This week while browsing this Online Quilty World I came across pictures of Aneela Hoey’s Double Pocket Pouch. Before reading further you might wish to pop over to Aneela’s blog and read her post about the pouch and, more importantly, check out the pictures. You can find the post here. I want you to go take a look at how a “professional” makes it, as my results were definitely on the amateur side!
It’s quite a straightforward pattern really, so should have been easy-peasy, but the kicker is two tricky techniques both of which being “firsts” for me, and a few steps where I had to read multiple times and read the rest of the pattern over and over so that I could understand what was required.
The first tricky technique is sewing with vinyl. That stuff is like Glad Wrap when placed next to a sewing machine extension table, so I quickly learned to place a piece of card between it and the extension table to allow it to slide gently as it was being sewn. I found that as long as I was sewing with the vinyl sandwiched between fabric pieces it didn’t stick to the needle, and so the hardest bit came when sewing the row of stitches down the centre of the vinyl to create two pockets. The vinyl stuck to the needle and I ended up unpicking lots of nested threads. In the end I placed a facial tissue on top of the vinyl and the sewing was easy again. At the end I ripped the tissue off and moistened the remaining bits of tissue around the stitches and rubbed them off. So that’s my Hot Tip for sewing with vinyl!
The pattern does not give instructions at the cutting stage in regard to directional fabrics. Although it is really easy to see once the pouch is made, I have sometimes been caught out in the past by assuming a certain orientation would be needed and then finding out my pattern is heading in the wrong direction. In this case both lining and exterior fabrics have the longest cut edge as the horizontal when the pouch is fully open and the zipper tab is at the bottom.
Further critique of the pattern is when adding zips to the edges of the vinyl pocket. 8″ zips are called for and the instruction says to place the bottom metal closure of the zip 1/2″ above the end of the edging, however when I did that the top of the zip extended beyond the top of the vinyl pouch. See these two photos to see what I mean:
Having made the pouch now I think the vinyl could be 1/2″ taller (added onto the shortest dimension) and I would probably modify the zip end tabs a little to make them have a nicer finish. (I plan to make a new version of the pouch so check back if you are keen to see what I do!)
In fact, the vinyl pocket is probably 1/2″ too small in the longest dimension too as the left and right edges are supposed to be caught up in the addition of the zip and binding around the outside, but mine don’t quite at the corners, and I had to unpick and resew just to incorporate what I have been able to.
One other complaint about the pattern is in terms of the zipper tab. The pattern assumes that your zip will be 1″ wide but mine was larger, so I modified the instructions and made the tab according to my preferred method. This is no biggie but could throw a beginner. (mind you, any beginner attempting this pattern would be crazy as it’s definitely not beginner territory!)
Sewing the zip around the outside was quite challenging at the corners. It could be to do with my zip which is acrylic and a little chunky, so curving it around tight corners was not very easy. Which brings us to the twisted part of this blog title as despite following the instructions and alignment very carefully I still ended up with the zip being slightly off centre at both top and bottom – see below.
This results in a slightly twisted pouch when closed (photo taken at an extreme angle to show this at its worst – it’s not really this noticeable as you can see from the very first photo in this post):
Usually when I make a mistake I unpick and resew over and over until I get it right. Today I am embracing imperfection and not changing this. I figure that once full of stuff it will not be noticeable, and besides I plan to make another, slightly bigger, quite possibly this afternoon as Gary is working and the Golden Child has school production rehearsals.
Fabric – Tokyo Train Ride for both exterior and lining by Cotton + Steel, binding is Pearl Bracelets in a dusty orange by Lizzie House.
You also need 3 zips, vinyl, fusible interfacing and fusible fleece.
Pattern is definitely for intermediate level and although quite well written could probably do with a rewrite to make some things clearer and maybe even a review of some of the sizings.
All up it took me about 2 hours, but that did include some unpicking and faffing due to confusion.
I think the pattern is a really useful one and quite a neat idea that just needs a bit of finessing. It will be easy to modify and adapt to different sizes. Whilst browsing I saw someone had made a version with a further zip pocket on the outside, which I though was super useful (but without clear instructions I am not sure I have the skills to replicate!).