Saturday, October 26, 2013

Cloud 9 Grocery Tote and Zipper Pouch Wrap Up

I talked a little bit about the free Cloud 9 Tote with Zipper Pouch Pattern on Wednesday, however I had not made the zipper pouch yet at that point.  
I "tried" making two of the original four zipper pouches, and pretty much failed.  At one point I thought I was just going to throw it away (it has been a long week so perhaps I was just overly tired and frustrated....don't know).  I am actually pretty embarrassed that I had such a hard time and couldn't figure it out, but while I have basic knowledge of bag/pouch construction I don't have a ton of experience.  The instructions, I felt were fairly vague for the pouch portion of the pattern.  This could be because I have never made a pouch like it before.  There were diagrams included, however they didn't help me much because I understood that part of the construction. The illustrations did not clarify what I wasn't understanding from the text portion of the pattern.  So, the first pouch was pretty much a bust!  I took it apart several times and then ended up putting it together in a way that it would work....not necessarily what the pattern indicated.  Then again I wasn't sure that the pattern even gave a way to put it together completely.  Once I finished the first pouch it wasn't even large enough to put the rolled up grocery tote into, so at that point I was determined to figure out what the heck the problem was.  It will fit my new business cards so perhaps this is now my new business card holder!

I am about 99.9% sure this is not how it is supposed to go together (see below), one reason being I cut a decent amount of fabric off of the bottom piece of the pouch (pretty sure this is not what it is supposed to look like....)!
On the second pouch, I sewed the bottom piece on first (which was not what the instructions said to do) and it seemed to help a little, however then it seemed that the zipper was too short for the pieces.  I don't think it was and the pattern definitely called for a 7" zipper (which I didn't even trim like the instructions said to do on the second pouch).  I pretty much just didn't entirely get the construction of the the pouch.  Either way, I pieced the pouch together to make it resemble the shape pictured on the blog.  Unfortunately, the photos on the blog are not very close, so I could not figure out my issues from that either.  The pouches look so much better in their photos than I feel mine turned out, however, my second attempt was definitely more like theirs.

These two shots of the second pouch were taken with tissue stuffed in it to hold its shape.  Without the tissue it looks a lot like the first pouch.  But, you can see that the side looks different, because I did not cut any of the bottom piece off.  The bottom piece was a different width than the sides, so you can see it is a bit pleated looking, and is actually not fully sewn inside.  Too hard to explain what I did....sorry!
In conclusion, I really like the tote.  It was easy to put together and I think the end result is cute and functional, plus it only uses one yard of fabric!  Beginners might still have a little difficultly with the tote, for example if they don't know what a french seam is, but overall it is a pretty simple tote.  As for the pouch, I feel that the instructions are more difficult to follow, especially if you are a beginner since they seem a little vague.  I also didn't like how the tote fit into the finished pouch (I did not see any pictured on the tutorial page with the tote inside of the pouch) .  So here is a photo of my tote rolled up in the pouch.
Below you can even see how stressed the seams are!  The instructions give a specific way to fold then roll up the tote to put it in the pouch (see photos at the end of post), which I followed and these two photos, above and below, show the result based on the pattern instructions.
I was thinking of making a small drawstring pouch for the bags that might work pretty well.  I will have to let you know how that one goes.  I would make a ton more of the bags, but not the pouches.  Anyway, I will leave you with a few more pictures, and check out my previous post about the tote (link at beginning of this post) to see more detailed photos of the construction of the tote.

Quick note on fabric used:  Nanny Bee in green from Heather Ross' Briar Rose Collection and Scalloped Edge in ivory from Rashida Coleman-Hale's Koi Collection.

Thanks for stopping by...

This post is linked up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Show Off Saturday and Sew Can She.


  1. I do love the look of this tote and easy is right up my alley! I'll leave the difficult pouch for someone else!

  2. thanks so much for posting about your experience with the pouch pattern. I have been considering making some of these grocery bags as a christmas gift for a friend. Your post probably saved me a bunch of frustration when time is short :)