Charm Madness: The Double Hourglass Pouch Tutorial

Welcome to my stop on the Charm Madness blog hop, hosted by Sew Lux Fabrics! To catch up on previous Charm Madness posts and enter the weekly giveaway, visit the Sew Lux blog. Today, I'm sharing a simple tutorial to create a great zippered pouch, perfect for carting around a hand sewing project or for packing in your suitcase for your next trip. Today's project will use a total of just 16 charms, plus a fat quarter for your lining and a fat eighth for your sashing.

Double Hourglass Pouch tutorial - live on the blog today as part of Charm Madness


The Double Hourglass Pouch
**Use a scant 1/4" seam unless otherwise noted**

You'll need:
(8) 5" charm squares of white/neutral fabric
(2) 5" charm squares of four different prints, total of (8) charm squares
     I used prints from Cosmo Cricket's 2wenty-Thr3e collection 
fat eighth of sashing, cut into:
     (2) 1 1/2" x 8"
     (1) 3 1/2" x 10 1/2""
     (1) 1 1/2" x 10 1/2"
10" zipper
fat quarter of lining, cut into:
     (2) 10 1/2" x 12"
1/3 yd Pellon Craft Fuse, cut into:
     (2) 10 1/2" x 12"

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To piece the patchwork for pouch front:
1) To begin, cut two planks measuring 1 3/4" tall by 5" wide from each of your charms, creating a total of 16 white planks and 16 print planks. Don't toss aside the skinny remaining strip of your printed charms, we will use some to make the zipper tabs.

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2) Take four matching print planks and four white planks and sew together in pairs, print to white. If your prints are directional, keep in mind that you want two identical pairs with the print on top, and two pairs where the print is on the bottom. Press seams open.

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3) Bring assembled pairs to your cutting table, and using the 45 degree marking on your ruler, trim. Align the 45 degree marking along the raw edge of the bottom of your patchwork, and trim. Flip the ruler to create the opposite side of the triangle, and trim. You're now left with a triangle. Discard the scraps and repeat with the three remaining patchwork sets, creating two sets of identical triangles as shown.

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4) Lay out your block and assemble, pairing two opposite triangles together and joining, pressing seams open, and then joining the two halves of the unit to create a whole patchwork block. Use pins at to assist you in making your seams meet, as needed.

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5) Repeat with remaining print and white planks to create four double hourglass blocks.

6) Lay out your four blocks as desired, twisting and turning them if you like. Sew the blocks together first in rows, then join the rows. Press seams open.

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7) Join a skinny sashing 1 1/2" x 8" strip on the right and left of the block. Press seams open.

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8) Sew the skinnier of the two remaining sashing pieces to the top of the block, then sew the larger, 3 1/2" x 10 1/2" piece to the bottom.
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9) Next, take one piece of Craft Fuse and place the shiny side with the wrong side of the pouch front. Using a hot iron, fuse the Craft Fuse in place. Repeat for the pouch back.

To install the zipper:
1) First, we need to trim the zipper to size. The zipper should be exactly 1 1/2" shorter than the top of the pouch, so trim as needed. I trimmed off from the zipper stop side of the zipper, rather than the top of the zipper.

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2) Next, choose two leftover print planks and trim to 2 1/2" long. Press each of the two pieces first in half, then fold in half and press a second time, much like a double-fold binding.

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3) Open the zipper tab sandwich and insert the end of your zipper, taking care to align the end of the zipper inside the sandwich. Sew the sandwich closed, topstitching about 1/8" from the sandwich edge.

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4) Repeat step 3 for the top edge of the zipper, first unzipping the zipper to get the pull out of your way.

5) Trim zipper tabs even with the length of the zipper.

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6) Next, align up one of your lining pieces, right side up, on your cutting mat, lining up the sides of the of the lining piece with the lines on your cutting mat. Place the zipper on top, zipper pull up, centering the zipper so that the zipper is approximately 3/4" from both the right and left edges of the lining. Put some pins in place, close to the zipper teeth, to keep the zipper in place and bring to your sewing machine. Set the stitch length at 5.0 mm and baste the zipper in place, sewing very close to the raw edge of the fabric.


