Monthly Archives: January 2016

Square Bottom Zipper Pouch Tutorial

zipper-pouch-tutorial-prints-to-polka-dots

Finished size: Approx 25.5cm wide x 16.1cm (10” x 6.3”) (width taken across the top)


Requirements:

The following measurements will give you a zipper pouch measuring 25.5cm x 15.8cm, with a bottom 5cm wide.  See the instructions at the end of this tutorial to work out your requirements if you want to make a different size.

Fabric

28cm x 21cm (11” x 8.5”) x2 in your external fabric and x2 in your internal fabric.

2 x 5cm x 7.5cm (2” x 3”) for the tabs (these appear at each end of the zip).

Interfacing

This is a matter of personal choice, I wanted a squidgy but smooth feel, so opted to add two layers, the first was medium weight fusible interfacing and the second low loft fusible fleece (H630).

Each piece should be 25.5cm x 18.5cm (10” x 7.5”).

Zipper

1 zip 25cm (10”) long (you could get a larger one and cut the end off).

 

Instructions

Take one of your main fabric pieces.  Looking at the bottom left corner, draw a square 3.7cm x 3.7cm (¾” x ¾”) (see below).  Repeat on the right side then cut the squares out.

zipper pouch with box corners tutorial cutting corners

Repeat with the remaining fabric and interfacing pieces.

Iron the interfacing onto the fabric pieces, each piece of interfacing is smaller than the main fabric pieces, this is correct, it reduces the bulk in the seam allowances.  Simply line the interfacings up centrally on the back of the fabric pieces, you will have a border of approx. 1.2cm of fabric on each side of the interfacing.  Iron into place.

zipper pouch with box corners tutorial interface added

Put these pieces to one side.

Fold one of your tab fabric pieces in half, wrong sides facing each other, so that the short ends meet iron.  Open the fabric out and fold the raw edges into the centre fold line.  Iron.  Fold in half again, along the first crease line and press once more.  Repeat with the second zipper end piece.

zipper pouch with box corners tutorial - folding tabs

Unfold one of your tabs and place centrally under one end of your zip.  So that you are looking at the front of the fabric and front of the zip.  The end of the zip should be in line with the top raw edge of the tab.  Sew across the top, 6mm (¼”) in from the raw edge (before the first crease line in the fabric piece).

zipper pouch with box corners tutorial tab to zip tape

Fold the piece of fabric back up, following the original crease lines, capturing the zip end in the middle (see images below).  Sew across the fabric, close to the folded edge.

zipper pouch with box corners tutorial - folding tabs

MAKE SURE THE ZIPPER PULL is attached to the tape.

Line your zip up against one of your fabric panels, you need to leave 1.4cm (1 and 6 8ths of an inch) of main panel fabric clear before and after the zip (on the left and right), this is very important as it allows the zip to sit squarely in the finished pouch.

When you are happy that the length of the zip is correct, cut any excess tape away.  Sew a ‘bar’ across the end by sewing a few stitches over the zipper tape (these are called whip stitches).  Now sew the second tab into place.

zipper pouch with box corners tutorial second tab

Take one of your external fabric pieces, place the zip onto top, so that:-

  • you are looking at the back of the zip
  • you are looking at the front of the fabric
  • the long edge of the zipper tape is lined up with the top raw edge of the fabric piece.
  • there is approx. 1.4cm (1& 6/8ths”) of main fabric showing at each end of the zip.
    zipper pouch with box corners tutorial adding zip 1

Baste the zip into place 3mm (1/8th”) from the top edge.

Place one of your internal fabric pieces on top of the zip, so that the zip is sandwiched between the two pieces of fabric, the right sides of the fabrics are facing each other, and the raw edges are lined up on all sides.  Sew together, so that the sew line is a few mms (2/8th”) from the zipper tape teeth, on the side closest to the raw edges (the top edge).

Fold both the fabric pieces back along the seam line, so you are looking at the right sides of the fabric and you can see the zip, press the fabric away from the zip.

Top stitch the fabric pieces, approx. 3mm (1/8th”) in from the seam line (this step stops the fabric getting eaten by the zip when in use).

zipper pouch with box corners tutorial attaching lining 1Place the remaining main piece on top of the zipper tape, so that:

  • the right sides of the fabric pieces are facing each other.
  • The left and right edges of the top piece line up with the fabric piece underneath.
  • The top is lined up with the top of the zipper tape.

Baste into place.

Turnover and pin your internal fabric piece on top, so that the zip tape is sandwiched between the external and internal fabric pieces.  Ensuring that:

  • the right sides of the fabric pieces are facing each other.
  • The left and right edges of the top piece line up with the fabric piece underneath.
  • The top is lined up with the top of the zipper tape.

Sew together.

Fold both the fabric pieces back, so you are looking at the right sides of the fabric pieces, and press.  Top stitch just below the seam line.

zipper pouch with box corners tutorial attaching second side
Check your zip works properly (that you can open and close it easily).  Leave the zip half unzipped – THIS IS A CRITICAL STEP!

