texarkana now. . . . .


  1. This is fantastic Conie!!! Gosh your partner wiill be very happy I am sure...hey happy and healthy!!! YOU ROCK!

  2. you are my idol! you are so clever, you never cease to amaze me!

  3. I LOVE that lunch bag and want a few for picnics. Will you be adding some to your shop? AND wow, to be a swapper with you is a real treasure....what a lucky lady. Wanna do a swap with me sometime? :0)

  4. Thanks, guys! :) Jenn, I am planning to add them to my shop... they're so cute, and I haven't seen any like this. This sack was made from a fabric remnant (the turquoise) and the green fabric was reclaimed. Once I get them in my shop, maybe we can do a swap! ;)

  5. Oooo I love that lunchbag too - I'll be looking for those in your shop! I hope I'll need it for a job! :)

  6. This is THE BEST package! I love everything, now I'm wishing I was in this swap (and your partner)! The bag is adorable, btw.

  7. Your swap partners are sooooo lucky!!! I know because I was one! lol

    I've given you the Sisterhood blog award on my blog. Check it out!

  8. Cute stuff! I find myself saying "that's cute" then scroll down and "oh that's cute too!" scroll down "oh too cute" and on and on. I can't sew a stitch to save my life! You are so talented to just "whip up this" or "came up with" that. wonderful!


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