This tutorial is an adaptation of my small zippered pouch. The technique for sewing is similar but the end result is completely different. I was looking for a project to make with this fabric. I bought a fat quarter of this print the day before I moved to South Korea and brought it with me. I wanted to make something I would use everyday and something that’s cute. The narwhals print reminds me of Elf when Mr. Narwhal says, “Bye Buddy, hope you find your dad!”. In this tutorial
I’ll show you how to make this adorable Mr. Narwhal boxy pouch. If you want to make the pouch bigger (this one is the size of a pencil case…just find a longer zipper and adjust your fabric measurements to match the dimensions of those below. You’ll need the following to make this pouch:
a sewing machine
scissors (or rotary cutter and mat)
a zipper (9″ in any colour)
a fat quarter of cotton fabric for lining
a fat quarter of cotton fabric for exterior
scrap piece of fabric for a side tab (optional)
zipper foot (optional)
pinking shears (optional)
I recommend pre-washing and pressing all fabrics before any project. I know it’s annoying when all you want to do is get your project started but trust me, it is necessary. Most fabric will shrink a little, making the seams pucker and look gross. Also, when you buy fabric it sometimes has protectants (re: chemicals!) on it, that’d I’d rather get rid of. It’s a good habit to get into and it’ll make this bag hand washable! Wash all fabrics in a mild detergent, hand dry or use on a low heat dryer setting. Press the fabric and you’re ready to go!
Step 2) Attach the zipper
With your exterior fabric right side up, place the zipper along the top face down. Place the lining right side down on top of the zipper. This makes a sandwich, with the right sides of the fabric facing and the zipper in the middle. Pin in place. Stitch using a 1/4″ seam allowance, back stitching at both ends. If you are not using a zipper foot on your machine, you’ll have to pause halfway through stitching and move the zipper behind your foot (or the stitching will go wonky as your machine manuevers around it). To do this, stitch to the halfway point, leave your needle down, lift your foot up and open up the zipper to move it behind your foot.Turn the fabrics right side out and press the fabric along the zipper.
Next, topstitch along the zipper using an 1/8″ seam allowance. This allows the zipper to lie flat and prevents fabric from being caught in the zipper.
Attaching the zipper to the other side is a little tricky. You’ll do the same thing as before. So, take the bottom of your exterior fabric and put it right side down, aligned with the zipper. You should have the right sides of the exterior fabric together. Next, take the bottom of the lining fabric and put it right side down, aligned on the zipper (on the other side of the zipper. You should once again have a zipper sandwich. Pin the fabric in place. It will look like this:
Sew through all of the layers using a 1/4″ seam allowance using the same instructions as above. Open up the zipper and turn the fabrics right sides out. You should have something that looks like this…the zipper is attached!
Now turn it so the lining is facing out. We’re not done yet!!!
Step 3) Making the tab
This is optional so skip ahead to Step 4 if you’re not interested…otherwise let’s go!
Take your scrap piece that you cut to measure 5″ by 2.5″. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise. Press the fabric and open it up. Fold each side in 1/4″ and press.
Now fold it again lengthwise where you pressed before. This should create a fabric tube with the raw edges folded it. Sew along the open edge using an 1/8″ seam allowance. When it is finished, it should look like this:
Fold it in half to create a loop.
Make sure the zipper is in the centre. In other words, if you are looking down at your project, there should be as much fabric to the right of the zipper as there is to left of the zipper. Adjust as necessary. Pin the sides in place. Sew the sides of the bag using a 1/4″ seam allowance, backstitching at each end. Be careful when you’re sewing over the zipper teeth. Most machines are able to sew over plastic teeth with no problems but avoid sewing over any metal pieces from the zipper…you’ll break the needle 😦 I like to backstitch back and forth over the zipper teeth to add durability.
It should now look like this (I’ve used pinking shears to clean up my seams):
Lightly press your project.
Step 5) Finish the bag!
Alright, so the tricky part…
Lightly pressing the project from the last step will help with this part. Take one corner of your project. Hold it in your fingers like this and make a triangle.
To make sure it is straight, line up the line you created from pressing with the seam from sewing the side. To check and make sure it is straight, peek at the exterior of the bag to see if the fold and the line match. Like this:
If it looks good, pin it in place. Measure 1″ from the top of the triangle. I prefer to just wing it…but you can mark the 1″ and draw a line (chalk or pencil) across the bottom of the triangle to guide your sewing. Sew along the bottom of the triangle, backstitching at each end.
Repeat this process for the other 3 corners.
You’re finished! You can cut off those triangles, turn your bag right side out and admire your work.
I hope this helped you make this cute small boxy pouch.
Of course if you feel like it’s just too much work, check out this item and others at my Etsy shop!
Please feel free to use my tutorial to make your own pouch for personal use only 😀