Arrange the fabric pieces, so that the internal pieces are on top of each other, and the external pieces are on top of each other (right sides facing).  Pin each pair together, taking care around the zip to make sure each set is perfectly lined up.

Sew together LEAVING the cut out corners unsewn, AND a turning gap of 5cm (2”) half way up one side of the lining fabric pouch.

zipper pouch with box corners tutorial sewing two sides together 1

Next you need to sew the boxed corners.  Looking at the bottom right corner, squash the side and bottom seams together, so that they are on top of each other and the raw, unsewn corner edges, are lined up (see below).

Pin together and sew across the unsewn edge using the usual seam allowance.

zipper pouch with box corners tutorial - sewing corners

Repeat this process on the remaining sides.

Trim back the seam allowance on all sides.

zipper pouch with box corners tutorial all corners

Now turn your pouch out the right way by pulling the fabric through the gap you left in the lining.

Make sure you push all the corners out, including those around the zip.

Fold the raw edges at the turning point into the gap, iron and then top stitch this section closed, as close to the edge as you feel comfortable.

zipper pouch with box corners tutorial sewing up lining

Push the internal pouch inside the external one and you’re done!

square bottom pouch tutoiral first image

Click here to download a printer-friendly version of this tutorial.

Click on the free patterns tab at the top of the screen to view more free pouch tutorials, including one with several internal pockets and instructions for a simple (flat) pencil case.

The fabrics used in this tutorial are from Dashwood Studio’s Mori Girl Collection fabrics.

 

Working Out Your Pattern Size

If you want to make your pouch in another size, no problem!  Use the following guide to work out your pattern pieces…

The pattern will use 12mm (1/2”) seam allowances.

Finished pouch height:  ……………………

Finished pouch width: ……………………

The width of the squared off base you want to create: ……………………

Pattern Size

Height of your pattern pieces:               

Finished height + width of the squared off base + 2.4cm (1/2”)

Width of your pattern pieces:                

Finished width + width of the squared off base + 2.4cm (1/2”)

Size of corner cut outs:                    

Width of the squared off base + 1.2cm (1/4”)

Sewing Clothes for Children – New Class Added!

We are pleased to announce the addition of an ‘a-line dress with pleat’ workshop to our sewing school programme for Spring/Summer 2016 – all our classes are held in the centre of Witney.

This is a really pretty dress, that you can easily shorten to make a fab floaty top!

In one evening you will complete one dress and increase your sewing knowledge along the way.

The pattern is not complicated, but the seams are lined with bias binding and this can be tricky to get lined up.   For that reason we would recommend complete sewing novices start with our reversible dress workshop rather than this one.

If you have used a sewing machine recently, and have gotten to grips with sewing straight lines and curves, then join us for an evening learning how to read, trace and sew with clothes patterns, facing seams with bias binding and learning how to create ‘continuous bound plackets’ – you will be very proud of yourself when you have this one under your belt!

The workshop includes all the materials you need to make one dress (you can choose your fabrics from across our store) and you get a copy of the pattern to take away with you.

aline dress in green
aline dress in dashwood
aline dress sewing class girls witney oxfordshire box

Fabrics used in our samples: Dashwood Studio Mori Girl and Riley Blake’s Butterfly Dance collections.

 

Simple Envelope Cushion Cover Tutorial

simple cushion finished
Finished size: Customized to fit your cushion!

This tutorial has been written with the beginner in mind, and is used during the first week of our 4 week introduction to sewing course.  There are no buttonholes, zips, or tricky pattern pieces to cut.  By the end of the tutorial you will have made your first cushion cover and already know how to sew French seams – so what are you waiting for!


Requirements:

Complete the table below to work out your fabric and interfacing requirements.

STEP 1

The label on your cushion may include its size, if not, pull the fabric along the top taught and measure it – this figure is the width of your cushion.  Repeat along the left side of the cushion, this figure is the length of your cushion.

Width x length: ……… x …………

STEP 2 – FABRIC REQUIREMENTS

Fabric

You can use almost any type of fabric for a cushion cover, fleece, flannels or knits will give your cushion a ‘hug me’ look, whilst home décor weight fabrics hold their shape, regular quilting weight fabrics work well too, and can be enhanced with the addition of iron on interfacing to give a crisp, luxury look to the cushion (if you are a beginner, I would start with home décor weight fabric or quilting weight fabric).

Front Fabric

Width of your cushion + 2.5cm x length of your cushion + 2.5cm
………… x …………

Back Fabric (Top Piece)

Width of your cushion + 2.5cm x length of your cushion x 0.65 + 3.7cm
………… x …………

Back Fabric (Bottom Piece)

Width of your cushion + 2.5cm x length of your cushion x 0.65 + 2.5cm
………… x …………

Interfacing (optional)

If you are using regular weight quilting cotton, we recommend using iron on medium weight interfacing (woven or standard) to add definition to your cushion, or fusible fleece if you want to plump it up.

