Wristlets are one of our favorite little projects. Although they’re great to toss into a larger bag or tote to hold your smaller must-haves, they have so many uses on their own. These cuties have a pretty curved bottom, and the wrist strap is actually attached to the zipper, moving with it and changing from a simple loop to a full handle as the zipper opens and closes.
Our thanks to our friends at FreeSpirit Fabrics for the beautiful fabric used on our three pouch samples. It is Amy Butler’s final collection: Natural Beauty. We’ve been fans of Amy’s fabrics since the beginning and are, of course, sorry to see her leaving the field. However, we're excited for her to experience new adventures. This final collection has all her trademark depth of color and design excellence.
Fussy cutting is recommended but not necessary. The critical part when laying out the main pouch pattern piece is to keep the fabric’s motif running straight across the front and back panels. You’ll need just quarter yard cuts of two fabrics for each pouch. Fat quarter pre-cuts would also work well.
A Swivel Hook and D-Ring work together to facilitate the “moving wrist strap.” One end of the ½” strap is attached through a D-Ring that comes up from the back of the pouch right next to the zipper. The opposite end is secured around the Swivel Hook, which is inserted through the largest of the two holes in a standard zipper pull.
With the zipper closed, the strap forms a classic wrist loop. Open the zipper and the strap moves with it to become a full handle. This allows you to easily hold the pouch in an upright position in order to reach in and retrieve whatever is needed from the inside.
For this project, we recommend a standard polyester zipper over metal for a couple of reasons. The polyester zippers come into the widest selection of colors, and this zipper is designed to be a focus on the pouch, popping out against the fabric in a fun coordinating hue. Also, for the smoothest fit, it’s best to cut the zipper to the exact size needed. Polyester zips are much easier to cut to length. We give you all the steps below for measuring, cutting, and wrapping the ends with tiny tabs.
Since each pouch is made from just two quilting weight cottons, a layer of fusible fleece provides a bit of body. You could use a heavier substrate, but if you do, consider switching from the fleece to a lightweight interfacing.
Quick and simple, and with color to last for days, these pouches are a great gift idea. Slip a treat or gift card inside to sweeten the deal.
Our Curved Bottom Wristlet Zipper Pouch finishes at approximately 6” wide x 4½” high with a 5” wrist loop strap.
Sewing Tools You Need
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: Quantities shown are for ONE pouch.
- Fat quarter, scrap or ¼ yard of 44”+ wide quilting weight cotton for the pouch exterior, wrist loop, and zipper tabs; we used cuts from Amy’s Butlers final gorgeous collection: Natural Beauty
- Fat quarter, scrap or ¼ yard of 44”+ wide quilting weight cotton fabric for the pouch lining; we used cuts from Amy’s Butlers final gorgeous collection: Natural Beauty
- Our three sample pouches used the following Natural Beauty combinations:
Exterior: Buttercups in Water – Lining: Spider Web in Lime
Exterior: Field Folly in Lime – Lining: Spider Web in Lime
Exterior: Goddess in Camel – Lining: Spider Web in Meadow
- Scrap or ¼ yard of 20”+ wide of fusible fleece; we used Pellon Thermolam
- Scrap of mid-weight fusible interfacing for the handle loop - you need just a ½” x 13” strip; we used Pellon Décor Bond
- ONE 6”+ polyester zipper in a bright coordinating color; we used two 7” zippers and one 9” zipper, all of which were cut to size
- ONE ½” swivel hook and ONE ½” D-ring; we used a Dritz ½” Swivel Hook and D-Ring set in Antique Brass
- All purpose thread to match fabric
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors and/or rotary cutter and mat
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- Download and print out the ONE pattern piece: Curved Bottom Pouch.
IMPORTANT: This PDF pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
- Cut out the pattern along the solid line.
NOTE: You will use the pattern at full size for the exterior and lining, then cut along the dotted line to cut the fusible fleece panels. If you’d like to keep your pattern intact to use in the future, print TWO copies.
