This is the first zip I ever sewed. Did I pick a straight line? Of course not! Why make things easy?
The pattern is the T-Junction Washbag from ‘Sew! Cath Kidston’. It’s a pretty straight-forward pattern for the most part, and I really like how it turned out. The bag actually looks quite sharp in reality, but as I’ve been using it for a year or two and didn’t bother to iron it again before taking photos (bad plan!), it looks a bit dishevelled here. I like to call that look “loved”. The fabric is an Amy Butler – Lotus Pond in ivory/grey, from her Lotus line. I thought it’d make a fairly gender-neutral wash bag that my husband would be happy to use, and it did – mainly because he doesn’t really notice things like fabric choice, or even *gasp* recognise Amy Butler fabric when he sees it (shakes head in dismay).
Actually, the zip wasn’t too hard – but I did have other issues. Perhaps it was just me having very little patience at the time (being heavily pregnant with the Smidge), but I found sewing the bias binding onto the inside edges after constructing the bag really tricky. If I make this again, I’d definitely try binding the edges beforehand.
The other difficulty I had is that the pattern doesn’t tell you how large to make the t-junction seam. There is a little diagram in the book showing the un-sewn bag with little squares cut out of the bottom corners, but there are no instructions or cutting lines on the pattern pieces for these squares, so perhaps if that step had been included, all would have been clear? As it was, I took a guess, and guessed wrong first time, so ended up with a very tall, thin bag! After some head-scratching I sewed another seam on top, and it worked! That’s actually one of the nicest things about sewing bags: they don’t have to fit anybody, so you can make a lot of mistakes and usually call it good.
If I made this pattern again, I’d use a stronger lining fabric. I used a non-woven shower curtain fabric and it’s not very tough – I think a stray razor blade nicked the inside and caught the exterior fabric too, making a little hole. And because there’s nothing exciting about darning, there the hole has stayed. But the bag does get a lot of use, and I do love the fabric, so perhaps I’ll mend it someday… You know, when I have nothing better to do…