A Simple Little Pouch Tutorial

February 25, 2016 § 26 Comments

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Hello, lovely people.  I recently gave a demo at my local quilt shop on how to make this little pouch . Here it is for you to enjoy.  I made the first one back in December and then gave it away as a gift.  That yellow fabric was SO lovely, but it was a clearance fat quarter and I haven’t found any more elsewhere. Granted, I haven’t looked all that hard either.

The inspiration started with a photo I saw on Pinterest. I just really liked the shape. So I started playing around with a piece of paper until I found a size that I liked. You can do the same and make this pouch bigger or smaller. If you make it smaller, though, you will need to either find a smaller zipper or cut down a bigger zipper. I used the 14″ zippers that are sold in my local quilt shop.

With that, let’s get started. You will need 3 different fabrics, one for the outside, one for the lining and one for the binding, and a 14″ zipper to match.

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  • Cut the outside fabric approximately 11” x 13”.  You can go a tiny bit smaller and still use a 14″ zipper but not much more than an inch smaller. After that you will need to find a smaller zipper.
  • Cut batting a little bit bigger than the outside fabric.
  • Cut lining fabric the same size as the batting.
  • Quilt as desired. I used a walking foot to quilt the pouch. You may also have an even feed feature on your machine.
  • I quilted mine with vertical lines 1” apart and parallel to the shorter edge and then diagonal lines to make a diamond pattern all over the bag.  I like to use my Hera Marker to mark where I want to sew.
  • Trim the rectangle to square it up. But don’t trim it much smaller than 10 1/2” x 12 1/2”, otherwise you may need a smaller zipper.

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  • Using a fabric marker of choice, mark a 6” diameter curve on each corner of the rectangle. This just happened to be the size of my cereal bowl. But you can use a pencil with string or a compass. You may even consider making the curve from a piece of template plastic if you want to make a lot of pouches. Then you will always have it on hand.

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  • Cut along the marked corners to make the corners rounded.

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  • Cut a 2 1/2” x Width-of-Fabric stripe for the binding. Press in half lengthwise.  If you are cutting from a fat quarter, you will need two 2 1/2″ strips, one for each side of the pouch.
  • Start sewing the binding to the quilted pouch rectangle in the middle of the short end and on the lining side. No need to finish the starting edges because this will eventually be cut off.

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  • Sew the binding to the lining side, fold over, and stitch it down to the outside of the pouch. I stitched the binding entirely by machine.
  • If you would prefer to hand sew the binding, then start by sewing the binding to the outside of the pouch and hand sew to the lining side.

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  • Mark the centers of the long edges with a pin or a marking pencil as well as the center of the zipper.

 

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  • Pin the zipper to the pouch.
  • Make sure that the distance between the end of the zipper and the center of the pouch side is the same on each side. You may need to repin to make them nearly the same.

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  • Sew one half of the zipper to the pouch, matching the center of the pouch with the center of the zipper. Be sure to use a zipper foot so that you can stitch close the the edge of the binding.
  • Starting in the center of the short end, topstitch the binding, then continue stitching to secure the zipper to the pouch. Stop sewing when you have reached the center of the other short end.

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  • Repeat by pinning the other half of the zipper to the other side of the pouch, matching the center marks of the pouch and the zipper.
  • Make sure that the ends of the zipper on the second half meet at the same place as the first half. You may need to repin and ease the zipper around to get it to match the first half.

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  • Start in the center of the short end where you previously ended and topstitch the binding and then sew over the zipper to secure it to the pouch, ending at the end of the other short side where the stitching started.
  • This is probably the most challenging part of the bag. It can be a little tricky trying to squeeze your presser foot into that tight corner.  You don’t need to start in the exact center. You probably have about an inch of leeway to adjust your starting point. That little corner will eventually be cut away.