- From the fabric for the exterior, handle loop, and zipper tabs, cut the following:
ONE 2” x 16” strip for the handle loop and D-Ring tab
ONE 2½” wide x 2” high rectangle for the zipper tabs
Using the pattern, cut TWO
- From the fabric for the lining, using the pattern, cut TWO.
- From the fusible fleece, using the pattern – but following the dotted stitching line rather than the exterior solid line, cut TWO.
- From the mid-weight interfacing, cut ONE ½” x 13” strip.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Place a fleece panel on the wrong side of each of the two exterior panels, centering the fleece so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the fleece all around. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
Make the handle
- Find the 2” x 16” fabric strip, the ½” x 13” interfacing strip, and the ½” D-Ring.
- Fold the strip in half, wrong sides together, so it is now 1” x 16”. Press well to set a center crease line.
- Unfold wrong side up so the crease line is visible. Fold in each long raw edge so they meet in the middle at the crease line. Press well.
- Unfold so all the creases are visible.
- Cut 2” off one end. This will become the D-Ring tab.
- Place the interfacing strip into position, aligning it along the center crease line and centering it end to end so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing at each end. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Fold in each end ½” to create a finished end.
- Re-fold along the original crease lines and pin in place. This strip is now finished on all sides.
- Repeat to refold and pin the small tab piece, which is raw at each end.
- Edgestitch along the long folded edges of the handle loop strip.
NOTE: The ends of the handle loop will be secured when they are stitched in place onto the D-Ring and Swivel Hook.
- Edgestitch along the folded edges of the tab strip.
- Slip the tab strip through the D-Ring.
- Find the the back exterior panel. The front and back are essentially the same, but if you took the time to fussy cut your panels and have one you prefer as the front, set this one aside and use the other.
- Transfer the D-Ring position dots from the pattern to the fabric panel.
- Bring the raw ends of the tab strip together and pin the D-Ring into position against the right side of the back panel. The raw ends of the tab strip should be flush with the top raw edge of the back panel.
Prepare and attach the zipper tabs
- Find the zipper and the zipper tab piece.
- Fold the zipper tab in half, wrong sides together. Press to set a center crease line.
- Flip wrong side up so the crease line is visible. Fold in each raw edge so they meet at the crease line. This is similar to how you created the handle loop and D-Ring tab above.
- Press, then fold in half again along the original center crease line and press once more. Your finished piece should now be 2½” x ½”.
- Cut the tab in half.
- Trim the top ends of the zipper tape just enough to create a straight edge.
- Open up one tab along the center crease line.
- Slip the top end ends of the zipper into the tab. These ends should be flush with the lower folded-in side of the tab. The top stops of the zipper should sit just below the fold of the tab. Keep the ends together - ie. side by side. Pin in place.
- Open the zipper about half way. Stitch the zipper ends in place. It’s okay if this stitching is messy, it will be covered within the folds of the tab. We used a standard presser foot; you could also attach a Zipper foot and move the needle position all the way to the left.
- Re-fold the tab along the original center crease line, wrapping the end of the zipper. Pin in place; the folds should be flush on either side of the zipper.
- Stitch across through all the layers, close to the folds. This stitching should be as neat as possible as it will be visible.
- Find the front exterior panel. Place it right side up on your work surface.
- Measure ½” in from each side edge and mark with a pin.
- Find the zipper with its top tab in place.
- Place the zipper right side down on the front panel with the tabbed top end of the zipper at the ½” pin mark at the left edge of the front panel. The long side edge of the zipper tape should be flush with the top raw edge of the front panel. Pin in place.
- Smooth the zipper into position across the top and insert a pin into the zipper tape at the ½”-in mark at the right edge of the panel. This is where the zipper will be trimmed to fit. Rather than pins, you could also draw a line across the zipper at this point with fabric pen or pencil in a contrasting color.
- Remove the zipper from the exterior panel.
- Find the remaining end tab. Unfold it along the center crease line. Place the tab right side down on the wrong side of the zipper so the center crease on the tab aligns with the marking pins.
- With the zipper still wrong side up, stitch the flattened tab in place along the inner fold – the side closet to the zipper top, not the end you’ll be trimming away.
