Theresa from the Spoonflower crew is here today to share a super simple tutorial for a small zippered pouch! You only need a small bit of fabric for this project, so it’s a perfect opportunity to use up your Spoonflower test swatches or your favorite fabric stash scraps. Theresa made her pouch with our brand new Faux Suede, and she shares some tips on how to work and sew with this cool textured fabric. This little pouch is just right for stashing all sorts of goodies, and is also a great project for learning how to sew a zipper.
Theresa: Listen up beginning sewists and zipper-phobes, this one’s for you. All you need for this project are two 8″x8” swatches of medium weight to heavy weight fabric (I’m using Spoonflower’s amazing new Faux Suede) a zipper, some scissors and of course your trusty sewing machine and zipper foot. We don’t need to line our pouch since the faux suede is already thick and durable, making this the perfect quick beginner sewing project.
The pouch is going to have a half circle shape, so first I drew a template on some parchment paper to help me cut out each of my pouch pieces. You can use any shape you want, and any type of paper you want to create your template (or even scrap fabric).
Next, you’re going to stack the two swatches together with your template, and pin it all together as shown above. Then cut around your template. One problem you’ll run into is that once the fabric is cut it will start to fray a bit, and since we’re not going to line this pouch on the inside we want to make sure no frayed edges are visible. To mitigate this, you can either use pinking shears to cut out your pouch shapes, or serge them with an overlock machine (serger). There’s also a handy product called “Fray Check” that works well for this if you happen to have some.
Now it’s time to get your zipper handy. We want the zipper to be the same length as our pouch pieces are wide, but if yours is too long don’t worry! No need to go buy another zipper. Just make a marking where you need your zipper to end (pin it or use a fabric pencil), and go back and forth a few times over this spot using a zig zag stitch as shown below. Reinforce the stitch 2 or 3 times to create your “zipper end”. Then just cut the zipper off at that spot, and you have a custom-sized zipper ready to be used for your pouch.
Place your zipper face down on the right side of one of the pouch pieces and pin it in place.
Switch your standard machine foot to your zipper foot using the tiny screw attached to this part of your sewing machine. The zipper foot is designed to anchor your fabric on just one side of the zipper, so it should have a narrow shape about half the width of your standard foot.
To get started, I like to open the zipper a bit so the zipper pull isn’t in my way when I begin to stitch. Using a small straight stitch go ahead and sew your first piece to the right hand side of the zipper, top to bottom. You can use a contrasting thread if you want to, but for a neater look change your top thread to match the color of the zipper.
Do the same thing on the other side, then fold it in half so that right sides are facing each other. Pin the two pieces together, all the way around.
Change your zipper foot out and replace it with your regular straight stitch foot. Using about a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew all the way around the pouch and don’t forget to back-stitch at both ends for reinforcement.
As you can see I encountered some pretty serious frayage (oh, that’s not a word in the English language you say?), so I pinked the edges all the way around after sewing. Ideally you would have already done this in the beginning stages, but if you want to do it later that’s fine too. See how un-fussy this project is?
Now just invert your pouch so the right sides are facing out and you’re all done! Depending on what fabric type you use you can press the seams to finish it if you like, but I didn’t need to with the Faux Suede.
Load your brand new pouch up with your favorite personal effects, and prepare to collect compliments! For my project I used Australian designer Jane Newham of DoopsDesigns‘ Bush Seed-Pods in our brand new Faux Suede.
About Our Guest Author
In addition to being a part of the Spoonflower marketing team, Theresa keeps busy working on freelance graphic design projects, loving on her mutt, Olive, needlecrafting and making floury messes in the kitchen. Check out some of Theresa’s surface designs in her Spoonflower shop.