Category Archives: zippy pouch tutorial

Guest Tutorial: Katy’s Pocketed Cosmetic Bag

Hi, lovely to meet you, I’m Katy from The Littlest Thistle.  When Jenna knew she would be languishing in her sick bed  recovering from her very painful operation for a couple of weeks, she sent out a distress call for guest bloggers, and lacking any other options, you got me at the tail end of all the other fab guests :oD  Hope you’re now enjoying life stitch free Jenna!

Anyway, my adoring long suffering readers voted a few weeks ago for what I would do, and despite a bit of a last minute surge, the cool bag for a lunch box was beaten into 2nd place by the zippered pouch with the zippered inner pocket – apparently you can’t have too many pouches in your life :o)  I do apologise now for the photo overload, I might have got a leeetle bit carried away…

This is what we’re aiming for:

35 Final-Pouch
I’ll confess now, I’m a Pips lover.  It hit me during Cindy’s Mug Rug And Goodie Swap last month, and it was my first choice for this, a bigger and more complex version than the one I made for the swap.

You will need:

1 Requirements

  • 13″ x 9″ ‘feature’ fabric – in my case the Girl On A Tree Swing, Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey for Moda
  • 16″ x 9″ ‘secondary’ fabric – in my case the Skipping Squares, Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey for Moda 
  • 1 fat quarter lining fabric – in my case Diamond Dots from Westminster Fabrics
  • 1 fabric scrap 2 1/2″ x 6″ – I used a leftover piece of lining material for a pop of colour
  • 2 x 12″ x 9″ fusible medium to heavy weight interfacing (not pictured)
  • 1 12″ zip 
  • 1 7″ zip
  • thread to match/highlight fabric
  • narrow double sided sticky tape (not pictured)
Your seam allowance is 1/2″, and for all stitching, backstitch 2-3 stitches at the start and end to secure.

Step 1: Cut and prepare your outer fabric:

2 Outer-Fabric-Cut-Down
  • Take your ‘feature’ fabric and cut it in half to get 2 pieces 6 1/2″ x 9″ 
  • Take your ‘secondary fabric and cut it into 4 pieces 4″ x 9″
  • Take your fabric scrap and fold it in half lengthwise, and press, then open it out, and fold both edges into the middle crease and press again.  Finally fold it in half again along the middle crease and press again – you have effectively created double fold bias tape

Step 2: Cut and prepare your lining fabric:

3 Inner-Fabric-Cut-Down
  • You can get this out of a fat quarter and have leftovers if you cut carefully.  Place your FQ so that the short side is across the top and the long side coming down towards you
  • 1st make a cut 12″ down by 18″ across, then cut this in half to get 2 pieces 12″ x 9″
  • 2nd make a cut 6″ down by 18″ across, then cut this in half to get 2 pieces 6″ x 9″
Step 3: Sew your front and back outer panels:

Take your ‘secondary’ pieces and pin one on either side of each ‘feature’ piece, long sides matching, right sides together (RST).  Stitch in place, then press the seams towards the ‘secondary pieces’ – this is really important!

Step 4: Interface your front and back outer panels:

4 Interfaced-Outer
Take your interfacing, and press it onto the back of your stitched pieces as pictured, ensuring those seams are still pointing towards the ‘secondary’ fabric.

Step 5: Topstitch your front and back outer panels:

5 Top-Stitching-Outer

Take your front panel and topstitch about 1/8″ from the seam on the ‘secondary’ fabric side (this will now hold that seam firmly in its place), repeat for the other side on the front, and for the back panel.

6 Finished-Top-Stitching-Outer

Now set your front and back panels aside.
Step 6: Prepare your inner pocket zipper:

7 Inner-Pocket-Zip

Take your 7″ zip, and hand sew the open end above the zipper end together as pictured.  Trust me, you want to do this, your life will be easier later ;o)

Step 7: Measure and mark up your inner pocket piece for your zipper:

8 Inner-Pocket-Measurement
Take one of your 6″ x 9″ pieces of lining fabric and measure 2″ down from one long edge and 1″ in from one short edge, then draw a line 7″ long parallel to the long edge as pictured.  I used vanishing marker as that was to hand, but as this won’t be seen, chalk or wash out marker would work just as well.

