Wednesday, June 4, 2014

How to sew a boxy style zippered pouch

I've had a lot of people ask me how I sew my boxy style zippered pouches, so I thought I'd show you.

I found two tutorials that I liked but realized I liked bits and pieces of each one. So, I've combined the best of both and made this. 

Here's how I made this one.

I cut out my pieces which are 10 by 12 inches. I cut out two outer pieces, two liner pieces and two interfacing pieces. I ironed on the interfacing to my outer pieces. 

 pieces ready to go. 

Then, I laid my lining piece (which is orange) right side up and laid the zipper down. Note the zipper pull is right side up and on the right hand side. Then, I laid the outer piece (owls) wrong side down and pinned the edges. This picture above simply shows how the pieces are arranged. 

To do the actual sewing part, you line up the raw edges with the right sides facing together and sew along the top. I sewed where you can see the pins. I just used a 1/4 inch seam allowance and didn't bother with a zipper foot. 

This shows another angle of sewing the zipper. I use a piece of tape to mark my 1/4 inch seam allowance to give me a more accurate line. I make sure not to let the piece of material go past the edge. Remove pins as you sew! 

And here I am sewing to the end. 

If you lift the top, this is what you'll see. 

 Just take the top piece and place the orange part underneath it like this: (below)

Now time to sew the other side.
Make sure the zipper pull is on the left hand side this time, right side up. Then, place the liner piece right side up underneath the zipper. And place the outer side on top, so that right sides are facing. The photo below shows the placement but I've left a gap so you can see. When you get ready to sew, place the top piece along the upper edge like before.

Now, when you get ready to sew this down, the zipper pull may be in your way a little. You can either move it over or leave your pressure foot resting on it so that it bumps down as you sew.

Sew along the edge where the pins are. (except move them out of the way, of course!)

Now top-stitch on both sides for a neat appearance.

The first few bags, I did not sew the interior with the top, but found that sometimes the material would buckle and pinch when I opened the zipper. So, now I sew both sides at the same time.

Next, I take both the exterior pieces and sew them along the raw edge right sides together. Repeat for the interior pieces except leave a three inch space in the middle to turn inside out. Don't forget! (I did, and had to rip out, lol!). It helps to iron the seams flat. This helps so you can prepare to sew the tabs in place.

You'll want to line up the seams on both sides to the middle of the zipper area.  I also press the sides to lay flatter.

Next, sew the tabs in place. You can sew the tabs however you want. I make mine different each time. Sometimes they are wide sometimes they are skinny. This picture shows the raw edge of the tab against the raw edge of the material.

I've made some boxy bags without it and I definitely prefer the tabs. They make it easy to pull the zipper open and they look cute! I sew just the tab in place, back-stitching a few times to make it secure.

Now, you will sew each piece four times worth on each side.

See, the above picture, I am sewing the ends together. There are four separate flaps to sew. When you get to the part that you sewed the tab down, just back-stitch a few times and stop. 

This picture shows all four flaps sewn. The most important thing to remember is before you sew the side with the zipper pull to unzip the zipper to about the middle. I always start with the non-zipper side first. I have forgotten this step before and had to rip out which is not fun! So, DON'T forget! :-) Otherwise, you won't be able to turn it inside out. 

Now it's time to make the boxy corners. You can go here, to learn how.  And another way.I found it hard to explain and take pics at the same time. This is a video on how to do it. You don't have to use her tool. Although, it does look pretty cool! Hmmm.. Something to look into it, lol! mo

I cut it so it measures 2 inches to the point. The first time I made a boxy bag, I did not have one of these cool clear mats and each one of my corners were a different size!. I think they are totally worth it! But if you don't have one, you can just use your ruler to measure the 3 3/4 mark. 

I mark the line with a pencil since it's on the inside and doesn't show. I used to stand up, measure, press and sit down and sew each time. That's getting up and down 8 times! (which is exhausting after awhile) I found I could save energy and pin and sew all at once. 

Sew along the line. Then cut with scissors above 1/4 inch above the sewn line. Do this for all eight corners. 

Now comes the fun part. Trim all the loose strings and turn inside out. I press the liner corners first so they are creased. I found I have to check that everything is sewn right before I sew the lining closed. Otherwise, more ripping out. ;-)

After you sew the lining closed, turn the rest of the way inside out and press! there you have a boxy bag. These are so much fun to make!

I hope I've not left out any steps. If you have any questions, just ask! 

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