This project came about for the same reasons as the Ruffled Pouch. I could use a new place to store my toiletries and makeup in preparation for the next time I go traveling, and I’m trying out different shapes and sizes to see what works out best for me 😀 There are a lot of tutorials for similar kind of pouches out there, but I made mine with a certain size in mind, and also something that I could make with French seams so the lining is all sewn in place with no raw edges. Maybe this method will also work out for you!
Materials & Tools:
• 1/2 yd. of light to medium weight fabric for outer pouch (I used interfaced quilting cotton)
• 1/2 yd. of lightweight fabric for lining (I used polyester lining fabric)
• 1/2 yd. heavy interfacing (I used Décor Bond from Pellon)
• 12” zipper (at least)
• Matching sewing thread
• Basic sewing tools (sewing machine, scissors, iron, needles, pins, fabric marker, seam ripper)
Before you begin:
1. Print out the project pattern here
2. Assemble the pattern pieces, see the page here for more help
3. Lay out the pattern pieces on your fabric and interfacing and cut them out
4. Mark the fabric pieces with the markings from the pattern
1. This project uses heavyweight interfacing to give the pouch some extra stability, but there are some places where it doesn’t need to be in order to help with bulk. So if your fabric is a little flimsy and you want to use interfacing, cut it using the pattern from the .pdf, then iron it in place to the wrong side of your outer fabric, centered both lengthwise and widthwise.
2. To prep the zipper and make it easier to handle, we’re adding tabs on the sides. Trim the zipper to 12” long and add the tabs by sandwiching the short ends between two of the zipper tab pieces. Sew through all three layers, trim the seam allowance to 1/4” and press the fabric away from the zipper.
3. To install the zipper, sandwich it between one short side of the outer pouch piece and lining piece. The right side of the zipper should be facing the right side of the outer fabric. Sew these layers in place with a 1/4” seam allowance. If you have a zipper foot, it’ll come in handy here.
4. Repeat this with the other side of the lining and outer fabric as well as the other side of the zipper tape. You’ll have to fold the pieces over to achieve this, so it should look something like this shown.
5. When you’ve finished with the zipper, press the fabrics away from the zipper and turn the whole thing right side out. The lining should be nicely tucked inside. Flatten the fabric so the zipper runs along the middle of the pouch. Now we’re going to tackle a French seam. Sew a 1/8” seam on each side of the pouch, making sure to get all the layers. I used a bit of a wide zigzag to make sure I caught everything. When finished, trim any excess fabric or threads away from the seam.
6. Turn the whole pouch inside out and poke the corners with the chopstick or similar blunt tool, then press the previous seams flat. Sew the side seams again, but this time with a 3/8” seam allowance, which should nicely encase the previous seam.
7. Before we can sew the corners of the pouch, we need to add the little handle on the end. The handle is also reinforced with some heavyweight interfacing that’s fused in the middle. To create the handle, fold under each long edge of the handle by 1/2” and iron the folds in place. Then fold the entire handle in half with wrong sides facing.
9. This step is to prep for sewing the corners a bit later. To sew the corners, make right angle markings at each corner of the pouch while it’s inside out. Measure in 2” from each side (start from the seam) and mark the right angle there. With any luck, this should line up with the edges of the interfacing you applied in step 1.
10. Before we do the corners, we need to finish the business with the handle. The handle is sewn on one end of the pouch, centered across the horizontal seam, 1 3/4” in from each fold. Sewing it in place involves getting inside the pouch to make the seam lie flat, so it takes a bit of finagling. You’ll see what it looks like next.
11. To actually get the handles on there, you’ll need to get inside the pouch and spread that area with the seam flat. Pin the handle centered on top and sew it in place where you marked previously. This is what it might look like.
12. And here’s what it looks like when the handle is finally attached. As you can see, it’s centered across the horizontal seam. It looks messy now but it’ll be much cleaner once the corners are sewn!
13. Now we can finally do the corners! Turn the pouch back inside out and fold the corners of the pouch diagonally in order to match up the markings you drew back in step 9. Sew across this line to turn your flat pouch into a 3D box.
15. To keep those little flaps from moving all over the place, stitch them to the inside of your pouch by folding them down across the short ends of the pouch and using a few hand stitches to hold it in place. As a bonus, this extra fabric provides even more support for your pouch so it retains its boxy shape.
There you have it! I hope you’ll find that the pouch stores quite a lot. I can’t wait to try it out with the pencils and other things I have.
If you do try making the project, I’d love to see it! Send me a photo and I’ll send you exclusive free patterns as a reward!