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Travel Accessories: 8-Pocket Jewelry Pouch

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Your favorite shiny beads and baubles deserve to come along on vacation too. But figuring out how to pack them, without opening your suitcase upon arrival to find a tangle mess, is always a challenge. Our Travel Tidy jewelry pouch is up to the task. It has eight, wedge-shaped pockets to hold necklaces, earrings, rings and watches. The pouch gathers up with a drawstring, safely enclosing the pockets in an upright position. The gathered circle reminds me of those classic round baby bonnets. Tie the bundle closed and toss it into your bag.

Our Travel Accessories series is sponsored by  Free Spirit Fabrics, as part of our  Artist Trio Series introducing Anna Maria Horner's amazing Loulouthi fabric collection. You can find a great selection Loulouthi online now at: Fat Quarter ShopCityCraftFashionable Fabrics, and Fabric.com.

When flat, the pouch is an approximately 12" diameter circle.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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  • ½ yard EACH of TWO 44-45" wide print fabrics: we used Loulouthi Curated Bloom in AH39-June and Loulouthi Triflora in AH42-Lipstick by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit Fabrics
    NOTE: If you cut carefully, ½ yard of each print will yield TWO matching pouches - one for you and one for a friend.
  • Scrap of lightweight batting for center circle
  • 2 yards of 1/8" satin rattail coding: this is available in a rainbow of colors, we chose a deep pink to match the Triflora Lipstick
  • All purpose thread to match fabrics
  • See-through ruler or yardstick
  • Seam guage
  • Fabric marker, pen, or tailor's chalk for marking fabric
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

  1. Download and print FOUR copies of our 8½" x 11" pattern sheet: Pouch Template.
    IMPORTANT: You must print this PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
  2. Cut out all four 'wedge' pieces along the solid lines. Following the diagram on the sheet, tape the four wedges together to form a circle. Butt together your cut pieces and tape; do NOT overlap.
  3. The solid outside line is your cut line for the large circles. The solid inner line is the cut line for the smaller circles. And, the assembly diagram circle itself should be cut out and used as a pattern to cut the batting circle.
    NOTE: If you want, you could print eight copies of the template, tape them together into two circle patterns, use one at full size and cut the other one down to the smaller size. Then you could retain both patterns (along with one small circle pattern) in your files for later use.
  4. Use the full circle pattern to cut ONE large circle from EACH of the two print fabrics (Loulouthi Curated Bloom in June and Triflora in Lipstitck in our sample).
  5. Use the trimmed, smaller circle pattern to cut ONE smaller circle from EACH of the two print fabrics (Loulouthi Curated Bloom in June and Triflora in Lipstitck in our sample).
  6. Use the assembly diagram to cut ONE circle from the scrap of lightweight batting.  
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At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Following the manual for your sewing machine, make a small buttonhole on the right side of the large "exterior" circle (Loulouthi Curated Bloom in June in our sample). The TOP of the buttonhole should be approximately 1½" from the top raw edge of the circle.
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    NOTE: The Janome machine I used for this project has an automatic buttonhole feature. I found a little button and used it to make the smallest buttonhole possible with my automatic feature: 3/8".
  2. Find the small circle that will form the interior of your pockets (Loulouthi Curated Bloom in June in our sample). Place it wrong side up on your work surface and center the batting circle on it.
  3. Pin the batting circle in place, then machine baste it in place, staying as close to the edge of the batting as possible.
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  4. Pin the two large circles and the two small circles right sides together.
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  5. Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch both circle-pairs together, leaving a 1-2" opening for turning.
    NOTE: When stitching in a circle, it can be a bit of a challenge to keep your seam allowance even and your curve smooth. My best tips are to go slowly and to stop now and then, with your needle in the down position, lift up the presser foot, and slightly adjust your fabric to keep your seam allowance true. The smaller the circle, the more often you need to stop and adjust. I also used my Janome Quarter Inch foot for my original seams to help keep the seam allowance on track.
  6. Make small clips about every inch around the seam allowances of each sewn circle, being careful to not cut into the seam itself. Don't clip the seam allowance at the opening. This clipping allows the fabric to ease or give slightly when turned right side out so your curve will look nice and smooth.
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  7. Turn both sewn circles right side out through the opening. Use a long blunt-end tool, such as my fave: a chopstick, to help round out the pieces.
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  8. Press well, folding in and pressing the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam. 

