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Things to do today: 1) Make cool grocery list/coupon holder from Sew4Home; 2) With increased level of organization from said cool grocery list/coupon holder, complete chores in record time; 3) Eat chocolates; 4) Send any leftover chocolates to Sew4Home. I think that pretty much covers it. Our cute little case has a perfectly-sized vinyl window that displays your shopping list (yes… you can sew vinyl with your home sewing machine), a handy credit card pocket on the opposite side, and a zippered interior pouch to hold coupons, cash and more. The optional lanyard makes it easy to grab from your purse, clip to a shopping bag, or simply sling over your shoulder.

The front vinyl window is sized to fit a standard 8½ x 11″ piece of paper folded into thirds (8½” x 3¾”), which is also the size of most off-the-shelf grocery memo pads. Handy, huh?

And, the little back pocket is just right for standard credit or gift cards.

The inside zippered pouch can hold lots and lots of coupons and well as a pen, keys, cash or anything else you want to drop in there.

We originally used fabric from the Lovely collection by Sandy Gervais for Moda Fabrics, but any small piece of quilting cotton from your stash would work just wonderfully.

The holder finishes at approximately 9″ x 4″.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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  • THREE Layer Cake 10″ x 10″ squares; if you choose not to use a Layer Cake, you’ll need to cut three 10″ x 10″ squares or cut scraps to the exact dimensions listed below.
  • ¼ yard of lightweight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon ShirTailor
  • One 5″ x 10″ piece of 4-6 gauge clear sewing and craft vinyl
  • 1¼ yard of ¾” coordinating ribbon: we used a satin grosgrain in turquoise
  • One ¾” D-ring
  • One coordinating ¾” swivel clip
  • 9″ zipper; we used a Coats All-Purpose Zipper in turquoise
  • One ¾” button
  • Parchment or wax paper: one piece apx. 9″ x 14″
  • All purpose thread in color to match fabric
  • See-through ruler
  • Seam gauge
  • Fabric pencil, pen or chalk
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Quilt clips or paper clips to hold fabric to vinyl
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

  1. From the fabric for the front – the side with the vinyl window (Lovely Rain Swirl in our sample), cut the following:
    ONE 5″ x 10″ rectangle
    TWO 1½” x 10″ strips
    ONE 1½” x 5″ strip
  2. From the fabric for the back – the side with the small pocket (Lovely Baby’s Breath & Rain in our sample), cut the following:
    ONE 5″ wide x 10″ tall rectangle
    ONE 3¼” x 5½” rectangle
    ONE 4″ x 4″ square
  3. From the fabric for the lining (Lovely Rain Plaid in our sample), cut the following:
    TWO 5″ wide x 10″ tall rectangles
  4. From the fusible interfacing cut:
    TWO 5″ wide x 10″ tall rectangles
    TWO 1½” x 10″ strips
    ONE 1½” x 5″ strip
  5. Cut one piece of soft vinyl 5″ x 10″.

At Your Sewing Machine

Assemble the front panel with its vinyl window

  1. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, iron the three strips of fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the three matching fabric strips.
  2. Fold each strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. You now have two strips that are ¾” x 10″ and one that is ¾” x 5″.
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  3. Place the 5″ strip along one edge of your 10″ x 5″ piece of vinyl. This will become the bottom edge. Align the raw edges of the strip with the raw edge of the vinyl. The strip is sitting on top of the vinyl with the folded fabric edge facing in. Clip in place; do not use pins.
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  4. Cut a piece of parchment or wax paper larger than the entire piece or vinyl. Slip it under your project before you sew.
    NOTE: This is because not only do you not want the sticky vinyl to drag on the machine’s feed dogs, you also don’t want it to catch or drag on the plastic of the machine itself, which it can do… believe me, I tried it.
  5. Attach your Zipper foot and edgestitch the fabric strip in place as close to its folded edge as possible. Start and stop your seam about ⅜” in from each edge.
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    NOTE: A few sewing on vinyl tips: use clips not pins to hold your layers together, lengthen your machine’s stitch, use a denim needle, place a piece of parchment or wax paper under the entire piece of vinyl…. test first!
  6. Find the 10″ strips and turn under the top edge approximately ½” to create a finished end.
    NOTE: There is actually a “top” to the strip. Lay each on the vinyl with its folded edge facing in to determine the top.
  7. Align the 10″ strips along each side. The bottom raw edge of each should be flush with the bottom and the top folded edge should be ½” from the raw edge of the vinyl.
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  8. Clip in place and then edgestitch in place, as you did with the bottom strip.
  9. Trim back the vinyl so it is approximately ⅛” from your sewn seams and flush with the top folded edges across the top.
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  10. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, iron the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the 5″ x 10″ fabric front panel.
  11. Place this fused front panel right side up on your work surface.
  12. Lay the completed window panel over the top, also right side up. The sides and bottom of the two pieces should be flush. The top of the vinyl window sits below the top of the back fabric panel.
  13. Clip all layers together along both sides and across the bottom.
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  14. Edgestitch along both sides and across the bottom, staying close to the raw edges. Set aside.

Assemble the back panel with its credit card pocket

  1. Find the 3¼” x 5½ pocket piece.
  2. Press under ¼” along both 5½” sides and one 3¼” end.
  3. On the opposite 3¼” end, make a simple 1¼” hem. To do this, press under ¼”, then press under again 1″, pin in place, and stitch close to the fold to finish.
  4. Find the 4″ x 4″ loop piece.
  5. Fold it in half diagonally, right sides together, to form a triangle.
  6. Stitch ½” away from the fold. Folding and stitching on the diagonal will make the loop bias-cut, which will allow it to curve without wrinkling.
  7. Trim the seam allowance to ¼”.
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  8. Sew the button at the exact center of the hem line on the front of the pocket.
  9. Turn the loop right side out with a safety pin, loop turner or hemostat. Press flat and fold in half to form the loop.
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  10. Place the pocket, right side up, on the right side of one 10″ x 5″ back panel piece. It should be centered side to side and top to bottom. Slip the folded loop in place over the button, tucking the ends into the pocket, to test its position.
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  11. Place a pin in the loop hold the ends in the position you’ve tested. Then lift up the pocket and secure the pin.
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  12. Secure the loop ends in place with a line of stitching. We used a zig zag stitch.
  13. Replace the pocket into its centered position. Take the time to double-check your measurements. Pin in place.
  14. Edgestitch pocket along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners.

Insert the zipper

  1. The process outlined below is very similar to how we inserted the zipper in our pencil case tutorial. Another option with additional zipper sizing steps is our Classic Zipper Pouch. If you are new to inserting zippers, you might want to review one or both tutorials; they have a few additional photos, which help you walk through the process.
  2. Place the finished front panel (the one with the window) right side up on your work surface.
  3. Lay your zipper upside down on top of it (teeth facing down on the right side of the fabric). The side edge of the zipper tape should be even with the fabric’s raw edge. The bottom end of the zipper tape should be flush with the side edge of the panel. The top end of the zipper tape can extend a bit beyond the panel.
  4. Lay a 10″ x 5″ piece of lining, right side down, on top of the front panel, sandwiching the zipper in between the two layers of fabric.
  5. As above, align the top raw edge of the lining piece with the side edge of the zipper tape. Pin all three layers together, being careful to pin through just the top of the zipper. You need to be able to open and close the zipper; you can’t do that if you’ve pinned through the whole thing!
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  6. Fold back the lining to reveal the zipper, and zip it open about half way.
  7. Fold the lining back down into position and take the assembled layers to your machine. Attach your zipper foot. Your needle should be in the right-most position.
  8. Stitch as close to the zipper as the foot will allow, removing the pins as you sew.
  9. Go slowly. When you get to the middle, where you can start to feel you’re approaching the zipper pull, stop with your needle in the down position. Twist your fabric around slightly and open up the layers so you can access the zipper. Be gentle! Carefully close the zipper. Re-position your fabric and finish sewing to the end.
  10. When finished, your lining piece should be on one side of the zipper and your front piece on the other. Fold the lining and front panel wrong sides together, so the zipper stands straight up.
  11. Because of the thickness of the fabric layers, you need to grade your seam allowance to allow the front panel and lining to fold back away from the zipper smoothly. To do this, simply trim back the seam allowance layers close to the seam line but cut at a diagonal so the layer closest to the seam is a bit narrower than the layer farthest away. Press carefully – remember, no high heat because of the vinyl; a pressing cloth is recommended.
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  12. Repeat to attach the other side of the zipper between the finished back panel (the one with the little pocket) and the other 5″ x 10″ piece of lining.
  13. First, lay the lining piece right side up on your work surface. On top of it, place the finished front panel, lining side down. And on top of these two layers, place the back panel right side down.
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  14. Pin in place through all layers and stitch in place, following the same steps you used above to attach the front panel and its lining to the zipper. However, there’s no need to grade the seam allowance on this side because you don’t have as many layers to contend with.
    Click to Enlarge
  15. When complete and pressed, this is what your project should look like laying flat and right side up.
    Click to Enlarge

Final assembly and attaching the lanyard

  1. Cut a 3″ length from the ribbon. Fold it in half, wrong sides together and loop it through the D-ring.
  2. Pin it to the right side of the front panel at the center of the bottom strip, as shown below. The D-ring should be facing in and the raw edges extending beyond the edge a bit.
    Click to Enlarge
  3. Machine baste it in place. We used a zig zag again to help keep the ribbon from fraying and pulling out. Trim the ribbon ends flush when done.
  4. Un-zip the zipper about half way and fold the case right sides together.
  5. Carefully align all the raw edges of all the layers along both sides and across the bottom. Pin in place. Take your time on this step; you want all the layers to be as smooth, flat and even as possible.
  6. Determine your final seam allowance. It will be approximately ½”. We say approximately because you need to confirm the clearance you have at your zipper pull and stop. Our pull and stop on our zipper ended up slightly under that standard ½”, so we used a ⅜” seam allowance.
  7. Stitch down both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners.
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  8. Clip the corners and turn right side out through the zippered opening.
  9. Push out the corners and press well.
    NOTE: You have a lot of layers, including some vinyl, which makes things rather stiff. Be deliberate with your corner-pushing-out, but know you won’t be able to get the corners to be a sharp 90˚ angle because of the bulk. Don’t lose any sleep over it. The corners can be slightly rounded.
  10. To make the ribbon lanyard, fold your remaining length of ribbon in half, aligning the raw ends. Fold the raw ends up approximately ½” and stitch in place. I used a zig zag stitch to help prevent the ribbon from raveling.
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  11. Loop this finished end through the swivel hook.
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  12. Pin it in place and then try it on, adjusting it as necessary to confirm your desired length.
  13. When you have your final length determined, stitch the loose end in place with one or more lines of stitching. I used three lines of stitching.
    Click to Enlarge


Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Liz Johnson

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4 years ago

I have 2 questions before I

I have 2 questions before I make this:  1)  it looks like you used pinking shears for some of the cuts but not all cuts, why?

2)  it looks like the clear view end where you insert your shopping list is open to the floor if you wear it with the lanyard, won’t the list fall out?

I really like this idea.  I want to make several for myself, daughters and friends.  Thanks

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