Tina Made an Open-Wide Zippered Pouch

Recently inspired to sew again, I tried my hand at making another zippered pouch that was one (or two….or five) steps more complicated than the oilcloth pouch I first made.

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I used Noodlehead‘s tutorial here, with her size chart here to figure out how much fabric I needed. Though I was able to follow along with her steps, it was a bit confusing going back and forth between her two links, as she had 3 sizing and 2 design options, with obviously different measurements. Sooo I’ve re-done the tutorial below for her MEDIUM-sized pouch with a contrast bottom (approximate finished dimensions: 6″ H x 6.5″ W x 4.5″ D) with a list of exact measurements in one place. To note, Noodlehead’s original tutorial is shown in a size small without the contrast bottom.

Materials:

  • Two 12″x 4.5″ pieces of Fabric A
  • Two 12″x 5.5″ pieces of Fabric B
  • Two 12″x 9″ pieces of Fabric B
  • 2″x3″ of Fabric B
  • fusible interfacing– enough for the first 6 pieces of fabric listed above (I used Pellon Wonder-Under 805)
  • 12″ zipper
  • thread
  • iron

In this tutorial, Fabric A will refer to the exterior top fabric of the pouch (in my pouch, the red fabric). Fabric B will refer to both the bottom contrasting exterior fabric, as well as the fabric of the interior (in my pouch, the black polka dot fabric).

Before you start, iron Fabrics A and B onto the fusible interfacing, then cut all fabric to size (you should end up with 2 pieces of Fabric A and 4 pieces of Fabric B). Another option is to cut all fabric to size first, and then iron each piece individually onto the interfacing (then cut again). The tutorial says attaching interfacing is optional, and if you choose to, attach it to the exterior pieces of fabric only. I wanted to attach it to the interior pieces as well in order to give it more weight, as my cotton fabric was pretty thin and i wanted the bag a bit sturdier.

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Lay Fabric A and Fabric B (12″x 5.5″) right sides together, and sew along the long edge with a 1/2″ seam allowance (pictured left, above). Repeat with your second piece of Fabric A and Fabric B (12″x5.5″). Then open the pieces and iron flat (pictured right, above). These two finished pieces will be your exterior pieces.

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“Lay one exterior piece right side up, lay zipper (teeth side down) on top with the zipper pull at the left – aligning zipper tape edge to the raw edges of the top of the exterior piece.  Tuck in pull side zipper end, just bend it 90 degrees.  You may choose to sew it down, or just pin it in place like I did.  Make sure the metal bit of the zipper is just about 3/4″ away from the left edge.  Layer lining piece on top, right side down on top of zipper.  Pin and baste, you can skip this part, but basting really does help things from slipping around too much. ”

As shown in the picture above, I actually chose to stable the zipper end (bent 90 degrees), as it stayed in place better than pinning, but was faster than sewing. You can take the staple out later.

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“Use your zipper foot and a 1/4″ seam allowance. Sew over basting stitches, but not all the way to the end. At about 1″ before the edge of the fabric, stop, backstitch, and then pull the zipper away from the seam, bending it down out of the way, in towards the fabrics.  The whole point is to pull it out of the way so it doesn’t get caught in the seam.  Continue stitching along the fabrics until the edge.”

I think this (sewing everything together using a zipper foot) was the trickiest part of the tutorial… probably because I was too lazy to baste.  -_- Like Noodlehead said would happen, the zipper and fabric kept slipping around. In the time it took to get it right, I could have probably basted it and saved myself the annoyance. Live and learn…

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“Flip so that the fabrics are wrong sides facing and press.”

Because I attached interfacing to all my fabric, I had to be careful when ironing, for fear that all my pieces would fuse together. I just laid a piece of paper (pictured above, left) on the inside of the folded pieces so that the interfacing wouldn’t touch when facing each other while I pressed the seams at the zipper. Pictured above, right– after pressing.

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“Lay the remaining exterior piece right side up, lay zipper (with fabrics attached) on top – teeth side down with the zipper pull at the right. Tuck in pull side zipper end, just bend it 90 degrees, just like before, making sure the metal bit of the zipper is just over 3/4″ away from the right edge this time. Lay lining piece right side down on top.  Pin and baste.  Using the zipper foot and a 1/4″ seam allowance sew over basting stitches, but not all the way to the end just like before.”

