Thursday, July 30, 2009

Flat bottom zippered pouch tutorial

I'm all about upcycling lately – that’s the fresh new term for re-purposing something into something else, right? I hope that’s the case or else I’ll just come off like some pathetic out of touch mom who says things like “dealio” and “foshizzle” to try and sound cool.

Anyway, I recently stumbled across this old casserole cozy that my friend had at her garage sale. I just loved the funky fabric and I couldn’t bear for it be donated or thrown out so I nabbed it with the intent of upcycling it into something fabulous.

And here is the something fabulous.
At least I think they’re pretty cute. They’re in my Etsy shop if anyone finds them irresistible, but I also thought that I could share how I made them in case anyone wanted to whip out something similar for themselves.

Fabric: The amount depends on the size of pouch you want. You’ll need two pieces of your outer fabric and two pieces for the lining

Interfacing: I used a lightweight fusible interfacing. You’ll want something light so your bag isn’t too stiff. Fusible is easier to work with but not necessary.

Zipper: any kind, just make sure the length is slightly longer than the size of your pouch. I used a 7 inch polyester zipper

Basic sewing supplies: thread, scissors, sewing machine, iron etc.

Step 1: Cut your fabric and interfacing
I was limited in size by the amount of fabric I had, but you can make your pouch as small or as large as you want. I cut 2 pieces of 5 1/2” by 6” fabric for the exterior and 2 pieces of the same size for the lining.

Cut two pieces of your interfacing in the same dimensions. Attach the interfacing to the wrong side of your outer fabric (if you do not use fusible interfacing, do this by sewing it on with a scant seam).

Step 2: sew fabric onto the zipper.
Place the lining right side up on your table and lay the zipper on top of it, aligning the edges.
Then place your outer fabric (with interfacing attached) right side down, on top of the zipper, aligning the edges.
Using a zipper foot sew all layers together. You’ll want your seam to be approximately ¼” from the teeth of the zipper.

Once you’re done sewing, fold the layers back from the zipper and press with an iron for a nice clean edge. Then return to the sewing machine and make a nice top stitch.
Repeat for the other side.

Step 3: where it gets tricky, but not really

Now we’re going to trap all those nasty little raw edges so that they won’t show on either the exterior or interior of our bag.

Pull the zipper pull to the middle, we don’t want to exclude it from our bag, and fold your fabric so that the right sides of the exterior fabric are together, and the right sides of the lining fabric are together. Line up the top edges. The the zipper should be toward the lining fabric.
Note: If you want to add a wrist strap, as I did to one of my pouches, now would be the time to sandwich it in between your two exterior fabrics.

I prefer to start sewing at the zipper (just to make sure everything is aligned) then sew down the side of the exterior fabric, across the bottom, up the other side, across the zipper and onto the lining.
Sew the lining pieces together but be sure to leave an ample sized opening at the bottom to turn the pouch later on. See below, the area between the pins is open. Here’s what it should look like when you’re done sewing. Clip the ends of your zipper off as close to the seam as possible.

Now at this point you could turn the bag right side out, seam up the opening and have yourself a lovely little pouch our coin purse, but I wanted mine to sit up instead of lay flat and to do that we have another step.
Step 4: Making your pouch sit up and behave
Using a ruler, or just by eyeballing it, mark and cut out a square of fabric in each corner of your lining and exterior fabric. I did a one inch square for mine but if your bag is larger/smaller you should make your cutout larger or smaller respectively.

Pull the two pieces of fabric apart and align the seams of the side and bottom. Sew along the cut edge. Repeat until all corners have been sewn.

Turn the lining down over the rest of the pouch and close up the opening either by machine or by hand.

Now turn the bag right side out, Push out your corners so they’re nice and crisp and you’re done!
I hope you found this helpful. Shoot me an email with any questions.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I was contacted a while back by one of the organizers of a very cool local event. Swap-O-Rama. What is it? Well they describe it as such:

"Swap-O-Rama-Rama is a clothing swap and series of do-it-yourself workshops in which a community explores creative reuse through the recycling of used clothing."

Attendees bring a bag of unwanted clothing and $10. All of the donated items are then pooled together and attendees can pick and choose items they want to modify and restyle in a series of workshops.

It sounds like a lot of fun and I was happy to supply some items for their free goody bags.

Check out the site here: Des Moines Swap-O-Rama

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I can't put it on Etsy but it was good!

So you may be sitting around wondering what I've made lately - or perhaps not since you most likely have a life of your own. However, in case you were wondering - here is my most recent project.

The supplies:

The finished product:

And it was good people, very good. I can't take full credit for it though, it was my friend Carrie's idea to drown the sorrows of our daily soul sucking corporate jobs in ice cream, hot fudge, reddi wip and marshmallow fluff. It was my idea to top it all with cherries.
Things on the crafting front are pretty slow nowadays. It is summer after all and I've been keeping pretty busy with gardening and home improvement projects.
I do hope to have some new stuff for the shop soon though. In the meantime I'm headed back to the kitchen. It would be a pity to let the leftover supplies go to waste you know.