sewing lately // zippered pouches

I have owned a sewing machine for about seven years now, and in all that time, I have always been daunted by attempting to sew with zips. I imagined them to be very tricky to work with, so just avoided any patterns that involved inserting a zipper. I was also hindered by the fact that with my old sewing machine, I didn't have a zipper foot, so it was probably quite sensible not to attempt to conquer my fear. Earlier this year, I bought a brand new sewing machine, which I absolutely love. It's so quiet (my old one sounded like a machine gun firing), I have full control over the speed, and it just works perfectly. Do you remember the post I wrote a while back about how I realised that in creating a goal to make three quilts before the end of the year, I discovered that it wasn't so much about wanting to make a specific number of quilts, as it was a desire to start and finish the process of making something.

While I was in the phase where I had hit a wall with making my quilts, I decided to try my hand at making a zippered pouch. Although I still felt a little daunted at trying something new, and risking wasting some lovely fabric, in the grand scheme of all the difficult things there are to sew, a tiny pouch seemed relatively easy. I talked myself into having a go by telling myself it was just a matter of cutting four rectangles (easy), sewing three straight lines (really easy), and not getting the zipper stuck in the machine or inside the pouch (slightly less easy). Just a few simple steps, and I would have myself a pretty little pouch. Thanks to a helpful tutorial I found on Pinterest, I made my first pouch in about half an hour. And the sense of satisfaction that comes from making something from scratch? It is great, and so worth the little bit of time and effort.
I decided to make another pouch as a gift for a friend who is about to have her second baby. I filled it with a few nice toiletries - shower gel, organic shampoo, hand cream and lip balm. Before having a baby, I would never have thought to give this kind of gift to a Mum-to-be. Then, when I was pregnant with Ruby, my friends held a baby shower for me. Every single gift I received was for Ruby, except for one. An experienced mother of three gave me a lovely set of travel sized toiletries and said, 'I'll get something for the baby when she arrives, but it's important for you to have something special for you.' I packed those toiletries into my hospital bag, and was so very thankful to that wise friend when I had my first shower after giving birth. It was such a lovely treat to use an extra special expensive shower gel that I probably wouldn't have bought for myself. Before having Ruby, I never knew how much I would come to appreciate the simple luxuries of some lovely toiletries, or how much lip balm and hand cream I would get through in the early months of having a newborn baby in Winter. Zippered pouches filled with luxury toiletries might just become my new go-to gift for new Mums. I can see a lot of these featuring in the near future for me, as I know a vast number of people expecting babies at the end of this year.