My big girl has her first-ever sleep away from home tomorrow (eek!). Her school hosts a sleep-over for kids who are transitioning up to the next age group. I'll drop her off at school as usual on Thursday morning but won't pick her up again until school ends on Friday. Moms who have been through this night advised against packing little notes or special somethings because they are reminders that the kids are away and usually induce homesickness rather than avert it (good point). Wanting to send a little piece of homemade love with her (though nothing too obvious), I sewed a little zippered pouch as a special place to pack her toothbrush and toothpaste.
This was my first attempt at sewing zips, and it was a great first project! Aussie Mum directed me to this tutorial, which she used to sew a pencil case for our wee girl's birthday in February. It calls for small squares of fabric to enclose the zip at each end. It was a fantastic tutorial, but I wanted to see what difference it would make not to have those squares. I found this excellent tutorial for the pouch I made. I ended up using a bit of both tutorials to fully understand what I was trying to do, but I got there with relative ease. Only by searching further tutorials did I finally find a missing snippet of wisdom: cut your fabric to length of the entire zipper. The width is up to you. My zipper was 20cm/8" with half an inch of fabric on either end (9" total), so I cut my outer and lining fabrics to 9"x6" rectangles. From there, it came together quite easily, and the lining makes it look much more challenging and professional than it really is.
I'm very happy with this little pouch, but more importantly, my girl is thrilled! I was (secretly) thrilled this morning when she chose to pack the pajamas I made for her a while ago (which she doesn't often wear). I'm so (secretly) nervous about her being away overnight, but I'd never let her know that. She's ready, she's excited, and she has a bit of homemade lovin' packed along with her to get her (me?) through the night.