Must be Spring, because we’re in an organizational frenzy here at Sew4Home. We’re tidying up every nook and cranny in the house, including the closets. This handy pouch hooks over a door knob to catch your fine washables. Toss everything in, then tote it all to the laundry. A clever tie in the front lets you adjust the opening wide to easily stash your delicates, or cinch it closed for privacy.
Our cute pouch is designed to coordinate with the Woodland Delight: 9-Pocket Door Caddy for Jewels and Lingerie. It’s so much easier to be neat and clean when you have pretty storage solutions.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Memory Craft 5200)
- Any Serger (optional) (we recommend the Janome 1200D Professional)
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ½ yard of 44-45″ wide fabric for bag body: we used Paula Prass’ Woodland Delight Bloom in Brown
- ¼ yard of 44-45″ wide fabric for top band/tie and handle: we used Paula Prass’ Woodland Delight Brick Path in Brown
- ¼ yard of heavyweight fusible interfacing: we used Pellon’s Décor Bond
- All purpose thread
- Contrasting thread for topstitching band/tie (optional)
- See-through ruler
- Tape measure
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Rotary cutter and mat
- Straight pins
- Pressing ham (optional)
- From the bag body fabric (Woodland Delight Bloom in Brown in our sample), cut the following:
TWO 13″ x 14″ rectangles for the front and back of the bag.
ONE 5″ x 13″ rectangle for the bag facing.
- Lay the two bag body pieces, right sides together, on a flat surface. The pieces should be positioned with the 14″ side perpendicular to you.
- Use a dinner plate, or something similar, to draw curves at the two bottom corners of the bag pieces with a fabric pen or pencil.
NOTE: Our dinner plate was not as wide as the 13″ finished width of our bag piece, so we slightly rotated our plate from one side to the other to create our corner curves.
- Trim away the excess at the marked curve. We used a rotary cutter and the actual edge of the plate to trim ours.
- From the tie/band fabric (Woodland Delight Brick Path in Brown in our sample), cut the following:
TWO 4″ x 14″ rectangles for the front band and tie.
ONE 4″ x 8″ rectangle for the back band.
ONE 4″ x 13″ rectangle for the handle.
- From the heavyweight fusible interfacing, cut the following:
TWO 4″ x 4″ rectangles for the front top band.
NOTE: There’s no interfacing in the tie section.
ONE 4″ x 8″ rectangle for the back band.
ONE 4″ x 13″ rectangle for the handle.
NOTE: Some of the pieces are very similar in size. Take a minute now to match-up the interfacing pieces to their corresponding fabric pieces, and label them to eliminate any confusion.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Lay one side of the bag flat on your work surface, wrong side up. This will be the bag front.
- Place a tape measure across the top of the bag. Your bag should measure 13″ across. Using a fabric pen or pencil or chalk, place a mark at the center (6½” on your tape measure). Place additional marks 1″ to either side of the marked center (5½” and 7½” on your tape measure).
- Rotate the tape measure 90˚ and place it lengthwise on the bag piece along the center mark. Place a mark 4½” down from the top raw edge.
- Using your see-through ruler, connect this center mark with the three top marks you made in step 2 above to create a “V” with a line down the center.
- Finish one long raw edge of the fabric facing piece (the 5″ x 13″ piece in Brown Bloom in our sample) with a zigzag or overcast stitch on your sewing machine or an overlock stitch with a serger. We used a serger.
- Place the facing and the front of the bag (the piece with the “V” markings), right sides together, raw edges matched up.
- Using a straight stitch, sew along the two outside ‘V’ lines (do not stitch the center line). Start at the top of the left side of the ‘V’, pivot at the bottom point, then sew back up to the top.
- Cut along the center line of the ‘V’ right into the point at the bottom of the ‘V’, but be careful to not cut through your stitching.
- Trim either side of the ‘V’ to approximately ¼” from the stitching. Grade into the bottom of the ‘V’ – that means adjusting the width to best fit the area.
- Turn the facing right side out. Press.
NOTE: We used a pressing ham because the bag with its facing has a little shape to it. A pressing ham is a rounded, heat safe ironing accessory that is helpful when you’re working with curved items.
