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Metallic Zipper Pouches: Getting Creative with Oly*Fun

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Shine on! These adorable little zippered pouches are made with Oly*Fun™ Metallic and good ol’ felt. Oly*Fun™ is a flexible, synthetic material from Fairfield that doesn’t tear or fade. You can sew it, glue it, staple it, pin it or tie it. And because it doesn’t fray, there’s no need for hemming. We layered it with felt, which can also maintain a cut edge without raveling, to create an easy zippered pouch. It’s just the right size to hold a few necessities when you’re out, or drop it inside a larger tote to keep small things tidy. 

Our set of three pouches are made in exactly the same manner, we just varied the color of Oly*Fun™ Metallic, using Gold, Silver, and Rose Gold. Unlike the standard Oly*Fun™ material that comes in 19 vibrant colors that are the same on both sides, the Metallics do have a distinct front and back. Oly*Fun™ is available from many online and in-store fabric and craft retailers, including Amazon, Joann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, and directly from Fairfield World

Because this pouch goes together with exposed edges, you want to get the cleanest cuts possible. Scissors certainly work, but a rotary cutter will make the best and fastest slice. 

The material also works well in a die-cutter, and that’s what we used to produce the layered embellishments on the front pockets. If you don’t have a die-cutter, you can plan out your shapes on paper. Then use your finished drawings as templates to cut out the designs with regular scissors.

Oly*Fun™ does not require a special needle for machine sewing. And, we used three different presser feet for various stages of construction without a problem. Once folded, the final layers are a bit thicker and the surface of the metallic sheets can be slippery, so we do recommend a Walking foot or similar for these final seams.

Although we always suggest keeping up your tools, it is particularly important for this project… or really any project with multiple layers. Make sure your needle, rotary cutter blade, scissors, and pinking shears are all nice and sharp.

There’s no grain, selvedge or sizing to Oly*Fun™, which means no pre-washing is needed. It can be washed on the gentle cycle, but needs to be air dried. As a synthetic, it does not take well to heat and will melt if exposed to extreme heat. If you need to iron it, use low heat and a pressing cloth. We did not use an iron at all for this project.

Each of our pouches finishes at approximately 4¾” high x 6½” wide. The front pocket is sized to perfectly fit a credit card, license or gift card. 

If you like getting creative with Oly*Fun, you might also enjoy our Double Pocket Gift Sleeves that we made in the colorful sheets.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Quantities shown are for THREE pouches.

  • THREE sheets of Oly*Fun™ in a variety of colors (apx. 12” x 12” is a good starting size); we used their Metallic Craft Pack in Gold, Rose Gold, and Silver
  • THREE sheets of heavy craft felt in a coordinating color (again apx. 12” x 12” is a good starting size); we used black wool/rayon blend felt
  • THREE small double-cap rivets with a setting tool plus a hammer; we used copper rivets
  • THREE ½” - ¾” D-rings or Split rings; we used Dritz ¾” D-rings in black
  • THREE 7” polyester zippers in a color to match the felt; we used black
  • ¼ yard of ½” wide grosgrain ribbon or similar in a color to match the felt; we used black
  • Die-cutting machine or similar; we used the a die-cutting machine, but you could also cut out the pocket accent shapes by hand; we used the Sizzix Big Shot die-cutter, the Sizzix Big Shot Die-Circles, Scallop 2 for the large floral shape, and the Sizzix Tattered Florals die set by Tim Holtz for the small floral shape
  • All-purpose thread to match or contrast with the Oly*Fun™ colors; we used black for all our stitching
  • Awl or similar to create the holes for the rivets
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper 
  • Pinking shears
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat; a rotary cutter makes the cleanest cuts on both the Oly*Fun and the felt
  • Clear tape
  • Straight pins and clips; we used Wonder Clips to hold the layers and pins for marking
  • Hand sewing needle

Pattern Downloads

  • Download and print the one PATTERN piece required.
    IMPORTANT: This pattern download consists of 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 sheet to confirm your printout it to scale. 
  • Cut out the pattern piece along the solid line. Then, cut out the center zipper window.

Getting Started

  1. For EACH pouch, use your die-cutting machine and die or your scissors and a drawn pattern to cut ONE larger shape from the felt and ONE smaller shape from the Oly*Fun™. Remember, the pocket measures 4” wide x 2½” high; your layered shapes should fit within this size with at least ½” top and bottom to accommodate the edgestitching. 
  2. For EACH pouch, use the pattern to cut ONE from the Oly*Fun™ and ONE from the felt
  3. For each pouch, cut ONE 4” wide x 2½” rectangle from the felt and ONE 4” wide x 2½” rectangle from the Oly*Fun™.
  4. Cut THREE 1½” lengths from the grosgrain ribbon.

At Your Sewing Machine

Assemble and place the pocket

  1. Find the two pocket layers, the two accent shapes, your awl (or similar), and the rivet - plus its setting tool and the hammer.
  2. Poke a hole through the exact center of both the accent shapes.
  3. Layer the Oly*Fun™ and the felt. Find the exact center, and poke a hole through both layers.
  4. Insert the top half of the rivet through all the layers from the top…
  5. … through to the back.
  6. Set the bottom half of the rivet in position.
  7. Hammer together the two halves. 

