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Parker on the Porch — zipper bag

Give a Little Gift - Day 2 - Off to School

Posted by Anna Pritchett on

Sahara Fabric's awesome waterproof oxford is perfect for sewing up so many different projects! Today we have some gift ideas for teachers and students in your life. Most of these stitch up in no time flat and are perfect for gifting on their own, filled with supplies, or maybe as a cute add-on for a gift card.

Gift Idea 1:  Device cases!

Waterproof oxford on the outside and something soft and cushy on the inside--minky or fleece or cuddle luxe. Add some batting between the layers or pieces of foam for extra protection. The new Double Zipper Vertical Bag is perfect for device cases. Slide the device in the main pocket, and use the front pocket for the cord, charger, and other accessories. The outer shell of Sahara's waterproof oxford protects from incidental splashes and raindrops!

Know a voracious reader? Maybe you're gifting an e-reader. This 6x8 size holds the current Paperwhite and charger cord. (Of course check the measurements of your particular device and any cases you might have on it!)

The 8x12 version of the Double Zip Vertical Bag is perfect for small tablets (an iPad mini, perhaps? Santa, are you reading this?) and huge graphing calculators. 

Gift Idea 2: Pencil cases!

Grab new packs of their favorite pens and pencils (while they're clearancing out the school supply sections!) and make up snazzy new cases to start off next semester fresh. The Top Zip Pencil Cases hold just about everything! 

Gift Idea 3: Incidental cases!

The Makeup Stash Zipper Bag holds all the stuff you need to get you through the day. Make one of these for everyone on your list, choosing prints to match personalities and interests. This is the 5x7 size, and it holds everything pictured. It easily slides into a purse, backpack, or work satchel. The waterproof oxford will protect against anything inside leaking out onto your other belongings. (Have you ever had one of those anti-bag pods leak in your purse? Ugh!) Even the guys in your life can use something like this--throw in some fingernail clippers too! My husband uses his incidental case all the time. I made one for his car, one for his desk, and one for his work bag.


All packed up and ready for success!

Gift Idea 4: Sunglasses Cases!

I sewed up this XL Sunglasses case from the Vertical Top Zipper Bag Set for my favorite biology student's lab goggles to protect them in her backpack. (The sunglasses case also holds, well, sunglasses, but it is a perfect, discreet case for hygiene products too.)

Gift Idea 4: Snack bags!

The Top Zip Square Zipper Bags hold snacks and all sorts of odds and ends. I pieced together the front of that 6x6 square on the sewing machine using my scraps, and the oxford sews like a dream! The 7x7 square on the bottom left fits whole chocolate bars. I will make sure there's an emergency stash of those when I gift this set to my favorite teacher. We recommend lining snack bags with Sahara's PUL. If you don't need a large square filled with chocolate (who are you, really?), the waterproof oxford bag is perfect for holding headphones, small calculators, or anything you don't want getting dripped on in your bag. Rain, spilled water bottles...


Grab some of this vibrant oxford and sew up one case or a whole set! They're perfect to complement a gift card or stand on their own as a thoughtful gift. The recipient will think about you and how awesome you are whenever they use their cases.

Don't forget matching zipper pulls to put that finishing touch on your gift. The Science Charm Set and the School Charms Set 1 coordinate wonderfully with this vibrant waterproof oxford. I also used the Mini Script Alpha Monogram Charms, the block Alpha Mini Monogram Charms, and the Basic Shapes Charms Set 1.

Come show off your Sahara projects or ask any questions about Sahara's line of fabrics in the Sahara Fabrics Facebook Group. And as always, we can't wait to see how you POP in the Parker on the Porch Facebook group!

Supplies used:

Supplies Used:

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Bean Stitch vs. Satin Stitch

Posted by Anna Pritchett on

Two of POP's most popular designs, the original Clutch and Clutch 2.0 bags, come with a Bean Stitch applique option as well as a Satin Stitch applique option.

We frequently get posts in the POP Facebook group saying, "Help! I'm making the Clutch 2.0 bag, and my design has only 9 steps instead of 11. Where is the satin stitching?!" So let's take a closer look at the design options.