- Finish the top raw edges of the bag front and back pieces with a zigzag or overcast stitch on your sewing machine or an overlock stitch with a serger. We used a serger.
- Place the bag front (with its facing) and the bag back, right sides together. Pin together
- Using a ½” seam allowance, sew the bag together.
- Finish the raw edges of this seam with a zigzag or overcast stitch on your sewing machine or an overlock stitch with a serger. We used a serger to finish the bag seam and sew it together all in one step.
- Using a long machine basting stitch, sew around the the entire open top of the bag. This will create the gathers for the top.
NOTE: Hold your finger behind the foot as you sew to start to gather the fabric. Set aside.
Top band and handle
- Following manufacturer’s directions, fuse the interfacing pieces to the wrong side of the back band and the handle pieces. Set aside.
- Fuse one 4″ x 4″ front band interfacing piece to the wrong side of one end of each 4″ x 14″ front band fabric piece.
NOTE: These interfaced ends of the front band pieces are the sides that will be sewn to the back band piece. The non-interfaced parts will become the ties.
- Lay the interfaced pieces flat on your work surface, with the back band in between the two front pieces. Pin front band pieces to the back band piece, RIGHT sides together, along the 4″ interfaced sides.
- Using a straight stitch and ½” seam allowance, sew the front band pieces to the back bank, creating your side seams. Press seams open.
- Fold the entire band/tie piece in half lengthwise, right sides together.
- Using a fabric marking pen or pencil, mark an angle at the both ends of the band/tie.
NOTE: We angled our ruler from 1″ at the top raw edges to the corner point of the folded band/tie.
- This next step forms the front ties of the band/tie. Using a straight stitch and ½” seam allowance, sew both sides of the band/tie from along the marked angle line up to the edge of the interfacing. Be sure to pivot at the corner and back tack at the beginning and end on EACH side. Trim the corners diagonally but be careful to not clip your seam. Turn right side out. Push out your corners. Press the angled ends.
- Fold in and press the raw edges of the remaining band ½” so, when folded in half wrong sides together, it is flush with the sewn tie seams.
- If you want contrasting thread to edgestitch the band/tie, re-thread your machine now with this color.
- Edgestitch around ENTIRE band/tie piece, accenting the tie ends and closing the opening in the middle where the band is interfaced. Press well. Set aside.
- Fold the handle piece in half lengthwise, right sides together. Pin in place.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch down one short side, pivot at the corner, and stitch the entire long side. Leave the opposite end open for turning.
- Turn right sides out. Push out all the corners so they are nice and sharp.
- Press, making sure to press in the raw edges of the open end so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Edgestitch around all sides of the handle, this will close the opening left for turning. Press. Set aside.
Gathering bag and attaching band to bag
- Retrieve your bag body. Pull the bobbin thread on the basting stitch you made around the top of the bag body to continue gathering.
- Place the handle on the outside (the right side) of the bag back. The handle ends should be even with the top of the bag and approximately 1″ in from either side seam. Pin in place.
NOTE: Check that your handle loop isn’t twisted. With the pins in place, gently lift up the look to make sure you have a clean curve.
- Machine or hand baste the handle ends in place.
- Place the band/tie piece right sides together with the bag body (the handle will be sandwiched in between). Match up the side seams of the band and the bag and pin in place.
NOTE: Use your fingers to even out the gathers between the side seams on the back of the bag.
- Continue adjusting your gathers and move around to pin the front band pieces to the front of the bag. You should be able to feel where the interfacing stops, that’s where you will start and stop sewing. This point on each end of the band/tie should line up with either side of the front ‘V’ opening. The remaining portion will become the un-interfaced ties
- Using a straight stitch and ½” seam allowance, begin to sew at one side of the front ‘V’ opening. Stitch all the way around to the other side.
- Press the top of the bag away from the top band. Again, a pressing ham is helpful to work with the curves.
- The handle is now secure in the correct position, but is hanging away from the band. Bring the handle up against the band and pin in place.
- Using a straight stitch, sew right along your previous line of edgestitching at each handle end point to secure the handle to the bag.
- Remove all your basting stitches from inside the bag.
Hints and Tips
Brand new to sewing. That’s what we love! Here are a few other helpful tutorials you might want to check out before starting this project:
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Jodi Kelly