Friday, August 28, 2009

Tutorial: Large Zippered Travel Pouch

I've spent quite a bit of time traveling over the past year, and because of the airline fees for luggage, I've pretty much confined myself to traveling with just a carry on. One trick that I have learned to make packing more efficient is to use tons of pouches to keep things such as pajama sets, socks, underwear, and electronics organized. This also makes things easier when you get pulled for a security check, or have to hunt something out of the bottom of the bag. Most of the pouches at the store though are either too small or too expensive so I have resorted to making my own. These pouches are rather large (13x8) and would also be great for organizing or hiding stuff in a bathroom or craft room.

You Will Need:

~Quarter Yard of fabric
~9" Zipper

Step One:
~Cut two 14.5" by 9" rectangles
~Cut two 2.5" long strips of fabric that are the same width as your zipper (the simplest way to do this is lay the zipper on top of the fabric and use it as your pattern as I did in the picture below)

Step Two:

~On your work surface, lay your zipper right side up and unzip it half way. Then, on each end of your zipper pin one of your 2.5" strips so that it is right side down.
~Sew the strips onto the zipper getting as close as you can to where the teeth begin and end. It should look like the picture below when you are finished.

Step Three:

~On your work surface, lay one of the 14.5" rectangles right side up.
~Line up the zipper face down along the top edge of the rectangle and pin in place.
~Stitch the zipper to the fabric making sure that your stitches don't get too close to the zipper teeth. You may have to stop stitching half way through and unzip the zipper partially in order to get the zipper pull out of your way. See picture below.

Step Four:

~Now lay the zipper face up again.
~Place the other 14.5" retangle face down on top of zipper making sure to line the top edges up, and pin in place.
~Sew along the top edge once again making sure to stay as close as you can to the teeth. When your finished it should look like the picture below.

Step Five:

It is now time to topstitch on either side of the zipper. Make sure that the zipper is laying flat though so that your stitches catch the zipper underneath the fabric. For this project, the top stitching accomplishes two things. It gives the pouch a more finished look, and it holds down the fabric inside of the pouch so that it doesn't get caught up in the zipper later on.

Step Six:

~Unzip the zipper. Trust me, this is important. If you don't do it now, you won't be able to turn the pouch later.
~With the unzipped zipper at the top, fold the fabric in half with right sides together and pin in place.

Step Seven:

Sew along the three sides that you pinned together.

Step Seven:

Now to create the bottom of the pouch.

~First stand your pouch up with one corner facing you.

~Now, squish the side seam and the bottom seam together until they flatten out forming a triangle. Notice in the picture that the pouch is still standing up.

~Measure three inches across and mark that line with a marker.
~Sew across the line that you just drew.

~Flip the bag around and do the same thing with the other corner.

Step Eight:

Cut off the excess fabric at the corners.

Step Nine:

Now turn it inside out, and enjoy!