Here's the unzipped Clutch 2.0 folder:

ITH embroidery zipper bag pouch clutch


When you open the highlighted folder, you'll see two sub-folders:

ITH embroidery zipper bag pouch clutch


Many people simply open the first folder, select their design, and send it to the machine, not realizing which option they've chosen. We are going to open the stitch map for the Bean Stitch option. (New to stitch maps? We talked about what they are and how to read them in another blog post.) Select the stitch map for the desired size.

ITH embroidery zipper bag pouch clutch


You'll notice that the 5x7 Bean file contains 9 steps instead of 11. The applique tackdown is a triple stitch or "bean stitch" instead of the satin you may be expecting. 

ITH embroidery zipper bag pouch clutch


Here is an example of the Clutch 2.0 with Bean Stitch applique:

ITH embroidery zipper bag pouch clutch


The Clutch 2.0's other option, the Satin applique, has 11 stitching steps. Step 7 is the blanket detail, and Step 8 is the traditional satin applique stitch. 

ITH embroidery zipper bag pouch clutch


Here's an example of a completed Clutch 2.0 with satin stitch applique:

ITH embroidery zipper bag pouch clutch


If you loaded the Bean Stitch file by mistake, don't panic! Stop your machine after Step 7. Go back to your computer, open the main folder for the design, and open the Satin sub-folder. Select the same size that you have started in the Bean format. Send that file to your machine. Make sure it's oriented the same direction as the initial file and lines up with the existing stitching. Forward through to Step 7 of the Satin file, and stitch the Step 7 blanket detail right over the bean stitch. Finish your clutch as directed in the tutorial. 

ITH embroidery zipper bag pouch clutch


The original front-zip Clutch design also comes in both Bean and Satin stitch applique options. 

ITH embroidery zipper bag pouch clutch


If you would like to see the original Clutch being stitched, check out the Panda Kisses video tutorial of this design. Join the POP Facebook group to see a (formerly live) video tutorial of the Clutch 2.0. Links to videos are in the pinned Announcements area of the group! 

And if you ever wonder where POP gets the supplies used in the design listing photos, click through the blog's Supply List archives.

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What is a Stitch Map?

Posted by Anna Pritchett on

If you've been in embroidery a while, you may remember life before fancy PDF tutorials. Back in the olden days, we had to rely on the stitch map files. These files are helpful to know how to read even with the existence of full tutorials. You can print the stitch map and add your own notes as you stitch the file so that you remember what you did in your own words.

Let's look at the Daybreak Zipper Bag.


This is the inside of the main folder once I unzip the file and add it to my POP folder.


The Daybreak was updated to offer a Full Front Applique option due to popular demand. As always, the update is FREE for anyone who had already purchased the file. If you haven't downloaded this update, simply log in to your account and re-download the file. 


We are going to look at the stitch maps for the Full Front Applique option. Here is the inside of the Full Front Applique folder. What a mess! The files are all jumbled up. 


Click on the Type tab and the folder will sort itself by file type.


The stitch map files will have a BMP or JPG file extension. In this case, they are BMP type files. Let's select the 5x7 size. 


Here is the 5x7 stitch map. When you click on it to open, your computer will open it in whichever default photo viewing app or program you've designated. In the upper left corner of the stitch map, you will see the file name, the stitch count, the exact size in inches and millimeters, the location at which the design begins and ends in the hoop, the number of colors and thread stops, as well as the date the file was saved.


The rest of the stitch map is literally a *map* to what your machine is going to stitch. The steps are illustrated and numbered. Step 1 is almost always going to be a placement stitch when you are doing an ITH or in the hoop design. 


I created a "cheat sheet" for this design with an explanation of the steps. You can make your own or right-click on the photo and save to your computer for printing. I included notes to remind myself of important details, such as where to add personalization, and when to open the zipper. 


When you look at the stitch map for the Daybreak Full Front Applique before sewing, you will realize that the fabric you put down first at Step 3 will only show ABOVE the "swoop" once you complete the large applique BELOW the swoop. There's no need to guess what is going to happen next in any POP design (or any designer whose files include stitch maps). Taking a few minutes to review the stitch map will save you time and frustration! 



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