Friday, June 14, 2013

McCall's 6256 view C done: The 7 hour zipper pouch

Thanks for your comments on my last post.  I wound up going with mystery project #6 from my last post (and also did one mending of #5, many more pieces to go!)'s my second round at zipper pouches.  It's McCall's 6256 view C.
Is it possible to be in love with a zipper pouch?  I think it is.

It took me 7 hours, because I did a lot of ripping out and redoing.  I think I could sew it again in 3 hours or less.  So below is how I finally figured out how to do this pouch and make it look good.  (also next time I will serge raw edges and maybe interface the exterior like I was supposed to...and also sew the label on the inside first before doing anything else)

Here's the pattern, I made view C, which comes in two sizes, large and small.  I made the large.

McCalls' 6256
I am in love with the zipper tabs. I had to make them larger, though, as the tabs with the pattern were skimpy! (I cut mine 3.5" tall by 2.25" wide, then folded under with .5" SA, then fold in half again to "wrap" around the zipper and sew down.  For centering the words, I made sure to center on the top half of the tab).  Also, note that you cannot sew over a metal zipper.  Ask me how I know (as Jennifer Stern would say).
McCall's 6256 view C done!
Here's an in-progress pic of the zipper tabs:
McCall's 6256 in progress
Here's the back of the bag.
McCall's 6256 view C done!
Here's a view from the top:
McCall's 6256 view C done!

So....unlike other zipper pouches where it's sewn by making a zipper sandwich (where the zipper is sewn in between the exterior and interior fabric), I followed the directions in which the lining is sewn to the exterior fabric, right sides together, so that upper edge has, like, a lip.  In this pic, the top edge and corners are sewn together, right sides together, flipped out and ironed:
McCall's 6256 in progress
Then, that lip is sewn onto the zipper, which means the zipper tape is visible from the inside of the pouch. I thought that was going to bother me, but it doesn't. I used a size 16 jeans needle since the interior fabric is denim, and the zipper tape is pretty thick.

The pattern calls for a 12" zip but they didn't have one so I bought the 14" zip and cut it down. Then I used wonder tape to "attach" the upper edge of the pouch right up against the zipper teeth instead of pinning. Wonder tape is amazing for this. This zipper is a meaty Coats and Clark "designer metal zipper" from Joann's. It's such a fat zipper that the fabric is not going to get caught in the teeth, so placing the fabric right against the teeth was no problem.

I used my overcasting foot, using the right side of my foot as a guide, butting it right up against the fabric edge:.  This worked well since the right side of the foot was on the metal zipper teeth. (When I initially tried this step, er, several times, I used my zipper foot which was terrible, the fabric got all wavy and crumpled looking underneath and I ripped it out and tried again and again.  The overcasting foot plus using a size 16 denim needle took care of that, I think because the teeth are so thick, they acted as support for the foot instead of getting in the way. Also as I sewed I would occasionally raise the zipper foot to neaten the fabric, that helped too and the end result does not look wavy.)
I used my edgestitching foot, but butted the side of the foot against the fabric
When I got to the zipper pull, I lifted my presser foot with the needle still in the fabric, turned the fabric ALL the way around (well, 180 degrees) and was able to somewhat easily slide the zipper stop out of the way. That was somewhat of an epiphany moment, as just lifting the presser foot and trying to slide the zipper stop back wasn't working, it's again, a very thick zipper with a thick zipper pull.  Then I rotated the fabric back to where it was and was able to finish topstitching.
This was the most clever way of attaching the lining to the exterior fabric:
clever way to join lining to the exterior fabric
It's step 10 and I totally didn't think it would work.  I trusted the instructions and voila, it worked!

In the finished product, you can see the lining from the outside...because it's not a zipper sandwich. But somehow I'm ok with this too.
McCall's 6256 view C done!
The inside is super cool, isn't it?
I sewed on a tag bought long ago...and made me laugh!  Sadly I forgot til the pouch was all done, so it's actually sewn on through both layers.  Oh, and I attached the label with wonder tape first before stitching so it wouldn't shift around.   Here you can see really well how the zipper tape is visible from the interior, but it looks pretty cool, methinks.
McCall's 6256 view C done!
The tabs can be tucked in, but I prefer them out.
McCall's 6256 view C done!
Tucked in
McCall's 6256 view C done!
Not tucked in.
My two main gripes with the pattern were:
McCall's didn't provide the full front pattern piece! Why not provide the full pattern piece to make it easier for centering?? Note also that on the fabric, the word Manhattan was not centered over the blue and orange subway lines. I decided to center the front over the subway lines instead of the word.
come on McCall's!
Also those zipper tabs were really skimpy (they're in the pic on the right, above), so I enlarged them like I said earlier. Also the width of my zipper is probably larger than a regular zip that was supposed to be used.

Ok, I am so smitten with this pouch, I brought it to work and showed everyone.  I was carrying it around like a 5 year old with a blanket. Or like I was a 5 year old at show and tell.
It is pretty big and it holds a wide variety of stuff:
McCall's 6256 view C done!
I'm writing this post Thursday night but am scheduling it to post on Friday.  That's because I'm giving it to velosewer on Friday while she is visiting NYC. Back in January she sent me two zipper pouches when I was initially into my zipper pouch woes and now I'm returning the favor with this one.  I'm really excited that an Australian is meeting up with me in NYC!!  She has commented on almost every one of my posts for at least a year and a half now, so how cool is that?

Anyhoo, I'm trying not become too attached to this pouch. I will make myself one very very soon!!   And this success has reignited my drive to sew again, yay!

The exterior fabric, by the way, is from The City Quilter in NYC, and was designed for their store and cannot be bought elsewhere.  When I was there with Antoinette in May, I meant to buy some but got distracted.  So I bought it on their website.  I also wanted the laminated version but didn't see it on their site 2 weekends ago--it turns out it *is* on their site.  I hope to go get some of the laminate in person tmw!!

The interior is green denim from Joann's, a longtime resident of my stash.

Here are last week's Princeton Farmers Market flowers:
Farmer's Mkt flowers, 6/6/13
Be well!


  1. That fabric is so awesome. Velosewer will be delighted to get that bag. Nice job Kyle.

  2. What a wonderful gift. You did a great job making the pouch and I am sure she will be thrilled to have it.

  3. Way to zip through this project.
    I was thinking of turning one of our airplane sectionals into fabric via Spoonflower. I love the subway fabric except -- I've never ridden a subway in my entire life. I have, however, ridden the high speed train in Sweden - does that count?

  4. Totally nice gift! I love that fabric.

  5. Love your bag! And I'm definitely going to buy some metres of that fabric in my trip to New York City.

    Regards from Catalonia, the next state in Europe.

    Esther Lara

  6. When I saw the fabric in an earlier post, I was going to comment, "I don't remember you buying that when we went to City Quilter"! LOL I'm sure Velosewer loved the pouch -- great lining color. This big bloggy world is so cool.

  7. Wow, that is such a great pouch. The fabric is fantastic.

    Also, that retro simplicity pattern in your last post is sitting in my "to sew next" box! I'm glad it worked out so well you made it twice- I was thinking of doing a winter version in two tones of corduroy, which could be an inspired combination, or an abomination, I'm not sure which.

  8. Very cute pouch, and the fabric is perfect -- I'm sure Velosewer loved it!

  9. That print is quite awesome, and perfect for this cute little pouch! Your construction looks immaculate :)

  10. It's a great pouch! I love the fabric, and that pop of green lining by the zipper is cute.

  11. Wow Kyle, this zipper pouch turned out beautifully and I absolutely love the pattern placement. What an awesome gift for Velosewer! Love your choice of green fabric for the inside too and your explanation of your used of wonder tape. I can't wait to try that product myself.

  12. Quote: "In the finished product, you can see the lining from the outside...because it's not a zipper sandwich. But somehow I'm ok with this too."

    Well YEAH because it looks awesome!! I LOVE that flash of bright green between the cool black city fabric and the tough-looking zipper!! ~^..^~


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