The Figure It Out Pouch


July 7, 2015 by tessaraewilliams

I’m excited to give you my first tutorial of my own design! This little pouch was an experiment for me. Almost completely improv-pieced, I just figured it out as I went along, which is why it’s called the Figure It Out Pouch.

I had this scrap of Soft and Stable, and I realized it was the perfect size for a small pouch. I’ve been kicking an idea around in my head for a bit to make a small pouch just big enough for my cards and an EOS lip balm, and I thought this would do quite nicely. This piece is about 5 1/2″ by 9″. I ended up cutting this into two pieces, 5 1/2″ by 4 1/2″

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Looking around for things I could use for the exterior, I found this baby Dresden plate. I made this a few weeks ago with no plan for how to use it. Turns out it fit perfectly on the interfacing!

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I found a 22″ zipper that I also had no plans for. I then went into my scrap baskets to look for my fabrics.

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I settled on my precious Acorn Trail scraps for the front side, under my Dresden plate.

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For the back, I decided to use my only scraps of voile, a small Cotton and Steel scrap and a larger Anna Maria Horner scrap.

2015-07-04 11(3)In a quilt-as-you-go fashion, I attached the voile pieces to a piece of Soft and Stable. I also quilted following the lines of the print.

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Again, in a QAYG fashion, I attached my front exterior fabrics to the Soft and Stable. I then stitched the Dresden Plate over that.

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I trimmed my exterior fabrics to the interfacing.

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Then I cut my lining pieces to size with the exteriors. I also pulled these from my scrap baskets. This is my favorite print from the Cosmic Convoy line by Michele Brummer-Everett for Cloud9 Fabrics. How cute are these moons?!2015-07-05 12(5)In my inexperience of tutorial making, I missed taking pictures of preparing the zipper. I cut my 22″ zipper into a 4″ zipper, then using a 3″ by 1.5″ piece of scrap, prepare it as you would bias tape. Place one side of the zipper in the bias tape and sew 1/8″ in from the edge to secure. Leave 1/8″ extending on either side. Trim bias tape and use remainder on other side.

Next, you are going to make a “zipper sandwich”. Place your back liner right side up, then your zipper right side down (zip on the left) centered along the top of your liner piece, followed by your back exterior piece right side down. Pin well, then stitch with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Turn right sides out, iron, and topstitch 1/8″ from the zipper seam. (I followed the zipper instruction of the Curvy Clutch by Pink Door Fabrics when assembling this pouch. Those instructions and pictures are easier to understand. Sorry for any confusion!)

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Repeat on the other side.

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Now, with zipper UNZIPPED, line up exteriors RST and interiors RST. Pin well.

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Optional: I’m adding a wristband, so I’m adding my lobster claw hardware now. The long piece on the right side of the picture above is where I’ve placed it.

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Starting at the interior fabrics, stitch around your bag using a quarter inch seam allowance. Leave about a 3″ space between beginning and ending stitch lines. Backstitch at the openings.

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Turn your bag right side out. Sew the interior closed. I used a 1/8 seam allowance, but you can also hand stitch the hole closed with an invisible stitch.2015-07-05 01(2)

Tuck your lining in and you’re done!

2015-07-05 01(5) 2015-07-05 01 2015-07-05 01(4) 2015-07-05 01(3)I love how this little guy came out! It ended up becoming a “precious” pouch, since it has so many of my favorite designers (Cotton and Steel, Heather Ross, Lizzy House) and prints (Cosmic Convoy, Acorn Trail, Brambleberry Ridge) in it! The voile side feels so nice, I can’t help running my fingers over the quilting when I hold it!

Hopefully this can inspire you to look through your scraps and come up with your own pattern or pouch!

This week I’m adding a new feature to the blog called the Swap of the Week! Every week, someone will be featured who received an outstanding swap package! This week, it’s me! I received the COOLEST package ever from @bettyjanebyalex for the #80s90sCraftSwap! She took my love of Powerpuff Girls and Spice Girls and mashed them up into this amazing embroidered pillow! I absolutely love it!

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If you’ve received an amazing swap package recently and would like to have them featured on the blog, leave a comment with your IG username and tell me about your package! Or better yet, tag me in a comment (@tessaraewilliams) under the picture you posted when you received it!

And now for the open and announced craft swaps!


  • #supernaturalcraftswap – hosted by @little_fox_nerdy_knits. Open to any crafts based on the show “Supernatural”. Ships in January. Sign-up here.
  • #easyswapuk – hosted by @bossyoz. UK swappers only! You will be making your choice of either a miniquilt, zippered pouch, or tote bag. Ships in October. Info and sign-up here.
  • #TrueColoursSwap – hosted by @sugarndspice77. You will be making a medium-sized craft using Tula Pink’s True Colours fabric line. Ships in November. Sign-up here.
  • #myahswap – hosted by @thecraftyfatty. Make Yourself At Home miniquilt swap. Make a miniquilt based on where you live. Ships in October. Sign-up here.
  • #4kidschristmasswap – hosted by @mara_makes. You are making a sewn item for your partner’s kid(s) for Christmas. Ships in November/December. Info and sign-up here.
  • Halloweencraftswap2015 – hosted by @lindseysmash and @tinapickles. Open to any craft, you will be making one medium-sized craft or multiple small crafts. Ships in October.  Sign-up here.
  • #thefandomswap – hosted by @carpelibrumgirl. You will send a handmade or store-bought item based on your partner’s fandoms. Ships August 10.  Sign-up here.
  • #iheartvampiresswap – hosted by @mimilouise4195. General craft swap for all levels of crafters. Ships in February. Sign-up here.
  • #GeekyScienceSwap – hosted by @meganexplainsitall. Ships in January.  Sign-up here.
  • #vintageloversswap – hosted by @deartabi. Ships in August. Sign-up here.
  • #modernfabricpostcardswap – hosted by @graybie. You will make three modern fabric postcards. Ships in September. Sign-up here.
  • #LostSwap2015 – hosted by @hedleyrocketeer. Craft will be based on the show “Lost”. Ships in February. Email swap host to sign up. I don’t feel comfortable giving out other people’s emails, but you can find her email address in her IG post about the swap.
  • #spiritrealmswap – hosted by @kits_crochet. Open to any craft medium.  Includes all mythical creatures. Ships in November. Sign-up here.


  • #finishedblockswap – hosted by ME! Each month, you will send your new partner a finished (top, batting, backing, quilted) 18″ block. At the end of 12 months you will combine your blocks into a throw quilt! Sign-ups open July 14. Info here.
  • #despicablemecraftswap2016 – hosted by @ninjadesigns. Sign-up opens July 31. Ships in January/February.
  • #VeryNerdyHolidaySwap – hosted by @mamabice_makes. Sign-up opens July 31st. Ships in November.
  • #comicbookswap15 – hosted by @kindoflikestitching. Sign-up opens in the next week or so. Ships in October.

4 thoughts on “The Figure It Out Pouch

  1. Ihavepurplehair says:

    The #winningloveminiswap, a parallel swap to the #lovewinsminiswap will open in the next week too (once my internet is up)! It’s a mini quilt to celebrate marriage equality, open to U.S. residents, and is available to those that missed the first one.


  2. onceawingnut says:

    Way to go for it on the tutorial! Having just written one, tutorials are harder to write than they appear. It’s so easy to get going and forget a picture. Your pouch turned out so cute.


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