07 June, 2012

Embroidery Pouch

I saw this Embroidery-On-The-Go Pouch on SewMamaSew's website and I thought it looked like it could be fun to make.
About 10- 1/2" square, the bag looked light enough to fold up and throw in the carry-on.

Whistling away, picking out fabrics, finding where I stashed some vinyl, deciding to make my own bias tape because my ready-made red looked too red.

I picked this Japanese print - forgot the name - you can just make out the helicopter above the zipper to the left of the jumbo jet which succumbed to the light-reflecting qualities of my vinyl. A fun, little cityscape fabric that happened to include some aircraft.

I was really intrigued with how Jodi from SewFearless had you sew the bias trim around the project, covering your raw start point and then continuing to run the bias tape off the project to make a little handle. It snaps back onto the project about where it left it. Cool detail.

I started swearing at that vinyl early on. Any fabric, i.e. that red trim above the zipper, was squirrly next to the vinyl. Jodi showed some hints on how to sew, namely - post-its covering your work surface so the vinyl would not stick. I don't own a teflon foot so I stuck some tape on the underside of my feet. A combination of holding my breath and pulling the fabric from the back  helped get the seams through.

I don't know if the fancy machine I am thinking about buying would have helped. They have machines now that 'sense' the thickness of your fabric.
In other words, "SMART" sewing machines.

{About all I know is my new SMART phone is still vastly superior to me.}

I was having some trouble getting the fabric at the top of the vinyl pocket to sew neatly. The multiple layers of fabric sandwiching the top of the vinyl wanted to go their own way and not march together.
In the end, I took a page out of Kerry's book and hand-sewed it in place with some embroidery thread.

Basically this pouch is a quilted interior base. Fabric sandwiching some batting. Then a vinyl pocket is sewn to each side; one with a zipper and the other side snaps closed.
That was the other cool detail. The base fabric folds down to make that snap closing pocket.

The other side folds down to snap closed - thus creating the snapped pocket.

It's actually a really cool pouch - if you had a teflon foot and a machine that likes vinyl.
I rate this project advanced primarily because most sew-ers do not own a teflon foot.
I finally had an epiphany about 3/4's of the way through when I remembered I found an invisible zipper foot set at one of my garage sales. It's a plastic foot so it slides better along the fabric/vinyl sandwich. But how many people have those?

Advanced because of the level of frustration. Of having to think of multiple alternative ways to get the job done.

And also because you need to be careful with the iron around vinyl. My last bit of binding - so tired of working with the vinyl- came out puckering and I thought I could steam it flatter. Oops, a little hole in the vinyl - just like that.

I am not going to point it out.

I ended up hand-basting my bias tape around the edges to keep fabric more evenly fed through the machine and I might not remove those stitches.

I'll put this tutorial on the "Been there, Done that" pile.
However, you never know if I will find a teflon foot at my next garage sale. . .

***update October 2015
I have sewn on lots of vinyl since. The combination of bedding plastic bag being re-purposed and a dull needle caused most of my problems. Wonder clips are my friend when sewing bias tape to vinyl. Hand basting is useful still. Buying a nice weight vinyl at the fabric store helped me too.


  1. That sounds really difficult. Well done you for finishing it! It looks lovely.

  2. Great job!! I love the Japanese fabric! I think the embroidery floss stitches add some character especially with the coordinating color.


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