I've been joining in with Tuppence Ha'Penny's sew along making items from the Stitched Sewing Organizers book by Aneela Hoey. This week's project is the Boxy Pocket Pouch and is another of the projects on my original must-make list. However, I decided to complicate matters this time round and use cork fabric for the first time! And those cacti - it was always going to be that fabric for the pocket!
First up, my learnings on cork fabric. It's much thinner than I expected. But it's thicker than regular fabric - always a good plan when you known a project is going to involve turning things through and sewing through multiple layers. It doesn't seem to be as robust as regular fabric, so I was very careful not to be too rough when I turned this pouch through. It's not keen on the iron. I very carefully added some interfacing to it - it warped a tiny bit, but seems to have regained its previous appearance now. The heavier weight meant I probably didn't need that interfacing in the first place.... my overall impression is that it's nice, but not really, in my opinion, nice enough for the extra faff.
The pattern cannot be faulted. Again. I blindly followed the instructions (with a quilt pattern I can read instructions and get a sense of where I'm going, and even pick out steps where something isn't quite right. With bag making I am entirely blind). And after 2 hours of sewing (and an hour of preparing the fabric) I had a boxy pouch with some pretty great pockets! The technique for getting a neat finish on that cactus pocket is just amazing. I made life hard for myself at one point by missing out a step, but fudged my way through, and started ticking off the steps as I did them after that! My only issue with this pouch is that the lining seems a bit baggy - and that could be all about my seams allowances rather than anything else. One point gave me a lot of bother: there are zipper tabs at each end of the zip, and when made from cork and combined with all the other layers at that point, my machine was having none of it. It refused to sew through the layers. In the end I hand-turned it, and when it skipped the stitch I brought the needle down in the same place again and again until it caught. Not ideal, but in the end I had enough stitches for it to all hold together. If I were making it again, I would still add the tabs, as they are a nice finishing touch, but I would do them in the contrast fabric, not cork!
This was the point where I had boxed the corners and was ready to turn it through. My husband made sure to be in the room when I did that - he thought it would be funny and not go right. But the magic worked again and he was disappointed.
I love the look of this pouch - it would make a great gift as it looks really special - and it is very roomy, but I've found that the pouch doesn't open very wide and easily falls back to the closed position even with the zip open. I think this is a "great for carrying stuff and storing stuff" pouch but not a "great for working directly from" pouch. Nevermind - I've already found some excellent projects in the book that fall into that second category! And I still keep looking at this pouch in amazement that I actually made it!