I have avoided making bags for years. Yes, I only started quilting 1 year ago, but I have dabbled in sewing for the last 6. While I have been interested in making all kinds of things, a zippered bag seemed too daunting for this newby sewer.
Then one day, while staring at my bookcase of folded fabrics, I decided some picks would just look so much better as a purse or pouch, rather than as a blanket. So, I turned to my trusty Instagram community and dug through other’s projects.
I settled on the Petal Pouch by Noodlehead. The pattern is inexpensive, good for beginners, and gives you two size options.
Above you can see all of the material I found necessary while making this pouch.
I use the wonder clips to hold the pattern in place on the fold of the fabric, while tracing the pattern piece with my fabric scissors. I then cut the design out using my fabric scissors.
I like to add a little interior pocket to my bags. This should be done before putting the bag together. I cut one 3″ x 4″ piece of fusible interfacing, and two 3.5″ x 4.5″ pieces of fabric to make the pocket.
Fuse the interface to the back (wrong) side of one piece of pocket fabric. Place the two pieces of pocket fabric right sides together, and sew around the perimeter, leaving about 2 inches open. Clip the corners, and turn the pocket so right sides are facing out. Use a chopstick (or specialty tool) to push out the corners of the pocket. Pull the corner on either side of the opening taught, and press the natural seam of the opening. Use starch if it helps keep the fabric on that opening folded.
This is also a good place to apply your label, if you have one.
Now it is time to stitch the pocket on to the lining of the bag. Start at the top right corner of the pocket, being sure to back stitch you first few stitches. Try to keep your stitches as close the the edge of the pocket as possible. I like to use a longer stitch length, about 3.5 mm, when topstitching.
End your stitches at the top left side of the pocket, remembering to backstitch at the end.
Now you have all of your pieces ready for assembling. The pattern calls for 1 end tab for the zipper (small rectangles of exterior fabric in the middle of the photo above). I like to use 2, one on each end of the zipper, since I tend to have to shorten my zippers.
Pinning Tip: As a quilter, I usually pin layers of fabric together while laying them flat on my cutting mat. This can be tricky to do with zippers. I found it much easier to hold the layers in one hand, while pinning with the other. Try it out!
Last tip I have for this pouch is a general zipper sewing tip. Being sure to use your zipper foot, pull your zipper to the middle, or opposite end you are beginning your stitches. Once you get close to the zipper, keep the needle down, lift the presser foot, and gently pull the zipper up and past the needle. You can do it, just be patient. Once the zipper is safely away, check your fabric-zipper-fabric layers and re-align if necessary. You can now finish sewing in the zipper without worry of a wonky seam.
There you go! These are the tips and tricks I learned while making the Petal Pouch by Noodle-head! If you are thinking about trying the pattern, but not quite comfortable with zippers, then this is the perfect bag to start with.
Stay tuned for tips on the next bag pattern I try out…
Dorothy | 16th Nov 18
So question – do you know why the instructions say to topstitch only through the exterior fabric? I always topstitch through both to kind of hold everything down away from the zipper. Am I missing something? Thanks for any input. I am planning on making one soon!!
Jess | 19th Nov 18
Hey Dorothy! Good question. I wasn’t sure, so I whipped up another Petal Pouch yesterday, topstitching both the exterior and lining fabric in step 3g. The only step I can see this change causing a bit of frustration is on step 5b, when you are sewing the lining and exterior pieces all together. But it really wasn’t a problem. I also prefer topstitching both the exterior and lining to keep the fabric out of the zipper claws. Hope this helps! They really are cute pouches.
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