Little stuff? Zip it up! A zippered pouch is always handy, whether as part of a matched set as we’ve done here or on its own to hold whatever small necessities you need to carry. We offer a free pattern download that allows you to cut a perfect curve and gives you the needed markings for the darts at the bottom. These darts add a bit of extra fullness that allows the pouch to expand to hold more and larger items.
This pretty pouch is part of the Travel Trio we made using the Janome Skyline S7 for sewing and the embroidery-only Janome Memory Craft 500E to add a stylish initial to each piece. Make the entire matched set or create each one individually.
A little zippered pouch is always a great gift. With the front and back done in wedding colors, it would make a lovely present for bridesmaids, each with an custom initial.
The MC500E makes it easy to select a built-in design or to bring in, via USB, any outside design your heart desires. We actually “mixed and matched” our machines, pulling a built-in design from the new Skyline S9 sewing and embroidery model to stitch out on the MC500E.
We’ve always been fans of Janome stitch precision, from regular sewing to decorative stitching to embroidery. It makes all the difference in the professional finish of a project, and it’s certainly a secret to our beautiful samples.
Our thanks for Kaufman Fabrics for providing the Sevenberry of Japan lightweight canvas. When selecting fabric for this type of travel set, you want something that’s tough enough to stand-up to heavy use and easy to spot clean, but is still soft to handle and with a bold motif that takes advantage of the larger panels. The fabrics we chose are a canvas and flax blend, which has the perfect feel. And the Sevenberry designs are clean and modern.
If you want to travel smart and stylishly, these three pieces make a handsome set. They would be especially nice as a carry-on since they all fit together. But, they’re just as handy as individual items whenever you’re on-the-go.
Our pattern is made to be a perfect fit for a 7” zipper. For a bold look like ours, choose a metal zipper with a decorative pull. Then add a cute ribbon as a fob. We simply stitched up the center of the ribbon with a straight seam, but you could also use a decorative stitch that tied into the fabric’s motif.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Embroidery Machine; we used the Janome Memory Craft 500E
- Zipper foot
Fabric and Other Supplies
- Scrap or ¼ yard of 44"+ wide lightweight canvas or similar for the back of the pouch; we used 59” wide 6.25 oz cotton/flax canvas from Sevenberry of Japan for Robert Kaufman Fabrics in Brown Flower Prints
- Scrap of ¼ yard of 44"+ wide lightweight canvas or similar for the front of the pouch; we used 44” wide 6.55 oz cotton/flax canvas from Sevenberry of Japan for Robert Kaufman Fabrics in Rose Canvas Natural Dots
- Scrap or ¼ yard of 44"+ wide standard weight cotton for the pouch lining; we used 44” Kona Cotton by Robert Kaufman Fabrics in Peach
- Scrap or ¼ yard of 20"+ wide mid-weight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Décor Bond
- Scrap or ¼ yard of 20"+ wide lightweight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Shape Flex
- Stabilizer for the optional embroidery as recommended for your embroidery machine; we used Pellon Stitch ’n’ Tear
- ¼ yard of ⅛” wide ribbon - optional for zipper pull; we used brown grosgrain
- ONE 7” zipper; we recommend a metal zipper with a decorative pull
- All-purpose thread to match fabric and for topstitching; we used a natural thread color for both construction as well as all the topstitching accents
- Embroidery thread for monogram; we used Aurifil 50wt #2230 Red Peony
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
- Download and print the Pouch Pattern.
IMPORTANT: The pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
- Cut out the pattern along the solid line.
- From the fabric for the front of the pouch (the Rose Dot in our sample), use the pattern to cut ONE.
NOTE: If embroidering a letter, you may want to cut this front panel larger than needed to best fit your hoop.
- From the fabric for the back of pouch (the Brown Flowers in our sample), use the pattern to cut ONE.
- From the fabric for the lining (the Peach Cotton in our sample), use the pattern to TWO.
- Trim the pattern piece along the dotted seam allowance line. Then use this trimmed pattern to cut TWO from EACH type of interfacing.
- The photo below shows all the components (post embroidery).
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Select the embroidery of your choice, adjusting it as needed to best fit the front of the Pouch. We suggest a letter approximately 2¼ - 2½” in height. Our “A” was approximately 2¼”.
- The options for embroidery designs are endless; you can use a machine’s built-in designs or bring in a design from an outside source. Thanks to the easy-to-use USB port on our Janome Memory Craft 500E, we actually brought-in a letter from another Janome model. The Hana Alphabet is one of the built-in designs on the new Janome Skyline S9 sewing and embroidery model. We’ll be featuring more projects this year made using this model, but for this pouch, we combined our wonderful Skyline S7 sewing machine with the embroidery-only MC500E – the perfect pair.
