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Roomy Zippered Weekender Pouch with Darts: Weekend Wonders Returns with Fabric.com

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Today's pretty pouch is the third member of our Weekender Travel Trio in the perfect fall fabric trio of twill, faux suede and brushed cotton gingham. Darts in the bottom give the pouch a roomy base, and the zippered top opens wide so you can really load it up with all the extras you need for a getaway. All three of our Weekender projects go so well together, they really need to travel as a set. Make one set for yourself and another for your weekend adventure pal... 'cause what's a road trip without your bestie?! The faux suede stripe through the middle adds to both style and texture and is the perfect background for our snazzy monogram.

As you can tell, we're lovin' the fabric combo we picked for our Weekend Travel Trio, but that doesn't mean you can't experiment with your own special blend. If you want to "audition" some options, Fabric.com sells samples of most of their fabrics. Look for the "Order Swatch" icon on the fabric's detail page, which indicates availability. Solid swatches are 3" x 3" and prints are 8" x 8". Another great resource to check out are Fabric.com's Charts and Yardage estimators, including a very helpful one for window coverings.

If you'd like to add a monogram to your project as we did, click here to download the full alphabet and brackets. This free download is sponsored by Fabric.com and is available in six major embroidery formats.

Our pouch finishes at approximately 7" wide x 4" high with a 2" base and a 6" handle loop.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies


NOTE: Inventory shifts constantly, and some prints may not be in-stock when you first visit. However, there are other color options as well as re-stock dates listed for each fabric.

Getting Started

  1. Download and print the Zippered Case pattern.
    IMPORTANT: The pattern download consists of ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print this PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  2. Cut out the pattern piece along the solid line. 
  3. From the fabric for for the pouch exterior and strap tab, (Eco Twill in Natural in our sample), cut the following:
    ONE 2" x 2½" strip for the tab
    Using the pattern, cut TWO pouch pieces
  4. From the fabric for the accent bands, the strap and the zipper tabs, (Vintage Suede in Espresso in our sample), cut the following:
    If monogramming, cut ONE strip 2½" x 6½" strip; cut ANOTHER rectangle big enough to hoop; it will be cut down after embroidery to 2½" x 6½"
    If not monogramming, cut TWO 2½" x 6½" strips
    ONE 2" x 14" strip for the strap
    TWO 1¼" x 2½" strips for the zipper tabs
  5. From the fabric for the lining and the little zipper pull (Small Check in Ivory/Charcoal in our sample), cut the following:
    ONE ¾" x 8" strip for the zipper pull
    Using the pattern, cut TWO pouch pieces

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Optional embroidery

  1. Download the free font collection in the proper format for your machine.
  2. Hoop the faux suede fabric and stabilizer, and monogram the letter of your choice surrounded by the brackets.
  3. Trim the finished fabric to 2½" wide x 6½" high, positioning the embroidery so it is centered side to side and top to bottom within the strip.

Attach the accent bands

  1. Find one exterior pouch piece. Fold it in half and lightly press to set a vertical center crease.
  2. Find the accent band. Fold back each long side ¼" and press, using a pressing cloth. Machine baste each folded edge in place.
  3. Fold the band in half lengthwise and mark the center point at the top and bottom of the strip.
  4. Center the accent band on the front pouch piece, centering it over the pouch's crease line and using the accent band's top and bottom pin points as additional guides. Pin the band in place. The top of the band should be flush with the top of the pouch panel; the bottom of the band will extend beyond the bottom curve of the pouch panel. There are also guidelines printed on the pattern piece. You could transfer these marks for additional centering help if need be.
  5. Thread the machine with thread to match the accent band in the top and bobbin.
  6. Edgestitch along both sides. Your seam line should be as close to the outer folded edge of the band as possible, and so will be well out of the way of the basting. 
  7. Repeat to attach the plain accent band to the back exterior pouch piece. Trim the bottom of the band on both pieces so it is flush with the curved bottom of the pouch.
  8. Remove all the basting stitches when complete.

Darts and other pattern markings

  1. On all four pouch pieces, use the guidelines on the pattern piece to mark the two darts and the two dots in upper left, which are for tab placement. Your marks are done on the wrong side of each piece.
  2. Fold each dart...
  3. ... then stitch the two darts in each pouch piece.

    NOTE: If you are new to making darts, we have a great step-by-step tutorial!
  4. On both the exterior pouch and the lining, on the front panel of each pair, press the darts towards the outside.
  5. Flip over and topstitch along each seam.
  6. On the back panel of each pair, press the darts toward the inside and topstitch in place.
    NOTE: These extra topstitching steps allow the darts to serve double-duty. They provide fullness to the bottom curve of the pouch as any darts would, but the additional steps allow the base to form more of a flat bottom when the front is stitched to the back. 

Zipper tabs

  1. Find the 7" zipper and the two 1¼" x 2½" strips.
  2. Place one strip on each end of the zipper so the strip and the zipper are right sides together and the end of the strip is about ¼  from the raw ends of the zipper tape. Stitch the zipper tabs in place, running your seam just below the top and bottom zipper stops.
  3. Press the zipper tabs away from the zipper on each end. Open the zipper.