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  • Fold in the ends of the pouch to make a pleated bottom. Mark a 3” line across the fold with a permanent marker or temporary pencil. This will be your stitching line. Mark the other end of the pouch in the same way.
  • Stitch along the marked line on each side, then cut away the corners, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.

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  • Cut two 4” x 2 1/2” pieces of binding from the lining fabric.
  • Fold each one in half and press. You will use these to cover the cut corner edges inside the pouch.

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  • Sew the binding to each corner. Fold the ends in and then fold over the binding. Pin in place and sew it down. This makes the inside so neat and tidy.

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  • Where there is a hole between the zipper and the corner seam, hand stitch the pouch binding together with a ladder stitch.  I stitched it twice for extra strength.

 

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This completes your Simple Little Pouch!

You can play with the size, or even adding a wrist strap or small handles to the top.  Make it your own!

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Simple Little Pouch

December 20, 2015 § 12 Comments

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Only five more days until Christmas! Are you ready? I am, but I’m not. Where does the time go?  I finished up my first semester of grad school last week and I was dying to get into my sewing room and create. All I’ve been doing, though, is laundry and errands and baking and napping. I have been knitting on one final gift that doesn’t need to be done until after Christmas.  All I want to do is escape to a cabin in the snowing mountains with some snowshoes, a fireplace and some handwork. Instead, we will pretend that our house is in the snowy woods, make a day trip to the mountains, build a fire at home and imagine that we are somewhere else.

This little pouch was inspired by one that I saw on Pinterest.  It may end up as a gift… or it may not. I haven’t decided. I was thinking about making a tutorial but I don’t have the energy at the moment. Instead, here are the basic measurements in case you feel like tackling one on minimal information.

  • Start with an 11″ x 13″ rectangle, layer with batting and lining and quilt.
  • Trim the corners with a 3″ radius (6″ diameter circle)
  • Bind all the way around.
  • Apply the zipper to the long ends of the rectangle.
  • On the short end, fold to make box corners, stitch at a width of 3″ and trim.
  • Bind the raw edges of the corners and slip stitch from the zipper to the corner to close.

I know those are pretty rough instructions. Maybe I will create a better tutorial later, if anyone is interested.

Merry Christmas! May you experience the true light and peace of Christmas this year. ❤

Sew together, stay together

July 20, 2015 § 10 Comments

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A friend of mine asked me when I was going to blog again. She said that Charlie was cute, but……. she needed something new to look at. Haha!  He is pretty cute, but I can understand needing a change of scenery.

Not much has been going on around here.  Or at least nothing very blog worthy. My rib is getting better every day. Nearly well, in fact.  Now, if the weather would cool off a little!  It has been the hottest, driest summer I can remember since moving here.  If we don’t get out and do something early in the morning, well, we just don’t do much.
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I haven’t been doing much sewing either.  What is wrong with me? I had big plans to get so many things done this summer. And since our bicycle crash… Nothing.

Although, when my friend, Letty, received a Sew Together Bag in a swap, I was finally bitten by the bug to make one for myself.  I can see now why people have been so excited about this bag. It’s pretty easy to make and so fun to use!
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I used fusible fleece instead of interfacing for the outside, which made the binding a teeny bit harder to apply.  And the only thing I wish I would have done differently is to buy a longer zipper for the outside. Maybe that would allow the bag to open up just a bit more. Other than that, I am quite happy with this little bag.

It’s now keeping together the parts to a new English paper piecing project. Because… you just can have too many WIP’s, right?

 

The “Everything in its Place” bag

October 30, 2014 § 11 Comments

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When I saw Letty’s Everything In Its Place Bag, I was intrigued.  But it was after taking a wool embroidery class together and from the enthusiasm of both Letty & Leslie, who works at the shop where we took the class, that I decided that I needed one for myself.

BTW, the pattern is called A Place For Everything on byAnnie.com. But, it’s called Everything in its Place on Craftsy. Go figure. It’s the one and same Annie who created Soft & Stable. She also sells the zippers in a variety of colors.

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The bag zips open to reveal pages for storing all sorts of things.  I’ve put hand sewing & embroidery things in my pockets.

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The pockets stack together and stick to one another with strips of velcro.

I love my bag!  But let me list the pros & cons for you. I’m glad I made it.  But the whole thing is not for the faint of heart.

  • It is very labor intensive!
  • Sewing on clear vinyl can be tricky.
  • The zippers are not cheap. But that’s what makes the bag so great.  In comparison to making a quilt, I guess the cost is no big deal. But if I had to pay for the bag already made, I would have balked at the price.  I try not to think about how much money I spent on this bag and just enjoy the awesomeness of it.
  • I tried to make the package of Zippers by the Yard work for the entire bag, but came up with one page left without zippers. So I made the last page a mesh pocket instead. I am totally fine with that modification.
  • The pattern doesn’t have very many diagrams, so it is totally worth the cost of taking the Craftsy class.  The class was on sale when I took it.
  • I also made some major adjustments to the pattern.  After Letty and I discussed the use of the bag, and while I was putting mine together, I decided to make some critical changes to the pattern that would make the whole thing work better for me.

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The first thing that I changed was to take the handle off the closed end of the bag.  The reasoning behind this was that this is where the velcro holds the bag together. And when the bag is being carried around, essentially, gravity is pulling pages down & putting extra strain on the velcro.  It didn’t seem like a long term, efficient, frugal thing to do.  So I removed the handle (yes, it was a bear to rip out) and made the top the bottom and the bottom the top.

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So, then I purchase some 1 1/2″ nylon webbing and made some handles to sew onto the open end of the bag.  Now, when I carry the bag around there isn’t as much strain pulling on the velcro and pulling the bag out of shape. Seems like it might last a little longer this way.

I also had a hard time getting the zipper side panels to fit the body of the bag without puckering at the corners.  I eventually cut off a whole inch from the zipper panels to make sure that there were as few puckers around the corners as possible.

I also cut 1/4″ off of each end of each page.  When I started stacking up the pages inside the bag, it seemed like the pages then stuck out more.  Lying flat they fit in the bag nicely.  But folded up, they seemed to push out the zipper panels of the bag body.  Besides, this also seemed to place the pleats in the vinyl to be more centered than previously. So it was a win/win decision.

And… after talking about how the zippers were applied to the vinyl, I ended up making 3/4″ bias tape, folded in half, out of my contrast fabric to cover the edge of the vinyl so that I wouldn’t have to fold the vinyl over. This also nicely covered the thread from basting the pleats in the vinyl that would have otherwise been visible.

I love how it turned out!! And now I can grab my bag and take everything I need for embroidery & stitching projects without having to dig around my sewing room to locate it all. Yay!

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The only thing I wish I had done differently was to somehow finish the edge of the fabric that is under the zipper panels.  Can you see the little threads fraying out?  I need to go pick up some Fray Check to prevent them from fraying more.

My week of UFO sewing is going well. But it’s going by WAY too fast.  I’ve been working on 3 different UFO’s. One is a year old. Another is 5 years old. And the last one is 10 years old. It’s time to finish these babies, don’t you think?

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Ready, set, where shall we go?

August 20, 2014 § 6 Comments

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I made a bag!  The Departure Satchel by StudioCherie to be precise. It’s a downloadable pattern from Craftsy. I was inspired by my friend, Letty, over at Happy Dance Quilting and her travel bags that she recently made.  So we had a sewing day that gave me a good start on mine.

The front has a deep pleated pocket for all kinds of stuff.  And a small zip pocket in the middle of the big pleated pocket.
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The back has a wide sleeve to slip over your rolling luggage handle. It works better on the handles that have two rods coming out of the luggage rather than just one like mine.  But it’s a clever pattern, none-the-less.  We tested it out on Letty’s luggage before I finished the whole bag.

