Odds and Ends and a Zipper

I’ve had a busy few days and finally found a little time this evening to get into my sewing room and take a stab at putting a zipper placket in the first Frankenbag I made. There are some things very wrong with this bag that made it a good one for a first try at a zipper.

So I did some measuring, made a few notes and had an idea of how to construct the placket. Then I started cutting fabric.

Here’s the finished zipper placket.

I’m pretty darned happy with how this turned out for a first attempt. There are a few minor things I’ll change in the next one I do. But overall it turned out pretty well.

I left the zipper long so that there’s enough length to allow the bag to be opened wide.

Here’s the zipper and placket before I attached it to the bag.

I sewed each half onto the bag with the zipper facing up above the top of the bag. Then I folded it down and topstitched it down. This folding down and top stitching enfolded the raw zigzagged edge of the placket for a nice finished appearance.

Oh, man. There’s some really messy stuff on the top of that bag! And that’s why it’s my prototype! The handles don’t even line up! the good thing is that I learned a lot in making this bag!!! If you’re going to make a mess, you might as well learn something along the way!

I’m going to finish up this bag below tomorrow night by making the lining, adding a zipper pocket on the interior and a zipper placket at the top. I’ll probably make a bit of a tutorial in the process.

I received a really fun package in the mail earlier this week from Wanda at Exuberant Color. She put together some of her older Kaffe Fassett fabric scraps for me. It was so much fun to open the package and go through all the gorgeous fabrics.

Wanda had told me that there were probably a lot of fabrics in there that I’ve never even seen before, and she was right. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this one. But it’s so pretty!

I just love this next one! It’s like a mini Uzbekistan design. The colors are so much fun on that off white background.

This next one is kite tails. I’ve only ever had it in one color way. I would love to have a lot more of this in every color way!

It’s going to be a lot of fun to make something out of these scraps! Huge thanks to Wanda. She’s been an inspiration to me since I found her blog a few years ago.

I got some new fabric in the last few days. This package of batiks arrived today. It was a really cheerful package to open!

I bought these yard cuts on sale online. I want to make some Frankenbags out of my batik scraps and I don’t have a lot of batik pieces that are big enough to use for linings.

I also picked up these Aboriginal half yards at a local shop that I love. They have a nice selection online and I can pick them up at my convenience.

Finally tonight… my blog readers have been really busy making Frankenbags this week! I have a lot to share with you.

Sylvie Dupont made two bags. Here’s the first one in lovely blues and greens with really fun pops of purple and yellow.

Here’s the other side.

And here’s a really bright and springy one that Sylvie made.

I really love that great big daisy! And here’s the other side and I love that pink horizontal strip!

This next one was made by Brenda Tonyes. I just love her fabric combo! Those deep and bright reds with the pops of purple… so good! And I love her leather handles.

And if you’re paying any attention, you know how I feel about that black and white Jumble. IT’S FABULOUS!!!

Here’s the other side. There are so many things I love about this.

First of all, the fish are so amazing! And I love that white and black squiggly fabric going across the width of the bag. And those little blocks at the top with the diagonal strips of Jumble… it all just works so wonderfully together!

Brenda told me that she saw one of my bags on Instagram and she immediately started buying KFC fabrics so she could do some improv and crumb piecing. She said she’s having a lot of fun trying new things.

This makes me so happy! I think life is so much more interesting when I’m learning and trying new things! It’s so much fun to see others doing the same thing.

This next one was made by Lori Schaeffer Taylor. I love that big fussy cut bloom! That’s a great idea for incorporating into a bag.

And I just love the paper weight and Roman glass strips! Those fabrics are some of my favorite KFC fabrics.

Here’s the other side.

I just love that green shark’s teeth strip down the middle! And that diagonal quilting has me thinking…

The final bags tonight were made by Susan Cook. This first one is a really fun one made from dog fabrics. Of course this is going to catch my eye!

This is such a fun little bag! I love the wavy quilting with the topsy turvy dogs. It looks like they’re riding along the waves!

Here’s two more bags Susan made.

I love those deep and rich purples! I need to sew more with purples.

And look… she’s put in a sipper placket!!! Here’s a better look.

This looks like it may have been put in the same way I made mine tonight. I think the zipper is a really nice addition.

Thanks to all of you who sent in photos of your bags! I’m having a blast seeing what everyone is making! So many wonderful ideas out there… you’re all keeping me behind in the things I want to make!

We started our winter radio fundraising drive this morning at 7 am. I was on the air asking for member support from my sewing room!

My cutting table is serving as a makeshift radio studio. The next ten days will be demanding and stressful! I will certainly be ready for my week of vacation later this month!