9 Inner-Pocket-Zip-Placement

Measure 1/4″ on either side of this line, and draw a parallel line each side, joining the ends, then draw a line in at an angle from each corner, meeting 1/4″ along the mid line as pictured.

Step 8: Stitch your inner pocket zipper opening:

10 Inner-Pocket-Pinned-To-Lining

Take one of your 12″ x 9″ lining pieces, line the pocket up 1″ down from one long edge and 1 1/2″ in from one short edge and pin in place as pictured.  Stitch all the way around the marked rectangle, ignoring the midline and angled lines.

Step 9: Cut your inner pocket zipper opening:

11 Cutting-through-Inner-Pocket-Zip-Frame
Take a pair of very sharp pointed scissors and cut down your marked midline and up your angled lines.  Cut very carefully as close to the stitching as you can at the corners – the closer you can get this, the flatter this will lie when turned through.

Step 10: Turn your inner pocket zipper opening:

12 Turn-Through-Inner-Pocket-Zip-Frame
Pull your cut line open a little, then take your pocket piece and pull it through the opening.

13 Turning-Through-Inner-Pocket-Zip-Frame
14 Inner-Pocket-Zip-Frame
Press in place

Step 11: Insert your inner pocket zip:

15 Double-Sided-Taped-Inner-Zip

Now for your best ‘Blue Peter’ moment, take your zip and your double sided tape.  Place a strip of tape at either edge of the zip as pictured.  Peel off the backing tape, and line up the zip under the opening created above, with the zip teeth and zipper on the lining side, and stick in place.  The tape will save using pins which could shift about, and if it’s a good enough technique for Lisa Lam, it’s good enough for me ;o)

16 Inner-Zip-Sewn-In
Stitch the zip in place about 1/8″ from the edge of the opening all round, as pictured, then peel the tape off again.

Step 12: Sew your inner pocket together:

17 Inner-Pocker-Pinned-Together
Flip your lining piece over so that the pocket side is facing upwards, then take your second 6″ x 9″ piece and place it on top, RST, then pin in place.

18 Sewing-Inner-Pocket
Carefully pulling your lining piece out of the way, stitch all the way around the inner pocket.

19 Inner-Pocket
20 Inner-Pocket-From-Lining
Step 13: Attaching the main zip:

For this step I’m going to send you away to Bree, from My Crafty Crap, who wrote the perfect zip insertion tutorial for a tutorial on Sew Sweetness.  You will need your inner and outer panels, your 12″ zip, and your bias tape you created earlier.  Off you pop, and come back once you’ve got both your outer and inner panels attached to the zip just before she adds the loop to one outer panel.

Step 14: Sewing the pouch together:

21 Outer-Attached-To-Zip

22 Inner-Attached-To-Zip

Welcome back :o)  You should now have something that looks like the above pictures.

Now OPEN THE ZIP!  Trust me that you do not want to forget this, unless you are a particularly good contortionist (and even then I wouldn’t recommend it)

23 Inner-And-Outer-Pinned-Together
Fold your pieces away from the zip so that you have your lining panels RST and your outer panels RST, and pin in place as pictured.

24 Turning-Gap
Leave an opening in your lining about 5″ wide, marking either end as pictured (I use double pins end on for this, but whatever works for you)

25 Zip-End-Sewn-Round
Stitch all the way around from one set of double pins to the other, making sure you don’t catch your zip ends in the seam (you may need a teeny deviation from your 1/2″ seam allowance here)

Step 15: Boxing your pouch:

26 Boxed-End
Well I hope you don’t want to actually fight your pouch at this stage, but we’re going to create the boxed ends. 