You’re basically doing the same thing as you did before. 🙂

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“Again, about 1″ before the edge of the fabric, stop, backstitch, and then pull the zipper away from the seam, bending it down, in towards the fabrics.  Continue stitching along the fabrics until the edge.  Flip so that the fabrics are wrong sides facing and press. Do NOT topstitch along either side of the zipper at this point, we’ll be doing that in another step towards the end. This is what you’ve got so far” (pictured above, left)Next. flip so that the exterior fabrics are right sides together and the lining pieces are right sides together (with the zipper hidden in the middle).”

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Above 6 pictures: “Open the zipper at least half way at this point! Pin and sew around all edges leaving approximately a 4″ opening in the bottom (or side) of the lining.  You’ll be using a 1/2″ seam allowance.  Be sure to get close to the metal zipper ends on one side, and bending the zipper end down into the pouch on the other side making sure it doesn’t get caught in the seam.”  

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“Box the corners by pinching each corner together and aligning the side/bottom seams.  Use a ruler and water soluble marker to mark a line perpendicular to the side seam 4″ long.”

Depending on the pouch size you choose, this side seam length will change– 3.5″ for the small pouch, 4″ for medium, and 4.5″ for large.

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“Sew along that line, trim the seam allowance.  Do this for all four corners (two exterior, two lining).”

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“Pull pouch right side out through the opening you left in the lining.  Tuck in raw edges of opening.”

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“Sew opening in lining closed using a small seam allowance by machine (sewing close to the fold as in the above picture) or hand stitch the opening closed.  Push lining into exterior.  Press around entire opening and carefully along the zipper.

Topstitch using a slightly longer stitch length (and taking your time) around the entire opening of the pouch.”

I skipped the topstitching. I liked the look of the pouch without it, but it’s totally an option.

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“Trim the zipper tail so that you have about 1″ of space past the pouch’s side (be careful not to accidentally slide the zipper pull off the zipper!).”

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“For making the zipper pull tab, take a 2″x3″ piece of fabric. Press all edges in by 1/2″, slip over zipper end. Fold in half, sew around all four edges of the tab.”

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Whew. Props to Noodlehead for all the steps, and check out more of her sewing tutorials here… what should I make next? 🙂

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Tina Made a Skirt

Actually I made two, but I only like one. Gawd, am I going to become one of those homely chicks who hand-makes all her clothes?

I saw this tutorial on Extra Petite and tried my hand at my first clothing sewing project. A basic elastic skirt. It was pretty simple and didn’t take too long. Let’s ignore the fact that for my first attempt (the navy skirt), I accidentally sewed shut the entire opening of the skirt (i.e. the place where your waist goes)… how do I even do stuff like that. I don’t know.

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Anyway, I think the real difficulties lie in: 1) choosing the right fabric, and 2) coming up with the correct measurements to fit your body. For my first attempt (navy), I went with a thicker cotton– it was a bit stiff and had just the slightest bit of sheen to it– and I cut my panels to 23″x23″ (FYI, I am 5’5″ and 25″ waist). The skirt ended up being too stiff, wide, and long (the pictures below are not scaled to each other– the chambray is slightly smaller than the navy in real life). For my second attempt, I used a lightweight chambray and cut down the panels to 19.5″x21.5″– significantly smaller.

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The navy skirt is wearable but not ideal in terms of fit. I hemmed it up a ton in terms of length, but the fabric’s stiffness and the gradual widening of the skirt is a bit unflattering, though technically it’s supposed to be an A-line. The chambray fits a lot better– the fabric is obvi slouchier and cutting down the width helped with the bulkiness. It’s kinda lost the A-line-ness, but I’d say it’s somewhere between a flouncy A-line and a pencil skirt.

All materials from Joann’s, with coupons–

Skirt 1 (navy):
-1 yard of 1″ elastic ($1.69)
-1 yard fabric ($9.99 + 40% off coupon)= $6.54
-(I already had matching thread)
TOTAL with tax: $8.37

Skirt 2 (chambray):
-1 yard of 1″ elastic ($2.29 + 50% off coupon)= $1.24
-1 yard lightweight chambray ($12.99 + 50% off coupon)= $7.08
-matching thread, which I ended up not even using b/c I was too lazy to change out the thread in my machine -_- ($2.79)
TOTAL with tax: $11.36

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Shirt: 2020AVE
Woven belt: Anthropologie
Leather boots: Tahari

Not bad– skirts for ~$10 each. I’ll probably try again with another type of fabric (sticking with the lightweight stuff) and possibly add an inch or two to the width to give back some of the A-line-ness. Also, I omitted pockets for these skirts, but they are easily addable (per the tutorial).

Gonna start pairing this chambray skirt with boots, tights, and sweaters because IT’S AUTUMN, BEYOTCHES!

PS- Homely chicks unite. H8ers gon’ h8.