Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Happy Little Pouch Hop

Today is my stop on the Happy Little Pouch Hop organized by Elaine from Dashasel Sews and Emily from Mommy's Nap Time.  

Pouches are definitely one of my favorite things to make.  Here are some I've made this year.

As the mother of 3 little girls, my house is filled with hair accessories (well, my one year old doesn't use any - - yet!)  My older two (who are old enough to do their own hair) have some simple zip pouches to hold their hairbrushes, combs, elastics, barrettes, and headbands but every morning they empty out the entire contents to find what they want for the day and then - surprise, surprise - the unused accessories don't usually find their way back to the pouch.  So, I decided to try to make them a pouch with multiple compartments in the hopes that the new pouch would keep everything more neat and organized!

This is more of a "how I made it" as opposed to an actual tutorial but here is what I did.  If you have any questions/clarifications, please leave a comment or send me an email.

1.  Prepare your zippers.  I like to get rid of the metal parts of the zippers before I start my projects.  I just clip them off and sew a few stitches at each end of the zipper so that it doesn't come apart during my project.

2.  Prepare your fabrics.

For the inside of the pouch (pocket pieces), you'll need 6 exterior pieces and 6 lining pieces.  They all need to be the same width but you can vary the lengths if you want your pockets to be different sizes and you need to cut one exterior and one lining piece of each.  My pieces measured:  9.5 x 4.5", 9.5 x 6", and 9.5 x 8".  For the pouch in this how-to, I also used small pieces of fabric to separate the pockets - these were all 9.5 x 2.25".  You also need another piece of lining fabric (back lining) the same width and long enough to fit all the above pieces (mine was approximately 9.5 x 25".)

For the exterior of the pouch, you'll need a piece of fabric about 10x 26" and piece of batting about 12 x 28".  You'll also need two strips of fabric 2.5 x 20" for the straps.

3. Place one exterior piece right side up, the zipper right side down, and the lining right side down as shown and sew along the top edge - using your zipper foot. 

4.  Pull back the fabrics so that the wrong sides are together and topstitch.  Place one of the small strips of fabrics right side up, the zipper with the fabrics attached right side down and one of the small lining strips right side down and sew along the top.  Flip so the small strips are wrong sides together and top stitch.

5.  Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the other two sets of fabrics.  

6.  You can either now sew all of your pocket pieces together or you can do what I did for this pouch and attach them to the back lining piece one at a time (I did this by mistake while making this pouch (my 3rd) but I actually like it better this way.)   Put your pocket piece on the back lining piece as shown and stitch once along the bottom edge and a few times across the top strip. (Note:  I know this photo shows stitches along all four sides of the pocket piece but ignore that!)

 7.  Move the back lining piece out of the way and place the right side of the top strip of the attached pocket and the bottom edge of the next pocket together and sew with a 1/4" seam.  Put the back lining piece back in place and stitch a few lines along the bottom of the second pocket piece (make sure you enclosed the raw edge) and a few lines along the top.  Repeat with the third pocket.

8.  IMPORTANT:  Move your zip pulls to the center!!!  Did you move the pulls?  Okay, now we can continue.

I cut a piece of ribbon and a piece of crochet trim a little wider than my pockets (about 10") and placed them over two of the small strips of fabric.  Using a 1/4" seam, stitch both long sides as shown.

9.  Make the straps.  Take the strip of fabric and fold it in half lengthwise.  Press.  Unfold.  Fold each edge in toward the center and press.  Fold in half again and press.  Stitch closed.  Or make the straps however you prefer.  Or use ribbon or webbing.

10.  Quilt the large exterior piece to the batting.  I just used wavy lines about 3/4" apart.  Trim.

11.  Make sure your zipper pulls are still in the center.  Put the interior and exterior right sides together.  Insert the straps at the top edge so that most of the strap is between the two pieces.  Leaving a 5 inch gap on the bottom for turning, stitch around the perimeter right inside the stitching lines that are already there so that you enclose all the raw edges.  When you get to the straps, you can stitch over them a few times to reinforce.  IMPORTANT:  another zipper warning - make sure you avoid stitching over the top zipper pull when you are at the top edge - you should actually be at least an inch away but make sure you can feel it and that it is not anywhere near your needle!  

Clip the corners and turn.  Hand stitch the closing.

The inside:

The outside:

Be sure to visit the rest of the stops and upload your pouches to the Flickr group for a chance to win some prizes at the end of the week.

Monday 11/26: Emily from Mommy's Naptime and Elaine from Dashasel Sews
Tuesday, 11/27: Courtney from Mon Petit Lyons and Lucy from Charm About You
Wednesday, 11/28: Hollie from Undercover Crafter and Katie from Katie's Korner
Thursday, 11/29: Lindsay from Lindsay Sews and Michelle from I Like Orange
Friday, 11/30: Sara from Sew Sweetness, Cindy from Adventures of the Singing Quilter, and Jennifer from Ellison Lane Quilts

Monday, 12/3: Holly from Bijou Lovely and Heidi from Fabric Mutt
Tuedsay, 12/4: Elizabeth from Don't Call Me Betsy and Emily from Mle BB
Wednesday, 12/5: Shruti from 13 Woodhouse Road and Liz from Dandelion Daydreams
Thursday, 12/6: Beth from Plum and June and Kaelin from The Plaid Scottie
Friday, 12/7: Emily from Mommy's Naptime and Elaine from Dashasel Sews

****And if you are interested, I posted a tutorial for some mini quilts/photo frames using fun novelty fabrics earlier this week and there is a fabric giveaway post here for the Sew Mama Sew giveaway week.


  1. Looking pretty cool, once i've had a bit more caffeine and woken up i'll have another read through and take it all in, looks like a pretty good "not a tutorial" tutorial! : )

  2. This is so cute, Beth! I'm constantly finding hair bands all over the house, so I need one of these too! :)

  3. Great pouch! I have really loved making purses and pouches now that I have conquered the ever intimidating zipper.

  4. Neat pouch Beth, not having girls we don't have the hair accessories problem but I am sure it would be just as useful for the clutter boys seem to amass!

  5. I certainly want to say upfront that it wouldn't be as cute - but what about putting that clear stuff on the front of the pouch so they could see before they dump? ! Well, in theory it sounds good!

  6. Sigh, I have been sewing along time. Yet I have only done a few zippers, they like button holes scare me. I feel silly now after reading your post and seeing that you do not need the metal dealies. I thought they had to stay on and each zipper had to be to size. I am so glad I happened by here today! Thank you

  7. I need one of these by my bed! I always end up with a huge pile of hair ties and bobby pins on my nightstand!

  8. Great idea and makes me feel like I'm almost ready to tackle multiple zippers!

  9. Great pouch B.
    I find hair bobbles and clips in the strangest places sometimes - they just get everywhere.
    One of these pouches would certainly do the job better.
    Great tutorial. Thanks for the tips.

  10. Looks great Beth! Thanks for the tutorial!

  11. this is fantastic, thanks for sharing!

  12. love all the detail - thanks for sharing!

  13. Such a cute pouch, Beth! Thanks for aharing this great idea!

  14. Beautiful pouch Beth. I really like the fabrics that you used. It can also work great for organizing sewing supplies. Thanks for the tutorial.


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