Starting with the outer pouch, take one corned and fold it so that the bottom seam and side seam meet and line up with each other, and the pouch body comes away in a triangle from the corner.  Pin this in place (it was straight above, honest, the photo was a little wonky ;o) )  Grab a ruler and with the 1 1/2″ mark in line with the seam, measure until the 0″ and 3″ marks hit the edge of the pouch, and draw a line across as pictured.  Again I used vanishing marker, but again it won’t be seen down the line.  Stitch along this line.

27 Boxed-Rabbit-Ears
Repeat with the other outer pouch corner and both inner pouch corners so that it looks like you have 2 sets of bunny ears. on your pouch.

28 Trimmed-Boxed-Ends
Take a rotary cutter or scissors, and trim off the bunny ears about 1/8″ – 1/4″ from the stitching as pictured.

Step 16: Turning your pouch the right way out:

29 Pouch-Turned-Right-Side-Out
Using that opening you left in the lining, turn the entire pouch the right way out, leaving the lining pulled out of the pouch as pictured.

Pin the opening closed, with the seam allowance tucked in.

Step 17: Closing your pouch lining:

30 Pinned-Lining-Closure
Okay, now after I got irrationally annoyed recently by someone supposedly demonstrating back stitch on a blog which very definitely was NOT back stitch, I’m not going to give this next bit a technical name, I’m just going to call this ‘Katy’s closing stitch’ okay?  

31 Lining-Closure-Entry-Point
Thread up a sewing needle with thread that matches your lining and tie a few knots in the end on top of each other (I know, I’ll probably get shot in front of the great and the good of the sewing community here ;o) ).  Now take the needle under the seam allowance on one side, and come up as close as you can to the stitching leading away from the opening, as pictured.

32 Lining-Closure-Stitch
Taking teeny, tiny stitches that only catch about 2 threads of the lining fabric on either side of the opening, sew across the opening threading the needle through diagonally with each stitch, always working top to bottom as pictured.

33 Lining-Closure-End-Stitch

Go all the way to the end of the opening, then take 3 stitches on top of each other, and finish by pushing the needle through along the seam a little, as pictured, and cutting off the trailing thread at the seam.

Step 18: The finished product:

34 Final-Pouch-Open

35 Final-Pouch
Whew, you’re done!  Push the lining into the pouch, and admire all your hard work.

Well done if you made it all the way through this :o)  This coming weekend I’ll be posting a tutorial on my blog to make an extra special custom zipper pull for this.
Posted in Tutorials, UK craft blog, UK quilt blog, UK sewing blog, zippy pouch tutorial | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Tutorial Tuesday: Simple Cosmetic Bag

Hi Everyone!
First – I love getting your comments. I have them sent to my email account so I can answer back. But many of you have checked the ‘do not show my email’ box in your Blogger profile and it’s really frustrating that I can’t reply in person! So if you comment on blogs but never get emailed replies, go check your settings (you can do it from your Dashboard)!
Today’s tutorial is a re-visit of sorts. I did a Cosmetic Bag Tutorial before which featured a card pocket on the front.  But if you wanted to make a simple cosmetic bag with no pocket, the former tutorial was kinda long.
These cosmetic bags make fantastic gifts – you can tuck some earrings and sweets inside, a gift card or even a bit of money (or cosmetics!). The great thing about them is that they’re quick, and I have a few tips in there to help you make it look totally profesh!
As always, if you have any questions, email me:
What you need:

  • 2 x 8″ by 6″ pieces of your exterior fabric
  • 2 x 8″ x 6″ pieces of your interior fabric
  • 2 x 8″ x 6″ pieces of woven fusible interfacing (check ebay for good prices) applied to your exterior pieces.
  • 8″ or 9″ zipper
  • sewing kit: machine, scissors, pins, marker, etc.

1. Do the Two-Step Zip Dance: Lay your zipper on top of one interior piece, lining them up at the top. Make sure the end of the zip is hanging off the side, as shown in the picture – this makes attaching it way easier! ***If you are wondering why I’m doing my zip in 2 steps, scroll to the bottom. If you don’t care and just want to make your bag, go to #2***

2. Using your zipper foot, stitch about 1 cm away from the zipper – a little less than 1/2″. When you get to the end, you’ll notice you don’t have to worry about going around the zipper pull, because it’s not in your way! Yay! {arms flapping in excitement!}

3. Now lay one exterior piece Face Down on top of your zip, lining up the top edges – if your exterior pieces have a directional print like mine, make sure you’ve put it on correctly before you sew!
So now, you can sew that, using a 1/4″ seam allowance (.5cm) or so. Basically you want to sew about 1 threads’ width in (towards the zipper) from the line of stitching you’ve just completed. Yay! One side done!

4. Now smoosh or press the fabrics away from the zipper, so you can repeat those steps on the other side. Lining up your top edges, pin the other side of the zipper to your otherinterior piece (as shown above). Now sew that like you did in step 2.

5. After that, lay your other exterior piece onto the zipper and stitch that the same way you did in step 3.  Press all fabrics neatly away from the zipper.

6. Topstitch along the zipper edges, as shown above. It’s optional, but I think it looks pretty…

7. Now we’re going mark where the ends of the zipper are so we don’t run our needle over them while we’re sewing. It also means we can sew quite close to them, which looks nice and neat. So find the end of your zip, like shown above.

Then mark it on the back sides of the fabric, as shown above. Then UNZIP the zipper! If you sew this with the zipper closed you won’t have any way to turn it out later and you will be SO mad! So unzip it right now!

8. Pin the interior pieces Right Sides Together (RST), and do the same with the exterior pieces – you’ll notice that the zip will probably sit toward the interior pieces, and that’s just fine. When you’ve got it all lined up and pinned, place two marks about 1.5″ in from the bottom edges or the interior pieces. Those are the starting and ending points as we sew this all up. You’ll start sewing at the mark near that bottom pink pin, go all the way around and end near the orange pin. Like below:

9. Sew using a 1cm SA – if you can’t see the seams in the small pic, click on it to see a larger one. I’ve left that gap open. Clip all 4 corners off and then press your little gap open.

10. Turn it right sides out as shown above. Press so it’s all nice and neat.

11. Pin the little gap closed!

12. Edgestitch it shut!


An adorable Cosmetic Bag!!

Don’t forget to add your creations to The Linky Party! or even the Flickr group!
© Copyright J C Excell, 2011
All rights reserved
***I use a two-step zipper system because I feel like it gives better control when sewing a zip in. This control is especially important when you’re working with interfaced cotton duck like I am, which is very thick. If you stitch the zip to the interior piece before the ext., you know it’s not going anywhere wonky, even though you can’t actually see it. So, yes, it might add an extra step, but I get much neater results when I do it this way, and as most of the cosbags I make get sold in the etsy shop, I need them to be as neat as possible. And it is a good system for beginners, too, who are often quite nervous about zips.***

Posted in Cosmetic Bag tutorial, Tutorial Tuesday, Tutorials, zippy pouch tutorial | Tagged | 10 Comments

Tutorial: Cosmetic Bag with Exterior Card Pocket

I like to carry business cards with me, in case someone asks where I got my bag, at which point I’m all like: ‘Thank you, I made it myself.  There’s one for sale in my etsy store; here’s my business card!’.
I got a free metal business card holder when I bought the cards, but it sucks and I don’t like using it.  But I love cosmetic bags and carry loads of them – different bags have different genres, like one for kleenex and headache pills, another for cosmetics, another for loyalty cards. So making a cosmetic bag with a card pocket really does two jobs! Yay! I love multi-taskers!
I thought you might like one too, so here’s a tutorial:

Fabric and Interfacing and Notions:
You’ll need:
Small amount Exterior Fabric
Small amount Interior Fabric
Small amount Fusible Interfacing
One 7 or 8 inch zipper (I know the one in the pic is a 7 inch, but I actually used an 8 inch and I’ll explain it later)
A little bit of Iron On Velcro

The measurements for the large pieces are:
•    6 inches by 8.25 inches / 15 cm by 20.5 cm
•    One Small Piece:  2.5 inches by 4 5/8 inches / 6.5 cm by 12 cm
•    One Really Small Piece: 2 inches by 4 5/8 inches / 5 cm by 12 cm

Large Pieces, Cut:
•    2 x Exterior Fabric
•    2 x Interior Fabric
•    2 x Fusible Interfacing (I used woven because I prefer its adherence properties)

Small and Really Small Pieces, Cut:
•    1 x Ext. Fabric
•    1 x Int. Fabric
•    1 x Interfacing

1. Ready Your Pieces: After you’ve cut everything out, iron the fusible interfacing onto the exterior fabric pieces:

2. Make up the outside pocket and flap: Pin those pieces with Right Sides Together (RST), and sew using ¼” seam allowance (SA).  Make sure you leave a gap so you can turn them out, and ***Important!!*** Make sure you leave the gap at the bottom of your pocket piece, and at the top of your flap! This is because we’re going to sew the gap shut when we attach those pieces to the front of your cosmetic bag!

Ok, so now you need to cut the corners off and turn those little pieces Right Side Out (RSO) like the little flap on the left above – Iron them like crazy, and when you’re happy, place them on the exterior piece and pin them down.  Make sure the flap covers over the pocket, but not so much than you can’t get a card in there!

Put your pins around the edges to test whether you can get a card in there and whether there’s enough room for your little velcro tabs.

Now, stitch the pocket and flap in place, and iron on your little velcro pieces, like in the pic:

3. Zipper Attachment: Okay, now I’ll explain why you might want to use a longer-than-necessary zipper.  You know how when you’re sewing a zipper on, and you’re doing it all straight and pretty, and then you get to the zipper pull and your stitches go all WonKy? Well, if you use a longer zip, and ‘hang’ the zipper pull end of it off the side of your fabric, you won’t have that problem! Let me show you what I mean:

Place your zipper at the top of an interior piece, with the zipper pull hanging off the end, and pin in place (see pic for details).  If you’re happy with the placement, move on:

Now sew that zipper down using your zipper foot.

Now place an exterior fabric piece FACE DOWN (with top side up, too) on top of your zipper and interior piece:

Pin in place and stitch again using your zipper foot.

Ok, now we have to do that again for the other side of the zipper, so put the other side of the zipper on your other interior piece, like so:

This just gives you an idea of placement – you should pin and sew all the way across, not halfway like it’s implied in the picture!

Stitch that down, then place your other exterior piece FACE DOWN on top of what you’ve just sewn:

Stitch that down, iron, and admire your zipper! Well done!

4. Optional: Topstitch along the edges of the zipper, like I’ve done in this pic:

5. Cut off extraneous ends of zipper, like in the pic:

6. Unzip your zipper Now!! Then, lay out and sew edges: Ok, now you need to put the interior pieces facing each other RST, and the exterior pieces will do the same.  Your zipper will be sandwiched in between, like in the pic:

Remember: It’s more important to match the top edges of the exterior up than the bottom ones – so make sure that each side of the exterior is lined up before you pin.
Pin the edges, and mark a 4 inch opening at the bottom that you’ll keep open so you can turn everything RSO at the end (see my 2 purple marks there?):

Ok, here are a couple of tips from someone who’s made loads of these—through the layers of fabric, find the bottom end of the zipper.  Mark where it ends, so when you’re sewing, you can make sure you don’t try to run over the end of your zipper, but stitch just beside it.  Also, after you’re done stitching, go back and snip the excess tops off the end of the zipper.  You don’t need them and they’ll just be in the way when you turn it out.  Don’t snip your stitching!!

Here’s what it looks like after it’s been sewn:

7. Turn it out! But first, clip the corners, and iron your little gap open so it’s easier to sew it shut at the end.  Now, turn the whole thing out through your gap. Iron like crazy to get it all pretty.

Then, pin your little gap shut, and edgestitch it shut! Done! If you have any problems, questions, or suggestions, leave a comment or email me!

© Copyright J C Excell, 2011
All rights reserved

Posted in Cosmetic Bag tutorial, sewing tutorial, Tutorials, zippy pouch tutorial | 14 Comments