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Collect all the materials you will need to complete your bag. Shown here is the pouch fabric, drawstring cord, embroidery threads, beads for the drawstring tassels (separate tutorial, coming soon), applique pieces. Not shown here is the lining and additional applique pieces.
Layout of Embroidery Design
If you are going to embroider the cover of the pouch, do this now. Shown here are the applique pieces in place for embroidery. The embroidery tutorial is coming soon.
Cut Cover and Lining
Determine the size needed for your pouch. In my case used a pack of tarot cards to determine the size. This pouch will be 7″ by 9″. The pouch folds on the bottom so what I need is fabric 7″ x 18″. Be sure to add seam allowances to top and sides for a total fabric size of 8″ x 19″. Cut one piece from your outer fabric and one piece from your lining fabric. I like to press the fold.
Sew the cover up both sides leaving 2″ gap at top.
Sew the lining leaving 2″ from the top on both sides as you did for the cover. NOTE: Only sew part way down one side, leaving a 3″ gap so that you can turn the pouch right side out later.
Pin Cover to Lining
Turn cover of pouch right side out and insert into lining. Pin edges making sure to match up the side seam corners.
Sew Cover to Lining
Sew cover to lining in a [ shape so that you create sewn corners. See detail below.
Sew Cover to Lining Detail
Here you can see the little corner I’ve sewn in.
Clip the corners so that you reduce the bulk of the seam allowances.
Turn Right Side Out
Bring the pouch cover through the 3″ gap that you left in the botton side of the lining.
Finger Press Seams
If using linen you can finger press the linen seam allowance so that it stays open. Note near my thumb how the linen lies flat and towards the corner of the lining it is puckery. Linen can be “ironed” with the heat and pressure of your hands and fingers.
I use a rounded tip chopstick to make my corners pointy. Anything sharper has a tendency to poke through the fabric and can ruin your corner.
Sew Drawstring Channel
You can do this step using a sewing machine but the wool and linen is less forgiving than velvet so I prefer to hand sew the channel. I use a stab stitch or a straight stitch. It is similar to a running stitch but it allows you to have the stitches closer together. See below to note that I stab the needle in and out instead of sewing with the needle.
Sew Drawstring Channel Detail
Detail of the Stab Stitch.
Completed Drawstring Channel
Two rows of Stab Stitching. If you are uncomfortable sewing free hand, please use a water soluble marker and draw in your stitching lines. The marker will leave a turquoise line that, when sprayed with a heavy mist, disappears. I use it on many projects and have never had it ruin my work. If you can iron your work, you can spritz it is my opinion.
Completed Drawstring Channel Detail
Note that I have stitched over the gap at the top of the bag several times before continuing around the pouch. This reinforces the location of the most stress and keeps it from tearing when you pull the drawstring open or closed.
Close Lining Opening
Now to close that 3″ gap.
I use a hidden stitch where I catch one side, then catch the other side. This hides the thread pretty well. You can use a whip stitch if you like.
Hidden Stitch Detail
Here you can see I’ve made several stitches and how nicely they disappear.
You need two cords. Two cords allow you to more easily close the pouch. Note that the drawstring has tape on the ends. This keeps the cord from fraying. It also stabilized the end of the cord so that I can insert a safety pin into the cord without unraveling it. Once you have your safety pin (or you could use a bodkin) insert it into one side of the pouch channel. The pin/bodkin is solid and it gives something to grip through the fabric as you inch your way through the channel. Run the cord around the entire pouch so that both ends exit the channel in the same place. (see below) Insert the second cord into the opposite side channel run it completely around the pouch.
Here you can see both cords exiting on their own sides. I have not finished off the cord ends. You can simply knot the ends if you like and remove the tape and the cord make it’s own little tassel when it unravels. Or you can wait for my tassel tutorial. 😉