Front piece:
Size of the front fabric piece  ………… x …………

Back top piece
Size of the back top fabric piece with 3.7cm taken off the length  ………… x …………

Back bottom piece
Size of the back bottom fabric piece with 2.5cm taken off the length   ………… x …………

Instructions

If you are using interfacing then iron it onto the back of your fabric pieces first (place on top of the back of your fabric, then place another piece of fabric or a tea towel on top, and iron into place). The interfacing pieces for the top and bottom back pieces are smaller than the fabric pieces.  For the top back piece position the interfacing so that it lines up with the top, left and right edges (it will finish before the bottom edge).  For the bottom back piece position the interfacing so that it lines up the bottom, left and right edges (it will finish before the top edge).

simple cushion interfacing

Before sewing the cushion cover together we recommend lightly spraying all the pieces with spray starch (available at your supermarket!). The starch will give your fabric a temporary stiffness that makes sewing the pieces together easier and helps give you crisp lines.

Place your back top piece of fabric in front of you, so that you are looking at the back of it. Fold the bottom edge up1.2cm and iron the crease.  Fold the bottom up again, by 2.5cm and iron the crease into place (the raw edges should now be hidden).

Pin the folded section into place, making sure that the pins at a right angle to the fold line (see below) pins should be approx. 5cm apart.

Make sure your bobbin has cotton on it that matches or compliments your main fabric, and then sew the folded over section into place, approx. 19mm (3/4”) down from the outside edge (this type of sewing is called top stitching).

Put this piece to one side.

Place your back bottom piece of fabric in front of you, so that you are looking its back. Fold the top edge down 2cm and iron the crease into place.  Fold the top down again, by 1.2cm, and iron the crease into place (the raw edges should now be hidden).

Pin the folded section into place as before and sew into place, approx. 6mm (1/4”) down from the outside edge.simple cushion back pieces

Place your front piece of fabric in front of you, wrong side facing you. Place the bottom piece on top, right side facing you, with the bottom, left and right edges lined up with the front piece, pin into place.  Place the top piece on top, right side facing you, with the top, left and right edges lined up with the front piece (it will overlap the bottom back piece), pin into place.

simple cushion construction
Sew around all four sides using a 6mm (1/4”) seam allowance.

simple cushion cover seam one

Take out the pins and then trim the seam allowances (fabric between the raw edge and your sewn line) back by half (see images below).

simple cushion cover trimming seam allowance

Turn your cushion cover out so that you are looking at the inside of the cover. Iron flat, making sure the seam lines are along the edges, then pin the two sides of the cover together (see images below).  Sew around the 4 edges using a 6mm (1/4”) seam allowance as before.

simple cushion cover sewing inside seam

Turn out your cushion cover, iron and fill with your cushion insert – ta dah!

simple cushion last image

Why not try…

If you feel uncomfortable leaving the back without any form of closure, and you don’t fancy taking on buttonholes, you could sew poppers into place, or use our iron on Velcro.

Our cushion cover with a border – visit our blog for the tutorial.

When you get more confident you could..

  • Add a couple of button holes along the folded over section of the top back piece before sewing the cover together. Adding buttons to the bottom back piece after you have finished the cover – the buttons make a feature out of folded over section on the back, allowing you to have the cushion facing either way.
  • Add piping, pom poms or ric rac to the outside edges of your cushion.
  • Quilt the front panel – a great way to use up your favourite scraps.
  • Add binding to the outside edges for a super crisp finish.

What are French Seams?

One of the biggest challenges when sewing is dealing with raw edges, they don’t look nice and when you start using your projects they start to unravel.  You can deal with these edges in a number of ways, one of which is French seams. 

When sewing regular seams you place your fabrics together, right sides facing each other, then you sew together and turn the fabrics out the right way, the raw edges are hidden on the back of your fabric, but are still there, waiting to unravel!

When you sew French seams you start by placing your fabrics together with the wrong sides facing each other, you then sew together as normal.  Next you trim the seam allowance back – that’s the fabric between the edge of the fabric and your sew line, you need to cut about half the fabric away.  Then you turn the fabric out so you are looking at the back of the fabric, iron flat, and then sew again, using the same seam allowance.  This captures all the raw edges inside the sewn section, hiding them from sight and stopping them unravelling.

Click here to open a printer friendly version.

Learn to Sew Clothes for Children

We will be adding a number of new sewing workshops for Spring/Summer designed with those of you in mind who would love to sew clothes for children but don’t know where to start!

The first of these classes is designed for the beginner, if you have used a sewing machine before then great, but this class is so easy a complete beginner could do it too! Our reversible pinafore dress comes in sizes from 6months to 5 years, and can be made with button closures, poppers or ties.  You can add pockets, borders and applique if you are more experienced or looking for a challenge.

We will cover reading patterns, tracing and cutting pieces as well as sewing your dress together. The course includes tuition, all the materials needed to make one dress (you get to pick your fabrics from across our store) and a copy of the pattern.

Click on any of the images below to find out more, and join us for a fun evening, sewing children’s clothes here at our sewing school in Witney.

reversible dress workshop 1
reversible dress trio banner image 1
reversible dress workshop 2

If you can’t make the available dates, and have a friend or two would also like to make this dress, then send us an email or Facebook message, I am sure we can find a date/time to suit your needs.