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The Dig. You know what we mean – that frantic riffling through your bag, trying to find your keys, cash, lipstick, whatever. Like a dog after a bone, we churn up the contents that collect at the bottom, and still often come up empty-handed. This cute ScrapBusters zippered pouch will let you corral your important stuff. The pouch’s lanyard acts like a leash. Reach in, grab onto the lanyard, and reel up your mini bag o’ belongings.

One end of the lanyard clips onto a D-ring tab at the side, so you can remove it should you want to carry the pouch like a little clutch.

These drop-in accessories are very popular on the high-end boutique bags we’ve seen both in-store and online. You can be organized and trendy!

The opposite end of the lanyard has a buttonhole, which allows you to wrap it around any bag strap. This pull-through design is just like a gift tag, and it makes the lanyard able to fit all kinds of straps, from skinny to wide.

Loop the lanyard around the strap, easily feeding the swivel clip through the buttonhole. Snap the clip onto the D-ring, and drop the pouch into your favorite bag or tote.

We show two examples in a couple of our recent favorite scraps. We made a matching pouch for our Cinched-Top Canvas Bucket Bag.

Then we made a coordinating sample, using cleverly fussy cut panels. This created a fun patterned drop-in against the neutral tones of our Must Have Bucket Tote.

Our pouches finish at 5″ x 7″ with a 17″ lanyard. You can adjust the length of the lanyard should your bag be particularly shallow or deep.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • Scrap or ¼ yard of 44″+ wide décor weight cotton or lightweight canvas for the pouch exterior; we used scraps from our Canvas Bucket Bag and Relaxing Neck Pillows
  • Scrap or ¼ yard of 44″+ wide coordinating solid cotton for the linings; we used scraps from our Canvas Bucket Tote and Stenciled Bridesmaid Aprons
  • Scrap or ¼ yard of 45″ wide medium-weight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Décor Bond
  • Scraps of tearaway stabilizer for buttonhole stitching; optional but very helpful when making a buttonhole within a super thin strip of fabric
  • ONE 7″ zipper; we used, and recommend, a metal zipper with a decorative pull
  • ONE ½” D-ring and matching ½” Swivel Clip
  • All purpose thread to match fabric
  • 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

Getting Started

  1. From the fabric for the exterior, zipper tabs and lanyard, fussy cut the following:
    TWO 6″ high x 8″ wide rectangles; we made sure the front and the back were an exact match.

    TWO 1¼” x 2½” tabs
    ONE 1½” x 20″ strip; we made sure the motif was centered both vertically and horizontally.
  2. From the fabric for the lining, cut TWO 6″ high x 8″ wide rectangles.
  3. From the interfacing cut ONE approximate 15″ x 10″ rectangle.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Interface the exterior panels

  1. Find the interfacing rectangle. Place it fusing side up on your ironing board. Place the two 6″ x 8″ exterior panels right side up on the interfacing. Following manufacturer’s instructions fuse the interfacing to the fabric.
  2. Trim the interfacing flush with each panel. We used a rotary cutter and clear ruler for the fastest, most accurate trim.
  3. Set aside the panels.

Create the lanyard and tab

  1. Find the 1½” x 20″ strip and the D-ring and swivel clip.
  2. Fold the strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press lightly to set a center crease.
  3. Unfold wrong side up.
  4. Fold in each long side ¼” to meet at the center and press. Fold in ONE raw end ¼” as well.
  5. Re-fold along the original crease line and press again. The folded edges should be flush on both sides and the one end, and the strip should now be ½” wide. The opposite end is raw.
  6. Thread the machine with thread to best match the fabric in the top and bobbin. Lengthen the stitch.
  7. Edgestitch the folded edges along the 20″ length of the strip and across the one folded end.
  8. Cut a 2″ length from raw end of the 20 strip.
  9. Slip this 2″ length through the D-ring. Wrap through so the ends are flush. Pin in place.
  10. Slip the raw end of the now-18″ lanyard strip through the eyelet of the swivel clip. Pull through about 1″. Tuck under the raw end ¼” and pin it in place. Make a tiny seam across the strip to secure the folded-over end as close to the hook as possible. We double-stitched for added strength.
  11. Make a 1″ buttonhole in the opposite finished end of the lanyard. The buttonhole should be centered within the width of the narrow lanyard strip and the bottom end of the buttonhole should be about ⅜” from the finished end of the lanyard.
  12. We found a 1″ button for our Janome Automatic Buttonhole Foot.
  13. Cut one or two small pieces of tearaway stabilizer. You need just enough to cover the feed dog area on the machine’s throat plate.
  14. Place the stabilizer down first under the Buttonhole foot. Center the lanyard on the stabilizer, positioning it under the foot as recommended above (centered within the width of the strip and with the bottom end of the buttonhole about ⅜” from the finished end of the lanyard).
  15. Stitch the buttonhole. We recommend stitching around twice for a bit more stability. Remove the finished buttonhole from the machine.
  16. Tearaway the stabilizer.
  17. Set aside the lanyard/clip and D-ring/tab.

