In the hoop zipper bags

I have been making “traditional” zipper bags on my Janome Skyline S9 for many years now (you can view some of my older projects here and here). Zipper bags are a fun project to use up scraps and are useful for organizing everything from sewing tools to kids crayons. In fact, these latest makes were very quickly scooped up by my three year old who declared they were a critical new addition to her little doll’s lunch bag and they now house a “play” sandwich and “play fruit.” Thankfully – making these In the Hoop (ITH) zipper bags are a quick project and I can make myself a few more (and hide them so little hands don’t find them first).

Janome has some great ITH zipper pouches. JanomeGirl shared this fun pouch project. And there are lots of great projects just a google search away. I purchased the files for this project from Parker on the Porch. I loved that these projects produce a final bag that is fully lined.

What are some of the advantages of making an ITH zipper pouch over using another pattern? Using an ITH file allows you to precisely recreate the same bag over and over again to exact specifications. If you have any hesitancy about working with zippers, an ITH zipper bag pattern will walk you through this with ease. It also allows you to assemble a zipper bag without having to worry about seam allowances or pinning together pieces. I found once I ran through the pattern once, subsequent ITH zipper bags came together really quickly – often faster than the time it took to select and cut out my fabric.

Before you begin, you will want make sure the embroidery files you select are in JEF format – which means they are specially formatted for your Janome embroidery machine and that you have selected a file size that is compatible with the hoop you want to use.

I found this fun palette to play with for my first ITH zipper bag.

First I cut out all of the pattern pieces and applied medium weight fusible interfacing to the front and back interior and exterior pieces.

And then, I prepped my hoop. For this project, I used a lightweight tearaway stabilizer from Madeira.

This project requires two hoopings. The first hoop is to create detail on the front of the pouch and the second hooping is the assembly all the pieces to build the zipper bag.

Most ITH projects will start by preparing an outline to ensure correct placement.

The front exterior of the zipper pouch comes together layer by layer and it’s really exciting to see the pattern take shape.

The final step in the first hoop is a stitch across the top that is a marker stitch when you start to assembly front and back pieces.

The second hoop is where your bag really starts to come together. Since this pattern and embroidery file is lined, I did something new to me… which was add fabric to the *BACK* yes… I said the back, of my hoop!

Whenever you are working with fabric on the back of the hoop, you will want to make sure before you begin next steps that your fabric doesn’t get bunched up in any way after you connect your hoop back to your machine. I used a little tape to keep my fabric secure and in place. I find this easier than worrying about whether a pin used for the same purpose will accidentally get caught in a stitch path.

I even did the same and used tape to ensure my zipper tab didn’t accidentally shift while stitching.

With all the machine embroidery steps complete, all that’s left to do is a little trimming, and securing the interior fabric which is used to push all the fabric so the zipper bag is right side out, and voila! A cute little zipper bag!

Looking to take this challenge to the next level? If you signed up for the free trial of the Janome Artistic Digitizer, try designing a zipper bag of your own.

Have you tried making ITH zipper bags? What is your favourite thing to make on your embroidery machine?

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