Open Wide Zipper Pouches

(alternately titled: Open Wide Zipper Pouches, and How Much I Suck at Making Open Wide Zipper Pouches)

I have 3 good friends all having birthdays within a month, so I went on the hunt for something fun and cute and most importantly EASY to make for all of them and knock all the presents out in one fell swoop.  In came the Open Wide Zipper Pouch from Anna of Noodlehead.

But it turns out all sewing isn’t equal.  Give me a ball gown, no prob.  Give me a small zippered pouch, THE WORLD COMES TO A HALT.  I can’t even count how many problems I had with these.  And let me just state right now that it had absolutely nothing to do with Anna’s amazing tutorial or instructions or pictures.  They were perfect.  Too perfect.  Deceptively perfect.  They really made it seem like I could make these all up in an hour.  Which leads me to conclude that Anna is perfect, and as previously noted on several occasions by such people as my mom and husband, I am not.

So that estimated hour turned to 6 and in that time I somehow managed to break a needle, jam my machine, seriously wound myself on two different fingers, sew a pin into the pouch, melt part of the zipper with my iron, and several other mishaps that have now been blocked from memory.  Not to even mention the uneven seams and many seam ripping episodes and zipper pulls that are downright scruffy.

In fact, after the first one, I was about ready to call it all off and buy all my friends gift cards.  But I already had the other two cut out, and the colors were just so purdy, I had to give it another shot.  Numbers 2 & 3 were much, much better.  Not Anna better, but better.  I had no major mishaps and there was no blood and I started to see why people rave about these bags and why Anna is such a genius.  And I got them done in an hour, boo ya.
See?  Purdy.  But don’t look at my zip pulls or you’re not invited back to this blog.

When they were finally done, I stuffed them with some girly goodies.  I love shopping for girlfriends, where the only criteria is: Do I want this for myself?

Yes.  Yes I do.  Those are pajama pants are from Old Navy in case you were wondering.  Totally didn’t make them, although Anna also has a pajama pant tutorial that I’ve been wanting to try out.  Might wait for the bandages to come off first though.  If you’re on the market for good pj pants that aren’t sewn by you, I recommend these.  They’re lightweight and always come in cute prints and are $12 (I got them for less with a coupon).  No brainer.  And no, Old Navy isn’t paying me to say this.  But in case they’re reading, I wouldn’t turn down money, hey?!

And here’s one shot for you in case you ever wondered how bloggers take decent shots of their stuff.  This was one of the less weird set-ups I’ve been involved in.  Whenever I’m doing something really crazy like taking a picture by the light of my stove hood on the back of my daughter’s coloring book, I always think to myself: this isn’t the weirdest thing a blogger’s done for a good shot.  You may think our houses are immaculate and perfectly decorated and our kids are always bathed and wearing mama-made clothes, but don’t for one second think there isn’t some crazy stuff going on behind the scenes of our photoshoots. 


  1. Did you go and fold the laundry before taking the house in action shot? If so, that doesn’t count! The pouches came together well in the end. Love the idea that a ball gown would have taken less aggravation than one open wide pouch!

  2. Haha! These came out awesome despite you maiming yourself :-) I also GREATLY appreciate the “normal house” picture you included, it allowed me to exhale and realize that I am not the only one putting one of my toddlers on an office chair with wheels and a backdrop just to get a decent shot–LOL!

  3. They’re so pretty together, gorgeous colours! They make me long for spring and sunshiney days :)

  4. the looks suspiciously like a Drexel chair…but lovely pouches!

  5. I love these colors!!
    And thanks for sharing how to do proper photos too!!

  6. i love the pouches! and you’re right the fabric is soo purdy :) can i ask what fabric you used for the bottom? love it!

  7. Love the colors and I was going to ask what fabric you used, too. Love it! I’ve made one of these and didn’t have AS many issues as you did, but it took me several hours, too. :)

  8. I love how the pouches came out- and if there isn’t a little blood shed while crafting, then you really didn’t try. LOL
    I am so glad it isn’t just me setting up under the kitchen stove’s hood for a photo!
    I really did think that was the weirdest place ever used.
    Thanks for the laugh.

  9. Dude, the color combos on these. I’m dying, they’re so good. Also dying of laughter from your post, as usually.

  10. Just a wonderful post, thanks a lot. For sure I sometimes can’t believe what some bloggers can do in one hour. It never never works out with me! But: I already wanted to try these pouches and I still have some grey heath-fabric left!! Thanks for your fabric inspiration. Absolutely wonderful.

    Greetings from Germany!

  11. These pouches are awesome! I love the fat zippers you used. Can you share where you got yours?

    • just a random mom and pop shop here in bangkok, but they’re nothing special. I’m sure you could find something similar at joann’s or try etsy. this is a good shop: (just check out Anna’s tutorial first – the zippers need to be longer than you would think for a pouch. Or at least longer than I expected!)

  12. Oh boy! Could I ever identify with your experience. I am not a natural sewer and everything I make takes 3-4x longer than even I think it will take. It’s good to know that other people who are much higher on the crafty evolutionary scale than I am, also encounter challenges from time to time.

  13. oh, man… the dreaded zipper pouch. i’m totally with you!

  14. LOL, Gosh I love you for posting that last shot!

    • Agreed! I am a horrible photographer and struggle not to have hideous shots of the food on my own Blog. Not only is it refreshing but got me thinking!! Anyway, I am in bed babymooning after a c-section and a friend recommended this Blog. I am totally going through all your posts!

  15. You seriously crack me up. Your bags are gorgeous!

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