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ScrapBusters: Full Circle Zippered Sewing (& More) Case

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This cute round zippered case falls neatly under our ScrapBusters heading since you need just a few bits of fabric and batting plus a zipper. It also qualifies for our You Asked 4 It category because quite a few of you spotted the full-circle zippered case we made for our original zipper-in-the-round tutorial, and you wanted to know how to put the whole thing together – with a lining. You asked. We answered.

We really do listen to your comments and questions, and keep track of the things that come up again and again. If you have an idea you’d like us to consider, leave a comment below or send a note to info@sew4home.com

A round, thin case is handy for all kinds of tasks. We turned our little sample into a mini sewing kit. The free downloadable pattern includes marks to transfer for hand-stitched ribbon ties. Use our plan or create your own. Ribbons are fast and flexible, and easy to hand stitch in place at the end of the project. You could also use small lengths of thin elastic. If you go this route, we’d recommend adding a layer of lightweight fusible interfacing to the lining circles first, then machine-tacking the elastic loops in place prior to sewing the lining to the exterior. 

As noted below, we worked with a 20” zipper and the provided 8” circle pattern. You can adjust the size of circle smaller or larger as well as the length of the zipper to best suit what you’d like to store in your case. Refer to our original Circular Zipper Tutorial for the math formula needed to figure out the appropriate length for the tab that creates the case’s “hinge.” 

Our thanks to Janome America Education Coordinator, Nancy Fiedler for providing instructions for the original tutorial and for her tricks for the fastest and easiest way to add the lining. 

It’s nice to have a case that can zip open all the way and lay flat. It makes items so easy to access. Of course, that adjustable opening means it’s also still possible to zip partially closed to contain any loose items. 

We tied a pair small scissors in place along with three spools of pretty Aurifil thread. When zipped shut, there’s still plenty of room for needles, a small ruler, a seam ripper, and more. The width of the zipper itself is what creates the depth of the case. 

Our case finishes at approximately 7” in diameter with a depth of about ⅜ - ½”. This is the finished size you’ll create using our downloadable pattern. Find the pattern link below in the Getting Started section. 

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

NOTE: We are working with a 20” zipper, which is what we had on hand. You could go larger for this 7” finished circle (8” cut circle). Refer to our original Circular Zipper Tutorial for the math needed to figure out the appropriate tab length for the case's "hinge.")

  • Scrap or ⅓ yard of 44”+ wide quilting weight or sateen weight cotton for the exterior
  • Scrap or ⅓ yard of 44”+ wide quilting weight cotton for the lining
  • Scrap or ⅓ yard of 20”+ wide fusible interfacing
  • ONE 20” polyester zipper
  • 2 yards of ⅛” wide satin ribbon; optional for the inside ties - we used white satin ribbon
  • All-purpose thread to match fabric
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper 
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Pressing cloth
  • Straight pins
  • Hand sewing needle

Getting Started

  1. Download and print out the two halves of the circle pattern, which have been bundled into one PDF to make the download easier.
    IMPORTANT: Each of these two pattern pieces is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the sheets to insure your printout is to scale.
  2. Cut out the pattern pieces along the solid lines. Butt together the two pieces at the arrows as indicated on the patterns. Do not overlap. Tape together to form the complete circle.
  3. Using the pattern, CUT TWO from each of the elements: two exterior circles, two lining circles, two batting circles.
  4. From the exterior fabric cut ONE 5” x 1” strip. 
    NOTE: As mentioned above, if you use a different length of zipper, you’ll need to adjust the size of the tab strip. Check out to the original tutorial for the math formula
  5. If using ribbon ties, cut FIVE 11” lengths. 
    NOTE: The ribbon ties are optional and can be adjusted in length and position to best fit what you’d like to carry inside your pouch. 

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse a fleece circle to the wrong side of each exterior circle. 
  2. With a fabric pen or pencil, mark horizontal stitching lines at each end of the tab, ½" from each end. 
  3. Place the tab right sides together with the bottom end of the zipper. The marked stitching line on the tab should sit just above the bottom zipper stop. Pin in place.
  4. Stitch the tab in place against the bottom end of the zipper.
  5. Press the tab away from the zipper. This means the remaining raw end of the tab is now free.
  6. Open up the zipper slightly and tape the top ends together to temporarily hold them in place. 
  7. Fold the zipper into a smooth loop, making sure there are no twists or turns. 
  8. Place the top end of the zipper right sides together with the free raw end of the tab. The second marked stitching line on the tab should align just below the top zipper stops. Pin in place through all the layers. 
  9. Stitch the tab in place. Tear away the tape.
  10. You now have a full circle zipper joined at the ends with your tab, which will become the "hinge" that allows the case to open flat.
  11. To allow the zipper tape to curve, snip along both sides of the zipper tape at a depth of about ¼". The cuts should be approximately ⅜" apart.
  12. We added a vertical topstitching line along each tab seam to keep the tab extra flat. This is optional, but is a nice touch with a longer tab.
  13. Open up the zipper all the way. Pin the zipper, right sides together, with one exterior circle. The sides of the snipped zipper tape should be flush with the raw edges of the fabric circle. 
  14. Attach a Zipper foot. Stitch this first side of the zipper in place all around. Your seam allowance is approximately ¼” - ½” – the goal is to stitch as close to the zipper teeth as possible.
  15. Close the zipper to check your work. The zipper should sit smoothly and evenly all around. 
  16. Open up the zipper again (at least half way), pin the second exterior circle to the remaining clipped edge of the zipper tape, and stitch in place.

Lining

  1. With the two exterior circles stitched in place, open up the zipper all the way so the case lays flat. 
  2. Find one lining circle. Place it right sides together against one exterior circle. The raw edges of the two circles should be flush all around. Pin in place, leaving an approximate 3-4” opening along the zipper tab (the hinge).
  3. Place the remaining lining circle rights sides together with the second exterior circle, again leaving an approximate 3-4 opening across the hinge. These two openings with overlap as shown in the photo below. 
  4. Still using a Zipper foot, stitch both lining circles in place, starting and stopping both seams at either side of the openings over the hinge. Your seam allowance is approximately ¼” - ½” – as above, the goal is to stitch as close to the zipper teeth as possible. 
  5. Turn each circle right side out through the opening over the hinges. 
  6. Press flat.
  7. Along one circle, fold under the raw edge of the opening so it is flush with sewn seam. Pin in place.
  8. If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the exterior in the top and thread to best match the lining in the bobbin. Lengthen the stitch. 
  9. Flip the case to the right side and edgestitch all around. 
  10. Go very slowly and carefully across the hinge to keep your seam straight and to insure you catch and close the opening used for turning. 
  11. Repeat to pin and edgestitch the opposite side. 

Optional ties

  1. Find the lengths of ribbon.
  2. Open the case so it is laying flat on your work surface, lining side up. 
  3. Using our pattern or creating your own placement dots, mark the position for all the ties. 
  4. Transfer the marks to the right side of the lining. 
  5. Thread a hand sewing needle with thread to best match the ribbon.
  6. Fold each ribbon in half to find its exact center point.
  7. Hand tack the ribbon in place, matching the center point of the ribbon to the marked dot. You are stitching just through the lining and the fusible batting; your stitches should not go through to the exterior.

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

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