The wide sleeve was supposed to have a pop-up zip pocket on it, but I was too scared to make it and it didn’t seem very useful to me. So I left it off.  There are so many layers to stitch through at that point that I was wary about how it was going to look.

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Inside it has another small zip pocket and a large split pocket on the front side of the bag.  The smaller zip pocket was supposed to have a flap over it to hide it and make it secret. But it seemed to make it harder to reach into for me, so I left the flap off.

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And there is a big zip pocket on the sleeve side in the back.  It’s called a laptop or tablet pocket in the pattern.  I made it just as it said but there is no extra padding for fragile technology so I’m not that comfortable using it as such. And my husband’s laptop doesn’t fit in there. My laptop is even bigger so I’m not going to worry about the lack of extra padding and just call it a nice deep pocket.

Overall, I love this bag!  It is a nice size and with diligent patience & study of the pattern beforehand, it went together well.  I had to really study the pattern before cutting to determine which pieces were used where so that I could figure out which fabric it needed to come from.  The pattern uses just one feature fabric for the bag and canvas as the inside lining.  What the pattern calls the lining is actually the inside pockets, I think.  I added an extra layer of fabric on the inside as the lining so that the canvas wasn’t exposed.  It worked out great!

The canvas as a base gives it good shape without being puffy like batting sometimes looks.  The assembly of the pieces is an efficient use of design but be sure to use a heavy jean’s needle when sewing because the many layers of fabric along with the canvas makes it quite thick!

My only real dislike of the pattern is that it is 42 pages long!! Forty-two!  Twenty of them are pattern pieces that need to be taped together. And the rest are sewing instructions and extra images of the bag.  I do love that it is downloadable. You can be ready to sew in minutes if you have all the fabrics & zippers on hand.  I ordered the long zipper for the bag opening and the zipper for the inside laptop pocket from StudioCherie and found the shorter zippers at my local fabric shop.  The instructions are fairly easy to follow.  If you have ever made an Amy Butler bag… this one is 100 times better in understanding what to do next!

I’m contemplating making another one because I may OR may not give this one away.  I haven’t decided.

Big Blooms Bag

June 19, 2014 § 10 Comments

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A few weeks ago I made this bag that I am planning to give to a friend.  I only had a fat quarter of the Big Blooms fabric by Kaffe Fassett.  So I added a dotty fabric to the sides.

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I used the same dotty fabric on the inside with a splash of yellow gingham on the sides.

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The inspiration came from this bag I picked up at the grocery store last Christmas.  The grocery store has been contracting with etsy artists to design reusable bags. I love the guy with the cat & his bicycle!  If only I could get my cats to ride on my bike with me.  Ha!  The artist is Matte Stephens and his illustrations are fabulous!

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I love the size of this bag!  It  is a little bigger than my Square Bag yet smaller than a regular grocery bag.  The Square Bag is perfect for a sock knitting project.  This bag is good for a scarf or a shawl project or a small sewing project. It seems that one can never have enough bags.

Got the Kindle covered

May 17, 2014 § 9 Comments

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I made a Kindle cover!  I had some mini charms lurking in my stash and this seemed like a good thing to make with them.  It feels a bit granny. But whatever.  I need to use up what I have.

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A couple of weeks ago I stitched the squares together.  And today I decided that I needed to finish one thing. Just one thing!  I’m having such a hard time finishing anything these days.

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All I did was trace around this Timbuk2 one that we have.  Blatant copycat, I am.  It works. Why re-invent the wheel?

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What I used as the padding is this Soft & Stable that I have had sitting around for quite awhile. At the time, the shop only had it in black. Not the best to use with white fabric. But it’s what I had.  It’s got a little foam in the middle. It’s not as sturdy as the Timbuk2 one, but it’s quite a bit better than plain old batting.

I see that it’s not raining so I’d better go work on the mess in the garden.  The mess in the sewing room will have to wait.

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