What Happened to the August U-Pick…

Nobody likes bad news, and no one likes to share bad news either. I’m hoping, however, that this will be good news too – at least to some of you!

The photo above is the double zipper case that was our August U-Pick Winner (40.55% of you voted for it). Well, I didn’t like sewing it at all!

My goal for SewCanShe sewing patterns is to provide easy techniques and detailed instructions so ANYONE can succeed. And have fun sewing too!

After buying the actual zipper case from Target (it was only $5) and taking some measurements, I sewed this one. I used two layers of fabric fused together with HeatnBond lite in order to get a similar weight to the polyester canvas fabric used in the store bought one.

It was doable, but not fun. I had never sewn a straight strip of clear vinyl directly to a curved piece of vinyl, and I hated it. I usually try to sew vinyl only to fabric because that’s pretty easy. There were other steps that were tricky too.

The whole time I wondered how many of my readers would enjoy sewing this if I didn’t enjoy it. Many might give up.

And then the case turned out floppy. Not attractive at all in my opinion. So why sew it? I want you to be happy with the things you sew from my patterns!

Then I tried a different approach: quilted fabric and foam stabilizer instead of HeatnBond, and a boxy case with NO curves.

It turned out much prettier, but the clear side can’t hold very much so it’s not very functional. I didn’t like this one either.

Then I decided to combine both techniques. I went back to the old design and used quilted fabric with it. The quilted fabric has more body and looks better, but I still hated sewing the vinyl together around the curves!

The second time I did it, those vinyl curves looked even worse than the first!

Maybe that was because I was rushing.

Regardless, I couldn’t finish it. I actually threw it on the floor and left my sewing room.

So… what will I do now? My goal is to write patterns that 100% of my readers can achieve beautiful results with. I want to make sewing fun, not frustrating. If and when I write a pattern for this double sided zipper case, it will need to be very detailed and include videos. Maybe I’ll make another video course.

But for now I am moving on to something way more fun and easy.

I remembered that 39.33% of you voted for this sweet and simple gnome! That’s probably only a few people less than voted for the zipper case.

So everyone who wanted another gnome sewing pattern should be really happy because it’s coming soon!

UPDATE: The Easy Gnome Pattern is ready. Enjoy!


Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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  1. Lesley Gilbert says:

    Thank you for trying. I can understand your frustration. Best wishes from a sunny England 🙂

  2. Caroline, don’t make yourself crazy over it! After all, as you said, the original was only $5 to begin with. Your wonderful list of patterns includes several great zip bags, so my advice is to move on! The gnome is adorable, and I’m sure future projects will be successful. Thank you all your amazing projects! – Carol, just south of you in Sebastian!

    1. Wow, so much frustration & time! Thanks for sharing as we can learn from your process as well! I m a recent add to your group & appreciate all the patterns you share! Great ideas! Many thanks for your helping others enjoy sewing!!!

  3. I’m saddened that you had to endure all that frustration. You are probably correct about others not wanting to make it if you weren’t enjoying it. I actually voted for the gnome. Looking forward to the outcome of that.

  4. This bag is definitely not worth the aggravation. Besides, I love gnomes! It’s all about enjoying the process.

  5. Peg Sullivan says:

    Sometimes IT just does not work. So moving on.
    Thanks for all the time you spend on fun things, why waste time on not fun

  6. Anna Shetler says:

    Thank you for your truthfulness and appreciate your adventure BUT I am really, really glad you will be making the gnome. Thanks for all your hard work and great projects.

  7. Dot Weltz says:

    Learning so much from your “process”, thank you. Great idea to move on to fun things and Gnomes are fun!

  8. I give you an A+ for trying.

  9. Joann Head says:

    I agree with all the comments. Ditto from me. If you didn’t enjoy making it I can guarantee I would not have enjoyed it either.
    I’ve made and enjoyed many many of your patterns. Thank you so much !

  10. Becky Schneider says:

    I don’t think I would have had the patience to try THREE TIMES! But when you said it was only $5–that was the clincher for me. It’s not worth all that time and effort (and expense of the materials). Thanks for being willing to just give up on that one and move on to the gnome.