    NOTE: The process of setting rivets is easier than you might think, and you get to hit something with a hammer - cool! If you’re brand new to the technique, you can take a look at our full Metal Rivets tutorial prior to starting the project. 
  8. Along the top of the pocket, measure ⅛” in from each side and mark with a pin. Slide the pin into the felt layer. The rivet is holding the layers together; the pins are simply marking your starting and ending points. 
  9. Thread the machine with your thread of choice in the top and bobbin. We used black for all our stitching to match our felt. Slightly lengthen the stitch (we used 2.70). We attached our Janome Edge Guide foot.
  10. Using a ⅛” seam allowance, stitch across the top of the pocket only, starting and stopping at your marking pins. 
  11. Find the Oly*Fun main body panel. Place it right side up and flat on your work surface. 
  12. Place the pocket right side up on the panel. Center the pocket side to side (1½” in from each side) with the bottom edge of the pocket 1½” up from the bottom edge of the panel. Tape the top of the pocket to hold it in place. 
  13. Edgestitch the pocket in place, maintaining the same ⅛” seam allowance as used across the pocket top. Drop your needle in at the end point of the pocket’s top edgestitching, then continue along the side, across the bottom, and back up the opposite side. Your seam should finish at the exact opposite end point of the pocket’s top edgestitching. Remember to pivot at the corners. We continued to use our Janome Edge Guide foot; you could also switch to a Walking foot
  14. Remove the tape when finished.

Layer the body panels and add the zipper

  1. With the pocket in position on the Oly*Fun panel, layer it with the felt panel. The most important points to line up are the edges of the zipper window. The outside edges will be pinked after stitching, so they need not be in exact alignment. Clip the layers together.
  2. Find the zipper. Center it right side up within the zipper window cut-out. The zipper pull should be up against the right edge of the window. The tail of the zipper will extend beyond the panels to the left. Make sure the zipper is nicely centered, then clip in place along the sides.
  3. Flip over the panels and tape the zipper in place to make sure it stays properly centered.
  4. Switch to a Zipper foot
  5. Edgestitch around all four sides of the zipper window through all the layers. Remember to pivot at all the corners. A ⅛” distance from the cut edge of the window is about right, plus it is far enough away from the zipper that you are unlikely to need to open and close the zipper during the stitching process.
  6. Trim the tail of the zipper flush with the side of the panels.
  7. Peel the tape from the back of the zipper. A pair of tweezers can help you grab and pull away the tape.

Finishing and adding the side ring

  1. Fold the panels in half. The zipper should run along the exact top. Align the sides and bottom edges and keep all the layers as flat as possible. Clip together. As mentioned above, the outside edges will be pinked to finish so their alignment does not have to be perfect.
  2. Find the short length of ribbon and the D-ring or Split ring. 
  3. Slip the ribbon through the ring so the raw ends of the ribbon are flush. To make the ring/ribbon easier to handle, we also suggest hand stitching through the ribbon to hold it tight against the ring. This holds the short ends of the ribbon securely and makes the ring/ribbon a bit rigid so it’s easier to work with to insert between the layers of the pouch. 
  4. The top of the ring should be in line with the top edge of the pocket along the left side of the pouch. Using two pins, mark this top point with one and then place a second pin ½” below the first as the bottom point. As with the marking pins for the pocket above, insert these pins between the layers into the felt, not into the Oly*Fun™.
  5. We recommend a Walking foot or similar for the final stitching. We used the built-in AcuFeed™ Flex feeding system on our Janome Skyline S7. Our thread and stitch length remain the same. 
  6. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom. Remember to pivot at the bottom corners.
  7. Also remember to stop at the marking pin and lock your stitch. Then reposition at the upper marking pin to finish the ½” seam. At both sides of the gap as well as at the seam's beinning and ending points, we used a simple back stitch, but only backed up one or two stitches to keep overlap at a minimum.
  8. Mark a cutting guide along all three sides ⅛” from the seam line. 
  9. We used a white marking pencil on the Oly*Fun™ metallics. The softness of the Oly*Fun allows it to be more like an indent – easy to follow, but with no residual color left behind. 
  10. Trim along all three sides with the pinking shears, aligning the points of the pinked edge with the guideline.
  11. Insert the ring between the layers at the gap. We found that the felt itself was “grippy” enough to hold the ring in place, but you could also clip it in place.
  12. Close the gap, matching the previous seam. As above, we used a simple backstitch to lock our seam, again with just a stitch or two to keep overlap at a minimum.

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Liz Johnson

Section: 

Comments (6)

B Jeanne said:
B Jeanne's picture

I want to thank you for the outstanding ideas coming from this site.  I have turned you on to "sewists" in my circle of friends who thank me every time we talk sewing for telling them about you.

  

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

@B Jeanne - What a lovely compliment - thank you so much, and we appreicate you spreading the word!

Janet Mahoney said:
Janet Mahoney's picture

Can this fabric be pressed so that the seam can be encased? or would I have to bind it?

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

@Janet - You can sew a regular seam with it (right sides together and turn). Often, as with many synthetics, finger pressing is enough to flatten, but you can use an iron -- as mentioned above, use a low heat and a pressing cloth. 

mpistey said:
mpistey's picture

This is adorable!  I love that you are combining cutting machines with sewing.  I have one that cuts fabric and of course vinyl very nicely, and would love to continue to see projects combining the two!

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

@mpistey - So glad you like the little pouches! Die-cutting can be pretty addicting. Thanks for your suggestion.

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