  9. Pin this opening closed and slip stitch to close. 

Mark and make the interior pockets

  1. Following the marks on the original pattern pieces, divide your interior pocket circle into eight wedges. Your marks should be made on the side of pocket circle that will be face up on the inside (Loulouthi Curated Bloom in June in our sample). And, the marks should start at the outside edge of the circle and end at the inner basting circle you made originally to hold the batting in place.
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  2. Place your large circle exterior side down on your work surface. Place the smaller pocket circle interior side up (so you can see your markings) centered and on top of the first circle. Pin in place.
  3. Stitch the two circles together, following the original center basting circle seam line.
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  4. Remove the sewn circles from the machine, press to insure both layers remain nice and flat, and adjust the pins as necessary to hold the layers together.
  5. Return to your machine and follow your marked wedge lines, stitching eight seams to create the eight pocket wedge divisions. Remember to back stitch or lock stitch at the start and the finish, and do NOT stitch into the batting circle at the center.
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Create the drawstring channel

  1. You need to create two circular seams for your drawstring channel. These two seams should align top and bottom with the original buttonhole you made way back at the beginning.
  2. The first seam should be as close as possible to the interior pocket circle but should NOT stitch into that circle at all. Use the edge of the pocket circle as your guide to stitch just outside of it all the way around.
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  3. To stitch the second circular seam, flip over the pouch so you are working from the exterior side. You can use one of two methods to align this seam line. Start at the button hole and line up your needle drop at the top of the buttonhole. Check your distance with a seam gauge; it should be approximately ½". Pick spots on your pressure foot and the bed of your machine to follow and stitch while you turn in a circle.
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  4. Or, again using a seam gauge, mark a dashed line ½" from the original circular seam all the way around. Then, stitch the second circular seam by following this dashed line.
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  5. Here's what the pouch should look like from the exterior side with all the stitch lines in place.
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  6. And, here's a look at the drawstring channel from both sides.
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  7. Attach a small safety pin to one end of the rattail satin cord.
  8. Insert it through the buttonhole and work it through the drawstring channel until it comes out the other end.
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  9. Make sure your cord tails are long enough to warp around the pouch and make a generous bow. Make a knot in each end.
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Project Design: Alicia Thommas  
Sample Creation: Liz Johnson

Other machines suitable for this project include the Elna 5300 and the Bernina 380.



Comments (43)

Embroidery digitizing services said:
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Kiernen said:
Kiernen's picture

There seems to be part of a step missing.  In step #9 before the Making the Interior Pockets section, it states to "Pin this opening closed and" and then the sentence ends, and the next section begins.  I assume that I am supposed to slip-stitch the openings closed, but it would be nice to have that confirmed!


Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Kiernen - this omission is fixed, and yes, the missing copy was simply to hand stitch closed. 

Kiernen said:
Kiernen's picture

Thanks so much for the speedy reply!  I always use inexpensive fabric and such to make a test item from new patterns so I can make sure I understand what I'm supposed to do without ruining my more expensive materials.  I just finished my test item and it turned out super-cute!  There are a couple of areas that I have to exercise a bit more caution on when making the "real deal" but I am very happy with how it turned out. My daughter approved and wants one to take with her to camp this summer.  That's high praise coming from a picky teenager!  

Thanks again for such a wonderful site!  I always find what I need here and know that I can count on you to have clear instructions!

Robbie said:
Robbie's picture

I put 2 buttonholes in mine & 2 drawstrings & tied each into a circle - didn't like the loose ends of the string.

jaffery said:
jaffery's picture

Honestly this idea is truly appreciable! All the above discussion is really helpful for all peoples who are interesting in tourism field. I am so glad to get this great pocket pouch idea. I must try this pouch for my younger sister because in coming weekend we have plan of grand canyon bus tour for two weeks.


Jason said:
Jason's picture

Awesome sharing! Great idea to make our pocket pouch as we wants. Travelling is my favorite activity that I like to do every time in my life. It is just like fun for me. Now I must try this beautiful pocket pouch. I want to take it with me during my las vegas to grand canyon bus tours 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ linaka - As it shows in the photo above, there is just one buttonhole.

vipin said:
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I must say that overall I am really impressed with this blog.It is easy to see that you are impassioned about your writing.

vipin said:
vipin's picture

Its amazing, looking at the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you provide. I'll bookmark your blog and visit it weekly for your new posts. 

aksesuar ve takı said:
aksesuar ve takı's picture

thank you for sharing this tutorial information.really it is very perfect.congrulation 

GrannieJayne said:
GrannieJayne's picture

I saw these on Create and Craft the back end of 2012, I didn't have a pattern, but used my microwave turntable as a pattern for the larger circle and a smaller dinner plate as the pattern for the smaller circle.  I too used 2 ribbons which puller together easier.  I used my overlocker on the inside circle and wished I'd used it for the outer circle too.

I divided mine into 6 not using the batting circle I went straight through the centre making the wedges longer I then put hotel sized shampoo and shower gel and a folding toothbrush into the pockets, it makes a nice travel toilettries bag for the journey; ideal for flight restrictions.

Have fun.