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7) Bring the zipper/lining unit back to your cutting mat and align the raw edges of your pouch front with the lining, right sides together. Pin in place, and try to get those pins as close to the zipper teeth as possible.

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8) At your machine, adjust the stitch length back to a 1.5-2.0 mm stitch, whatever you normally sew with. Rather than starting at the raw edge, start about 3-4" down - away from the zipper pull. We'll go back and attach that section in a moment. Sew the pouch front, zipper, and lining together, using your zipper foot. Sew all the way to the end of the zipper, then clip the threads.


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9) Open up your pouch so far, so the right sides of your fabric face you, and unzip that zipper. Get the zipper out of your way, then close the pouch back up, line up the raw edges again, and sew the remaining part of the zipper in place. Make sure to backstitch when you reach your first line of stitching.

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10) Using a hot iron, press the pouch front and lining away from the zipper, then topstitch in place.


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11) Next, we'll attach the remaining pouch parts. First, line up the remaining lining piece, just as we did in step 6, and align the zipper (now attached to the pouch front and one piece of lining) with the raw edge of the lining, again centering the zipper, with the lining right sides together. Pin as needed.

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12) Baste the zipper and second piece of lining together, using that longer stitch length, then align the pouch back, right sides together with the pouch front, and pin as needed. Sew the zipper in place, using the same method we did in steps 8-9, sewing part of the zipper in place, and then opening the zipper to get it out of your way.

Alternately, you can attempt to open the zipper while sewing, lifting your presser foot, and rotating your pouch to finagle the zipper. Use whichever method works best for you.

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13) Press the pouch back and lining away from the zipper and topstitch.


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Finishing the pouch:
1) Now that the zipper is fully installed, we can finish up the pouch. This is the most important step of this tutorial - open the zipper at least 3/4 of the way. If you open it up all the way, the zipper pull may get in your way, so I usually open the zipper right about 3/4 of the way open. 


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2) Next, line up the raw edges of the lining with each other, right sides together, and ditto for the pouch front and back. Pin the raw edges together, leaving a gap on the lining bottom about 5" long - enough for you to shove your hand in and pull the right sides of your pouch out. I mark the start and stop of the gap with two pins, so that I know where to start and stop my sewing. 

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3) At the zipper, match up the raw edges, and pin. Push the zipper tabs toward the lining to keep them out of your way. Sew together, using a 1/2" seam allowance, and taking a moment to backstitch at the lining gap start and stop.

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4) Reach into the lining through the gap we left in step 14, and reach for the pouch front. Pull the fabric through the gap, turning the pouch right side out. As you do this, make sure to push the corners out. Feel free to use a wooden turning tool, or even a pencil eraser, to try to push the corners out fully. Make sure also to push out the corners at the zipper end of the pouch. Repeat for the lining once you get the pouch front/back squared away.

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3) You'll notice that the gap that you left in the lining already wants to close up, and may even start to align itself properly. Take a moment to fold the raw edges under, approximately 1/2", and sew the gap closed, either via handstitching or topstitching. I almost always topstitch, just for added security at the bottom of my pouches.

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4) Finally, push the lining into the pouch, and marvel at your finished pouch!

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If you make a pouch using this tutorial, be sure to post it to my Flickr group or Threadbias group, I'd love to see it! 

Don't forget that Charm Madness is still underway - you can link up your own project made from charm squares here, enter the weekly giveaway at the Sew Lux blog on Sunday, and enter the Grand Prize Giveaway by tallying up all the charm squares used in the Charm Madness tutorials, also at the Sew Lux blog. Have a wonderful Wednesday! 

Charm Madness at Sew Lux Fabric

Digging into my zipper stash

In just two short weeks, my road trip to the Stash Bash retreat will begin, and I'm definitely not heading there empty-handed. We're planning to do a little pouch swap, and there's a few people that I want to bring a special something to as well, so I decided to dig into my zipper stash and make a pile of pouches. I just finished my last pouch yesterday, so that's one more thing I can check off my to do list, yay!