- Find the front panel (cut as directed, using the pattern, or cut larger to best fit your hoop). When cut larger, this is known as “hooping wild,” meaning you hoop plenty of fabric to embroider so you can cut the piece down to size when done.
- Layer with stabilizer as directed by your machine’s instructions.
- The letter should be centered side to side within the cut panel, and the top point of the letter should sit approximately 1½” down from the top raw edge of the panel. Adjust the hoop accordingly.
- Thread the machine with Aurifil 50wt in the top and bobbin; we used Red Peony #2230.
- Attach the hoop to the machine.
- Set-up the machine for embroidery and embroider the one letter.
- When the embroidery is complete, if necessary, use the pattern to center the embroidery prior to cutting the final shape. We first folded the pattern lengthwise and widthwise to create a center-point crosshairs on the paper pattern itself.
- Use this folded-in crosshairs to make sure your embroidery is correctly positioned.
- Pin the pattern in place and cut out the final front panel.
- Use the pattern guidelines to mark the bottom darts in all the fabric pieces: front, back, and both lining panels.
- Repeat for the two interfacing panels, but after marking, cut away the center of the dart. This removes the bulk from the dart.
Interfacing and darts
- Find all four fabric panels and the four interfacing panels. The mid-weight interfacing should be paired with the exterior front and pack panels, the lightweight with the lining panels.
- Place an appropriate interfacing panel on the wrong side of each fabric panel. The interfacing should be positioned so there is ½” of fabric extending beyond the interfacing on all sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Using your originally marked guidelines, stitch darts into the bottom of all four interfaced panels: front, back, and both lining panels.
NOTE: If you are new to making darts, we have a full step-by-step tutorial.
Assemble the panels with the center zipper
- Place the front panel right side up on your work surface.
- Pin the zipper in place across the top, double checking that the zipper and the panel are right sides together.
NOTE: For this zippered pouch, our 7” zipper is a perfect fit across the top of the pouch so it does not require end tabs. If you are working with a smaller zipper or wish to cut a zipper to fit, see our Classic Zipper Pouch tutorial for step-by-step instructions.
- Attach a Zipper foot.
- Baste the zipper in place.
NOTE: All with all zipper insertions, when you feel you are approaching the zipper pull, stop with your needle in the down position. Raise the presser foot and twist the layers slightly so you can access the pull and move it out of the way of the presser foot. Once clear, drop the presser foot, re-position the layers, and finish the seam.
- Find one lining piece. Place the lining panel right side down on top of the front panel, sandwiching the zipper between the layers.
NOTE: In the photo below, the interfacing is not in place on the wrong side of the lining. This is because our photo was from an earlier prototype. For your pouch, you should already have the interfacing fused in place to the wrong side of the lining.
- The top raw edge of the lining panel should be aligned with the other layers. Pin through all the layers.
NOTE: In this photo, you see the zipper pull in place. More on that option below.
- Stitch across the top through all three layers, using a ¼” seam.
- Open up the entire unit so it lays flat. The exterior front and lining extend to either side of the zipper and the remaining free side of the zipper tape is sticking up. Press flat, pressing the seam allowance toward the lining.
- Topstitch along the zipper on just the lining side. Remember to move the zipper pull out of the way so you can maintain a straight seam.
NOTE: For this pouch design, we left the exterior front and back of the pouch clear of topstitching, but added the line of edgestitching to the lining to help it stay down inside the pouch when complete.
- Find the back exterior panel and the remaining lining panel. Repeat the steps to attach these layers to the remaining free edge of the zipper.
- Flatten the two sides of the pouch again – exterior to one side of the zipper, lining to the other side. Open up the zipper.
- The exterior front and back are right sides together and the lining pieces are right sides together. Align the raw edges all around. Pin in place, leaving an approximate 3” opening along the bottom of the lining for turning.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch around the entire perimeter. We continued to use our Zipper foot.
- Go slowly around the curves to keep a smooth and even seam allowance, and remember to lock your seam at either side of the 3” opening.
- We also double-stitched along either end of the zipper for extra security at this stress point.
- Clip the curves.
Finish and add optional pull
- Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the bottom of the lining.
- Hand stitch or edgestitch the opening in the lining.
- Push the lining down inside the pouch. Align the seams and push out the top corners at either end of the zipper.
- If using the ribbon pull, add it now. Cut an approximate 6” length of ribbon and thread it through the zipper pull.
- Align the raw ends of the ribbon so the pull is now approximately 3”. Because our ribbon was polyester, we lightly burned the ends to prevent fraying. You could also use a seam sealant, such as Dritz Fray Check.
- Using a contrasting thread and a lengthened stitch, run a short seam up the center of the ribbon.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever