Tag Archives: zipper pouch tutorial

Tutorial: Easy Wristlet

Hey, you can still sign up for the rainbow FQ Bundle giveaway! And Manic Monday Linky Party is still open too!

In case you missed my guest post on FairyFace Designs, here’s the tutorial I posted over there. I LOVE wristlets/zipper pouches of all kinds. They’re easy to make and depending on what fabrics you use, can suit any outfit, from casual fun to formal. I made this one out of some fun London by the Henly Studio for Makower fabric I bought recently – I’m always a sucker for anything with London or a Union Jack on it. This wristlet ends up being about 8.5″ x 5.5″, and you could easily make it smaller or larger according to your own needs. I’m currently using mine to house all my little knitting stuff.

For this wristlet you’ll need:

  • {2x} 6″ x 9″ pieces of exterior fabric and {2x} 6″ x 9″ of interior fabric
  • {2x} 5.5″ x 8.5″ of fusible fleece or fusible wadding
  • {1x} 2″ x 12″ for the wristlet handle
  • {1x} 11″ or 12″ zipper
  • Optional: 1 shape for applique – I drew around a cookie cutter onto Bond-A-Web and ironed it onto the back of a piece of fabric before cutting the shape out.
  • Basic sewing stuff – thread, machine, pins, etc.

Ok, I need to interject here – I forgot to trim my fusible fleece down to 5.5″ x 8.5″, so this is a case of Do What I Say, Not What I Foolishly Did. What you want to do is centre the fusible fleece onto the back of your exterior fabrics. Your exterior fabric should be 1/4″ larger than the fleece on all sides. Trust me.

If you want to applique a shape to an exterior piece, do that now by ironing it to the front and sewing around the edges to secure it.

Make the wristlet strap by first ironing it Wrong Sides Together (WST) in half, lengthways. Then open it up and carefully fold and press the edges in to meet in the middle:

 Pin and edgestitch along both edges:

Set the strap aside for now. Take an interior piece RSU (right side up) and lay the zipper RSU along the top edge. Pin in a couple of places to keep everything straight. Now place an exterior piece WSU (wrong side up) and line up along the top edge with the interior piece. Pin carefully and adequately to keep it all in place, then edgestitch with about a 1/8″ or so seam allowance all the way along the top.

 Press the fabrics away from the zipper, as shown below. 

Now repeat that process along the other edge of the zipper. Interior right side up, then the halfway done unit (the exterior you’ve just pressed will be facing up), then place the other exterior WSU along the edge. Pin and carefully sew along the edge. When you’ve pressed it away, it’ll look like this:

Pin the strap according to the instructions on the picture below, with raw edges aligned with the raw edge of the exterior. Make sure you only pin it to the exterior piece, NOT both the exterior and interior!

Now OPEN THE ZIPPER. Seriously. Do it now. Then, place the exterior pieces RST (right sides together) and the interior pieces RST and pin all around:

Start sewing with a 1/4″ seam allowance where it says Start and finish where it says Finish. Backstitch at both ends so it doesn’t unravel. Trim the ends of the zipper. Then press seams open. Now you can fold it all right side out by placing your hand through that little opening.

Make sure you edgestitch that little interior opening closed so your stuff doesn’t fall through!

 Done! You’ve made a lovely little wristlet!

© Copyright J C Excell, 2012. You are welcome to use any SewHappyGeek tutorial for personal use. You are even welcome to make a couple to sell, but you are not given permission to use my pictures or my words without giving me credit and linking back to the original. You are NEVER allowed to copy an entire tutorial or post.
Sometimes my pictures have my family in them and they are never intended for public use. Also, I work very hard to provide free tutorials for my lovely readers, and anyone copying or selling my tutorials is guilty of copyright infringement.

Posted in Tutorials, UK craft blog | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

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