    1. I agree with you – if it only cost $5, why bother sewing it yourself?

  11. Marci Parrott says:

    Sorry about your frustration of sewing the bag BUT and happy to see you will be making the gnome!!

  12. Thanks for your efforts! I’d be frustrated and probably not try as many times as you did! 🙃 looking forward to seeing the cute gnome pattern!

  13. Thanks for being so up front about this. If you’re struggling with this project, I certainly don’t want to try it. You’ve saved a lot of us time and fabric. I look forward to trying the gnome.

  14. Tina Sheppard says:

    Yes, when all else fails “punt”. If it is just not enjoyable for you, then I am sure it would not be fun for us either. The Gnome is Great!!

  15. Thank you for trying great job…on to the next fun thing 😊 I love your patterns thank you for your hard work ❤️

  16. Looking forward to the gnome! Thanks for sharing that even experts like yourself experience frustration from time to time.

  17. Thank you for giving this project a go. Sorry for all the trouble you had trying to make it work. You did try everything in your bag of tricks it is easy to see so thanks for saving the rest of us the pain of a less than happy outcome.

  18. vicki gasorski says:

    I completely understand your frustration. I have a purse I stopped working on because it became such a pain. I have it in my UFO pile so I will attempt to finish it one day. If not, it will get tossed LOL

  19. Mary Ellen says:

    No need to feel bad! You went above & beyond on that one.

  20. Wow! You have a lot of determination! I would have quit much sooner than that. Time to leave that in the past and move on to another, more enjoyable challenge.

    You have my admiration, that’s for certain!

  21. Susan Kelley says:

    Girl, I would have given up after the first fail. You did all you could. I appreciate you even trying that many times. You’ve provided us with so many wonderful patterns. This isn’t a fail, just an “oops, let’s move on” moment. Thanks so much for all you do for us.

  22. Haha, I had to laugh when you said you threw it on the floor. I’d probably have danced a rhumba on it as well….

  23. You are amazing! I appreciate your sharing the techniques you tried. Time to move on:)

  24. I agree with everyone else! If your not having fun trash it, is my motto.

  25. Mary Lynn Parson says:

    Sorry the tote didn’t work out, but I voted for the gnome, a couple of times! So, yay!

  26. Clara R H says:

    I agree with everyone else. You get an A for effort. Sewing is supposed to be fun, not hair pulling. Move on with plan B, and I voted for the Gnome. I think its cute. Thanks for all you do.

  27. Wow that looks frustrating! You’re a hero for trying, and you deserve a friendly gnome after all that XD

  28. Donna Young says:

    You are awesome! Thanks for trying, too complicated and I wouldn’t sew it anyway… Looking forward to the Gnome!

  29. Mea Cadwell says:

    Completely understand. Clear vinyl is my nemesis anyway – it’s both sticky and slippery at the same time. Thank you for trying. (And you’re allowed to stomp on the ones you made to get out the frustration. lol)

  30. Lisa Ritzdorf says:

    Thanks for trying! I like the gnome better anyway! Have a great week!

  31. I am sorry that you had such a frustrating experience with this but truth be told I am actually quite glad (sorry) as I loved the gonk so love the fact that you will be doing him instead.

  32. I admire you for having so much patience to try it 3 times! I would have given up long before that! Looking forward to the Gnome!

  33. Elizabeth Martin says:

    This might sound crazy, but what about putting some bias tape on the edge of the vinyl first, before sewing on the zipper? And I found some years ago when I had to sew a zipper to some vinyl, to have some paper, between the vinyl and the feed dog plate to prevent the vinyl from sticking.

  34. Rita Montgomery says:

    Yay for the gnome. I really wanted him to win anyway. I never liked that vinyl bag. Sorry. You gave it the ol’ college try and I’ll give you A+ for effort. Looking forward to making Ned the Gnome!! 😁

  35. Rosemary B says:

    This is why we adore you.

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