For a gift, I made a pattern I have had in my digital files since I started machine embroidery: Embroidery Garden's Two Zipper Bag. This is an in-the-hoop file that allows the stitcher to make a fully lined, multiple pocket, multiple zipper bag in the hoop. The strap is the only part made on a conventional sewing machine. The inside bottom of the bag's lining gets whip stitched by hand. All else, including zipper installation is done on the embroidery machine. The one I made was the 5x7, stitched on my Brother PE770. I hooped no show poly mesh instead of the suggested Vilene because I took a class from Reen of Embroidery Garden when she came to town and that was an innovation she discovered. Using the poly mesh means that you MUST cut a window from the back of the zipper so that the bag is not ruined! But doing that small thing allows you to use a stabilizer that can stay in the bag. Vilene must be dissolved in water, leaving a wet bag that must dry. To me, the poly mesh is a much better choice!
The fabric I used is a long-retired Laurel Burch print called "Fantastic Felines" that I bought years ago (like more than 10 years ago!) when I worked at Baer Fabrics. I am working through my stash! I used a thin cotton batting from my stash that I ironed to press as flat as possible. The zippers were also from the stash from a purchase of bulk nylon zippers I bought years ago. Thread is Metro; needles are titanium embroidery eye sharps by Organ, size 75/11.
I did make a couple of adjustments to the pattern. After stitching step three from the extensive illustrated directions, as instructed, I added batting and pulled down the front piece of outside fabric (leaving the lining tucked up). Then I stitched the name. This is a font from Applique Corner called Grandly. I needed something thick since it was going on a busy print. I picked a thread color from the many in this fabric print that would not be directly under the font once stitched. I use Embrilliance Essentials and that makes adding a name, nudging the letters so they look like script, and adding a basting box to the name a snap! I removed the basting box after stitching and used my SteamFast mini iron to press it flat since the batting gave the personalization a little loft that looked like puckering. It pressed flat, hower, and was able to because the basting box kept even tension. There was no puckering, just loft. Ironing made it smooth again and I proceeded from there with the instructions as printed.
My next alteration was with the strap. I knew the length of strap I wanted but I find it easier to make looped fasteners and attach a free-standing strap with swivel claw-hook findings (like the kind you use for snap tabs). Next time, I will attach the findings to the loops instead of the strap so that the bag can also be hooked onto belt loops without the strap as an option! My loop fasteners were cut to 5-1/2" each. Next time I will also make those shorter. My strap was cut to 44" (based on the size of the recipient) and sewn to the swivel claw-hook findings on each end.
Once the bag was done, the strap was clipped onto the loops.
I did add the optional back pocket. It is large enough to hold my iphone 6+ in the Otterbox. I take that to mean most phones will fit!
I used a scrap of fabric fused and sewn to cardstock to make a matching birthday card. My card was my participation in a friend's weekly challenge. I used a punch to make the polka dots. The buttons were made with two punches and I added ink to look like the buttons were sewn on.
To see my other embroidery projects along with links, tutorials, and resources, check out my Embroidery page. To see my paper projects, check my Paper Gallery. This blog contains my recipes, soapmaking formulas, loom knitting, doll clothes sewing, and screen printing projects. You can get to those from the header at the top of the blog when viewing on a computer or by scrolling just under the banner if viewing on a phone. When viewing on your phone, you can always get to the web view version by scrolling to the very bottom and clicking on the "View Web Version" link in order to see side bars and other elements visible on a computer.