A pile of pouches for Stash Bash!

The first pouch I worked on is for the pouch swap. I wanted to do some teeny tiny piecing, and I wanted to use one of my Lucky Stars blocks, so I decided to use the new April block, which will be arriving to club members' inboxes first thing Monday morning. This teeny tiny version of the block finished at 3 1/2" - throughout the piecing, I felt like I needed smaller hands to work with these tiny pieces of fabric!

Lucky Stars pouch exterior

I sashed the block with some Essex linen in Steel, and decided to add a pinstripe effect with some simple quilting on the pouch. I wanted a bright, fun color for the zipper, so I picked out a fun green zipper, Washi triangles for the lining. On this pouch, I wanted a softer look, so I used Pellon fusible fleece. It's still definitely durable, but would be good for holding a Kindle or a camera, since it's a bit more padded.

Lucky Stars pouch interior

For the second pouch, I wanted to try to use some of my Anna Maria Horner scraps. I've destashed a lot of my Anna Maria Horner fabric, and used a lot of it, too, so all that's left is scraps. I decided to use an Anna Maria Horner to go with my bits and strings of fabric, her feather pattern, but there was no way that I had enough to make the full-size feather, so I shrunk it. I used the copier function of my printer to shrink the pattern by 50%, and I was able to put together enough strings to make a darling little feather. I used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Black for the stem of the feather, and paired it with a mostly low-volume print from Art Gallery's new Urban Mod collection called Triangularity. Isn't that a fun word??? I added a bit more of the Triangularity print around the feather to create a nice rectangular size, and turned it into a pouch.

Feather pouch exterior

I found a red zipper in my stash that had a cute pull already attached to it, and installed that for the pouch. The lining of this one is from my biggest AMH leftover scrap, a print from her Innocent Crush line, and I used Pellon Craft Fuse for the interfacing on this one - I've used Craft Fuse on several pouches, and I like the crisp look it gives.

Feather pouch interior

You're going to get to see much more of the third pouch on Tuesday, when I will be sharing a quick tutorial for it. For now, I'll give you a quick tease :)

3rd pouch - sneak peek! Stay tuned for the tutorial next week

Stay tuned on Monday for my first update on my duffle progress, and have a great weekend!

Orchard Path Pouch - Zakka Sew Along Week 11

Welcome to Week 11 of the Zakka Style Sew Along! I was really excited to work on the Orchard Path Tweed Pouch for the Zakka Along, in part because it included something I've been really wanting to try (EPP hexagons!!) and you can never have too many pouches :)

Zakka Style Sew Along

Unfortunately for me, in my first attempts at the pouch, I misunderstood the enlargement instructions, perhaps due to a lack of an appropriate level of caffeine.  Just in case you fall into that same boat when you make your pouch, be sure to only enlarge the pouch pattern piece - not the corners or the hexagon, those don't need enlarging.  Because if you enlarge the hexagons, they finish up around the same size as the whole pouch.  Trust me.  Want to know how I know?

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LOL, I made used these "wrong" pouches as teacher gifts last week for the munchkin's two teachers, and fortunately, this is an easy-to-follow pattern that whips up really quickly, so I didn't mind having to make a third pouch.

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For my third pouch, I pulled a few fun scraps for a pouch for me, using Robert Kaufman Quilter's Linen in Azure as my main pouch fabric. The pattern calls for tweed, but the only source I could find locally for tweed (Jo-Ann's) didn't have any tweed that I felt compelled to work with, so I went with (faux) linen instead. I love the look of Quilter's Linen, and I especially enjoy that it behaves like cotton when you work with it, rather than linen, which can sometimes stretch in odd ways. I did use some actual linen for the pouch corner accents, Robert Kaufman's Essex Linen in Chartreuse. For my lining, I pulled my current favorite Spoonflower find, from none other than Rashida Coleman-Hale herself - an outtake print from Washi that you can only find on Spoonflower. Isn't it adorable?

