Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along Number Three - Popup Pocket

The Popup Pocket on the Raspberry Rucksack is fully lined and may be the most challenging part of the pattern to sew. So rest assured, if you can sew this, you can sew the rest! I’ve taken lots of photos and broken down each step to aid you in smoothly completing each phase of the Popup Pocket construction.

This tutorial is made specifically to accompany the Raspberry Rucksack, but the techniques are applicable for any bag you wish to add a lined popup pocket!

First, make sure you have all the pieces.

  • Top Pocket outer layer

  • Top Pocket lining

  • Bottom Pocket outer layer

  • Bottom Pocket lining

  • Zipper Ends

  • Single Pull Zip - 7” (17.8 cm) for the Little Raspberry or 9” (22.9 cm) for the Big Raspberry

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten

Fold the Zipper Ends in half and press (you can either press with an iron or just firmly with your fingernail). Then fold both ends in toward the center.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten

Trim off the tails off your single pull pocket zipper (I’m using a cut-to-length zipper so mine doesn’t have tails). At this point, it’s very important to check if the length of your zipper is actually 7” (17.8 cm) for the Little or 9” (22.9 cm) for the Big with the tails cut off. Some zippers are slightly longer than that and will need to be trimmed. Be sure to use one of your not-so-nice scissors to trim the zipper, especially if using a metal zipper

Place the Zipper End directly against the beginning of the teeth and sew them in place. Be careful navigating your needle through the zipper teeth.

Once the Zipper Ends are sewn on, check again to make sure the length of the zipper is still the same.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

Top of the Pocket

Place the zipper face down on the right side of the Top Pocket outer layer. Make sure the zipper is centered and has about 1/2” (1.3 cm) clearance on each side. Place the Top Pocket Lining right side down on top.

So just to be clear here, the outer layer and lining are right sides together, and the zipper is sandwiched in between facing the outer layer.

Sew the length of the seam through all layers with a 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

Fold the lining back. Press the seam allowance toward the lining and edge stitch through all layers.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

Fold each of the four corners right sides together and mark with a fabric pen where the width across is 1 1/2” (3.8 cm). Sew along the line you marked on all four corners.

It should look something like this with all the corners sewn.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

Fold both the outer layer corners toward the center of the long side. Edge stitch both of the outer layer corners along the seam.

Trim all four corner’s seam allowances to 1/4” (6 mm).

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

Fold the whole piece in half with right sides together so that the corners you just sewed are aligned. Here are some photos of what it looks like from different angles.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

With the corners aligned, flatten out the folded bottom edge (this is the zipper flap that will cover the zipper when turned right side out) with your fingers. Sew up the sides leaving a 3” (7.6 cm) gap in the middle. Use a 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

It should look something like this.

Tip: When leaving openings where something will be turned right side out, turn a corner and sew the the edge of the seam allowance. This makes for easier turning with less stress on the fabric.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

Turn the piece inside out through the opening. Shape it to look like this with the zipper flap cover the zipper. Give it a good press with an iron. Neatly press in the seam allowances of the opening. Those will be sewn shut when the Popup Pocket is attached to the front of the rucksack.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

After shaping it and giving it a good press, stitch along the top of the zipper from outer layer side of the piece.

To do this, I move my needle to the far left side of the foot (not all machines have this option - a zipper foot would work well if your machine isn’t able to change the position of the needle). I place the left edge of the foot right along side the zipper (you can just make out the bump under the fabric in the photos) and stitch along the whole length of the piece going slow and steady.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

Here’s a view of the outside and inside of the stitching. You can see from the inside that it just barely catches the edge of the lining. Thankfully no one sees this so it doesn’t have to line up perfectly in the inside. For this stitch it matters more what the outside looks like.

The top of the Popup Pocket is done!

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

Bottom of the Pocket

Fold the zipper flap up (by the way, the ends of those Zipper Ends can be trimmed off at any point).

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

Place the whole top pocket piece you just sewed face down on the right side of the Bottom Pocket outer layer. Make sure that zipper flap is folded back so you don’t stitch through it.

Place the Bottom Pocket lining right side down on top.

So to clarify, the lining and the outer layer are right sides together, and the zipper of the top pocket piece is sandwiched in between the two facing the outer layer.

Sew the whole length of the seam through all layers with a 3'/8” (1 cm) seam allowance.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

Just like the top pocket pieces, fold all four corners with right sides together. Mark where they are 1 1/2” (3.8 cm) wide and stitch along the line.

It should look something like this.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

Again, fold both outer layer corners toward the center of the long side and edge stitch along the seam.

Then trim all four corner seam allowances to 1/4” (6 mm).

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

Fold the whole piece in half so that the corners of the lining and outer layer you just sewed are aligned.

With the corners aligned, sew up the sides with a 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance and leave a 3” (7.6 cm) opening in the top for turning the piece right side out.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

Trim both bottom corners like so and turn the piece right side out.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

Shape it with your hands so it takes the shape of a box and give all the edges a good press with an iron.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

Fold the zipper flap back and edge stitch along the seam.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

Popup Pocket is DONE!

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sewing a lined popup pocket - Sarah Kirsten

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along Number Two - Cutting Pattern Pieces and Fabric

All the pattern pieces of the Raspberry Rucksack are simple rectangles! Here’s what you need to make the pattern pieces.

Firstly, it’s nice to have sturdy paper so the pattern pieces are durable and can be used multiple times. I like to use this brown packaging paper you can find at Joann’s or Walmart or other basic stores. Another good option is freezer paper or any paper that is large enough for the pattern pieces.

Secondly, use a ruler that has a true 90 degree angle. You don’t need to have one of these fiberglass quilter’s rulers, you can use a simple straight edge ruler combined with a piece of typing paper or a book. It’s just helpful to have something that you can use to check if your angles are exactly 90 degrees.

Thirdly, you’ll need a pen and paper cutting scissors.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten

Starting on a straight edge of whatever paper you are using, make a line perfectly perpendicular to the paper’s straight edge. Once you have one straight line horizontally (the papers edge) and vertically (the line you just drew), you can base all of your measurements off of these two lines.

Using the measurements provided in the pattern and these two lines, cut out all the pattern pieces.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten

Once all the paper pattern pieces are cut, you can trace them out on your fabric. Trace around one pattern piece and then lay another piece right next to it so they can share the same line. Less marking, less cutting, less fabric!

You can also be strategic about cutting out the fabric pieces. You can lay the lining and outer layer on top of each other and cut both pieces at the same time. Just be sure to check that both pieces have their grainlines going the same direction. You can get away with cutting two layers stacked on top of each other like this, especially if the lining is a thin material like quilting cotton. I wouldn’t recommend also trying to stack interfacing on however. Cut the interfacing separately.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten

Once all your pattern pieces are cut you can move on to sewing!

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along Number One - Collecting Supplies

The Raspberry Rucksack pattern is due to arrive March 6th! I’m so excited to release this pattern, and I wanted to give you a head start on the supplies needed. This pattern comes in two sizes, Little and Big. Here is the supply list for each.

Little Raspberry

  • ½ yard (0.5 m) - outer layer

  • ½ yard (0.5 m) - lining

  • 1 yard (1 m) - interfacing

  • 3 ½ yards (3.2 m) cotton webbing 1” (2.5 cm) wide

  • 2 rectangle D rings for 1” (2.5 cm) webbing

  • 2 slide adjusters (non-adjustable) for 1” (2.5 cm) webbing

  • 7” (18 cm) single pull zipper

  • 22” (56 cm) double pull bag zipper

  • 40” (1 m) double fold bias tape 1/2” (12.7mm)

Big Raspberry

  • ¾ yard (0.75 m) - outer layer

  • ¾ yard (0.75 m) - lining

  • 1 ½ yard (1.5 m) -interfacing

  • 3 ½ yards (3.2 m) cotton webbing 1” (2.5 cm) wide

  • 2 rectangle D rings for 1” (2.5 cm) webbing

  • 2 slide adjusters (non-adjustable) for 1” (2.5 cm) webbing

  • 9” (23 cm) single pull zipper

  • 32” (81 cm) double pull bag zipper

  • 1 ½ yards (1.4 m) double fold bias tape 1/2” (12.7mm)

Outer Layer

The outer layer should be a heavyweight fabric such as cotton canvas, waxed cotton canvas, heavyweight denim or corduroy, or upholstery fabric.

This bright yellow is 10 oz duck canvas from Joann’s Fabric and Craft.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten

Lining

Using simple quilting cotton works well for the lining. You can use any woven fabric as long as it’s fairly lightweight and brings you joy! It’s nice to use a bright fabric on the inside of bags so it’s easier to find things and it’s like sunshine whenever you peak inside.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten

Interfacing

It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the interfacing department. Don’t over think it. Just choose something medium to thick in stiffness. You want something that has a stiffness similar to thick, nice paper (like card stock) but not something that feels like cardboard. This pattern requires sewing through many layers at one time, so you don’t want to overwhelm your machine with too thick of interfacing.

If you’re using waxed canvas or another stiff outer layer, interfacing may not be needed.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten

Webbing

It’s nice to use thick webbing for this pattern because it gives the bag a really durable and sturdy feel. Pick your favorite color of 1” (2.5 cm) webbing and make sure it’s the same size as the hardware you’re getting! I like to use cotton webbing because of the nice feel, but you can use nylon or other webbing.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten

Hardware

Two rectangle D rings and two (non-adjustable) slide adjusters. You can find these in a bunch of styles and colors and materials. Have fun picking something that matches your fabric and is the right size for your webbing.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten

Zippers

Last and not least, zippers! You need two zippers - a single pull zip for the front popup pocket, and a double pull bag zip for the main compartment. You can use any style of zipper you would like - metal, molded plastic, or coil. This pattern was drafted for a zipper that is 1 1/4” wide (a common zipper width - if you’re ordering online, #5 is the gauge you want to go with.)

Here are some things to know about zippers:

The length of the zipper is defined by the length of the zipper teeth, not the length of the total zipper including the tails on the ends. So if you’re using a cut-to-length zipper, you will want to add an additional 1/2” or 3/4” to each end for some extra breathing room on the double pull bag zip. For the pocket zip, it needs to be exactly 7” (Little) or 9” (Big) and the tails actually get cut off anyway, so you don’t have to worry about adding extra.

It can be somewhat difficult to locate double pull bag zips. Surprisingly difficult actually. Jacket zips are much more common. The good news is that many jacket zips can be turned into bag zips. Let me show you how.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten

Here is a visual of the difference between bag zips and jacket zips. Bag zips are open in the middle and are closed on the sides (just think of how a duffle bag zips!). A jacket zip is open on the sides and is closed in the middle.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten

Not all zippers can be changed like this - but molded plastic can! If you have a jacket zip you want to change to a bag zip, simply zip one of the zipper pulls right off the end (you may have to cut the end of the zipper). Then turn the zipper around so you’re holding the open teeth on the other end. Turn the zipper pull around so the wide end is facing the open teeth. Insert each side of the teeth into the wide end of the zipper pull and then slide it on. Be sure to check if the teeth are lined up properly. Sometimes one end gets longer or shorter than the other. Simply take the zipper pull off and reinstall if the teeth aren’t even on the first try.

Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten
Raspberry Rucksack Sew Along - Sarah Kirsten

One more note about zippers. You see how the red zip on the left is 1 1/2” wide and the orange zip on the right is 1 1/4” wide? That has to do with their gauge. See how much larger the teeth are on the red zipper? Online you often see zippers advertised by a number. Something like “Lime green coil zipper #7.”

The red zipper on the left is #10 molded plastic and the orange zipper is #5 molded plastic. For this pattern, #5 is what you want.

Most longish zippers you find in the stores are #5, so I don’t worry too much if you’re shopping local. But if you’re ordering online the numbers can be confusing so bare that #5 in mind.

If you like this orange molded plastic zipper in all these photos, I am going to be offering it for sale when I release the Raspberry Rucksack Pattern!

Here’s another online zip resource with a wide variety of good options and an easy ordering process: Zipper Source.

Bias tape

Bias tape is used to bind the raw edges of the very last seam in the Raspberry Rucksack. You can either make your own out of your lining material, or you can buy double fold 1/2” (12.7 mm) bias tape in a matching or contrasting color! The seam it’s going on has a seam allowance of 3/8” (1 cm. If you’re making your own, the strip should be 1 1/2” (3.8 cm) wide.

That’s it!

You’re well on your way to having your own Raspberry Rucksack! More posts in the sew along series will be trickling on in the next few days as I get ready to launch. Release date is March 6th!

Using Two Threads as an Alternative to Top Stitching Thread

The fantastic Sophie of Ada Spragg posted in her Instagram stories last year about using two threads as an alternative to top stitching thread. I’ve employed the trick on a few pairs of pants since and have been delighted with the results.

Simply thread the machine as normal and put both threads through the needle. If you don’t have two spools of the same color thread, you can wind two bobbins and use one of them in place of the second spool.

Play around with the tension and stitch length on some scrap fabric until the stitches are just right.

Use two spools of regular thread instead of top stitching thread - Blog by Sarah Kirsten
Use two spools of regular thread instead of top stitching thread - Blog by Sarah Kirsten

How to Sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam. Both of these seams are commonly used on jeans and other heavy fabrics.

Flat Felled Seams

How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten

1) Sew fabric with wrong sides together using a 5/8” seam allowance.

How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten

2) Press open seam.

How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten

3) Trim one side of the seam allowance to 1/4”.

How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten
How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten

4) Fold the seam allowance of the longer side in so the two raw edges meet in the middle (or fold the long side over the short side and overlap the raw edges). Press.

How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten

6) With the longer seam allowance folded in, fold the flap over so the raw edges are tucked away. Press.

How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten
How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten

7) Edge stitch 1/8” from the folded edge.

How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten

Here’s a view of the right side and wrong side.

How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten
How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten

Double Lapped Seams

How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten

1) With both pieces of fabric right sides up, overlap the edges 1/2”. (Obviously, depending on your preference, you can use a wider or narrower seam allowance than shown here.)

How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten
How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten
How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten
How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten

2) Making an ‘S’ shape, fold the seam over so both raw edges are tucked inside. Press.

How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten
How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten
How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten

4) From the right side of the fabric, edge stitch 1/8” from the folded edge.

How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten

5) From the right side of the fabric, sew a second line of stitching 1/2” away from the first line of stitching (or whatever width you choose to overlap the fabrics in the first step) so it just catches the edge of the fold on the wrong side of the fabric.

Here’s a view of the right side and wrong side.

How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten
How to sew a Flat Felled Seam and a Double Lapped Seam  - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten

Pros and Cons

Flat Felled Pros:

  • Easy to get a consistent seam allowance in the initial step.

  • Only takes 2 lines of stitching per seam.

Double Lapped Pros:

  • The seam lays flat because each row of edge stitching is going through the same amount of layers.

  • Easy to edge stitch and keep the ‘S’ fold managed while sewing for consistent results.

  • Can use a smaller seam allowance than Flat Felled seams.

Two ways to sew flat felled seams - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten

Flat Felled Cons:

  • Somewhat challenging to make sure the raw edge of the longer seam allowance stays tucked in and gets sewn down in the edge stitching.

  • The seam looks a little bubbled in thicker fabrics because the first line of stitching is only through 2 layers and the second line is through 3 layers.

  • Requires an extra step of seam allowance trimming.

  • Requires at least a 5/8” seam allowance.

Double Lapped Cons:

  • Somewhat challenging to get a really consistent overlapping seam allowance width in the initial step - although marking a line with chalk or a fabric pen greatly helps.

  • Requires 3 lines of stitching per seam.

Two ways to sew flat felled seams - Sewing tutorial with lots of photos from Sarah Kirsten

8 Denim Jean Jacket Sewing Patterns

Ever since sewing my orange Persephone Pants, I’ve wanted to make a bright orange jean jacket. If you’re wanting to make a jean jacket too, here are 8 pattern ideas and some color block denim inspo at the end.

Both the titles and photos have active links to where you purchase each pattern and read more about them.

1) Hampton Jean Jacket by Alina Design Co.

There are lots more great photos of this jacket on the Instagram hashtag #hamptionjeanjacket

 
8 Denim Jean Jacket Sewing Patterns - Sarah Kirsten Blog
8 Denim Jean Jacket Sewing Patterns - Sarah Kirsten Blog
 
8 Denim Jean Jacket Sewing Patterns - Sarah Kirsten Blog
 

7) Women's Jean Jacket McCall's M4385 - (Appears to be out of print but still available through Ebay and Etsy.)

8 Denim Jean Jacket Sewing Patterns - Sarah Kirsten Blog
 
M7729_01.jpg
 

INSPO

Since first conceiving of the idea to make a bright orange jacket, I’ve collected more denim jacket inspo. Here are some favorites. To see more, I have a whole Pinterest board!

4 Free Underwear Patterns

Into having an abundance of comfortable, cotton undies? Yeah, me too. I scoured the internet to find the best free undies patterns and narrowed it down to these four. This year I want to get more comfortable sewing knits (if you haven’t noticed I tend to gravitate toward thick, woven fabrics around here haha). Undies seem like a good place to start, so if you’re also wanting experiment with sewing knits more, we can work on these undie patterns together!

1) The Acadia Underwear by Megan Nielsen Patterns.

How to Make Easy Fabric Pouch Packs for Travel, Storage, and Organization

These little pouch packs are ideal for storing and organizing flat things like clothes. They can be made in any size, but the small ones make excellent usage of fabric scraps.

Simple and quick to make. Here’s how to do it:

(PS - Yes, a PS in the middle of a blog post! These pouch packs are great for flat things, but if you’re looking for pouches for non-flat things, check out my free Boxy Pouch Pattern Calculator and instructions and Pear Pouch Pattern.)

1) Cut fabric to your chosen length and width. (Details and instructions on how to get the right measurements for any object at the bottom of the post!)

How to make an easy pouch for travel and organizing clothes - Tutorial by Sarah Kirsten

2) Hem the top and bottom with a double rolled hem 1/4” (or more) wide.

How to make an easy pouch for travel and organizing  - Tutorial by Sarah Kirsten
How to make an easy pouch for travel and organizing  - Tutorial with lots of photos by Sarah Kirsten

3) Fold the bottom up so it covers the entire length of the object for which the pouch pack is being made. Fold with wrong sides together.

How to make an easy pouch for travel and organizing  - Tutorial with lots of photos by Sarah Kirsten

4) Fold the top flap down over top.

How to make an easy pouch for travel and organizing  - Tutorial with lots of photos by Sarah Kirsten

5) Sew up both sides with a 3/8” seam allowance.

_MG_1651.jpgHow to make an easy pouch for travel and organizing  - Tutorial with lots of photos by Sarah Kirsten

6) Fold the pouch pack inside out.

How to make an easy pouch for travel and organizing  - Tutorial with lots of photos by Sarah Kirsten

7) With the pouch pack inside out and right sides together, sew up the same sides again with a 1/2” seam allowance, being sure to totally encase the raw edges within the new seam.

You can use different seam allowances than what I used in step 5 & 7. Just be sure the allowance you use in the initial seam is smaller than allowance you use in the second seam. That way the raw edges are sure to be encased.

How to make an easy pouch for travel and organizing  - Tutorial with lots of photos by Sarah Kirsten
How to make easy travel pouch packs - Tutorial with lots of photos by Sarah Kirsten

8) Turn the pouch pack right side out and it’s done!

How to make an easy pouch for travel and organizing  - Tutorial with lots of photos by Sarah Kirsten
How to make easy travel pouch packs - Tutorial with lots of photos by Sarah Kirsten
How to make easy travel pouch packs - Tutorial with lots of photos by Sarah Kirsten
How to make easy travel pouch packs - Tutorial with lots of photos by Sarah Kirsten
How to make easy travel pouch packs - Tutorial with lots of photos by Sarah Kirsten
How to make easy travel pouch packs - Tutorial with lots of photos by Sarah Kirsten

How to Measure the Fabric

These pouch packs can be made in any size! To fit the pouches to a specific object, here’s how to do it.

1) Measure the length and width of the object (note these pouches do work best with relatively flat things like folded clothes, etc.). The width of the fabric should be the width of the object, plus some wiggle room, plus the seam allowance for French seams. I recommend 1 3/4” so you can use 3/8” seam allowance on the first seam and 1/2” allowance on the second seam.

2) Measure the length of the object. Multiply the length by 2, plus 1/3 the length of the object for the top flap to overlap, plus the hem allowance. In this illustration I made the double rolled hem allowance 1/4”, but obviously you could make it larger than that if you wish.

Here’s an example:

The object I want to make the pouch pack for is 5” wide and 10” tall.

The width of the fabric should be 5” + 2” (for wiggle room) + 1 3/4” = 8 3/4”

The length of the fabric should be (10)2 + 10/3 + 1” = 24.33 => 24 3/8”

How to make easy travel pouch packs - Tutorial with lots of photos by Sarah Kirsten
How to make easy travel pouch packs - Tutorial with lots of photos by Sarah Kirsten

One Thing Every Sewing Table Needs

Things on my sewing table - Sarah Kirsten

It’s commonly known that sewing is messy business. It’s also commonly known that people generally think more clearly and are more productive in a non-messy environment. The little threads and fabric snips that get scattered everywhere are what bog me down the most. They make my sewing environment feel unorganized. But a solution presented itself unexpectedly two years ago.

Things on my sewing table - Sarah Kirsten

Vivian Shao Chen and I somehow became Instagram friends and I got my hands on one of her little creamers through a giveaway. When I unwrapped the package, it filled my heart as much with joy as it filled my hands with it’s weighty clay. I loved it so much I wanted to employ its usefulness in a way I could see it and use it on a daily basis.

Things on my sewing table - Sarah Kirsten
Things on my sewing table - Sarah Kirsten

It’s been sitting near my sewing table, collecting all the threads and fabric snips from sewing projects since. I empty it out when a project is finished, or when it gets too full, and set it back where it belongs - ready to collect threads from my next project. It has helped me maintain a level of neatness in my sewing area so I can concentrate on the important things with minimal distractions.

Things on my sewing table - Sarah Kirsten
Things+on+my+sewing+table+-+Sarah+Kirsten

I’ve been thinking about the importance of surrounding ourselves with high quality things lately. That’s partly why I made the Black Walnut Point Turners a few weeks ago. I feel like a better quality person and feel motivated to do better quality work when I surround myself with good quality things. I’m so delighted to have Vivian’s little creamer on my sewing table, catching all my loose threads and keeping me tidy. Her high quality little ceramic creamer helps me make high quality things with my sewing machine.

Vivian makes limited edition ceramic pieces and recently opened up an online shop if you’re in the market for your own sewing table thread container. She also has a beautiful Instagram account and posts interesting stories about the process if you like beautiful photography and ceramics.

Website: vivianshaochen.com

Instagram: @vivianshaochen

Wearing Yoke Handmade

Hemp shirt from Yoke Handmade - Sarah Kirsten

Since clearing out my closet a few months ago (I wrote a post about that experience here), I’ve been more conscious of the clothing I bring into my wardrobe. One of the most recent pieces I’ve added is this Silver Dollar Top by Yoke Handmade. This is a special shirt for me to own because I’ve been following the owner, Kellen, since she started working on the designs for Yoke Handmade. It was fun to see parts of her drafting process, and now to hold and touch and wear one of her pieces.

Yoke Handmade - Organic Hemp Top
Yoke Handmade - Organic hemp shirts

Each piece is beautifully sewn in her home studio with tiny French seams and neatly pressed hems. It’s made out of lovely 100% organic hemp. The way the light filters through the ivory fibers, illuminating the delicate weave, it’s quite captivating.

Hemp shirt from Yoke Handmade - Sarah Kirsten
Yoke Handmade - Organic hemp shirts

What I love about this top is it can be dressed up or down (which is so good if you’re trying to keep a small wardrobe!) I’ve been wearing a lot of athletic clothes lately (hello joining the gym!). It pairs both with my high waisted running shorts and leggings and my high waisted nice jeans.

This is one of the few pieces of clothing I have in my wardrobe that I got brand new and didn’t sew myself. it’s a treat to have in my closet.

Hemp shirt from Yoke Handmade - Sarah Kirsten
Hemp shirt from Yoke Handmade - Sarah Kirsten
Hemp shirt from Yoke Handmade - Sarah Kirsten
Hemp shirt from Yoke Handmade - Sarah Kirsten
Hemp shirt from Yoke Handmade - Sarah Kirsten

Interviewed by Aningri.com

A few months ago, the jewelry designer Aningri (who also happens to be my sister) reached out and asked if I would like to do an interview with her. I, of course, said yes with enthusiasm. I have been an owner of an Aningri Work Ring since she first launched her company last summer. It’s the only piece of jewelry I wear on a regular basis. So naturally, I was thrilled when she asked me for an interview.

Here’s an excerpt:

How did you get to where you are now in your work?

It took me a long time to get to a place emotionally where I was willing to sell my patterns. Drafting has always been natural to me. Visualization of shapes and sizes angles and the interfaces of 3D objects has always made sense in my head, so I didn’t realize for a long time that it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. And then there was the whole thing of feeling strange because I realized I had a talent that others didn’t and figuring out how to deal with that was difficult. I finally came to a place where I realized that in order to fully embrace who I am I need to fully embrace my talents. Along with that I’ve realized that walking fully in our talents is the best way we can serve others.

What is the value of being yourself in your work?

I think when you're in any field, but especially in design, it's so important to remember that no one else can create something exactly like you can. Even if you have similar design ideas to someone else, the way you construct the design is different. You bring uniqueness simply because you are a unique being. I think the more we are willing to be in touch with our uniqueness the more of ourselves shows up in our work, and the more valuable our work becomes. Ultimately realizing that we are talented, we have things to bring to the table, we are unique -- that's the value of being myself in my work.

To read the full interview, click here.

If you’re in the market for a simple, beautiful, low profile ring that doesn’t get snagged on fabric or in the way of your other making, check out Aningri’s Work Ring. I’m so happy I own one. Thank you, Anna, for having me in your interview series and for making such beautiful jewelry that makes me feel like me.

Website: Aningri.com

Instagram: @_aningri

Aningri Work Ring - Sarah Kirsten

Shipping Physical Products

It was my first time shipping out a physical product, the Black Walnut Point Turners (which sold out 2 hours after officially putting them up for sale - Thank you to everyone who expressed interest and made a purchase!). I wasn’t sure how the packaging would go at first, but I quickly realized it was a whole new opportunity to hone and define my brand and decide what my brand embodies in a physical way. Until this point it has only embodied a digital, visual presence. The experience kind of took me aback. I really didn’t know what my brand looked like in physical form. I’m still not sure, but it’s fun to be on the discovery process.

Beautiful Packaging of Physical Products - Sarah Kirsten

I can’t say I have it all figured out yet, but I can say confidently that I’m figuring it out and learning some things on the way. I set my sewing machine on the floor, cleared off my little seamstress table, and gathered up some string, tissue paper, linen fabric scraps, nice paper for handwritten notes, my favorite brown paper envelopes, and set to work.

Beautiful Packaging of Physical Products - Sarah Kirsten

Before too long I had a big bundle of packages ready to be taken to the post office. Well, actually, being honest, this took me a series of several days from conception of the packaging materials and methods to finally visiting the post office (and holding up the line for 20 minutes while each package was posted. Next time I think I’ll try a home shipping service… ).

Beautiful Packaging of Physical Products - Sarah Kirsten
Beautiful Packaging for Physical Products - Sarah Kirsten

This was sort of a test to see how physical products would sell, and how much I enjoyed shipping them. I think it’s always good to have multiple avenues of income as an entrepreneur. This ended up being quite fun, so I’m excited at the possibility of selling more physical products in the future.

They're Here! Handmade Black Walnut Point Turners

They are HERE! I just added a limited quantity of Black Walnut Point Turners to my shop. (See previous post for details and photos of how I made them.)

Click here to shop Black Walnut Point Turners

Point turners are really useful for making corners crisp and sharp after sewing something with a corner or point and turning the fabric right side out. The sharp end of the turner effectively and efficiently forces the stubborn fabric of the seam allowance up against the stitching of the seam and causes the corner to expand to it’s full and intended potential.

In previous years I’ve used pens and accidentally left ink marks on the fabric, pencils with broken tips that never quite got the corner as crisp as I wanted, and the tips of scissors and accidentally cut through the fabric. All horror stories!

Point turners are an excellent addition to your set of sewing tools to keep handy by your sewing machine. Each one is unique and has slightly different color and size variation. If you’d like to grab one for your sewing table, grab one quick! Half of them pre sold before I even posted them for sale!

SHOP Black Walnut Point Turners

Handmade Wooden Point Turners

Handmade Wooden Point Turners for Sewing - Sarah Kirsten

Isn’t it lovely to surround yourself with handmade things? They feel so special to hold and to use. They have so much more character than store bought items. To that end, I’ve been wanting a point turner for awhile but didn’t want to buy any of the ones I found at local stores.

Rummaging around a stack of salvage lumber in our workroom, I found this beautiful piece of black walnut wood. I asked my parents where it came from and they said they rescued several pieces when a school was disposing of an old piano several years ago. I’m not sure what happened to the rest of the piano, but this wood is just beautiful.

After making myself a point turner, there was enough board left over to make a few more! I’m offering the limited number for sale in the next few days. In the meantime, here’s a photo summary of how I made them.

Handmade Wooden Point Turners - Sarah Kirsten
Handmade Wooden Point Turners - Sarah Kirsten
Handmade Wooden Point Turners - Sarah Kirsten
Handmade Wooden Point Turners - Sarah Kirsten
Handmade Wooden Point Turners - Sarah Kirsten
Handmade Wooden Point Turners for Sewing - Sarah Kirsten
Handmade Wooden Point Turners for Sewing - Sarah Kirsten
Handmade Wooden Point Turners for Sewing - Sarah Kirsten

I used a bandsaw for all the steps above and used a table sander to round all the edges and to carve the tip down to a sharp(ish) point on both the front and back. Having a sharp point is helpful to push out stubborn corners effectively.

Handmade Wooden Point Turners for Sewing - Sarah Kirsten
Handmade Wooden Point Turners for Sewing - Sarah Kirsten
Handmade Wooden Point Turners for Sewing - Sarah Kirsten
Handmade Wooden Point Turners for Sewing - Sarah Kirsten

There is a very limited quantity of these available if you are interested in snagging one for your sewing table! If you would like to be notified immediately when they are available (verrrry soon! Like, tomorrow!), feel free to sign up for my mailing list!

Handmade Wooden Point Turners for Sewing - Sarah Kirsten

The Easiest Way to Sew Zipper Ends

Whether you are using a cut-to-length zipper (my personal favorite) or a regular zipper, the need sometimes arises to sew a nice fabric patch on the end of the zipper. Of all the ways to do this (most are terribly frustrating), this is the best method I’ve used. It’s reliable - works every time. It’s quick - only takes about a minute total. It looks neat - no raw edges which makes it good for a variety of applications. And best of all, it’s the least fussy - it’s easy to get the fabric lined up and sewn straightly.

Here’s how to do it.

1) Cut a rectangle of fabric about 4” (10 cm) long and 1/2” (1.3 cm) wider than the width of the zipper.

The easiest way to sew zipper ends - Tutorial by Sarah Kirsten

2) Fold the rectangle in half with right sides together. Sew both sides with a 1/4” (0.64 cm) seam allowance.

The easiest way to sew zipper ends - Tutorial by Sarah Kirsten

3) Turn the fabric right side out.

_MG_0765.jpg

4) Fold the top inside the little pouch so that the top of the fabric reaches all the way to the bottom.

The easiest way to sew zipper ends - Tutorial by Sarah Kirsten

5) Make sure the folded edge of the pouch is even all the way around. Insert the zipper inside. (Note: Depending on the application you’re using it for and the type of zipper, you may want to remove some zipper teeth so you don’t sew over them.)

The easiest way to sew zipper ends - Tutorial by Sarah Kirsten

6) Stitch near the top of the pouch through all layers.

The easiest way to sew zipper ends - Tutorial by Sarah Kirsten

That’s it! You’re done.

In my free Pear Pouch Pattern I use a different method, but this would be an excellent alternative. In fact, this is, simply put, a better method. More reliable and less fussy all around.

Getting My Closet Down to 106 Pieces

The joys of a small wardrobe - Getting my closet down to 106 pieces - Sarah Kirsten

I recently ran across an infographic on Pinterest. A woman started with 450 items in her closet and pruned it down to 65. It got me thinking… what’s in my closet?

I counted, it was about 200.

It would be a stretch for me to get down to 65 pieces. I need clothes for Iowa summers, winters, springs & falls (if you’re not familiar with Iowa weather, it ranges from humid and hot to bitter cold), clothes for farm work (I live on a sheep farm), clothes for outdoor activities (kayaking, climbing, cycling, running, swimming, hiking, camping, etc), nice clothes for going out and about, clothes for staying home and being cozy. It feels like a lot of targets to hit. Many of the categories overlap though. The clothes I like to take on cycling or climbing trips are similar to what I wear on normal summer days, for example.

With the goal of getting my closet number as low as I could stand, I pulled out clothes:

  • I don’t actually like

  • I feel obligated to keep

  • I like and hope to wear someday but never do

  • I used to like but don’t wear anymore

  • I don’t feel happy wearing or looking at on my shelves.

I was able to purge around 90 pieces and get my wardrobe down to 106.

The benefits of pruning my closet down to 106 pieces - Sarah Kirsten

So, what’s in my closet?

I’ve divided my wardrobe into categories of uses. These are:

Everyday - wearing around the house.

Workout - gym, etc.

Adventure - cycling trips, climbing, kayaking, hiking, etc.

Farm - farm work and daily chores (and other messy things like painting, etc).

Nice - going out with friends, on trips, going out for tea or errands, etc.

Here’s what’s in my closet:

  • 8 shorts - everyday / workout / adventure / farm / nice

  • 11 pants - everyday / workout / adventure / farm / nice

  • 7 long sleeve tops - everyday / workout / adventure / farm

  • 11 short sleeve tops - everyday / farm / nice

  • 7 tank tops - everyday / workout / farm / nice

  • 12 button up shirts / jackets - everyday / adventure / farm / nice

  • 1 vest - nice

  • 9 sweaters - everyday / farm / workout / adventure / nice

  • 3 wind breakers - workout

  • 2 rain jackets - nice

  • 2 winter coats - everyday / nice

  • 19 dresses - everyday / nice

  • 8 skirts - everyday / nice

  • 6 jumpers - everyday

Getting my closet down to 106 pieces - Sarah Kirsten

Insights

I’m so glad did this because it give me some valuable insights into my wardrobe. I will quickly outline them here:

1) It helped me realize what I need to work on sewing/adding to build a strong, well rounded closet. I need more nice jeans, more gym clothes.

2) My room is a happier place and I’m a happier person without things I don’t actually like sitting on my shelves.

3) Getting dressed in the morning takes less time and is more (way more) fun.

4) Only 7 pieces in my closet are things I bought new. The rest are sewn, thrifted, or secondhand from family and some friends. I don’t know if that’s good or bad but it’s just interesting!

5) I would like to transition my closet to almost all memade items. It just feels nice to surround yourself with good quality clothes that are made by you.

6) Much of my summer wardrobe is memade and most of my winter wardrobe is not. It would be nice to even the balance.

7) Since I work from home, I tend to not wear my nice clothes around the house in case I want to wear them out in the evenings or weekends. I want to keep them fresh so I have options. My epiphany while cleaning was if I just MADE myself more nice things (if I had more than 2 pairs of nice jeans) then I could wear nice clothes around the house AND have nice clothes to wear out and about. Revolutionary.

8) Echoing #7, I’m happier when I wear nice clothes around the house. They make me feel good.


With some practice I think I can get my wardrobe number even lower. I already feel myself being more willing to give things up after experiencing a taste of the joy of only having what you really love. I’m so happy I cleared out my closet!

PS - I wasn’t exactly sure where to draw the line on the numbers, so I want to just mention that I also have 6 swimming suits (I do wear them all…), snow pants and jacket for winter sports, 5 pieces for cycling - shorts, jersey, winter leggings, rain jacket, and rain pants —-and lastly some insulated winter overalls and a coat both used for farm chores.

How to Repair Work Gloves with Holes in the Fingers

How to repair work gloves with holes in the fingers. Tutorial with lots of photos - Sarah Kirsten

Three winters ago my mom bought me a new pair of leather gloves for the daily farm chores. They have been my best pair yet, but unfortunately they are already full of holes in almost all the finger tips. I think mine are a little beyond the repair stage (practically speaking). It’s an on-going problem — farm gloves that wear out too quickly.

Our neighbor said he has the same problem with his farm gloves and sent me this video of how to repair them. The video made it look so simple that I wanted to try it out. I asked if I could repair his gloves. It turns out it IS really simple and surprisingly easy. Here’s how to do it.

How to repair work gloves with holes in the fingers. Tutorial with lots of photos - Sarah Kirsten

1) Turn the gloves inside out and seam rip around the panel containing the hole.

How to repair work gloves with holes in the fingers. Tutorial with lots of photos - Sarah Kirsten

2) Cut out the piece with the hole.

How to repair work gloves with holes in the fingers. Tutorial with lots of photos - Sarah Kirsten

3) Using the piece with a hole as a pattern, cut out a new piece of leather (or fabric). Make the new piece 1/4” - 3/8” | 0.64 - 1 cm longer than the piece you cut out from the glove.

How to repair work gloves with holes in the fingers. Tutorial with lots of photos - Sarah Kirsten

4) Overlap the new piece with the existing finger panel and zigzag stitch them together along both edges (the edge of the new piece and the edge of the existing piece).

How to repair work gloves with holes in the fingers. Tutorial with lots of photos - Sarah Kirsten
How to repair work gloves with holes in the fingers. Tutorial with lots of photos - Sarah Kirsten

5) Starting from the top of the finger, sew down each side. Stitch over the whole thing 2 - 3 times to reinforce the stitching.

How to repair work gloves with holes in the fingers. Tutorial with lots of photos - Sarah Kirsten

7) Turn the glove right side out and admire the new finger!

How to repair work gloves with holes in the fingers. Tutorial with lots of photos - Sarah Kirsten
How to repair work gloves with holes in the fingers. Tutorial with lots of photos - Sarah Kirsten

- Alternative Method -

On the thumb I tried a different method, and I ended up liking it more. Instead of cutting out the old piece just add a new piece on the outside and sew it back up!

1) Seam rip around the panel containing the hole (or in this case, the soon-to-be-hole) and cut a matching piece of leather that extends past the holey area.

How to repair work gloves with holes in the fingers. Tutorial with lots of photos - Sarah Kirsten

2) Zigzag stitch the bottom of the new piece to the outside of the existing piece.

How to repair work gloves with holes in the fingers. Tutorial with lots of photos - Sarah Kirsten
How to repair work gloves with holes in the fingers. Tutorial with lots of photos - Sarah Kirsten

3) Starting from the top of the finger, sew down each side. Stitch over the whole thing 2 - 3 times to reinforce the stitching.

How to repair work gloves with holes in the fingers. Tutorial with lots of photos - Sarah Kirsten

4) Turn the glove right side out and you’re done!

How to repair work gloves with holes in the fingers. Tutorial with lots of photos - Sarah Kirsten

Ready for another cold winter on the farm :)

How to repair work gloves with holes in the fingers. Tutorial with lots of photos - Sarah Kirsten

How to Easily Sew Any Size Boxy Pouch - The Math Formula Explained

Ever wondered how to do the maths to make a boxy pouch any size you want? Here’s how to do it. It’s quite simple actually. (Alternatively, if you want instructions on how to sew these pouches, head to the Pouch Pattern Calculator.)

Free Pouch Pattern Calculator - Here's how to do the math to make any size boxy pouch.
Free Pouch Pattern Calculator - Here's the math on how to make a pouch any size you want.

To figure out what length to cut the pattern piece, add your desired finished length to your desired height, plus four times the seam allowance you are going to use (if you are not using French seams, only use two times the seam allowance). The width of the pattern piece is two times your desired width plus two times your desired height plus two times the seam allowance.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say I want a pouch 8” long, 4” wide, 3” high, and to use a 0.5” seam allowance.

Length (of pattern piece) = 8” + 3” + (4 x 0.5”) = 13”

Width (of pattern piece) = (2 x 4”) + (2 x 3”) + (2 x 0.5”) = 15”

How to sew any size boxy pouch - the math made easy. By Sarah Kirsten
How to easily sew a boxy pouch any size you want - the math formula explained. By Sarah Kirsten

It’s slightly confusing because often the length of the pouch turns out to be the shorter sides of the pattern piece (not in every case however… it depends what dimensions you design your pouch). Don’t let that confuse you though. The “width” of the pattern piece is so long because it functions as the top, bottom, and both sides of the pouch while the “length” only functions as the length and half the height on each side.

Important note on the sewing: If you are using French seams on the corners, be sure that the height of the first seam on each corners is one seam allowance width shorter than your desired finished height - otherwise the pouch will turn out higher but narrower and shorter than you wanted. For example, if you want the pouch to be 5” high and are using a seam allowance of 0.5”, sew across the corners where the height is 4.5” To see a visual explanation of what I’m talking about, head to the Pouch Pattern Calculator page and look at step 9 of the pattern instructions.

If this math doesn’t look fun to you, check out my free Pouch Pattern Calculator I put together. You simply enter your desired finished length, width, height, and seam allowance and it tells you what size to cut the fabric! There are also step-by-step illustrated instructions on how to sew the pouch with lining using the French seam method that my sister and like to use.

Happy pouching! And mathing, if maths make you happy :)


Pouch Pattern Calculator

Designing your own boxy pouch with the exact dimensions you want has never been easier. Enter your desired length, width, and height of the finished pouch, and the calculator will tell you what dimensions to cut the fabric!

Pouch Pattern Calculator - Enter the dimensions of the finished pouch you want and the calculator will tell you what size to cut the fabric! Created by Sarah Kirsten

This calculator works for inches and centimeters. If using inches, the seam allowance you plan to use must be in decimal form. Common seam allowances in decimal form: 3/8 = 0.375  1/2 = 0.5  5/8 = 0.625  3/4 = 0.75

You can either design the pouch to use a zipper length commonly available, or you can trim any zipper that is longer than the needed length down to the pouch size.

If you’re curious about the math formula the calculator is using, check out this blog post. I explain the math and how you can do the formula yourself if you’re interested.


Pouch Instructions:

There are are few different methods to sew these little pouches with lining. Using the French seam method is nice because it’s fast and gives the bag more structure. Here’s how to do it.

(Note: The dimensions used in these instructions may not reflect what your pattern pieces look like. Depending on the dimensions of your pouch, your “Length” may be longer than the“Width” — unlike these illustrations. Just remember the zipper always goes on the “Length” side!)

Pouch Pattern Calculator - Enter the dimensions of the finished pouch you want and the calculator will tell you what size to cut the fabric! Created by Sarah Kirsten
1)  With the dimensions provided by the Pouch Pattern Calculator, cut 1 outer layer and 1 lining. Interfacing too, if you want the pouch to have more structure.

1) With the dimensions provided by the Pouch Pattern Calculator, cut 1 outer layer and 1 lining. Interfacing too, if you want the pouch to have more structure.

2)  Place the lining and outer layer with  right sides together  and sandwich the zipper inbetween. The right side of the zipper should be facing the outer layer. Line up the edges and sew the whole length of the seam through all layers with the seam allowance you entered in the calculator.  If you are using interfacing, place the interfacing on the wrong side of the outer layer. (Interfacing not shown in illustrations.)

2) Place the lining and outer layer with right sides together and sandwich the zipper inbetween. The right side of the zipper should be facing the outer layer. Line up the edges and sew the whole length of the seam through all layers with the seam allowance you entered in the calculator.

If you are using interfacing, place the interfacing on the wrong side of the outer layer. (Interfacing not shown in illustrations.)

3)  Flip the other edges of the fabric up and sew the ends to the other edge of the zipper using the same seam allowance.

3) Flip the other edges of the fabric up and sew the ends to the other edge of the zipper using the same seam allowance.

4)  Roll and tuck the outer layer over the lining so the pouch is right side out.   5)  Press the fabric away from the zipper and edge stitch down each side of the zipper 1/8” | 0.32 cm from the edge of the seam.

4) Roll and tuck the outer layer over the lining so the pouch is right side out.

5) Press the fabric away from the zipper and edge stitch down each side of the zipper 1/8” | 0.32 cm from the edge of the seam.

6)  With the zipper exactly in the middle of the pouch, line up the edges and sew both sides through all layers using the seam allowance you entered into the calculator.

6) With the zipper exactly in the middle of the pouch, line up the edges and sew both sides through all layers using the seam allowance you entered into the calculator.

7)  Trim seam allowance to 1/4” | 0.64 cm prepare the edge for French seams.

7) Trim seam allowance to 1/4” | 0.64 cm prepare the edge for French seams.

8)  Turn the pouch inside out. Press the seams flat. Sew French seams by sewing along the same seams with the seam allowance you entered in the calculator so the raw edges are totally encased by the new seams.  Tip - Depending on the length of zipper you are using, it may be helpful to cut off some of the teeth on the end so it can bend into the French Seam more easily.

8) Turn the pouch inside out. Press the seams flat. Sew French seams by sewing along the same seams with the seam allowance you entered in the calculator so the raw edges are totally encased by the new seams.

Tip - Depending on the length of zipper you are using, it may be helpful to cut off some of the teeth on the end so it can bend into the French Seam more easily.

9)  Turn the pouch right side out. Push out the corners of the pouch and stitch where the length across the triangles is your desired height (the height you entered in the calculator) minus your seam allowance.  For example, if you want the pouch 4” high and are using a 1/2” seam allowance, you want to stitch where the triangles are 3 1/2” across.

9) Turn the pouch right side out. Push out the corners of the pouch and stitch where the length across the triangles is your desired height (the height you entered in the calculator) minus your seam allowance.

For example, if you want the pouch 4” high and are using a 1/2” seam allowance, you want to stitch where the triangles are 3 1/2” across.

10)  Trim the triangles to a 1/4” | 0.64 cm seam allowance.

10) Trim the triangles to a 1/4” | 0.64 cm seam allowance.

11)  Turn the pouch inside out. Press out seams you just sewed. Resew them with the seam allowance you entered into the calculator so the raw edges are completely encased by the new seam (French seams).

11) Turn the pouch inside out. Press out seams you just sewed. Resew them with the seam allowance you entered into the calculator so the raw edges are completely encased by the new seam (French seams).

12) Turn the pouch inside out. It’s finished! Ready to be filled with all sorts of lovely things.

Pouch Pattern Calculator - Enter the dimensions of the finished pouch you want and the calculator will tell you what size to cut the fabric! Created by Sarah Kirsten

I hope this tool can be useful to you and make drafting pouches quick and easy. If you’d like to share a pouch you’ve made using this calculator on Instagram, feel free to tag me @sarkirsten. I’d love to see what you create!

How to Install Side Release Buckles and Slide Adjusters

Tutorial How to Install Side Release Buckles and Slide Adjusters - Sarah Kirsten

This post is to complement pattern instructions for the Fennel Fanny Pack. The techniques apply to all Slide Adjusters and Side Release Buckles however.

Step 1: Install the Slide Adjuster on the long end of the webbing.

Tutorial How to Install Side Release Buckles and Slide Adjusters - Sarah Kirsten

Step 2: Install the male end of the Side Release Buckle by feeding the webbing up and around the center bar of the buckle.

Tutorial How to Install Side Release Buckles and Slide Adjusters - Sarah Kirsten

Step 3: Feed the webbing back through the Slide Adjuster, the same direction as the first time, underneath the existing webbing.

_MG_0594.jpg
Tutorial How to Install Side Release Buckles and Slide Adjusters - Sarah Kirsten

Step 4: Loop the webbing around the center bar of the Slide Adjuster. Fold the end in 1/2 in | 1.3 cm and sew the webbing to itself with two rows of stitching.

Tutorial How to Install Side Release Buckles and Slide Adjusters (with lots of photos!) - Sarah Kirsten
Tutorial (with lots of photos) - How to Install Side Release Buckles and Slide Adjusters - Sarah Kirsten

It should look something like this:

Tutorial How to Install Side Release Buckles and Slide Adjusters - Sarah Kirsten
Tutorial How to Install Side Release Buckles and Slide Adjusters - Sarah Kirsten

Step 5: Insert the short side of the webbing into the female end of the Side Release Buckle. Fold the end of the webbing in 1/2 in | 1.3 cm and sew with two lines of stitching.

Tutorial How to Install Side Release Buckles and Slide Adjusters - Sarah Kirsten
Tutorial How to Install Side Release Buckles and Slide Adjusters - Sarah Kirsten