Monday, 8 August 2011

A simple Pouch Tutorial.

Sewing has many benefits. To many it's a relaxing hobby and a way of creating beautiful things to wear or fantastic furnishings. But to me there is an extra use to being able to sew and that's the ability to make or remake useful little things to help in day to day life. Custom made backs, extra pockets in waistcoats a pillow with a hidden compartment for a frozen gel pack for hot summer nights are just a few examples where my sewing machine has provided me with the means to make my life just a little bit better each day. The most recent example was a pouch. Anyone who has come into the shop on a weekend may have seen me indulge in one of my other passions, magic. I perform quick card tricks to entertain board children of distraught  parents (although how they could be board in a wonderful little fabric shop I have no idea).  I recently picked up the classic trick "The Cup and Balls" for a friend and whist the cups themselves  are beautiful the pouch they came in left a lot to be desired.  They looked like part of a sports kit, hardly suiting for our arcane needs.  And thus the need for a new pouch was born.

Step 1 - Draught a simple pattern. This pouch is going to be made of two panels on the outside and two panels of lining. Therefore  the width of the pattern needs to be half of the circumference of what you'd like to put in the pouch plus twice the seam allowance (once for each side of the pattern) and with about 5 cm extra space for putting your hand in to grab the contents of the pouch.

Step 2 - Fold a piece of fabric for the outer shell  of the pouch in half and do the same for the lining, and then place the pattern on top. Pin Pattern to the fabric and then cut out. Leaving you with 4 panels of fabric, 2 outer pieces and  2 inner.

Step 3- Take one outer panel piece and one panel of the lining and place one on top of the other, right sides together. Pin and then sew along the top. Repeat this for the second outer panel and lining panel

Step 4 - Place the panels on top of each other again, outer panel on top of outer panel, Lining on top of lining right sides togehter. Pin and sew right around the edge leaving a 5 cm gap in one side of the lining.

Step 5 - Turn pouch right side out through the gab in the lining . You should now have a  good idea of if your pouch fits and what it will look like.  Stitch the gap in the lining shut with a ladder or slip stitch (or a regular stitch if no-ones going to see inside it)

Step 6 - Run two parallel stitches near the top of the pouch and gently unpick the side seams  in between the two rows of stitches.  Thread cord in between the two rows of stitches, pull tight. You now have your  pouch.
There are many very beautiful  pouch patterns available.  In particular Vogue do some fantastic patterns which I use for giving Christmas gifts an extra personal touch. However I find this method a great trick for quickly making something special. For  both the commercial patterns  and this simple pouch pattern I highly recommend saving any scraps of nice fabric left over from other projects for use in little projects like this.

If you ever find yourself  wondering about your place in the universe I think the words of the great Technomage- Elric  apply to those of us who sew and craft. "We are dreamers, shapers, singers, makers"

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