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Posts Tagged ‘easy sewing project’

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How insanely fabulous is this pouch? I can’t decide if I love it so much because a) it is made from glittery elephant fabric, b) of it’s small but perfectly proportioned size, c) it holds my on the go quilting supplies or d) all of the above.

If you’d like to make your own see how below.

You will need:

  • 2 pieces of exterior fabric measuring 8 inches by 6 inches. (The longer side will be the top of your pouch, keep this in mind when cutting directional fabric)
  • 2 pieces of interior fabric measuring 8 inches by 6 inches
  • 2 pieces of mid-weight woven non-fusible interfacing (This helps add body to your bag, because without it it wouldn’t be very “boxy””
  • 1 12 inch zipper
  • Coordinating thread (this will be visible on the outside of the bag)

Things that will come in handy:

  • rotary cutter
  • cutting mat
  • shears
  • craft scissors
  • clear ruler

Step 1:

Choose and cut your fabric- is it just me or is this oftentime the hardest part?

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I like to use a right angle ruler (“borrowed” from my husband) to make sure my fabric pieces are nice and square.

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Step 2: Layer your pieces. Interior fabric right side DOWN, interfacing, and finally exterior fabric right side UP.

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Step 3: Stitch the layers together 1/4 in from the edge. You can use a 1/4 in foot or the edge of your presser foot. These stitches will not be visible and are only done to hold the layers together for the next step. Fold the edges under 1/2 in and press.

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Step 4: Places both sets of fabric with the pressed under edges on top of the zipper and sew together.

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Step 5: Fold the two sides right sides of the exterior fabric together. The right side of your interior fabric will then be facing up. Stitch a quarter inch seam along the raw edge. I also suggest using shears to finish your seams so they don’t fray with use (I forgot to do this…)

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Step 6: Press the fabric tube you have created flat ensuring you have centered the bottom seam on the zipper.

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Step 7: Move your zipper pull to the center and stitch a quarter inch seam on both sides. Make sure you go over the zipper 2 or 3 times to secure it.

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Step 8: Cut off the excess ends of the zipper leaving about an inch from your seam.

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Step 9: Pinch the corners out to form triangles and draw a line one inch from the point and roughly two inches across. A clear ruler is key! Pin in place and sew across the two inch line on all four sides.

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Step 10: Use your shears to cut off the excess fabric. This reduces the bulk and finishes your seam in one step.

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Step 11: Turn your pouch and admire your handiwork!

You can fill it with on the go sewing essentials like I did.

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Or use it as a change purse, first aid kit, on the go toy “chest,” cosmetic case, candy bag, etc

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Finished Birdie Sling, originally uploaded by Shear Delight.

After two trips to Jo-Ann’s and still no fusible fleece I decided to do without! If I’d had all my supplies in the first go around I could have finished this in a day but it would have taken all day.

Difficulty Level: Beginner

Overall Quality of Pattern: Great! I’m very much a beginner and I was able to master all the skills using the instructions given and one google search on the pleats. The pattern includes full size pieces (always a plus) and clear and concise instructions. She also includes a glossary of terms as they relate to the pattern which is especially nice for beginners.

What I Used:

  • 2 yards of Kona Cotton Khaki as the outer fabric
  • 2 yards of Kona Cotton Khaki as the lining fabric
  • 2 yards of Carolina Chambray Pacifica for the outer band and handle
  • 1/4 yard of Alexander Henry Blakely Pool Stripe for the inner band and appliqued leaves
  • 1/4 yard of Alexander Henry Blakely Pool for the appliqued flowers
  • 2 spools of thread one in a dark aqua and one in a khaki
  • 3 1/2 yards Pellon SF 101
  • 1/2 yard of 44 in wide Thermolam Plus (not the fusible kind)

I had leftovers of almost everything because the pattern only requires 1 1/8 yards of the various fabrics.

The patterned called for a couple things I didn’t use:

  • Scotch Tape
  • Tracing Paper
  • Pressing Ham

Step 1 is cutting all your pattern pieces, this is easier if you have large cutting scissors and not the little craft ones I have on hand.

Step 1- Cut Out Pattern Pieces

Step 2 is cutting out your fabric and be warned this will take awhile!

Step 2 Cutting Out Pattern Pieces

The instructions call for tracing paper but I just used the paper templates and pinned them directly to the fabric. The pins hold the paper in place and can even keep those pesky corners from curling up.

