Is it too early to talk about Christmas gifts? I generally operate under the principle that the Christmas season does not commence until the day after Thanksgiving, except where music and gift preparations are concerned. And seeing as how I've been teaching Christmas music since July, and playing it since October, I do believe it is high time to get working on some Christmas gifts! For 2012 birthdays, I gifted many of my family members with a handmade zippered pouch, just the right size to hold and protect their fragile booklights. These pouch sizes can be adjusted to hold just about anything, from cell phones to ipads to laptops to coins to make-up. How fun would it be to whip up a couple of these for Christmas and embellish them with only your own creativity and the moon as the limit?
(Those two small rectangles pictured above with the four big ones? Ignore them. You don't need 'em. They were drafted for a embellishment idea I had that failed miserably.)
Outer fabric (I used synthetic leather, fashion denim, and home decor linen for my three different styles. Try to pick something with some weight and stiffness to it.): 2 pieces 9" x 7-3/4"
Lining (I used fleece to cushion and protect): 2 pieces 9" x 7-3/4"
1 zipper, cut to 9"
2 pieces 10" x 5.5"
1 piece 2" x 5"
(Used on the purple flowered pouch along the zipper)
2 Fleece pieces 9" x 1"
If you're doing the bow, pay attention! Otherwise, you get a free trip past "Go": you may collect $200 and move on to the next step.
Take your 2" x 5" rectangle and fold it in half lengthwise, right sides together. Sew along length with a 1/2" seam. Press seam and turn right side out.
Pin the two 10" x 5.5" rectancles, right sides together. Sew along the length of both sides with a 1/2" seam. Press seam and turn right side out.
Slide the ring over the rectangle and arrange until you have a satisfactory bow. Voila! Tack the ring and bow together by hand to keep the shape. Pin to the front rectangle piece of your outer fabric and baste together with a 1/2"seam.
Now it's time to make a fabric lasagna! Start with your outer fabric rectangle, right side facing up. If you're doing a pinked edging, place the 9"x 1" strip on top, keeping edges even. Next, place the zipper, halfway zipped, right side down, edges even, as shown. Top it all with the lining rectangle, right side down. See all those layers? You'll only have three if you're not doing the pinked edging. Pin everything together, taking care to keep the edges even.
Using your machine's zipper foot, sew a straight line along the zipper teeth. Feel for the zipper with your finger, or find a point of reference on your foot to keep a straight seam line that is as close as possible to the zipper teeth. When you reach the zipper fastener, lower the needle into the fabric, raise the foot, unzip the fastener out of the way, lower the foot, and continue upon your merry way!
Once you've finished, your creation should look something like the first five pictures in this set. If it bears no resemblance, I suggest you start looking for your seam ripper, a different gift idea, or better teacher.
Starting with picture six of the above set, you can see the visual for creating the fabric lasagna for the other side of the pouch. You're going to flip the previously sewn fabrics right side out to get them out of the way, and then lay your unsewn outer fabric face up. Upon that, place the other 9" x 1" strip (if you're doing the pinked edge option), the unsewn side of your zipper (face down), and your lining (face down). This pin and sew in the same manner as before.
Catching the vision? Now's a good time to perform a pleased happy dance at the beautiful results already taking shape! Here's where you'll pink those cute little strips to whatever width suits your fancy.
Topstich as closely as possible to the edge to create a lovely finished look and keep the fabric lasagna from shifting.
Unfurl your pouch as shown in the first picture, with right sides of the outer fabric together, and right sides of the lining togther. Simply sew along the perimeter with a 1/2" seam, leaving several inches open in the lining to turn the pouch right side out. Clip the corners and trim the seams and zipper bulk if necessary.
Are you ready? Truly and really?
Turn it right side out. And ladies and gentlemen: we have ourselves a pouch! (Not an authentic pouch, however, until you handsew that lining shut. Let's not get ahead of ourselves!)
This, you see, is the booklight for which these pouches were intended to hold and protect.
What will you put in yours?