How to Sew Pouches to Organize Your Life

comments (15) December 28th, 2012     

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CalPatch cal patch, contributor
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Pouches can be customized to accommodate all sorts of things.
Here are the rectangular scraps Im using for my pouches.
Heres one of the pieces after hemming the two short sides.
Pouches can be customized to accommodate all sorts of things.

Pouches can be customized to accommodate all sorts of things.

Photo: Cal Patch
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I'm usually at a loss for what to get my stepfather as a gift; he's the kind of guy who pretty much has everything he wants. I asked my mom if she had any ideas, and after a few minutes of thought she came up with something. He's diabetic, which means he has a few emergency supplies he needs to carry around at all times, but he didn't have anything to keep them in. So, my mom figured I could make him a pouch to keep everything together and that he could easily toss into his briefcase or gym bag. Perfect! Especially since I was making my mom and sister lined, pocketed tote bags, and my nieces simple totes with their initials appliquéd on; this totally fit with the theme.

As I made the first pouch, I started to think of all the different ways I could make it and all the uses I could find for them. My head was spinning with the possibilities! You can easily customize them to suit any use. It also occurred to me that pouches make fantastic gift wrapping and then can be used afterwards.

Now that the gifting is over, I'm on to New Year's resolutions, and my big one for this year is to Get Organized. I know, it's not very original, but I'm moving out of my cluttered apartment on New Year's Eve, and I want to start fresh on the other side with a new, simplified life. Hey, a girl can dream, right? So I started seeing all the ways pouches can help me get (and STAY) organized. For example, I teach a lot of different project-based classes, and it's essential that I bring all the necessary supplies with me. If I had pouches for every class, the supplies could just live in them always and be all together for me to grab on my way to teach.

Through making a few different styles, I figured out a very simple way to go about pouch-making that can yield a variety of styles. I'll show you how to do three variations: a flap, an overlap, and a zipper pouch, all made from one rectangle of fabric. Grab yourself some scraps and let's go!

1. Cut out the pouch piece. Basically, all you need is one rectangle to make a pouch. If you are making it to house a specific item, the length of the rectangle should be twice the length of the item, plus twice the item's depth if it has any (like, say, a camera, or books, or spools of thread) plus at least an inch or two extra for ease, plus one inch for seam allowance. That's for the basic zipper pouch. The overlap style needs the additional length of however much you want to overlap, and the flap style needs twice the flap length added in. The width of the rectangle can just be the width of the item, plus an inch or two for ease, plus an inch for seam allowance. Easy!

  Here are the rectangular scraps I'm using for my pouches.


2. Hem the short sides. Finish both edges with a 1/4-inch double-turned hem.

  Here's one of the pieces after hemming the two short sides.


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Comments (15)

pjshop writes: For those few ladies who still smoke, the two back pockets of a pair of jeans can be stitched together, right sides out, and pieces of velcro attached at the top inside to close it. Makes a nice case, hippy style. Other necessesities can also be carried in it such as a small pad for monthly emergencies.
Posted: 2:22 pm on December 29th
ustabahippie writes: Great idea, just a reminder: Don't forget to open the zipper halfway before you sew the side seams together, or else it will be really hard to turn the pouch right side out!
Posted: 2:18 pm on January 1st
Jetmuis writes: hi this is awesome, i must plane to make a lot of those , thank you for your awesome idea, and the great tute,
happy new year.!!!
Posted: 5:04 am on January 1st
catplus writes: Great ideas, all! I am going to apply these techniques to help me create a case for my husband's iPad. Thank you!
Posted: 4:08 pm on September 27th
whimsy_chidori writes: Simple and extremely useful! I'm thinking of making a modified one to hang on my bed for books and other random items. This is so woderful!
Posted: 11:19 pm on May 7th
Tifana writes: So Smart you are! Thanks a bunch from the organizationally challenged!
Posted: 10:31 am on April 18th
creativehobby writes: Now I can use this information and use my scrap material to make pouches. Great idea!
Posted: 12:20 am on March 2nd
sigridsoto writes: You have inspired me to create some of my own thank you
Posted: 5:20 am on January 7th
CatherineCornelia writes: Great idea. As you, I am committed to get organized this year. Somewhere, I lost control and a problem I have been struggling with is how to store what I have and still be able to find it when I need it. These pouches are a fantastic solution. I may even practice the embroidery feature on my sewing machine on these pouches - learn to use my machine on something that is not critical if it is not perfect. You gave me another idea as well. It looks like you used a leg from jeans for the zipper pouch. Another goal, which many of us share, is to lose weight and get in shape this year. I have managed to drop one size in jeans so far and I still have the larger size as a reminder of what I don't want to fit in. This also allows for a safety net if the weight comes back. I will make pouches from these jeans - keep the reminder and lose the safety net!
Posted: 8:39 am on January 5th
SewDanish writes: These pouches are really neat. It would be great to decorate and/or quilt the fabric before finishing them. Lots of possibilities :-) Birgitte

http://www.SewDanish.etsy.com
Scandinavian Textile Art and Unique Supplies
Posted: 4:26 pm on January 3rd
auntsusu writes: I love your idea of pouches this is a great jumping off point for anyone trying to organize a small area of their life. I made a crochet hook roll and I have crocheted several little things because I could easily fins my hooks. You've inspired me to make some pouches to hold my rotary cutter and shears so I can take them to a quilt class later this month.
Posted: 10:32 am on January 3rd
granitatogo writes: Thanks for this great tutorial. especially the zipper pouch. All these years i have been avoiding zippers but will try to learn now!
Posted: 4:10 am on January 3rd
megan_spears writes: These are super cute and way practical! Great idea!
Posted: 2:27 pm on January 1st
Fiberfads writes: I especially like the crochet hook pouch and would like to use the concept for knitting needles.
Posted: 8:01 am on December 31st
kaytet writes: i love pouches!
great ideas, especially the zipper one!
Posted: 7:21 pm on December 30th
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