I’ve been meaning to create little sewing projects so that you’d have the possibility to practise some of the creative patternmaking techniques I’ve been introducing here on my blog. They only take up small amounts of fabric and at the same time you’ll be making useful items you can keep yourself or give away as presents. And who doesn’t need to get rid of fabric-scraps anyways?

I already posted a pincushion-tutorial earlier, but that was months ago! So this time it’s going to be a zipper pouch. The technique I chose is smocking. And this is how the finished project looks like:

pouch ready

Materials and pattern

You can use any kind of fabric you prefer, but don’t choose too heavy material to avoid bulk. You’ll have several layers to sew together.

My pouch has lighweight cotton as a lining, lighweight wool as main-fabric of the backside and a satin-type of fabric at the front. I made front and backside in different colors.

Here’s the pattern. The measurements are without seam-allowances. I added 1cm | 3/8in around each piece and 6mm | 1/4in at the shorter ends of the zipper-tab -pieces. I added a pdf download in the sidebar, so in case you want to just print these, you can! Don’t scale when printing to get the right size.

pattern pieces

You’ll also need a 30x30cm / 12x12in piece of fabric to create the rose-motif and a 23cm / 9in zipper. In this picture you can see all the materials.

materials needed

You can also add  interfacing if you want.

Preparing the zipper

Let’s add the zipper-tabs on both ends of your zipper.

First you take the measurements from the pattern-piece and add pins to mark the spots at 2cm | 3/4in from the edge (including the seam-allowance).

measuring zipper

Press the 6mm | 1/4in zipper-tab edges and then press the whole thing in half.

preparing zipper tabs

Match the open edge to the pins on your zipper like this at both ends.

matching tabs

Then attach it by stitching with your sewing machine near the edge. You might find it easier to sew just by turning the hand wheel manually when crossing the zipper-teeth.

sewing zipper tabs

Trim off part of the zipper to reduce bulk.

trim off bulk

Now you should have a zipper with tabs and the perfect measurements.

zipper ready

Preparing the rose

There is a tutorial on how to do smocking here http://www.theshapesoffabric.com/2018/05/19/smocking-and-a-rose-sleeve/

But just a quick recap: add these dots in the middle of the wrong side of your chosen fabric.

the grid

Use a thread that matches the color and attach it at the first dot. Gather fabric between that and the following dot and make a knot to keep it in place.

first gather

Make a knot at the next dot without pulling or gathering the fabric.

don't gather

Gather the next bit and make a knot. Etc.

gather again

After finishing the motif, you should see this:

front-and back view

Start draping the rose in a spiral. Once you’re happy with the look, pin it on the base. Trim off extra fabric around and stitch it in place.

pinning rose

Putting the zipper pouch together

Now you have all the different pieces ready.

Stitch the two front-pieces together and press the seam-allowance towards the single layer.

finishing the front piece

Attach the main fabric to the zipper. Use a zipper-foot on your sewing-machine. Afterwards you can clip off any bulk you might have around the rose piece.

attaching zipper to front piece

zipper attached to main fabric

Attach the lining pieces to the other side of the zipper.

zipper attached to the lining

Switch back to your standard foot and do edge stitching to keep the fabric away from the zipper teeth. Pull both fabrics while sewing.

stitching the edge of the zipper

top stitching is done

Open the zipper almost completely. Flip the right sides of the main fabric and -the lining together. Trim off some more bulk around the zipper ends if needed.

stitching all around the pouch

Sew all around, leaving an opening at the bottom of the lining. I think it’s easier to sew this in 4 parts, always starting from the bulky area where the zipper is.

Before turning the pouch back right side out, trim off all 4 corners (without breaking the stitch) and also try to trim off some extra bulk (again) around the zipper-ends.

Now you can turn the right side out. Push all the corners out nicely. Hand-stitch the opening you left in the lining. Turn the lining back inside the pouch.

handstitch the opening

Your zipper pouch is ready!

the pouch is ready

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  1. nice one dear! i think placing this rose motif on the front of either the front bodice of a gown or jumpsuit will be so lovely. so, in that case, what would be the measurement/scale used? and how would it look like?
    thanks in anticipation of your response.

    • shapesoffabric Reply

      Thank you. 🙂 What a lovely idea. I’m sure it’ll look gorgeous. You can have some idea looking at the sleeve I made here https://www.theshapesoffabric.com/2018/05/19/smocking-and-a-rose-sleeve/ It’s difficult to calculate how large the piece of fabric will have to be. First separate the area from the bodice and then place a huge piece of fabric on top to make the rose. Like 3x as large as the chosen area. I hope that helps. 🙂

  2. Thank you for swiftly responding to my question but i need to rephrase it cause it seems you did not clearly get my question.
    i was actually asking about how the grid lines for the front should look like. will be just a single column of grids as in the case of the zipper pouch or one with multiple columns of grid?

    • shapesoffabric Reply

      Oh, you mean the grid for creating the rose? Well, the amount of dots has to be always the same as in the pouch. Otherwise the resulting shape won’t be a rose. You can alter the size of the rose by positioning the dots closer of further away from each other. You could do a test version with a fabric scrap to see the result before making the actual garment.

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