After finishing the A Place for Everything bag, I decided to work on something fast. Angela and I had been discussing various pouches, including the Hello Pouches from Knot and Thread Design. I bought this pattern at Ocean Waves quilt shop a few weeks before the coronavirus lockdown.
The website and the model I saw in a shop really excited me. I love the look and the way the vinyl is combined with the fabric.
I haven’t made anything from their patterns before, so it was an adventure and an opportunity to find a new designer.
Sadly, I do not like the pattern. You may have a different experience and I urge you to keep an open min. Remember: I am *bad* at reading directions and that could have affected my experience. All that being said, the two I made look ok.
First, I thought the pattern was incomplete. One of the first things I noticed is that the finished size wasn’t anywhere on the pattern. There are yardage requirements and then a second section of yardage requirements if you are using ombre fabric. This is where finished sizes should be.
The pattern doesn’t say anything about finishing the side seam with fabric. It talks about sewing it closed, but that looks unfinished in my opinion. You can see what I mean by looking at an IG photo. It also affects the way the end of the zipper sits on the bag. I faithfully followed the directions for covering the top and bottom of the vinyl and could have easily done something with the sides at the same time. I didn’t think of it. I am thinking about whether or not to cover it with a piece of binding or some straight of grain fabric.
Also, the pattern does not say how to finish the end of the zipper beyond stitching. Mine is fraying so I have to do something. Since I still have to finish the side seam, I can include the zipper. The pattern doesn’t show a clear picture of the side seam or zipper, so I can’t really see what they have done.
Second, I didn’t like the way it was put together. I felt there was too much work to get a pouch done and some parts made the pouch hard to put together.
One of the first instructions is to quilt the panel that will eventually bottom. The pieces are necessarily cut larger, but 2 inches larger seemed like a waste of fabric and Soft & Stable. Next, the designer has you bind the quilted bottom. This creates a later problem with super thick pieces that need to be sewn and cut. I think a lining could have been created for the bottom and the quilting could have been omitted.
The method they use requires sewing over existing lines of stitching. It probably something I need to practice, but this technique never looks good on my bags. Also, binding most of the pieces means that there are flaps of fabric everywhere waiting to get caught on some of the contents at some point.
I could have stitched them down, but that means going over other stitching. See above.
The pattern requires boxing corners. The placement of the sewing line across the flattened corner is difficult to get precise, because of the thickness. If I make this pouch again, I would keep the pouch flat, cut a square out of the corner, then sew. The Jane Market Tote is put together this way and it makes more sense.
I made two at once. One was supposed to be a gift. I am not sure I want to give it as a gift, though I will send it regardless. I’ll get some feedback and have a good discussion.
I want to say some good things about this pattern, so I won’t just be a negative Nellie:
- I like the half vinyl, half fabric of the design
- They have a clever technique for the zipper. You can get two pouches out of one zipper
- The pouch will stand up nicely (if I could get the corners to box properly)
I did look for corrections on the website, but didn’t see any. After analyzing my perceived deficiencies of the pattern in this review, I am tempted to try making this pouch again using some of my experience and thoughts on how it could be different. I looked on Instagram and most of the pouches there look a lot better than mine, which means I could have not understood the directions properly. They do show the pouches from the best angle, of course, and I do see that some of them have the zipper problem that I have.