Insert the zipper

  1. Find the zipper and end tab strips. Fold the tabs in half and press lightly to set a center crease line.
  2. Open up the zipper about midway.
  3. Place one tab on each end of the zipper. The tabs and the zipper are right sides together. The crease line of the tab should be just above the top and bottom stop tabs of the zipper teeth, and the end of the tab should sit about ¼” in from the end of the zipper tape. Pin each tab in place.
  4. Stitch the zipper tabs in place, following the crease line. Go slowly, hand-walking across the metal teeth if necessary.
  5. We used a double seam for extra reinforcement. Press the tabs towards the ends of the zipper.
  6. Flip the zipper to the back, and cut away the excess teeth and stops below the seam line to make it easier to sew the side seams and turn the pouch right side out.
  7. Find the front and back exterior panels.
  8. Place one exterior panel right side up on your work surface. Place the zipper right side down on the panel. Center the zipper teeth on the panel, allowing the zipper tabs to fill in the excess width as needed. The top of the zipper tape should be flush with the top raw edge of the exterior panel. Pin along this top edge through both layers.
  9. Attach a Zipper foot. Open the zipper to the center of the panel.
  10. Stitch across the top of the panel through both layers (fabric and zipper tape).
  11. Go slowly. 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 nice and straight.
  12. Trim any excess zipper tape and/or tab fabric so the side edges are flush.
  13. Press the zipper up and the seam allowance down toward the panel.
  14. Pin the remaining free edge of the zipper to the top edge of the remaining exterior panel. Right sides together as above.
  15. Stitch in place, maintaining the same tight spacing against the zipper teeth as above.
  16. Flip over to the right side. Fold the exterior panels flat to either side of the zipper. The zipper is neatly centered and the tabs fill in the space to the sides of the panels.
  17. Re-thread the machine if necessary with thread to match the top panel fabric. We lengthened our stitch.
  18. With the Zipper foot still attached, topstitch to either side of the zipper within the top panel. Your seams should be approximately ⅛” from the folded edge of the fabric to each side. As with your original zipper insertion, you’ll need to stop, with the needle in the down position, to move the zipper pull out of the way.

Complete the exterior bag

  1. Open the zipper about half way again. Fold the two panels right sides together, aligning the raw edges along both sides and across the bottom. Pin in place.
  2. Find the D-ring tab. Insert it between the layers. The bottom of the tab should be 1″ below the bottom of the zipper. The photo below shows us sliding the tab into position. When fully inserted, the raw ends of the tab should be flush with the raw sides of the panels. Pin in place.
  3. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the bottom corners.
  4. We recommend a substantial backstitch at both the beginning and end of your seam to reinforce these stress points at either end of the zipper.
  5. Clip the corners, and trim back the seam allowance to ¼”.

Create and insert the lining

  1. Find the lining panels. Place them right sides together and pin along both sides and across the bottom.
  2. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom, pivoting at the corners.
  3. Clip the corners.
  4. Turn the lining right side out. Fold down the top raw edge of the lining ½” all around. Press well.
  5. Find the exterior bag. It should be wrong side out. Slip the exterior bag inside the lining so the two bags are now wrong sides together.
  6. Align the bottom and side seams. The top folded edge of each side 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.
  7. Pin the layers together along the edge of the zipper.
  8. Thread the hand sewing needle with thread to best match the lining fabric.
  9. 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 pouch open and shut.
  10. Turn the clutch right side out through the open zipper. Pull out the D-ring tab. Use a long, blunt tool, such as a long knitting need or chopstick, to gently push out the bottom corners and the upper zipper tab corners. Press flat.
  11. Attach the lanyard to the D-ring.


Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Leah Wand

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2 years ago

I need a small case to carry four lipstick and chapsticks. I’m going to use this pattern to make without the lanyard with a vinyl liner. Maybe attach fabric to the top of the vinyl liner so it can be sewn inside easier.

Liz Johnson
Liz Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  wekebu

What a great plan! Let us know how it turns out.

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