Wednesday, April 3, 2013

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"


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.

IMG_4877rt IMG_4878rt

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.


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.

IMG_4883rt IMG_4884rt


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.


IMG_4891 IMG_4896rt

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.


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


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.

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.


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.


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.

IMG_4923rt IMG_4926rt


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.

zipper trim

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.



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.


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.


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.


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

IMG_4941rt IMG_4943rt

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.


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.


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


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. 


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. 


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.


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.



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.


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


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


  1. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  2. sweet little pouch! I so need to make myself a pouch for my handsewing... not sure I'll ever get round to it though!

  3. That looks great! Thanks for sharing a great tutorial.

  4. I must make one of these cute pouches, it would be ideal for my portable sewing kit. Thank you for such a clear tutorial

  5. It`s super cute.Thanks for the tutorial!!

  6. Your pouch is lovely but I was especially interested in how you positioned the zipper tabs slightly differently from many other folks. I am thinking that when you sew up the sides, you do not sew over the tabs but you do sew all the way around? I am going to try to follow your instructions very soon, I am never that happy with how the tabs sit on most pouches. Thank you!

  7. Adorable pouch and great tutorial. Went straight to a special folder in my favorite places!! I needed some gift ideas to whip up during the summer months! Thanks!

  8. What a darling pouch and such nice and detailed tutorial. Thank you.

  9. Okay I am totally confused in the beginning paragraph you write using only 10 charms but is it really 16? I keep reading over it and well I just don't understand.

  10. I believe no one has enough pouches, small zipper bags - whatever one calls them. I know whenever I give them as gifts, they're "sew" appreciated ---in any size.

  11. I LOVE this! I can't wait to get home and make one!!!

  12. I can't wait to make one of these! Love it!

  13. Excellent tutorial! but I must admit I'm distracted by your super fancy manicure. :)

  14. great pouch! i just love that line of fabric. thanks for the tutorial.

  15. Thanks for the nice tut. A zippered pouch can be used for so many things and I liked your hourglass patchwork.

  16. I just love zippy pouches and can't wait to try this one! Love the double hourglass pattern.

  17. Very cute pouch and nice tutorial :)

  18. What a super darling pouch! I love zippered pouches and your's is a must make, hehe. Thanks for a great tutorial and awesome photos as well. Thanks for sharing wirh us, beautiful job!


  19. Thank you for this great tutorial! I will give it a try this weekend!

  20. Thanks so much for the tutorial ~ love those hour glass blocks and the pouch. I've got some Hello Kitty and contrast fabric that I want to make into pouches and think this is just the thing!

  21. I love this. thanks for the tutorial. looking through it makes me a little nervous about cutting the zipper but I will be brave. I love the design on the front and will definitely give it a try. I will be going to Joanns tomorrow to get a zipper.

  22. I love that patchwork block, I don't think I've ever seen it before, thanks!!

  23. Great tutorial:) Love the extra tabs so you don't sew over the zipper ends & makes it look neater too :) really like your work :) Thanks


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Welcome! I'm Elizabeth, mom to a mood teen boy and a chatty six-year-old girl and I sew for my sanity. Let's get to quilting, shall we?
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