Category: Tutorials

Short bits & pieces that will hopefully help.

Ear Phone Pouch of Awesomeness: an honest-to-goodness tutorial.

ear phone pouch tutorial picture

Howdy! What’s that you say? You have a few tiny scraps of luscious fabric and your earphones are constantly in a tangle of wiry chaos? Ah-ha! I have the solution. Or rather, an old issue of Craftseller Magazine does. I was looking for tiny things to add to my stall at the recent Craft Fair of Doom and thought these were too cute to pass on.

party dresses for girl and doll at craft fair display craft fair table craft fair table display doll hair accessory

You can just about see the ear phone pouches emerging from the yards of tull I used for the party dress…

ANYWAY! The instructions in the magazine were all written, you know, in words, and I like a few photos. I like to work my way through instructions without reading letters if I can possibly manage it so here we go, my first photo tutorial!

1: Cut out your circles of fabric: you will need a) outer fabric plus interfacing b) lining c) a zip and optional d) a hanger thingy. With a claw. Use the bottom of a large mug or small bowl to get a diameter of around 11cm – experiment please! Or look at the free tutorial by Dog Under My Desk who has proper photographs and everything. Her technique for lining is different though. I used a much smaller zip,  only 10cm long so I don’t have to trim anything off.


2. Place your zip right side up on top of one of the lining fabric circles, also right side up. I know, sounds crazy but trust me!

purse making tutorial step one: zip over lining material

Step 1: zip on top of lining, right side up.

Stitch down the *right* hand side, where the two long straight lines are matching up. On you go. Use a fairly short stitch length so it’s not too gappy and if you have one, a zipper foot is your friend. I’m assuming that you want to stitch just a couple of milimetres away from the zip here.

3. Now put a layer of the Outer Fabric (with interfacing) face down on top of it, straight lines matching up. You’re going to stitch in the same place my lovely.

Outer fabric is placed face down over the zip & lining.

Outer fabric is placed face down over the zip & lining.

Now, if you like you can use pins to keep the layers together. Normally I don’t bother but we all know how tricky zips are so… pin away. And in a funny direction so you can remove them gently.zipper foot allows sewing close to the side of a zip

4. Once you have the top and lining attached on one side of the zip, fold them back on themselves so you have them facing right side out: Top stitch down next to the zip, to keep them in their place.

Completed top
earphone pouch top layer with zip inserted.

Completed top

Repeat for the opposite part of the zip and you have a top! What I would do next is stitch across the top of the zip, tacking it together for attaching the tab. What’s a tab? Well, it’s this.

5. Make a hanging tab: cut out a square of fabric, interface if you like, and then fold opposite sides in once to the centre. Then fold in half again, so the two folded edges meet. Stitch down the folded sides and it’ll look like this:

To make a tab, fold a square of fabric inwards twice and stitch down each side.

Now slide your chosen hanger onto the tab and fold in half. You can stitch the ends if you like, to stop it slipping off but in the very next step you’ll see why that’s not essential.

6: Place the top on top of the right side of your pouch top, pointing in towards the middle of the zip, et voila! Stitch along the end to keep it in place and you have a handy-hanger-thingy for your pouch.

how to place the hanger tab on earphone pouch top piece

7: Now pay close attention: Make sure your zip is half open. Take your outer fabric base and put it face down on top – like so:

place outer fabric base face down on top of assembled zip piece

Stitch all the way around having made sure that your zip is still half way down.

8: Now turn it over so this is what you see (I know, I love the yellow polka dots too). Now put the lining fabric base on top, sewing along the same line as your outer fabric.

Outer fabric top is attached, alternate view: Make sure the zip is half way down!

Stitch all around apart from a gap of around 2.5cm/one inch where you’re going to turn it through.

lining piece of ear phone pouch

(Note: I had to take this later because I *always* forget about the gap…

9: Now you will have this: trim off the excess lengths of zip and the fabric in a few mm but not too close to the stitches. If you have time, you can notch the edge so it turns more smoothly. Carefully feed the purse through the small gap so it turns inside out.

earphone pouch turned through gap in lining showing area to be hand stitched shut.

10: Hand stitch the gap closed and turn right side out for your Ear Phone Pouch of Awesomeness and have at least one less grapple with technology on your morning commute!

completed ear phone pouch with hook attachment hanger and zip, fully lined with no ugly bits inside.

I hope you’ve enjoyed that – please do ask questions or comment on the abysmal quality of my prose and photographs below. Happy Friday!



Doll Tote Bag: a sorta tutorial kind of thing. Maybe.

I wanted to blog a big more regularly than I have so far but I’ve been working very hard and then flopping in the evenings, rather than thinking ‘woohoo sewing time!’ – nothing dramatic but maybe just a hangover from sewing til insane o’clock all through June.

What was I sewing? Beautiful frocks? Kind of. Maybe. I was also sewing this, my first proper bag. It’s a pattern from the girl & doll book designed to make taking your doll anywhere easy. Except Wee Bear won’t let another child even look at Lily Sugar so… Mostly it’s doll containment right now.

In theory, should one have a child who takes a doll somewhere, this is a superb idea. I’m planning to retrofit a seatbelt for her, otherwise it’s all a bit unbalanced & she looks like she’s about to go for a burton out the back of the bag… In fact, a kind of sling/backpack might be better. But not if you’re wearing a party dress.

It’s basically a series of rectangles: here are the hand-drawn instructions. I found them really easy to follow and clear.


I traced all the pieces out & drew the unprinted pieces (the base and sides) onto my trusty Swedish tracing paper *insert smug face at having ordered two rolls ages ago* – makes it all much easier.


I ordered this spiffy & easy to cut ‘n’ sew laminated cotton in a cute Urban Zoologie print and teamed it up with some bright fuschia polka dots. As you can see I toyed with the spring-colour way chevrons but went for the punchier option. Hey, I am regularly whacked when Wee Bear overloads & melts down so punchy seems appropriate.

Putting it altogether was pretty straightforward: I particularly liked the pockets.

As they were incredibly easy – rectangles of fabric, held in place by a single length of cotton webbing: job done!

Assembling the sides was likewise easy – I do like a simple straight line. It looks like a box, especially if you interline with padded calico.

And even adding the base wasn’t too bad: until I added the plastic grid to keep it stiffened.

20130717-182158.jpg (the heinous photography caused by working after midnight…)

The rather cool-but-ineffective strap to close up: not really much use but I like it. The raw edges are all enclosed with bias tape (ready made this time).

It was finished in a night – a late one – and considering that it was supposed to be in plain quilting cotton, I think it turned out really well. A word of advice; Plush Addict is a dangerous site. They have a permanent discount in orders over £100 and their service is second to none. You’ve been warned.