Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Budget Pouches

For years Bryan and I have kept cash for various budget categories in paper envelopes. Envelopes are a highly functional, simple, no nonsense solution. I toyed with the idea of making something pretty, I bought zippers, but never stitched anything.

Recently we decided to try paying cash more often and not so quickly resorting to the credit card (which we have always paid in full each month). The hope is that we will stick faithfully to the budget if we are handing over actual dollar bills.

All it took was one, just one, trip to Walmart with a ratty paper envelope and coins falling out in my purse. One blush. Two hours later I was home, finishing my first zipper pouch.

Ally and I (because of course she helped) are so pleased with our work. She was inspired to make some pouches of her own. We bought out every white, seven inch zipper in the store. We used this zipper tutorial. The interior has no raw edges. After our first bag we decided to leave the opening (that you use to pull the fabric right side out) on the side rather than the bottom of the pouch. If you follow the pattern there is a little crease on the bottom, and we could easily see crud getting caught in it. After stitching three with slightly different sizes we decided to trim our square (the point when all four rectangles are stitched to the zipper - see above) to 8.25 by 8.25 inches. Then our finished product came out the same size each time. Our finishing touch was Ally's handstitched labels, made on little bits of linen and tacked on so that they'll be easy to switch.

But you know what? After all our hard work, and eye-catching colors Bryan still refuses to be seen in public with one of our fabric pouches. Carry the brown floral car repair pouch to the mechanic? Not a chance. He will carry the cash in his wallet. I won't hold it against him. He is, after all, a man.

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