The Open-Wide Zippered Pouch is posted as a free tutorial by Noodlehead. The main feature for me was the clean finish on the zipper, allowing the bag to open completely without bulky zipper junk crowding either end. It also has boxed corners on the bottom.
My first try used a small piece I created in a Fiber Art Fusion. We had access to old out-of-date decorator books with smallish fabric samples. Our goal was to compose a collage of sorts. Because of its size, I only used the Noodlehead tutorial for the zipper portion. I did follow that portion of the tutorial very closely including the little tab on the zipper end.
Because the tab construction was a little fiddly, I made a change to it in my second version. Other than the tab, I followed the instructions for her small bag quite closely. Funny, I always learn something when I follow directions. I rather like the order of construction and the ease of construction when the front and back of the tote are two separate pieces, instead of one long piece folded over.
The red fabric is cotton canvas. The bottom is light weight denim that I quilted to wool batting. The lining is cotton batik. It turned out just a tad limp.
For the tab on this red one, I cut a denim square 1.25 x 2.5 inches so that one long edge included the selvage. Then I folded it right sides together to create a square 1.25 x 1.25. Next I stitched along the edge opposite the fold, using a 1/4 inch SA. This created a tube that slides easily over a standard zipper
After sliding the tube on the zipper, with selvage closest to the bag. I stitched across the other end of the tube over the zipper. Lastly I cut the zipper off to about 1/2 inch and turned the tube right side out, covering the zipper end.
I applied a variation of tab construction to the next two bags. For these bags I used the dimensions for the large open-wide pouch. Since I found my red one to be a little limp, I tried some variations with structure. On the pink one, I tried applying inexpensive fusible interfacing to both the exterior and the interior of the bag. The exterior is cotton seersucker and the interior is quilt cotton. The result was still too droopy, so I took it apart and added cotton flannel to the exterior layer. The band on it is a bias tube made from the interior quilt cotton.
For the green one, I used very heavy fusible interfacing on the exterior and light weight fusible on the interior. The face fabrics are quilt cottons and the band is ribbon. It is beefy enough but I much prefer the softer effect of the flannel.
As I added additional structure, I realized that I needed to change the way the zipper was installed. That is, I screwed it up and had to pick it out.
In Noodlehead's tutorial, she shows you how to place the zipper between the exterior and interior fabrics so that insertion takes a single pass on each side of the zipper. As the fabrics became thick, this was hard for me to manage. So, instead I sewed the zipper to the exterior first. Then I sewed the lining on, keeping the previous seam line visible so that I could simply retrace it. This allowed me to keep things even.
I love the manner in which Noodlehead manages the ends of the zipper and will use this again. It yields a pouch that really does open wide!
I had hoped that this bag might be a good one for Camp Sew N Sew this year, but I think the zipper application may be a little too challenging for brand new sewists.