- Flip the zipper right side up and use the raw edges of the folded-in side of the stitched tab as your cutting guide to trim away the excess zipper end.
- Discard the excess zipper and clean up the cut edge as necessary. Wrap the tab around the cut end of the zipper. As above, the folded ends should be flush on either side of the zipper. Pin in place.
- As above, edgestitch the tab in place through all the layers.
Insert the zipper between the exterior and the lining
- Find the back exterior panel, which should have the D-Ring pinned in place. Place the panel right side up on your work surface.
- Place the zipper right side down on the front panel. The zipper should be centered side to side, which means it will just cover the D-ring on the edge of the panel.
- The zipper’s insertion tape should be flush with the top raw edge of the fabric panel. The tabs should be approximately ½” - ⅝” in from each raw edge. The zipper should be open about half way.
- Find one lining panel. Place the lining panel right side down on top of the back panel, sandwiching the zipper between the layers. The top raw edge of the lining panel should be aligned with the other layers. Pin across.
- Attach a Zipper foot. Stitch across the top through all the layers, using an approximate ¼” seam.
NOTE: All with all zipper insertions, when you feel you are approaching the zipper pull, stop with your needle in the down position. Raise the presser foot and twist the layers slightly so you can access the pull and move it out of the way of the presser foot. Once clear, drop the presser foot, re-position the layers, and finish the seam.
- Fold the lining back so the front panel and the lining are now wrong sides together and the remaining free side of the zipper tape is sticking up. Press, being careful to keep the heat of the iron away from the plastic zipper teeth.
- Repeat to layer the front exterior panel and the remaining lining panel, sandwiching the free edge of the zipper between these layers. Pin in place through all the layers.
- Still using a Zipper foot, stitch through all the layers along this second side of the zipper, again using an approximate ¼” seam.
- As you did above, fold the exterior front and lining wrong sides together and press. Here’s a view from the front…
- … and from the back
- Re-thread if necessary with thread to best match the exterior in the top and the lining in the bobbin. Slightly lengthen the stitch. Edgestitch along either side of the zipper teeth through all the layers.
Complete the pouch
- Open the zipper all the way.
- Flatten the pouch so that the exterior panels are right sides together to one side of the zipper and the lining panels are right sides together to the other side of the zipper. The curved raw edges of the fabric panels should be flush all around. Pin in place, leaving an approximate 3” opening along the bottom edge of the lining for turning.
- Re-attach a standard presser foot. Re-thread with the thread color that best blends with both the exterior and lining in the top and bobbin. Shorten the stitch to about 2.0. A shorter stitch length yields a smoother curve.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch around the entire perimeter. Go slowly to keep a smooth and consistence seam allowance around the curves.
- Remember to stop and lock your seam at either side of the 3” opening along the bottom edge of the lining.
- We recommend a pinked edge to finish the seam allowance, but the choice is up to you – it could even be left unfinished. We feel the pinked edge helps with the smoothness of the curve.
- Press open the seam allowance.
- The raw edges of the opening should be pressed so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Carefully turn the pouch right side out through the opening in the lining.
- Push the lining down into the exterior so the two layers align. Push up the zipper tab at each end, creating a neat upper at either end of the zipper.
- Pull out the lining and pin together the opening used for turning. With thread to best match the lining fabric, either machine stitch or hand stitch the opening closed. We opted to machine stitch.
- Push the lining back down inside the exterior and press well.
Attach the handle loop
- Find the finished handle loop and the Swivel Hook.
- Feed one end of the loop through the Swivel Hook, pulling it back on itself about ½”. Pin in place.
- Re-thread if necessary with thread to best match the exterior thread in the top and bobbin. Re-set the stitch length to normal.
- Edgestitch across the pulled-through end to secure.
- Clip the Swivel Hook through the larger of the two holes on the zipper pull.
- Insert the opposite finished end of the handle loop through the D-Ring at the back of the pouch, pulling the end through and stitching it in place as you did on the Swivel Hook.
- We added an iron-on Sew4Home label to the center front of the pouch.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild