Friday, January 9, 2015

Zippered, padded pouch

Linda Theil's 8 x 9.5-inch zippered pouch made following "The Zippered Pouch" YouTube video
by Jenny Doan of the  Missouri Star Quilt Co.

I am a fan of the how-to videos posted free on YouTube by Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Co. They are clear, cheerful, and interesting. Her new "The Zipper Pouch" video caught my eye so I decided to make one. In this post I have included measurements for several different sized pouches and have included my pouch-making experience to add to the information provided in the Missouri Star Quilt Co. video, below.
Watch"The Zipper Pouch" video by Jenny Doan of The Missouri Star Quilt Co.

"The Zipper Pouch" project video includes:
  • information on a basic quilt-as-you-go technique for creating the pouch body,
  • the best way to add bag/tote/purse/pouch zipper by adding tabs to both ends of the zipper before installation
  • and a clear visual on how to sew across the bottom seam of a bag to make a base instead of an envelope design,
  • as well as complete instructions for constructing and finishing your pouch.
I made several pouches, while trying to come up with a size that would hold a mini-tablet and/or Kindle. The first one I made was 8 x 7 inches, but that one turned out to be about a half inch too short for my iPad mini, but was just about right for my Kindle, although a little wide. The second one I made was 8 x 9.5 inches and my mini will fit into it, but it was a little roomy, so I tried again and came up with one one that is 7.5 x 9 inches, and that is a pretty good fit for a tablet-sized computer like an iPad mini. For the last one, I just experimented with a fabric panel I had on hand and it ended up 12 x 13 inches, big enough to hold my large iPad with room to spare.

The directions in this post are for the 8 x 9.5-inch pouch that I made using Christmas fabric scraps I had in my stash:

  • lining, "Santa's Helpers" #528 by Sharon Reynolds from Tenderberry Stitches for Northcott
  • main fabric, "A Very Berry Christmas" by Sentimental Studios for Moda, Pattern #15681
  • coordinating fabric, Pine Fresh by Sandy Gervais for Moda #17772

For an 8 x 9.5-inch pouch, you will need:

  • 10 x 18 inch (or aproximately half a fat quarter) of fabric for your backing
  • 10 x 18 inch piece of iron-on batting
  • 5 x 18 inch piece of featured fabric
  • 2 pieces of 3 x 18 inch cuts of coordinating fabric 
  • 7-inch zipper to contrast or coordinate with fabrics
  • 1.5 inch swivel keeper (available at JoAnn Fabric), or 1/2-inch metal D-ring, optional
  • small jump ring to slip onto zipper pull, or other ornamental zipper pull, optional (see jump ring installed in zipper pull on teacup and roses pouch below.

You will need a zipper foot and a top-feed quilting foot for your sewing machine to complete this project. 

Cut lining fabric 10 x 18 inches

Iron iron-on batting of same size to wrong side of lining

Cut featured fabric piece 5 x 18 inches and place right-side-up in the center of batting on the wrong side of the lining fabric. (Because I did not have a long piece of fabric, this photo shows two pieces butted against each other in the middle of the fabric.)

Cut two pieces of coordinating fabric 18 x 3 inches. Lay one piece right-sides-together along one long edge of the main fabric. Using your top-feed quilting foot, stitch along the 18-inch length through all layers, using one quarter inch seam allowance.

Sew the second 18 x 3 inch coordinating fabric piece to the other long edge of the main fabric in same way. Flip both long sewn pieces of coordinating fabric right side up and press open. Topstitch both seams, as shown below.

Cut in-half through all layers to make two 9 x 10 inch pieces. These are the front and back pieces of your pouch. You will now install the zipper in the top edge of both pieces.

Install zipper
Cut a 2 x 10 inch piece of coordinating fabric. Fold in half along the long edge of the fabric, press the fold, then folding each edge to the center press line and press again. You will use this binding to enclose both ends of the zipper.

Cut the metal stop off the bottom end of the zipper. Put the cut end of the zipper between the folded binding that you made and stitch across the entire bottom of the zipper to cover the end of the zipper. Stitch again to secure. Trim away un-used binding to be even with both sides of the zipper, as shown trimmed in the photo above. Save left-over binding to make a loop for your swivel keeper.

Lay the zipper on the pouch top leaving 1/2-inch for seam on one side. Trim zipper top so that the tape leaves 1/2-inch for seam on the other side of the pouch top. Unzip zipper halfway down the tape. Enclose the top of the zipper tape in your handmade binding in the same way you enclosed the bottom of the tape, being careful not to hit the metal stops at the top of the zipper. Trim the binding, as for the bottom.

Install your zipper foot on your sewing machine. Lay your tabbed zipper face-down on the right side of the fabric, placing the zipper tape along the top edge of the pouch front. Stitch all the way down the zipper, including the tabs.

Flip zipper face-up and topstitch very close to zipper seam.

Lay zipper and attached pouch front face down on top of the pouch back with the free side of the zipper tape even with the top of the pouch back. Using zipper foot, stitch zipper to pouch back in the same way you stitched the zipper to the pouch front. 
Flip zipper up and topstitch close to zipper on the pouch back, in the same way that you topstitched the zipper to the pouch front. Your zipper installation will look similar to the photo above.

For swivel keeper installation, topstitch along both long edges of leftover binding used to make zipper tabs. Loop the stitched binding through the metal d-ring on your purchased swivel keeper.

Place both open ends of the loop even with the outside edge, near the top of the pouch front. I show a long, slanted installation above, but I like a straight, short tape better. The swivel keeper should point away from the raw edge of the pouch top and will lay between the two right sides of the pouch front and back when you stitch them together along the sides and bottom. Stitch the tape to hold the swivel keeper in place. (You may install a small metal d-ring instead of a swivel, if you like.)


With the zipper open, but with both sides of the zipper teeth folded evenly against each other, fold the back of the pouch face-down over the front of the pouch so that the right sides are together and pin evenly along sides and bottom of both front and back pieces. Square up your front and back pieces to fit smoothly together, if necessary. Using your top-feed, quilting foot, sew along sides and bottom using a 3/8-inch seam allowance to enclose your pouch. 

Clip the bottom corners and zig-zag along the edge of the seam allowance. Turn the pouch out through the open zipper. Push out corners and press. This completed pouch is shown at the top of this post.

This 7.5 x 9 inch pouch is made of rose chintz coordinates by Faye Burgos for Marcus Brothers Textiles, Inc. It is big enough to hold a mini iPad, or other small tablet computer. I used a foundation/lining piece of fabric 16 x 9.5 inches. The featured fabric was 5 x 16 inches and the coordinating fabric pieces were each 3 x 16 inches. 

I initially miscalculated the size of the coordinating fabrics for this pouch and had to add a piece of the lining fabric to make up the necessary height, as you can see in the photo above. But if you use 3-inch wide coordinating fabrics, you will not need extra coverage.

On the other hand, if you wish, you can use as many fabrics as you like in a quilt-as-you-go method to cover your foundation/lining, and be as creative as you like. I followed this more free-wheeling method when I made the 12 x 13 inch pouch that is big enough to hold a standard iPad with fabric from the "Hot Cider" apron panel and coordinating fabrics by Nancy Mink for Wilmington Fabrics.

This pretty pouch was made using a print from the "Sweet Shoppe" line from Studio E Fabrics. I bought the butterfly zipper pull on the button wall at JoAnn Fabrics.

Update May 25, 2015:

I made this 8 x 15-inch pouch by mistake, trying to find a fit for an 11-inch MacBook Air.

Here is the pouch that I made to fit the MacBook Air. The feature fabric is a panel of birdhouses -- Patt #4319 by Tracy Lizotte for Elizabeth's Studio. The coordinating fabrics are batiks. The zipper pull is Darice Mix and Mingle key chain with bead pin, purchased at JoAnne Fabric.

Darice Mix and Mingle key chain with bead pin

The (11-inch)MacBook Air measures 12 x 7.5 x .5. The pouch I made measures 10 x 15- inches, but I should have cut off two-inches from the total length, to fit the (11-inch) MacBook Air more precisely.

Here are the materials measurements for the 10 x 15-inch pouch:

9-inch zipper (cut stop end off so that zipper measures exactly 9-inches)
16 x 22 inch lining fabric
15 x 21 inch iron-on batting
6 x 22 feature fabric
(2) 2 x 22 inch border fabric
(2) 4 x 22 inch coordinating fabric

Note: to make the pouch fit an (11-inch) MacBook Air, cut lining fabric 14 x 22 inches and cut coordinating fabric 3 x 22 inches. Cut iron-on batting 13 x 21 inches.

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