Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Embroidered Zipper Pouch: A Tutorial

My cousin is turning 12 this weekend, so I thought I'd feature a fun gift I like to make for people. It has alot of steps, but is pretty easy(ish) and you feel super accomplished after it is all over.
Let's get to it, shall we?

Ok, so you need a bunch of stuff for this. I had it all in my craft room because I am clearly a craftaholic. I'll go through the list of supplies with each step.

The first step when I embroider is to find an image I like. My cousin likes horses, so I found a pretty design on a Google Image search, right clicked the image and saved it. Then I uploaded it to Picnik to add the text.

Next, you need a way to get your image on your fabric for embroidery. My favorite way is to use this water dissolvable stabilizer stuff (you can find it for about $3 at Hobby Lobby, Hancock or Michaels). I then trace my image on the stabilizer.

Next, I pin my stabilizer on my fabric, pick my embroidery colors (threads available at any crafty store and even Walmart for less than $1 each) and get stitching.

If you have never done embroidery before, check out Jenny Hart's site here for awesome ideas (embroidery is not just for grannies, people). That's how I got started. For fellow embroiderers, I used a chain stitch on the text and a back stitch on the horse.

Once you are done stitching (this took me a couple hours), soak your fabric with stabilizer in some water and it dissolves like magic.

Cool. Now you are ready to pick your fabrics and get sewing.
Here's what you need:

pretend the stabilizer is already dissolved on the front exterior piece...

I think most of these fabrics were bought on They have some good sales.

By the way, the tutorial I follow (always!) for sewing pouches can be found on Noodlehead's blog here. If you are nervous about sewing a zipper correctly, she breaks it down nicely. If at anytime I confuse you, click over to this site for better instructions!

Ok, so lay your front exterior fabric on your work surface and put the zipper face down on it with the zipper pull facing left. Lay one of the lining pieces on top of that upside down. Here's your first zipper sandwich (sounds delicious). Put your zipper foot on your sewing machine and sew along the zipper.
Look, now you have one exterior side and one lining side sewed to the zipper--yay!

Then (sorry no pics on this step), lay your back exterior piece down in front of you and put the zipper face down with the pull facing right. Sandwich liner upside down on this, pin + sew.

Now you should have something like this:

Then you are going to fold the exterior fabrics toward each other with a liner on each side to prepare to sew the pouch sides and bottom inside out.

If you are doing the tab on the side (which I think is cute and you can put a keychain on it):
Take the 2"x3" piece of fabric and fold it inside out like a hotdog (yum) and sew it (remember to click over to Noodlehead if I'm confusing you).
Then you turn that right side in and you will have a cute little tab. Fold it in half.
Place the folded tab in the fabric sandwich facing the exterior of the pouch.
Sew the sides.
After you sew the sides, reach up and unzip the pouch halfway. That way when you sew the bottom, you can easily turn it right side out.

Flip right side out and freak out at your awesomeness.

Here's a list of supplies:
*Computer (or another source to find images)
*Super Solvy dissolvable stabilizer
*Sharpie for tracing
*Embroidery thread, needle, scissors
*Fabric (exterior fabric, liner fabric)
*7" zipper
*Sewing machine, scissors, thread


Just Jaime said...

This is so awesome! Lovely work!

Bethany @ A Fish Who Likes Flowers said...

The embroidery is beautiful! You did a great job, I'm sure your cousin is going to love such a thoughtful gift!