So nice, we made them twice. Not just as two sample options, but as two coordinated pouches designed to clip together. Take one or take both. Turn them into a mini shoulder bag or ditch the strap and toss one or both into a larger tote. Stash money and cards in one, make-up and extra necessities in the other. So many options – it’s the ultimate in mini-pouch flexibility. They’re precisely matched in size and shape so they clip together perfectly. All this, and as a ScrapBusters project, you can make a set from the great fabrics lurking in your stash.
We chose two scrap fabrics with the trendy and slightly glamorous look of metallic highlights on traditional cotton. These fabrics are mixed with a medium-weight twill for the back and base panels.
There’s also firm interfacing between the exterior and lining to make sure the pouches won’t buckle when they’re hanging from the strap.
It’s also nice to have that extra bit of heft to make it easy to grab and go when using them on their own.
Have fun with the hardware you choose for your pouches, but make sure it matches on both pieces for the best companion look. We used chunky zippers in antique brass with D-rings and swivel hooks in the same finish.
It’s great to be able to have different pouches for different purposes yet still be able to link them together when you need everything at once.
Our pouches finish at approximately 5½” high x 7″ wide.
Sewing Tools You Need
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: The ingredients shown below are for ONE zippered pouch. There is extra yardage figured in to allow for precise fussy cutting. If you are new to fussy cutting, check out our handy step-by-step tutorial.
- ½ yard of 45″+ wide cotton or cotton blend printed fabric for the front panel, zipper tabs and strap
- ¼ yard of 45″+ wide medium-weight solid cotton twill or similar fabric for the back panel, bottom panels, and back hanging straps
NOTE: We kept this back, bottom and strap fabric the same on both our pouches so they blended well when clipped together.
- ¼ yard of 45″+ wide cotton or cotton blend solid fabric for the lining.
- ½ yard of 45″ medium-weight fusible interfacing; we used Décor Bond by Pellon
- One 7″- 9″ metallic zipper; we used a 9″ YKK Brasstique zipper in Antique Brass
NOTE: The coolest metallic zippers, especially the “chunky” zippers, can be difficult to find in shorter lengths. But you can cut a longer zipper down to fit. We started with a 9″ zipper and show below how to shorten both ends.
- TWO ½” D-rings to match zipper finish; we used antique brass
- TWO ½” swivel hooks to match zipper finish; we used antique brass
- All purpose thread to match fabrics
- See through ruler
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Fabric pencil, pen or chalk
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Straight pins
- Hand sewing needle
- From the fabric for the front panel, zipper tabs and strap, fussy cut the following:
ONE 5½” high x 8″ wide rectangle for the front panel
TWO 1¼” x 2½” strips for the zipper tabs
ONE 1½” x WOF strip for the strap (WOF=width of fabric, 45″ in our sample)
- From the fabric for the back panel, bottom panels, and back hanging straps, cut the following:
ONE 5½” high x 8″ wide rectangle for the back panel
TWO 1½” x 8″ strips for the base panels
TWO 1″ x 6″ strips for the back hanging straps
- From the fabric for the lining, cut TWO 6″ x 8″ rectangles
- From the fusible interfacing, cut TWO 5½” x 8″ rectangles
- The image below shows you all the parts cut out for both of our pouches.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Front and back panels with zipper
- Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of both the main front and back exterior panels.
NOTE: Our instructions show how we worked with a longer zipper. If your zipper is a perfect fit you can simply center the zipper and ignore all the cutting instructions below.
- Place the interfaced front panel right side up on your work surface. Center the zipper across the top so the zipper stop sits almost flush with the raw edge of the fabric panel. The stop should be just a bit inside the raw edge; just enough to allow the machine’s needle to pass below it. Zip open the zipper about half way and allow the ends of the head of the zipper to simply extend beyond the opposite side of the fabric panel.
NOTE: If you are making TWO companion pouches as this project is designed, you want the zippers to open in opposite directions when looking at the pouches from the front. For example, our Damask zipper opens left to right and our Goldilocks zipper opens right to left. This way, when the two pouches are clipped together back to back, the zipper pulls will align and you can open both pouches at the same time with one pull.
- At the zipper stop end, make one mark across the zipper tape to align with the fabric’s raw edge. Then measure 1″ in and draw a second line parallel with the first. This second line will be the stitching line.
- Repeat to mark the opposite end of the zipper tape. The fast way to do this is simply measure 8″ from the first line and 7″ from the second line.
- Find the two zipper tabs, place one strip on each end of the zipper. The strip and the zipper are right sides together. Align one end of each tab strip with the outer marks on the zipper tape. The opposite end of each tab strip will overlay the inner marks on the zipper tape and extend beyond them towards the middle of the zipper. Pin each tab in place. Remember, your zipper should be opened halfway so you can easily work at the head end of the zipper.
- Trace the inner stitching lines from the zipper tape onto the wrong side of the zipper tab strips so you have a clearly visible stitching line.
- Stitch each tab in place along the drawn lines (the inner lines). Go slowly and carefully over the zipper teeth, you may even want to hand crank rather than use the foot pedal. Even being super careful, you should still stitch back and forth a few extra time across the zipper teeth in tape in order to best secure the seam.
- Pull back each tab toward the stop/head and press in place so the tap is now folded over on itself and the right side of the fabric is facing up.
- Find the front exterior panel again and place it right side up and flat on your work surface.
- Place the zipper unit right side down (zipper teeth down). Center the top edge of the zipper tape side to side so the outer marked lines are in alignment with the sides of the fabric panel and the zipper tab seams are each 1″ in from the raw side edges.
- Pin in place along the top edge of the zipper tape.