Ramy53 said:
Ramy53's picture

Liked your tip about the turntable and dinner plate, and not using the batting circle either, further to that, to anyone who is a bit guarded about doing straight lines and doesn't want to mark the fabric, I sat the dinner plate ( smaller circle ) onto some waxed paper, I guess you could use tissue paper, but I had waxed paper in the cupboard, so I drew the outside line, cut out the circle, then halved it, then quartered it, then made it into eighths, trimmed the outer edge up a bit so as it finishes up being a little less than smaller circle, so that when you reverse lock your stitches at the beginning and the end of each line you can see where you are starting from and the paper is there to guide you with just the straight stitching. opened it all out again pinned it into place where I wanted to sew, and used the creases as a line guide for sewing without marking the fabric, when finished I just gently eased the paper off, just depending on your stitch length, you are perforating the paper and it comes of easily. Saves time and marking out.  I bought one at a fete quite a number of years ago, and it always comes on holidays with me, great for holding all your little treasures. Finding this site was a blessing. Great little gift and thanks for all the hints and tips ladies.

levelin said:
levelin's picture

Since I have a serger/overlocker, I would be tempted to do a rolled hem for the outer edge of both circles. They would be done with wrong sides facing, so no turning and trimming the seams

Isond said:
Isond's picture
I just made this last night, and it turned out both pretty and functional! Will definently be making more of these!
kimberly t said:
kimberly t's picture
Love it. Thank you for the tutorial. Just made it tonight, did not take that long to make. Will be making more for giftssmilies/smiley.gifsmilies/smiley.gifsmilies/smiley.gifsmilies/smiley.gif
Aprille Sweatt said:
Aprille Sweatt's picture
PERFECT timing! A friend stopped by for an unexpected visit earlier this week. She had bought a jewelry pouch similar to this one at a craft fair. She wanted to know if I had ever seen one and knew how to make them. I told her that I had made some in the past, and it was a simple project. THANKS for sending the pattern and instructions at JUST the right time. I will not have to search for my pattern or worry about correct dimensions! Thanks for ALL of your posts and great ideas. I enjoy all of your inspirational sewing projects.
Tracy J. said:
Tracy J.'s picture
Thanks for the tutorial. Many years ago, a co-worker made something like these and I have been keeping an eye out for a patter/tutorial. Much easier to follow than my first immersion. Very petty.
Cypriana said:
Cypriana's picture
Thank you very much for the great tutorial. I just made one for a friend, who travels a lot and it looks so adorable
Cindy Blum said:
Cindy Blum's picture
I have one of these and LOVE it. Looking forward to making some for friends and family.
Summer Simmons said:
Summer Simmons's picture
love this but think i am going to enlarge it and use it for a lego pouch for my son..smilies/smiley.gif
Summer Simmons said:
Summer Simmons's picture
love this but i think i'm going to enlarge it and use it as a lego pouch for my son. smilies/smiley.gif
Jackie Davidson said:
Jackie Davidson's picture
For the last 5 yrs. I have made these little jewelry bags. They have been gifts and I also sold quite a few of them. They are easy and beautiful I made mine from brocade fabric and people loved them.
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ T. -- We double-checked the pdf file for this template and it will definitely print out on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. Perhaps your printer thinks the image is closer to the edge than it is normally comfortable with. Try to print anyway, ignoring its "outside the margins" warning. Chances are you will still get everything you need, and even if there are a few little spots missing, you can complete any gaps following the lines that remain.
T. said:
T.'s picture
I was thrilled to have found this pattern and instructions, however I can't print the template because it is outside the margins of the print paper. and it says to print it at 100%-how do you do that?? Does anyone know the diameter/circumfrence of each of the circles used so I can make my own template? Any info would be helpful, I want to make these. Thanks
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ Shola - thanks for sharing your project results. Your friends will love them!
VTKat said:
VTKat's picture
I just whipped up two of these in time for two Bdays this weekend! What a fun project! I would strongly suggest measuring with your gauge for Step 4 in the channel portion. Just saying. I plan to widen then circles next time to accommodate chunky bangles and necklaces that are the current rage. Also, use Gorilla Glue at the ends of your satin rattail to prevent unraveling.
The Babe Shop said:
The Babe Shop's picture
Adorable! I love it! reminds me of a little purse I had as a little girl.
laceandbits said:
laceandbits's picture
If you use a few small stitches (hand or machine) to hold the centre of the ribbon at the half way point in the channel, it will stay in place and not need adjusting all the time.
Beth T. said:
Beth T.'s picture
You just keep coming up with sweet gifts to make. Thank you so much!
Ree said:
Ree's picture
Thank you! I love it! I've been wanting to make one of these for a while.
I get so excited each week when I get the e-mail telling what is coming in the next week. It's like Christmas! smilies/grin.gif
hdee said:
hdee's picture
Wow! What memories. I made these back in high school in the 60's for family for Christmas one year and still have the one I made for myself - tho quite shabby now. Had forgotten all about them. Only difference is that I put a buttonhole on each end of the diameter and used 2 ribbons so it acted like a drawstring. They really do protect jewelry from getting all tangled. Thanks for the reminder. Will go make myself a new one!
Cousinlisa said:
Cousinlisa's picture
Ooooo.... I think I have just found a pattern for Christmas gifts for my girlie friends! Thanks, these are sew cute!
Alessandra Ezy said:
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Fui a uma feira de artesanato aqui no Brasil no sábado passado (2/7) e vi este saquinho, só que fiquei com vergonha de fotografar (porque a artesã ia perceber que eu queria copiar! Chato né?), mas gravei na memória para fazer... E agora nem será preciso! Vocês deram o passo a passo! Lindo! Amo vocÊs!
Abraços calorosos brasileiro!