The Multi Purpose Pin

I used 2 yard cuts of fabric so instead of folding as the instructions indicated I just made sure I cutting on the fold. I didn’t want to waste any fabric after all.

Step 2

Most of the cuts I freehanded with my rotary cutter but when I cut a straight line I like to use my ruler as a guide. Because to be completely honest I’m not the best at cutting straight lines (or drawing them either but I promise I can walk them!)

Using My Ruler as a Guide

Instead of using an all over print I decided to applique a floral design I cut out from a print to a solid background. I really like that it adds a pop of color without being too busy, plus it was super simple since I just cut the design out using my nice fabric scissors. (Mental note: the next time Jo-Ann’s is running a sale by nice paper scissors!)

Alexander Henry Applique

A couple hours or more, depending on how fast and/or easily distracted you are, and you will end up with this.

All the Pieces Cut Out

Step 3 is applying the fusible interfacing and fleece.

Honestly I wish I hadn’t used the fusible interfacing on the main fabric. The natural drape of the cotton would have looked better without the interfacing. And the stuff was a pain. And the biggest pain was the fact that you are supposed to soak the interfacing (SF 101 Pellon) and then hang dry before using. Who knew? You can find some more tips here from Pink Chalk Studios.

I would keep the interfacing everywhere else and do two layers on both the inner and outer bands (the instructions only have the outer bands getting two layers.)

The regular Thermolam Fleece is a definite keeper as well although I wonder if I would have liked it as much if it was fusible as well. I could never find the fusible stuff and I was tired of waiting so I used the sew in kind and loved it. It added a nice body to the inner lining without being a pain like the fusible interfacing.

Step 4 is making and attaching your pockets.

Snipping the Pocket Corners

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Is was confusing to me that we don’t sew the bottom of the pocket closed right away but you end up sewing it closed when you attach it to the inner lining.

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I used pins to mark the center of the inner lining and pockets and then lined them up with my ruler.

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Before you sew the pocket on I recommend taking a step back and making sure it’s on straight. The first time around mine was a little askew from pinning. Luckily I noticed before I started to sew.

A lot of people have commented how large these pockets, and they are. The large pocket is almost as deep as the entire bag.

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Step 5 Pleating.

This confused me, the little line drawings just didn’t help me, so I googled pleating and found a tutorial with pictures and then it clicked.

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Pleats Up Close

Step 6 is attaching the bands to the inner and outer panels.

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Before you start I recommend referencing your pattern piece

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So that you don’t sew your bands on upside down. If you do I can tell you the pattern will still work, the band will just look a little off. From a distance no one will notice (at least this is what I tell myself).

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Just make sure you sew all the bands on the same way. I realized what I did wrong on the outer panels when I started the inner panel but at that point I could either rip out the wrong ones to make them right or keep them all uniformly wrong. I went the easy route.

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Step 7 is attaching the inner and outer panels.

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Step 8- Getting “Gussied” Up

The directions have been updated since the original version and are relatively easy to understand.

Measuring and Marking the Gusset

You need to mark your middle point and two outer points.

Marking the Gusset

The draw a curved line connecting the three.

Drawing the Gusset

Sew along that line and take a minute to admire your skills at sewing curves 🙂

Sewing the Gusset

Cut the excess off leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Cutting the Gusset

For the inner lining I had to use a fine tip marker to create my curve- it’s impossible or nearly so to use a pencil on it.

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This is when I decided to applique my flowers onto the outer panel. I wanted to know how it would look with the pleats and gussets before I decided on the placement of the flowers. Visually this was a good idea but technique wise it was not. I couldn’t use my machine to do a zig zag stitch to attach the flowers with everything sewn together so I did it by hand and my hand sewing could use a little work. I decided to embrace my lack of skill and went with a simple straight stitch following the lines. Eventually it will fray on the edges but that’s okay.

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Step 9 is making and attaching the handle.

Right now you are heading into the home stretch.

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Step 10 Sewing the Inner and Outer Panels together.

So it seems counterintuitive that you would put the INNER lining over the OUTER lining.

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But it works because eventually you will pull everything out through the hole you left in the bottom of your inner lining.

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You didn’t forget to leave the hole like I did, did you? Oh well that’s what seam rippers are for.

A little top stitching and stitching in ditch (I thought you only did that in quilting) and you are ready to hit the town with your new bag.

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