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Weekend Wonders with Fabric.com: Zippered Pouches in Three Sizes

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You can never have too many cute little bags for your important stuff. And, because important stuff comes in all sizes, we designed our Weekend Wonders Zippered Pouches in three sizes: Small, Medium and Large. Each has a wipe-it-clean PUL lining, so you can use them for storage, travel and more. Not only is this a quick and easy project you can whip out in a weekend, it's also a project that just takes a little bit-o-fabric. Put it all together and you have a great opportunity to buy smaller cuts of those designer prints you've been drooling over. Our Weekend Wonders sponsor, Fabric.com carries an inventory of over 500,000 yards of fabric! You're sure to find a few must-haves!

Check out these Wonders from Week #1: Kitchen Towels, Pocketed Placemats, Outdoor Pillows, and Reversible Apron, as well as this week's Beach Bag and Picnic Blanket. Then on Friday... make sure you stop by and enter to win an amazing Great Giveaway full of tools, books, notions and more from our Weekend Wonderful Sponsor: Fabric.com!

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

We created our pouches as a set of three. Below, we've given you supplies to make each one independently (but... they'd be happier if you made them all!). There is a bit of extra yardage figured in to allow for fussy cutting. 

Large Pouch (12" x 9")

Medium Pouch (9" x 6")

Small Pouch (7" x 5")

Supplies needed for all pouches:

  • All purpose thread in color to match fabrics
  • See through ruler
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Fabric pencil, pen or chalk
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

Large Pouch (12" x 9")

  1. From the top fabric (Pretty As A Picture Pups in our sample), fussy cut TWO 4" high x 13½" wide rectangles  
  2. From the bottom fabric (Chevron in Black in our sample), fussy cut TWO 7" high x 13½" wide rectangles
  3. From the lining fabric (white PUL in our sample), cut TWO 10" high x 13½" rectangles
  4. Cut TWO 13½" lengths of the rick rack
  5. Cut ONE 8" length of the thin satin ribbon 

Medium Pouch (9" x 6")

  1. From the top fabric (Circle Dot in our sample), fussy cut TWO 3" high x 10½" wide rectangles  
  2. From the bottom fabric (Millie's Purses in our sample), fussy cut TWO 5" high x 10½" wide rectangles
  3. From the lining fabric (white PUL in our sample), cut TWO 7" high x 10½" rectangles
  4. Cut TWO 10½" lengths of the rick rack
  5. Cut ONE 8" length of the thin satin ribbon

Small Pouch (7" x 5")

  1. From the top fabric (Yellow Tape Measure in our sample), fussy cut TWO 2½" high x 8½" wide rectangles  
  2. From the bottom fabric (Retro Hangers in our sample), fussy cut TWO 4½" high x 8½" wide rectangles
  3. From the lining fabric (white PUL in our sample), cut TWO 6" high x 8½" rectangles
  4. Cut TWO 8½" lengths of the rick rack
  5. Cut ONE 8" length of the thin satin ribbon

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Our instructions below show you the construction of the Medium Pouch. The steps will be the same for any size.

Exterior bag panels

  1. Find one of the top fabric rectangles and one length of rick rack.
  2. Pin the rick rack to the right side of the fabric, along the BOTTOM 10½" width, positioning the rick rack so the top "waves" are ¼" from the raw edge of the fabric. 
    NOTE: Bottom edge is in all caps, because if you use a directional fabric as we did, it's very important to keep track of the top and bottom edges as you construct the panels. 
  3. Using a ⅜" seam allowance, stitch the rick rack in place. 
  4. Repeat to attach the second length of rick rack to the other top-section rectangle.
  5. With right sides of fabric together, pin the bottom fabric rectangle to the top rectangle along the edge with the rick rack. Again, if you have a directional fabric, make sure everything is facing the right direction. You are pinning along the bottom edge of the top and the top edge of the bottom... whoa, that kinda messes with your head doesn't it?! Pin first, then gently open up the piece to check. 
  6. Stitch together, suing a ½" seam allowance. 
  7. Press on the right side so the rick rack is facing up towards the top panel. 
  8. Repeat all the steps with the remaining top and bottom fabric pieces to create a matching panel.  

Insert the zipper

  1. The process outlined below is very similar to how we inserted the zipper in our Zippered Pencil Case. If you are new to inserting zippers, you might want to review this tutorial; there are several additional photos, which help you walk through the process.
  2. Place the finished front of the bag right side up on your work surface.
    NOTE: The front and back panels are essentially the same. However, if you fussy cut one set differently or feel one pair is better looking than the other... that will be the front.
  3. Lay your zipper upside down on top of the top edge (teeth facing down on the right side of the fabric). 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 fabric. There should be about ¾" from the zipper pull as well as the zipper stop to the raw edge of the fabric. 
  4. Lay a 10½" x 7" piece of lining, right side down, on top of the front piece, sandwiching the zipper in between the two layers of fabric. As above, line up the top raw edge with the edge of the zipper tape. Pin all three layers together, being careful to pin through just the top of the zipper. You need to be able to open and close the zipper; you can't do that if you've pinned through the whole thing. 
  5. Fold back the lining to reveal the zipper, and zip it open about half way. 
  6. Fold the lining back down into position and take the assembled layers to your machine. 
  7. Attach your Zipper foot. Your needle should be in the left-most position. 
  8. Stitch as close to the zipper as the foot will allow, removing the pins as you sew. 
  9. Go slowly. When you get to the middle, where you can start to feel you're approaching the zipper pull, stop with your needle in the down position. Twist your fabric around slightly and open up the layers so you can access the zipper. Be gentle! Carefully close the zipper. Re-position your fabric and finish sewing to the end. 
  10. When finished, fold the lining and front piece wrong sides together, so the zipper stands straight up, and press. Your lining piece should be on one side of the zipper and your front piece on the other. 
  11. Repeat to attach the other side of the zipper between the back exterior panel and the other piece of lining. 
  12. Here's a view from the lining side.

