This is one of my favorite things I’ve made. I love the way the bright colors stand out on the denim.
This was the first time I’ve used embroidery floss for anything other than cross-stitch or making friendship bracelets. I don’t know anything about embroidery, though I recently found out both my mother and grandmother do.
This “embroidery” was inspired by me seeing this coin purse on Etsy. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. When I found a dark blue denim remnant at the thrift store, I knew this pouch was going to happen.
I got a jeans zipper to go with the denim, some super colorful embroidery thread, and a pack of tapestry needles from Hobby Lobby and looked back at the pouch to figure out how to go about making it. Then I realized my dream pouch was made of wool, which I assume is way easier to embroider. I had a moment of panic and though, I can’t embroider denim! That must be impossible. (Which obviously it isn’t.)
I had a conversation with my grandma about embroidery at our family Christmas after she asked if I embroidered this dress for Emma. I didn’t, and can’t even begin to fathom the amount of work involved in something like that. I asked her about embroidering denim and she said sure, why not?
I got to work soon after I returned home. I eliminated the gathered part of the gathered clutch tutorial from Noodlehead (and skipped the interfacing) to make my basic pouch. I wanted my end tabs to be exactly right, which involved me ripping out a TON of stitching when I was nearly completed because it didn’t line up the way I wanted.
I also tried adding a wristlet strap. I’m happy with the way I made the strap, using the strap part of this tutorial, and sewing lines 1/4″ apart the whole way down the strap, but it wasn’t working for me on this pouch so I had to tear that out too. I was frustrated after realizing I had to redo most of the pouch so I tabled it for awhile. Later, after lots of ripping and resewing and ripping out the resewing and re-resewing, I was finally satisfied with the finished pouch.
Then it was time to embroider. I left the hole in the lining open and worked through that to embroider the front. I really enjoyed this part. I liked the way the colors showed up and the stitches were art instead of something to be hidden.
I started off sewing straight lines like the original inspiration, but they looked boring on my pouch and didn’t have the impact I wanted. Then I tried circles and loved them. Doing the circles freeform was a bit of a challenge for an exacting perfectionist who likes symmetry. I did mark some of them with soap so they would be circular, and I ripped out any number of stitches that looked too angular.
I really liked the lining fabric I used. It was a remnant from the local fabric store in town and complimented the bright colors of the embroidery floss.
After I was done (and kept staring at my finished pouch and smiling), I vaguely recalled an embroidered pouch with circles on it that I’d seen somewhere. I combed my Pinterest board and Etsy favorites to no avail. Then I searched “embroidered circle pouch” on Etsy and this pouch popped up. Lo and behold, it’s from the same seller as my original.
I’m thinking about learning
more real embroidery. I recently found some vintage embroidery transfers at the thrift store. What couple doesn’t want matching embroidered denim shirts? Especially when you can choose from designs like a radish or a snail! I’d totally wear that island sunset shirt though.
Every time I look at my beautiful, colorful pouch I get a big grin on my face. It’s so nice to take something you envisioned from your mind out into the real world.