- Attach your Zipper foot. Stitch the zipper to the fabric panel, running the seam about ⅛” from the zipper teeth.
- When 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 carefully close the zipper. Re-position your fabric and finish sewing to the end. Be very careful and go slowly; you want your seam line to be super-duper straight.
- Attach the remaining raw edge of the zipper tape to the exterior back panel, following the same steps as above, and stitch in place.
- Press the panels away from the zipper. You now have panels stitched in place on either side of the zipper and the excess width is neatly filled in with the zipper tabs.
- If necessary, re-thread the machine with slightly contrasting thread in the top and bobbin. We used a light gold.
- Still using your Zipper foot, edgestitch along both sides of the zipper within the panels. As above, you’ll need to open and close the zipper in order to stitch past the zipper pull with a straight stitch line.
- At the stop end of the zipper, trim away any excess zipper tape extending beyond the edge of the fabric panel.
- At the pull end of the zipper, trim away the excess tab fabric and zipper so the side edges are flush.
- In addition, cut away the excess zipper teeth so you can more easily stitch front to back without this extra bulk. Clip along the zipper teeth, getting in as close as possible. You are not cutting into the fabric, just the zipper.
- Then snip across and pull away the section of teeth. Remember, don’t use your good sewing scissors to cut the metal teeth!
Back hanging straps and D-ring loops
- Find the two 1″ x 6″ strips, which should be in the same heavier solid fabric as the back panel.
- Press back each 6″ raw edge ¼”, creating two finished straps ½” wide.
- Measure 2″ down from one end of each strap and mark across the strap with a pin or a drawn line.
- If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to match the fabric in the top and bobbin. You could also choose to stay with the contrasting thread you used for the edgestitching to either side of the zipper. If you choose this option, be extra careful all your seams are super straight.
- On each strap, edgestitch along both sides, starting at the raw end and stopping 2″ later at the marked line.
- Find the exterior panel. Place it flat and right side up on your work surface.
- Place one hanging strap at either side of the back panel. The outer edge of the each strap should be 1¾” in from the raw edge of the panel. The bottom ends of the straps (the non-stitched ends) should be flush with the bottom raw edge of the panel. Pin the straps in place.
- Find the two D-rings. Slip the topstitched end of each strap through one of the D-rings.
- Fold the top end of each strap back on itself around the D-ring. The end should fold back approximately 1″ so the top of the folded loop butts up against the bottom edge of the zipper teeth. Pin the fold in place.
- Measure ¾” down from the top of the folded loop and mark a horizontal line or at least two points at the outer edges of the strap.
- Stitch across along the drawn line to secure each folded loop in place. Our Janome machine allows us to move the needle position to the extreme right, making it easy to stitch along the drawn line without having the presser foot hit the D-ring.
- Edgestitch the straps to the pouch, running a seam along each side from the horizontal seam down the the bottom raw edge. Make sure your new edgestitching seams match up to the original edgestitching of the top loop. The top loop is free above the small horizontal seam.
Attach base panels and stitch front to back
- Find the two 1½” x 8″ base panels. Place one right side together along the bottom edge of the back panel…
- … and the other right side together along the bottom edge of the front panel. Pin both base panels in place.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch each base panel in place.
- Press the base panels down away from the main panels.
- To reduce bulk across the two different fabric substrates, grade both seam allowances, trimming the main panel side of the allowance back to ⅜” and the base panel side of the allowance back to ¼”.
- Press the base panels back down into position and edgestitch along the seam within the base panel.
- Make sure the zipper is open at least half way.
- Fold the front and back panels right sides together, aligning the raw edges along both sides and across the bottom. Pin in place.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the bottom corners. Use a substantial backstitch at both the beginning and end of your seam to reinforce these stress points at either end of the zipper. When done, clip the corners.
- As above, grade the seam allowances to reduce bulk.
- Turn the exterior pouch right side out
- Find the two 6″ x 8″ lining pieces. Place the pieces right sides together and pin along both sides and across the bottom.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners.
- Clip the corners.
- Fold down the top raw edge of the lining ½” all around. Pin in place.
- Find the exterior bag. It should be right side out.
- Turn the lining wrong side out. Slip the lining inside the exterior so the two bags are now wrong sides together.
- Align the bottom and side seams. The top folded edge of of the lining should fall below the zipper teeth by about ⅛”. If it doesn’t, adjust the fold to fit and gently re-press.
- Pin the layers together along the edge of the zipper.
- Thread the hand sewing needle.
- Slip stitch the lining to the bag, using very small stitches. Stitch along the front and the back, but leave the lining loose where it wraps over the side seams. This allows some “give” in the lining so it folds smoothly as you zip the bag open and shut.
NOTE: You will need to kind of “poke out” the ends of zipper through the zipper opening in order to stitch the lining into place all the way around. Once the stitching is done, simply poke the ends back to the inside and gently push the zipper tabs back into place.
- Find the final long strip of front panel fabric for the strap.
- Fold back the raw edges ¼” along both long sides. Press well.
- Fold the entire strip in half, encasing the raw edges and aligning the folded edges. Press again and pin in place.
- If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the fabric.
- Edgestitch the length of the strap, securing the folded edges. Both ends remain open and raw.
- Find the two swivel hooks.
- Slip one raw end of the strap through one swivel hook. Fold back the raw end ¼” then fold an additional ½”. Pin the folded end in place over the swivel hook.
- Repeat to attach the opposite end of the strap through the remaining swivel hook. Make sure there are now twists along the length of the strap prior to attaching this second hook.
- Stitch a short horizontal seam across each end to secure the hooks in place. Double or triple stitch this seam for the best security.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild