Are you ready for round two of the pouch tutorials? Thanks for all your enthusiasm about my Purse Pouch Tutorial, by the way - it's fun to see it put to good use!
The Open Pocket Pouch is actually my preferred method of storing things within a larger bag (such as a diaper bag or tote bag) because it sits stiffly upright and there are no closures to mess with. It's absolutely perfect for holding diapers and a small container of wetwipes, changes of clothes for your baby, small toys, snacks, keys, etc. because it doesn't slouch over and spill its contents. Unless, of course, your child decides to conduct an experiment on the effect gravity has on an open container. But whose child would ever dream of doing that?
By changing the dimensions you could make cute, quick little box/baskets to hold your favorite things in (I'll have to make some and show you the possibilities). But for now, here's how I made this pocket pouch for my friend's upcoming baby shower:
FOR A POUCH MEASURING 9"high x 5"wide x 3" deep:
1) Either cut a single rectangle measuring 20 1/2" long x 8 1/2 inches wide, OR to achieve the look pictured in the sample,
cut 2 pieces 20 1/2" x 3 1/2" and a contrasting piece 20 1/2" x 2 1/2"
2) If using the contrasting strips as shown, sew together now and press seams outward as shown below:
3) Now, using this outer piece (or the single rectangle piece of fabric already cut) as a template, cut out a piece of heavy fusible interfacing (I use DecorBond by Pellon) and a piece of liner fabric the exact dimensions of the original piece.
Following manufacturer's directions, fuse interfacing to the backside of the fabric intended as the outside of the pouch. In this case, it's the one sewn in strips.
As you can tell, I should have done a better job making sure the red+white fabric was squared up before cutting the strips - the design wanders all over the place. Oops. I was in a hurry to make this while Hazel was sleeping, the big kids were playing with our next door neighbors, and before it was time to start dinner.
4) Fold each rectangle on itself, right sides together, and sew a 1/4" seam along both side edges. I recommend starting at the loose corners and sewing down to the bottom where the fold is. This will ensure that you won't end up with uneven edges at the top.
Now you have two separate bags.
5) Using the same method as described in my previous pouch tutorial, square off the bottom corners of the two bags. If you're unsure of yourself, you can draw a line that is perpendicular to the side seam to follow as you sew. Just make sure it's sewn the same way on each corner.
Also keep in mind that the deeper you make your pouch, the shorter and narrower it will end up being. This example is sewn with a depth of almost 3 inches.
6) You are now ready to sew the two bags together. Turn the stiff bag right side out; leave the liner inside out.
Slip the liner over the stiff bag, so right sides face right sides. Pin at side seams so they align properly, as seen below:
7) Stitch the two bags together all the way around the top.
Using seam ripper, rip out stitches on one of the sides of the liner, toward the bottom of the bag. Create a gap about 1 1/2 to 2" wide.
You could also just leave the gap there in the first place, but you don't want to have the hole get too close to the squared off corner. Also, if it's already been stitched, the seam has a little bit of "memory" and you can be sure to stitch it back up again without alignment problems.
8) Gently pull the stiff bag through the hole you just created, until both bags are right side out. Before you tuck the liner inside the stiff bag, you need to stitch it closed.
9) You can do this by slipstitching by hand, or by carefully stitching it along the very edge with the machine. Since I have a fairly deep-seated aversion to sewing things by hand (takes too long), I always opt for the machine method, as seen at right. It doesn't really show because it's at the bottom of the inside of the bag.
10) Tuck the liner inside the stiff bag, and to get the top edge to look all spiffy, carefully press all around top edge. I end up licking the tips of my fingers (for friction) and wiggling the 2 layers to work them down to where they're actually stitched together.
You could staystitch the top edge for extra security, but I have not found that to be necessary with these little bags.
And there you have it - a tidy and darling little workhorse for your big bags and totes!
Here are some examples of some other pouches I've made. For the pink and orange one below, I simply sewed a wide ribbon onto the fabric before sewing the rectangle up into a pouch...an even quicker way to add some fun detailing!