Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Reversible Pouch Tutorial

I made reversible pouches for my kids recently and thought that I'd share the pattern.

They are super simple and take about 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

This pattern is very versatile for a couple of reasons.
1) The pouch can be made to virtually any size.
2) The pouch can be made with a drawstring close, snap close, zipper, and I'm even thinking about putting some rivets in one someday so a caribeaner can be used to attach it to belt buckles or a backpack.

The tutorial that I'm doing today will feature a basic open pouch.

Materials Needed:
Scissors or rotary cutter
Sewing machine
Iron and ironing board

How to Make the Reversible Pouch:

Click on pictures to see a larger version

Choose your fabrics and iron them flat before trimming to the desired size.

Cut the fabric to about 2 inches larger all the way around than you would like the finished bag to be. I cut and then iron--do not make this mistake as I had to go back and straighten my edges after I got done ironing.

Flip outside pieces and inside pieces facing the rights sides together (pictured left) and pin 3 of the 4 sides.

Note: I had to cut all 4 sides of my fabric because I was using a print that had a top and bottom. If you don't care that one side of your bag's pattern will be upside down (or you are using a fabric with no distinguishable top and bottom) then cut a long rectangle double the length of your bag's desired size plus 2 inches. That way you won't have to sew the bottom shut because it will already be closed. Save yourself some work.

Sew the outside pieces together leaving one of the sides open. This will be the top of the pouch.

Sew the inside pieces together leaving one of the sides open and a 2 1/2 inch gap in one seam for turning the bag out in later steps. My gap was smaller than that and it was tough to turn the bag out. Don't make my mistake!

Once the sides (and bottom, if applicable) are sewn, turn the inside pouch right side out and work it into the outside pouch. Pictured below left.

Line up the seams as pictured above right. The orange arrow points to where the seams are lined up. Pin the pouch so that it doesn't twist while you sew the top closed.

Sew along the top of the pouch. You may need to stop a couple of times to adjust the fabric so that it doesn't twist as you sew. I've found that the smaller the pouch, the more it twists.

Once you've stitched all the way around the top, pull the inside of the pouch out as pictured above.

Find the opening that you left in the inside fabric (pictured above) and pull the whole bag through it so that the right side is on the outside (pictured below).

We're almost there! Hang in there. Oh, and...

That's right. Fold over the edges of the hole in the inside fabric (iron them down if they won't stay on their own) and sew it shut. You can sew it shut the easy but visible way: via sewing machine. Or you can sew it shut the more time consuming but less visible way: by hand. I've done both and they both work well.

Push the inside of the pouch into the outside of the pouch and stitch about 1/2 to 1 inch away from the top edge of the opening. This is the finishing hem that will show on the outside of the bag, so take care to make it straight! If you're really worried about it, then I've found that using a zig zag stitch sometimes helps to camouflage my inability to sew in a straight line.

Sidenote: Do you ever have days like this where no matter what you do, you can't sew in a straight line to save your life? I certainly do...

And there you have it! You've got a reversible pouch. Perfect for little hands with little things or big hands with little things. Protect your cell phone or Ipod, a book, anything really.

Here are all of the pouches I made that day

These were made in my free time. Imagine what you can do in yours!

Happy sewing!

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