16 Replies to “Odds and Ends and a Zipper”

  1. Hi!

    I’m a new subscriber and I have to say I’m totally enamoured with your blogs. Where can I purchase your pattern for those colourful bags? I just love the rich wildness of them.


    Sent from my iPad



    1. Hey Susan. Thanks so much for subscribing to my blog! I made a free tutorial for making my Frankenbags. Here’s a link: https://agilejack1.com/2021/03/25/frankenbag-tutorial/

      Read the whole thing before you start. I’ve added some notes and links to future blog posts.

      Let me know if you have any questions. And send me photos when you make a bag and I’ll put it on my blog!

      Thanks for appreciating the wildness of my creativity!



    2. These are so Beautiful! I am so happy to see sewing in style again. My Mother always sewed for us when we were growing up. We didn’t have money to spend on extra things.
      Your work is simply Beautiful!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My mother sewed a lot of my dresses when I was a kid. I learned some basic sewing and did some off and on throughout my life, but got into it more about 6 or 7 years ago. I love it!


  2. Yay!! Zipper 🙂 in bag! I know you will enjoy it! Susan’s purple bags with zippers are very pretty – love the swirl zipper fabric she used. Wanda sent some great scraps. I enjoy seeing all the different bags, so creative 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I must thank you for all your tutorials, they are very detailed and easy to follow. I have made several zipper bags and yesterday finished my first ever tote bag according to your instructions and I must say it turned out pretty darned good. I put a zipper pocket on the outside and it got a little bulky and somewhat hard to quilt but it looks ok. Looking forward to the inside zipper pockets and will try the placket in my next bag. Love your dogs and we seem to have the very same tastes in quilting and fabrics. We must have been related in another life…😎 Paula

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s always fun to virtually meet others who have the same love for gorgeous fabrics! Not sure that means we’re related. All my relations think my fabric choices are pretty out there! They just don’t understand color!

      thanks for commenting!!!


    2. Wow! I’m having all kinds of tech issues trying to respond to your comment! Thanks for all your positive feedback on my tutorials. I’d love to see your bag. I’m curious how you added an exterior pocket. Send me a photo and I’ll shar it on my blog!


  4. You’ve created a new “craze” – Frankenbags! Thanks for posting pix of the bags your fans have made – so many great ideas. I’ve already picked out fabrics for my first “Frank” from my big collection of Australian fabrics and can’t wait to get started. I have a few smaller projects to finish before I start on a bag. Or maybe not … the weekend might be a good time to start one. Thanks, Annie, for so much inspiration!


    1. Aren’t all these bags made by readers fantastic?!?! And I’m like you… so many ideas and just not enough time! Might make another batik one next… or another Aboriginal one… or maybe another green KFC bag. ARGHHH! To many ideas!

      Thanks for checking in BJ!!!


  5. Thank you SO much for sharing your zipper ideas…..I’m dyslexic and I really struggle with spatial stuff…. quilting for me is always a challenge which is why I’m so thrilled with everything I make…..so having a coach is brilliant. I bought a double ended zipper a month ago and realised I had no idea how to put it on my bag…….I will follow along here with interest and enthusiasm.

    That Padma fabric is WONDERFUL ❤️❤️❤️❤️
    Off to obedience trials here today with my young girl….and two days later tracking comps for my boy…..

    I’ll be glad to be home with my sewing machine again
    Hugs from Australia.


    1. Hey Poppy!

      I’m lucky that I have a good brain for picturing things and imaging how to make them. It would be a different world all together to be dyslexic! You are a rock star to pursue a past time that must be so challenging! Now I’m really happy that I can help make that easier for you! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

      I’m getting close to being able to start a tutorial on the zipper placket and a zipper pocket. Might have to make another bag so I can do a tutorial that doesn’t include how to make something badly!

      Good luck with your competitions! Our COVID cases are way up so our agility competitions have been canceled for the next few weeks. Luckily, we can still do sheep herding since it’s outdoors.

      I’ll get my second vaccination next week!

      thanks for checking in from the other side of the world! Isn’t the internet an amazing thing!



  6. Great idea to add a zipper! I always find zips a real fiddle but your method seems so easy, thanks for sharing with us. The bags made by everyone are so full of colour, just beautiful, and Wanda does have a superb collection of the Kaffe Collective fabrics dating to the very beginning of his designing fabric. I have been pondering on my pretty large batik collection but I think they would be good for your bags whether for lining or the outside of the bags, love your colourful new collection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wanda does have an amazing stash! I spent some time a few months ago looking through posts on her blog that she’s done on her stash. It’s pretty fascinating. And she’s pretty organized.

      I agree that zippers can be too fiddly. So I like to find ways to get them done easily. This method has worked for me. It might not be as nicely finished as some applications, but I’m the only one who will ever know! And someone who doesn’t sew would certainly ever know!



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