    NOTE: As we mentioned above, if you're feeling unsure of the steps, check out our other tutorials with top zippers: Pencil Case, Make-up Pouch and Wristlet.

Final assembly

  1. For greatest accuracy (because the PUL can be a little slippery), pin together all the layers first with the pouch flat, taking extra care to make sure all raw edges are flush. You can trim the layers a tiny bit to get everything perfect if need be. 
  2. We are creating a French Seam so our inside seams are nicely finished. To do this, first fold the pouch WRONG sides together (right sides facing out), aligning the raw edges of all the layers along both sides and across the bottom. Pin in place (transferring the pins from above so they now go through all the layers). Use plenty of pins; you don't want anything shifting.
  3. Un-zip the zipper about half way. 
  4. Attach your Standard presser foot or a Quarter Inch Seam foot
  5. Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch down both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners. 
  6. Trim the seam allowance back very close to your stitching, about ⅛", and clip the corners.
  7. Turn WRONG side out through the zipper opening. 
  8. You'll need to carefully poke out the bottom corners with a blunt tool, like a large knitting needle or a chopstick, but don't be rough or you'll poke right through the seam. 
  9. Attach your Zipper foot again.
  10. Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch AGAIN down both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at each bottom corner. The ¼" seam is approximate. What you are doing is enclosing your first seam in this new seam. Using the Zipper foot will help as an additional guide to allow you to stay close against the first seam. 
  11. Be careful to start and finish as close as possible to the head and tail of your zipper.
  12. Turn the case right side out through the zippered opening. Poke out those bottom corners again... carefully. And you have a lovely French seam for a clean inside finish. 

Ribbon zipper pull

  1. Find the 8" length of thin satin ribbon. 
  2. Align the raw ends and insert both ends through the opening on the zipper pull, leaving a loop of the satin ribbon. 
  3. Then slip both raw ends through the loop and pull tightly... just like attaching a gift tag on a present.
  4. To lock the loop in place, tie a single knot at the base of the loop, using both ends of the satin ribbon.
  5. Finally, tie a single knot in each ribbon tail, about ⅜" away from the raw edge. 

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Gregory Dickson

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Comments (19)

cathydeecher said:
cathydeecher's picture

i am having so much trouble installing this zipper, could you please help. I pin all three layers, but i don't know what you mean by sewing just through the top of the zipper, how can you help me. i don't mean to be dense but i need a little help.

 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ cathydeecher - by "just the top" - I mean you should put your pins in horizontally not vertically... through just the fabric part of the zipper without going across the teeth. If you pin across the zipper teeth, you can't unzip it at the halfway point. Our original "wristlet" tutorial has a few more pictures of a very similar pouch in case you want to take a look at that zipper installation.

http://sew4home.com/projects/storage-solutions/wristlet

cathydeecher said:
cathydeecher's picture

thank you for your quick response , i was just reading more into it then i should have,  have placed a hundred zippers, (believe it or not) and i quess the wording got to me ,so sorry . But thank you again for getting back to me, I love your projects so much.

Jennifer Wheatley said:
Jennifer Wheatley's picture

Yeah, now I'm determined to get over my resistance to learning how to sew in zippers. This will help a lot. Thanks!

 

Shelia Hampton said:
Shelia Hampton's picture

Jennifer,

I share the same resistance.

sew4home Thanks for posting step-by-step instructions.

lllsews said:
lllsews's picture

Thank you for making french seams look easy - I have always had trouble with them, remembering which side to sew together first.  I have been sewing for 40 plus years but always am learning new things!

Thanks!

Betsy Sposetta said:
Betsy Sposetta's picture

Adorable bags! I have found that a setPDF bags makes a wonderful gift. Who couldn't use more storage when they travel?

NIK said:
NIK's picture

Really cute and quick project.  My local stores did not have any 3/4" rick rack, couldn't fine the poly laminate and nice corners seemed impossible.  Loved the french seams.

Anonymous said:
Anonymous's picture

This way my first try at sewing zippers - sucess :)  Thanks sew4home!!  I'll be making lots more of these...

Wanda Bankson said:
Wanda Bankson's picture

I love the cute variety of fabric, especially the one with the tape measure design. One can never have too many little zipper bags.

Wanda Bankson said:
Wanda Bankson's picture

I love the fabric with the measuring tape on it.

susiripple said:
susiripple's picture

I never knew Fabric.com sold PUL.  I am definitely going to buy it to make the zippered pouches and the picnic blanket.  Would love to win this contest!

B. said:
B.'s picture

I made several of these and gave as gifts. Was amazed that each person designated their new pouch for a specific purpose - hold quarters for laundry, camera case, etc. 

MarciaFlorida said:
MarciaFlorida's picture

I like the fabric combinations, and that ric rac trim is cute. Thanks.

Meagan Hyink said:
Meagan Hyink's picture

These are adorable! I love the fabric choices!!!

 

DebS said:
DebS's picture

I can think of tons of uses for these little goodies!

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