Insert the zipper

  1. Place the finished front panel of the bag right side up on your work surface.
  2. Lay your zipper right side down on top of the top edge (teeth facing down on the right side of the fabric and with the zipper pull to the left). The edge of the zipper tape should be even with the fabric's raw horizontal edge. Make sure the zipper is centered between the left and right sides of the panel. The zipper tabs will extend beyond the raw edges of the panel. 
  3. Pin the zipper to the panel, being careful to pin through just the top of the zipper.
  4. Attach your Zipper foot. Your needle should be in the left-most position. 
  5. Stitch as close to the zipper as the foot will allow, removing the pins as you sew. 
  6. Go slowly. You can stitch with the zipper open or closed. If you have trouble maneuvering around the zipper pull, you can stop with your needle in the down position. Twist your fabric around slightly and carefully close the zipper. Re-position your fabric and finish sewing to the end. Be very careful and go slowly; you want your seam line to be super-duper straight.
  7. Press the panel away from the zipper. 
  8. Repeat to attach the other side of the zipper to the back exterior panel. Make sure the panels match up: twill to twill and faux suede to faux suede.
  9. You should now have panels stitched in place on either side of the zipper; the excess width should be neatly filled in with the zipper tabs.
  10. Flip the sewn panel to the right side and topstitch along each side of the zipper. 

    NOTE: If you are new to working with zippers, check out updated tutorial on regular zippers. The process for this little pouch is also somewhat similar to how we inserted the zipper in our Ty Pennington Holiday Gift Pouches as well as our Zippered Pencil Case. There are several additional photos within these project instructions, which may help you walk through the process.

Make and place the ring and strap tab

  1. Find the 2" x 2½" length of twill. 
  2. Fold in each 2½" raw edge ¼" and press. Fold the strip in half lengthwise, aligning the folded edges, so the strip is now ¾" x 2½"
  3. Edgestitch down both sides of the strip. 
  4. Find the D-ring. Slip the strip through the ring.
  5. Find the flat exterior panel (front and back panels with the zipper between the two). Place the tab in the upper left corner on the front panel, between the two pattern placement dots you marked above. Pin or machine baste in place, staying close to the raw edge.

Stitch both the exterior and lining front to back and assemble all

  1. Fold the front and back exterior panels right sides together so the zipper is centered at the top edge, sandwiching the tab between the layers. 
  2. Make sure the raw edges of the curve and the darts are aligned. Pin in place along both sides and around the bottom curve. The zipper should be open.
  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around the entire curve of the case, starting and stopping at the zipper top and tail. 
  4. Trim the seam allowance to ¼", clip the curves and trim away the excess zipper tab fabric. 
  5. Turn the pouch right side out through the zipper opening. Pull the tab out into position.
  6. Sew the interior lining together in the same manner, but the top will simply be open as there is no zipper.
  7. Using a blunt edged tool, like a large knitting needle, smooth out the curves of both the exterior and the lining. Press well, remembering to use a pressing cloth to protect the faux suede.
  8. Turn under the top raw edge of the lining ½" all around.
  9. Find the exterior bag. Turn it wrong side out. 
  10. Find the lining; it should be right side out. 
  11. Slip the exterior bag inside the lining so the two bags are now wrong sides together.
  12. Align the bottom curves and side side seams. The top folded edge of the bag should fall below the zipper teeth by about ⅛". If it doesn't, adjust the top fold on the lining to fit and gently re-press.
  13. Pin the layers together.
  14. Thread the hand sewing needle.
  15. Slip stitch the lining to the bag, using very small stitches. Stitch along the front and the back, but leave the lining loose where it wraps over the side seams. This allows some "give" in the lining so it folds smoothly as you zip the bag open and shut.

Make and attach the strap

  1. Find the 2" x 14" strip of faux suede.
  2. Fold the strip in half lengthwise so it is now 1" x 14". Pin the raw edges together.
  3. Using a ¼" seam allowance (we used our Quarter Inch Seam foot), stitch the 14" sides.
  4. Turn right side out and press flat. Remember to use a pressing cloth when working on the right side of the faux suede. 
    NOTE: Take a look at our handy tutorial on turning tubes, using a hemostat.
  5. Edgestitch along both long sides of both straps. The ends remain raw.
  6. Find the D-ring. Slip the strap through the ring and bring the raw ends together.
  7. Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch the ends together.
  8. Turn the seam to the inside so it rests against the curved side of the "D" on the D-ring. Pin in place, then stitch in place with a 1" "X-Box". The top of the box should be as close to the ring as you can possibly get with your presser foot. A Zipper foot will help with this.

Zipper pull

  1. Find the ¾" x 8" strip of lining fabric.
  2. Fold the strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press to set a center crease. Unfold so the crease line is visible.
  3. Fold in both 8" raw edges to meet the center crease line. Press well. The ends remain raw. 
  4. Refold along the original crease line so the folded edges align.
  5. Stitch the length of the strip to secure the folded edges.
  6. Slip the tiny strip through the hole on the zipper pull.
  7. Make a knot at each end of the strip and trim the excess close to these knots. You can use a dab of seam sealant, such as Fray Check on the ends if you'd like.
  8. Align the ends one on top of the other and stitch together as close to the zipper pull as possible. The tie is too thick to knot and stay against the pull so this tiny bit of stitching holds the pull in place. You could also hand stitch the tails together.
  9. This is exactly how we attached the zipper pull on our Key Ring Pouch (in the photo below); the pull is just a bit longer. 


Project Design: Alicia Thommas

Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild



Comments (2)

Sewinbear said:
Sewinbear's picture

This bag is Awesome!! Love the size...and darts make it perfect size!! Thanks!!!

Roberta Granada Mendes Bortoluzzi said:
Roberta Granada Mendes Bortoluzzi's picture

Oi amiga, adorei todas as novidades do teu blog.

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