Using a very good tutorial from Noodlehead, I made a couple of zippered pouches for end of the year teacher gifts. The first one is for a purple-loving teacher in an Echino fabric. Since I don't have enough fabric for another pouch like this, it was difficult to give it away. But she deserves it.
The second pouch uses a small remnant of what was originally a very expensive piece of French home decor fabric (Pierre Frey, I think). The zippers are charming vintage zippers (only 20 cents each) from Foam & Fabrics of Asheville. For the red pouch, I had to shorten the zipper at the top by removing individual teeth with needle nosed pliers, something I hadn't tried before. Shortening from the top was necessary to avoid stitching over the metal teeth at the bottom of the zipper. It worked out well.
The special thing about this design is how it opens completely and stands up on its own bottom.
I liked the pouches so much that I made one for myself. The copper metallic lambskin is quite thin and pliable (from FabricMart a few years ago), so I used a fusible weft insertion interfacing to give it a bit more substance, as well as a great lining (Techno Taffeta from Vera Wang via Fabric.com, also several years ago) with quite a bit of crispness.
A chunkier zipper would certainly improve the look of this piece. I'll be keeping my eyes open for something like that for future pouches.
Room for a wallet, a couple of lip things, keys, a cell phone and sunglasses--adding in a checkbook makes it just a bit too heavy. I've been carrying a smallish vintage Coach shoulder bag which holds about as much, but weighs quite a bit more. It's nice to lighten up for a change. One thing life has taught me is that there is no perfect bag, but sometimes I enjoy trying something different.
My hand gives you a bit of idea of the scale. This is the medium sized bag from the tutorial. The pieces are 9" x 12", with a 12" zipper. The corners are boxed.