Saturday, June 16, 2012

Zig-Zag Pouch Tutorial

When I decided to make a zig-zag pouch for my Modern She Made Swap partner, I searched the inter-webs for how to make zig-zags…I kept coming up with various tutorials that used HSTs or odd triangle stacking shenanigans that I just wasn’t down with for making just a little pouch, and I thought there MUST be a simpler way, so I put my brain to work and reached back to middle school geometry to come up with another way that made more sense to me.  Please note that in no way am I claiming to be the inventor of this method, in fact I’m pretty sure I saw something similar out there recently, but I did find this way easier than all that triangle cutting madness and wanted to put together a tutorial using what worked well for me.  Bare with me as this is my first tutorial so it may be a little rough…please leave me a comment if anything needs to be clarified or if you have any feedback on how I can improve for future tutorials! Hope you enjoy!  J

Zig Zag Pouch Tutorial
**Disclaimer: Please feel free to use my tutorial as much as you'd like for personal use, but please do not use for commercial purposes. If you use my photos or share this in any way, please credit back to me, it's just the polite thing to do!  J **

Materials needed to make an approximately 8” x 6” pouch:
*2 fat quarters for the exterior (you will not use nearly a full fat quarter, you just need enough to get 12 rectangles measuring 2”x6” in each fabric, plus a strip for the wrist strap and scraps for the zipper tabs)
*2- 8” by 6” rectangles for the interior
*8” zipper
*Marking tool
*3” wide 30-45-90 ruler
*Rotary Cutter and mat
*Turning tool
*Hand sewing needle and thread (optional)

  1. Start with 3- 2” wide by 18” long strips of each exterior fabric to trim down into your smaller pieces. 
  2. Cut the strips down so you get 12- 2”x6” pieces of each exterior fabric 
  3. Get two of each of your exterior fabric strips together for your first panel and measure in from the left edge of each of the strips 1.5” and make a small mark 
  4. You will need the strips to be staggered by this 1.5” like this…
  5. Place two strips (one of each fabric) right sides together, matching the long edges and starting the short edge along the mark you made, sew together with ¼” seam allowance 
  6. Sew the other two strips in the same way, then sew these two sets together (make sure to alternate colors). Press your seams open. You should now have something like this 
  7. Using a 3” wide, 30-45-90 ruler, line the 45 degree mark up with the top raw edge and use your rotary cutter to trim the right edge, be sure the width of the ruler fits completely on the fabric on both sides before you cut                                                                                                                             
  8. Now turn it around 180 degrees and again line the 45 degree mark up with the top raw edge and trim the other edge                                                                                                                                      
  9. Your piece should now look like this                                                                                                    
  10. Line the piece up with the vertical lines on your cutting mat, and square off the top and bottom edges so you have a nice rectangle     
  11. Repeat steps to make two more matching rectangles, then repeat the steps again to make 3 more in the opposite direction.  (When measuring in 1.5” to stagger the pieces, measure from the RIGHT instead of the left and stagger in the opposite direction from the first 3 you made as demonstrated below)                                   
  12. You now have 6 rectangles…3 for the front and 3 for the back (sorry, picture only shows 3 of them) 
  13. Take the three rectangles for the front and sew the first two together, making sure to match up the seams and also making sure you’ve got two with angles going in opposite directions.  Now add the third rectangle, again making sure your angles are going in opposite directions and that your seams are matched up. Press seams open and square it up 
  14. Repeat steps so you have a second panel.  Notice in the picture below that in the top one, the angle starts down and in the bottom one the angle starts up…this is so that when you sew the pouch together the zig-zag will continue all the way around
  15. Cut two small pieces for your zipper tabs…you want them at least as wide as the zipper, and about 3 inches long.  Fold them in half with wrong sides facing, matching up the small ends and press.  Place them on the end of the zipper strip so that the folded end goes past the zipper stop, when the pouch is finished you want about a half of an inch or so showing, depending on your preference. Make sure the zipper pull is out of the way and sew across the tab, close to the folded edge
  16. Now line up the edge of the zipper with the top raw edge of the exterior panel with the top side of the zipper facing the right side of the panel, pin in place. 
  17. Line up the edge of the interior panel with the edge of the exterior panel and zipper, now making kind of a “zipper sandwich”, so that the right side of the interior and exterior panels are facing, pin in place (you can remove the other pins now that the whole sandwich is pinned in place) 
  18. Make sure the zipper pull is at least half way open, and using your zipper foot sew close to the teeth of the zipper. When you get to the zipper pull, stop your machine with the needle in the down position, lift your presser foot and carefully pull the zipper back towards the end you’ve already sewn. Continue sewing to the end.  Repeat to attach the other two panels to the other side of the zipper and press the seams. You can top stitch along the edge if you’d like to finish it off nicely (this will also help to keep fabric out of the zipper)                                                                                                          
  19. If you want to have a wrist strap, take a strip of fabric, about an inch wide (or more if you want the strap wider) and twice the length you want your strap to be. Fold in half matching the long edges and press, stitch down the edge and turn the tube right side out (this can be tricky with such a skinny tube…I find using a crochet needle helps along with some tweezers to help pull it through). Press the tube flat and top stitch along the edges                                                                                                 
  20. Now it is time to turn this into a pouch…make sure you leave the zipper open all the way, open up the panels so that the right sides of the interior panels are facing and the right sides of the exterior panels are facing, lining up all of the edges (make sure to try to match the seams for the zig-zags!), pin in place.  For the wrist strap, fold in half, place in between the two exterior panel about an inch or so down from the zipper (or in whatever placement you prefer), and line up the raw edges of the strap with the raw edges of the panels, pin in place                                                                                       
  21. The zipper tabs should be folded toward the exterior panels as I tried to show in this picture. It may help to press it down a bit                                                                                                                   
  22. Sew along the edges all the way around, but leave a few inches open at the bottom of the interior panels. Make sure to back stitch at each end of the opening. Trim the corners and the zipper ends to reduce bulk but be careful not to cut your stitches.  Turn it right side out using the opening you left in the bottom.  Use a turning tool to turn out all the corners.  Fold the edges of the opening in about a quarter inch and press, sew the opening shut by either hand stitching with a slip stitch, or machine stitching close to the edge. (yes, this picture is missing the strap…I actually went back and added it later because I forgot the first time…but, your strap should be on the outside now…) 
  23. Now you can push the lining into the pouch and marvel at your handiwork! 

Have fun playing with the design of this pouch…you can quilt the exterior, make the zig-zags skinnier, make it scrappy, the possibilities are endless! If you do make something with this tutorial, I’d love to see it, so feel free to email me a photo of it J

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