Serged Exposed Zipper Bag

Here’s a cute zippered toiletry bag I made completely on the serger! This is one of the practice projects included on the Beginner Serging: Machine Basics and Techniques class I’ve been watching on Craftsy taught by Amy Alan of Really Handmade.

I chose this very sweet octopus fabric from the Coastal Mini Series by Timeless Treasures.  For this project, all you need is 2 fat quarters, a zipper and some fusible fleece. The finished bag comes out to be about 9″ L x 5.5″ W x 5.5″ H. I could really get into making a lot of these.


As it seems to be going with all of my recent summer sewing, I have been spending a lot of time with my seam ripper! This little project was no exception. The serging part was a breeze! What set me back was the zipper. Toward the end of the project, when I trimmed my zipper end off flush with the bag, I wasn’t paying attention and the zipper pull came off the end of the zipper. I could not get it lined up and back on the teeth.  So…I took the whole thing apart. And when removing serging, that’s a lot of thread.


I think with a little more practice there are a few things I could improve on this bag. One: my zipper seams are not even along the teeth. It is a little wonky. Second: one of my end tabs is not completely centered at the base of the zipper. But, all in all, it’s pretty darn cute. I hope to make some more using fat quarters I’ve been holding on to but just don’t know what to do with.


The Serger: Relearning the Basics

A couple years ago, I received a Bernina serger for Christmas! I dutifully took the new owner classes offered at my local shop, but was still so scared of the thing that I haven’t touched it much since. I did make a skirt, which came out great, but that’s it.

Several months back, I purchased Beginner Serging: Machine Basics & Techniques with Amy Alan on Craftsy. My local sewing shop only offered introductory serger classes sporadically. With my schedule and limited time, I needed something I could do from home whenever I could squeeze it in.


Well, I finally just got to start to watching and this class has been great for building my confidence! Luckily, Amy is using the same machine as me. So that helps simplify things. I’ve gone through the basic stitch lessons and am now learning some decorative techniques. The class also includes three projects to sew along with – a zippered toiletry bag, an apron and a scarf.

But I was so excited about what I learned so far, I decided to take a break from class and make a simple garment with my new skills.

I decided on Kwik Sew K3602. I’ve always had great luck with Kwik Sew patterns. I like how they are printed on paper not tissue and the instructions make sense.

Kwik Sew K3602

I recently picked up $6/yard Valori Wells flannel at Craft Warehouse and decided to use it to make these pajama bottoms. They’re turned out a little big. I was torn between making the size S or M. I have a medium waist, but small hips. So, I decided to go with the M.


Here’s a close up of my serging on one of the leg seams. It just feels good to be using this machine and not being as scared of it as I was. I hope to make more garments and conquering my fear of the serger will get me going in that direction.

Up next on my garment to-do list is the Grainline Studio Scout Woven Tee. Here’s the fabric I’m going to use — a print from Robert Kaufman’s London Calling 3 cotton lawn collection.

Celebration from London Calling 3 by Robert Kaufman
Celebration from London Calling 3 by Robert Kaufman