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The directions for the pouch are really quite straight-forward, with the exception perhaps of the zipper instructions. If you are new to zippers or less than confident in using them, I highly recommend you follow the Kelbysews style of zipper pouch making - adding tabs to the zipper after shortening it to 1.5" shorter than the pouch itself, so in this instance, trim your zipper to 8.5", lopping off the excess on the end rather than the pull side of the zipper.

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Don't forget to post a photo of your finished pouch in the Flickr pool and link it up at Lindsey's blog, LR Stitched, for a chance to win an amazing prize, some beautiful fat quarters courtesy of Art Gallery Fabrics!

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Would you like to adorn your pouch with some special stitching? You can enter to win a 6-pack of gorgeous Aurifil threads, and I have five packs to give away! I adore working with Aurifil, I've started using it exclusively in the last few months and I cannot possibly recommend it enough. This giveaway will close on Friday, June 15th at 11:59pm EST and I will announce winners on Saturday.

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Practice makes...presentable!

I'm not going to call this pouch perfect, but it came together so much more easily than my first zippered pouch!  I'm starting to feel, dare I say it, confident about zippers.  Fear, be gone!  Let me just say this - Kelly's tips in her tute about the zipper size versus the pouch size are super helpful and I will keep those in mind with all future pouches.

Another practice zippy pouch


Even the zipper ends look all cute! I'm so proud of this pouch, and I'm glad I decided to use some fabric I really love, some MoMo Freebird I've been hoarding since I started sewing last year.

Look at that!


This pouch is going to be perfect for carting around all of my coupons!  Right now, it's loaded up with Jo-Ann's coupons, crossing my fingers that today's delivery truck will hold some of the new DS Quilts fabrics.

All my Jo-Ann's coupons, ready to go


I'm still working on gathering some scraps to make a prototype large scrappy/linen make-up pouch for the Pretty {little} Pouch swap, but I'm feeling a lot better about zippers now.  Phew!

{Mis}Adventures with zippers

I decided that this weekend was going to finally be my showdown with zippers.  Naturally, that's when my mother called and announced that she planned to visit for the weekend.  She left around lunchtime yesterday, so I've spent the afternoon trying to tackle a zippered pouch.  I must say, I need practice.  Definitely.  I used Noodlehead's great Gathered Clutch tute, which is so super cute.  Mine is decidedly less cute, although I'm still proud of it.


I made some seriously amateur mistakes on this little pouch.  I think my sewing mojo was elsewhere, between the silly mistakes I made here and the ridiculous mistakes I made on a recent bee block this week.

In attempting to shorten my zipper, I didn't shorten it enough, not knowing quite how to measure the zipper, and rather than going back and shortening it further when I realized my error, I kept on trucking.  Mistake #1.  I've now done a little bit more homework, including reading a really great post on Sew Mama Sew about all things zippers which taught me about how to appropriately measure a zipper (from metal to metal).


I also managed to use my zipper foot backwards.  I didn't think of doing some zipper research on YouTube until just now; next time I tackle something new, I definitely will.  I found a few helpful videos about zipper feet that told me I was using mine all wrong.  I made it work, but it seems that my way was definitely not the right, easier way.

I got my partner for the Pretty Little Pouch swap this weekend, and thankfully, she doesn't have her heart set on a zippered pouch, but I really want to master these rather than shying away.  So, here's your warning - there's going to be more zippers around here!!  If you have a favorite zipper tute, pass it my way, I'd love to see it.  So...I now have my first zippered clutch completed...and though it's fraught with errors, I'm really excited that I have officially sewn a zipper.  Maybe after another two or ten, I won't be scared of them anymore...

And since I feel obligated to show you something beautiful, here's a little something - it's butterfly season around here, apparently.  We've got cocoons all around our house, and a few butterflies have started to emerge this weekend.  My son is absolutely fascinated with these little guys.  When I took my new pouch outside to photograph, I happened to stumble on one of our new little butterfly friends.  Such a pretty one!