Triple pouch – a lesson in humility

C4BCE8D7-D159-4DDF-877E-A6BBEA7EE415if I’m honest I have more zipped pouches than I could possibly make use of in many life times….. then why make another? Well there is the challenge of a different design, particularly this rather clever 3 pouches in one, there’s also the fun of joining in with a group of enthusiasts who are working their way through each project in Aneela Hoey’s book sewing Stitched Sewing Organisers and for me the best outcome is a finished handmade item I can gift. And I have a 90th birthday coming up, not my own although at times living with 2 teens and a 20 year old, institutional life like that of this lady in her beautiful and comfortable residential care home has its appeal. No cooking for a start.

Gifting a pouch like this solves that problem of finding a present for a person who already has more than enough but when you feel you can’t turn up empty handed. I’m fully expecting her to gift the pouch to a younger member of her large family but it is the thought that counts.

And that leads me on to the conundrum of saying it is handmade by me.  I have no problems in actually owning up to it, it’s just that neither do I want to appear to highlight the fact as if I’m seeking additional thanks.

I’m in this position with this pouch I gave a dear friend for whom her labrador is her world.

img_5071It was a Christmas present so she’d have opened it with her family but something she said the last time we met suggested she thought I was ‘clever to find it’. Now that would have course been the perfect time to say actually it was stencilled and made by me specifically for her but it was a comment she made mid stream another story and I just couldn’t return to it without me appearing needy and requiring approbation! The knots we get ourselves into…… of course the answer is to get some little handmade tags like these but then it’s an extra job sewing them on…


Anyway back to this pouch, the Sew Along on IG for projects from this book gives advice and tips, well sadly not enough advice and tips to steer me successfully to a finished triple pouch. Making another triple pouch sits with a number of other things I will never do again which includes pot holing  and western country dancing. The former is just plain terrifying and the latter I was such a miserable failure!!

Now I’m not blaming the instructions or diagrams, admittedly there could be more of the latter  and I prefer pictures to hand drawn diagrams. Indeed I’ve succesfully done a number of makes by Aneela Hoey but not this one. The advice was just to do exactly what the instructions said and I still think I did that  but obviously not as intended because when I turned it out for the magical reveal I found I’d got 5 internal pockets not 3 and…


…. and the two outside pieces weren’t attached to the zip


Now I certainly hadn’t got the will to unpick and retrace my steps partly because I then re read the instructions and I still couldn’t see where it went wrong and of course I went wrong twice. I know I’m not good at seeing how things fit together and was always appalled if the children had toys with multiple parts to assemble. But I haven’t been sewing as long as I have not to learn a bodge or two. So a few minutes later and the zip was properly secured and having 5 pouches is fine!  OK the zip ends are a bit more bumpy than they should be but this one I’m keeping and in fact will be taking it to Thread House Retreat to compare with a friend’s who clearly did get it right.  This does of course mean I’ve got to go for plan B for that birthday present I need. Next time I’m sticking to Svetlana Sotak’s Devon pouch.


This is a Q1 FAL finish first blogged here.

12 thoughts on “Triple pouch – a lesson in humility

  1. It looks fantastic and what a bonus to have 2 extra pockets. But I imagine you have wasted a good bit of time trying to hash out in your brain just where things went wrong. Lucky you were able to fix the zipper issue so quickly.


  2. I think more pockets that don’t actually allow items to fall out into the breeze is an innovation, not a mistake! I love the dog bag, and perhaps if she ever takes it out in front of you and says she likes it, then will be your chance to say that you had really thought about her interestes while making it for her, or some more graceful phrasing. At least she likes it!


  3. It doesn’t have to be said as a praise seeker, it could be stated as how much I care for you I made it especially for you. It’s adorable. Sorry on the 3 pouch bag, I have never made it, so no clue.


  4. I admire you for even having a go at the triple pouch. I have looked with interest but never tried.
    Not sure what to do about your other dilemma. I think it is important for recipients to know their gift is handmade. I think they need to realise the time and care that went into the gift. Rather than sewing in a tag, pin a little card on saying handmade by you. Just a thought!


  5. I’ve been sewing for years and years, but the first and only pouch I ever made gave me fits! And it did not have 3 or 5 sections. It was just a simple pouch with a zipper at the top! I went back to my quilt making.


  6. Hmmm, how to correct the bought not made conundrum… Well on the one hand, how great a job did you do that you could pass your pouch off as “manufactured”. I certainly couldn’t’ say that about anything I make! lol. Perhaps a cuddle as you leave and a throw away “I’m so glad you like the pouch. I was worried when I was making it that it wouldn’t (insert random excuse here – look like a dog, be useful to you, come together properly, etc)”. Because even though you’re not doing it for kudos, it’s still nice to know that it was made specially for them.


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  8. I’m so glad I’m not the only one that struggled!! I’m fairly experienced at sewing bags but this one had me pulling hair. It’s now sitting in a seam-ripped pile on my work table and I’m not sure I’ll get back around to figuring it out. Maybe after a drink or two…


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  10. It is a wonderful bag, even if it didn’t go together as expected. And think of the skill you have of making right what initially went wrong! On behalf of the hosts, thank you for participating in the Finish-A-Long!


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