Every year I have the urge to make my Christmas gifts... sometimes things don't go as planned.. Most years I give up and decide on a second project last minute.. Yesterday (December 18!) I canned the whole "make" idea and went out to buy presents.. only to come back home, re-group, and re-design the "make" gifts last minute. Like really last minute... I had to pass these gifts out today.
There is a problem with the internet these days.. there are tutorials all over and place.. but even though a lot of them look good, at close inspection, they're not. I should have known that the pattern I was admiring wouldn't work.. You're looking at someone who sews a lot of zippered pouches, (and pillows)... I've got the zipper down.. It's my most proud skill now.. so when I saw something in a tutorial that differed from my learned skills, that should have set off the alarm.. it didn't.. I was bamboozled by the number of hits on the post I was reading and the quality graphics.
After failed attempt at the pattern's instruction, I decided to make this one my own. I had already cut ALL of my fabric as the failed pattern specified.. I repositioned the stabilizer (the pattern called for the stabilizer to be sewn to the lining of the bag...not the outside... but I thought having a better shape was more important to the outside of the bag)... I trimmed the weird pattern pieces to a better shape and sewed all night. I think they look great..the recipients too, I am happy to report.
I had this moment when learning to paint..and I am happy (sort of..after the headache) to have this feeling while learning to sew now.. Knowing how to "fix" things is the best feeling ever..and you learn that feeling by making mistakes, and deviating from patterns that are presented to you. Sort of like a mechanic.. learning how things work. This is my 11th hour, cheerleading moment to you...if you're busily making gifts still... go with your gut... don't pull your hair out over a tutorial. You can do it.
BTW, I put little stocking stuffers in the bags... handmade soaps, note pads, pens, nail polish and various treats.. each monogrammed for the recipient. The interior of each bag is bright patterned fabric that coordinates with the zipper color. The Tru Embroidery software has become invaluable for this type of project.. I am happy I purchased it.