When I discovered the large Pleated Pouch fits an eReader, with some room left over on the sides, the next step was to make it a bit more fitted. So this is the same large Pleated Pouch from the other day, but it has some modifications I wanted to share.
Here is a brief summary of the changes, and you can read on if you'd like more info (this post is really loooong):
1) Decreased width by 3/8" at the center ("place on fold" edge) of both pattern pieces.
2) Made piece B taller so more of this print would show on the flap.
3) Added interfacing to lining A.
4) Trimmed interfacing for lining A to make it easier to topstitch pleats.
5) Quilted lining B horizontally every 2" starting from the bottom of the piece.
First I want to show you my original pattern pieces. They are laying on top a piece of chipboard:
These days, I tape my pattern pieces to chipboard and then cut them out. The pattern pieces work ok just as paper, but the chipboard makes them sturdy and easy to trace around with chalk or a pen. If you plan to make multiples of any item, you will thank yourself later for taking the time to make the pieces easier to use and longer lasting.
You can find chipboard lots of places--including your recycle bin. Cereal and cracker boxes work well. But they often have creases where they were folded into box shapes, so I just buy chipboard and keep it on hand. The straight edges of the purchased pieces are also easier to join for taping if you need a big piece.
The store in Portland where I used to buy chipboard went out of business, so now I order it online from Kraft Outlet. There are plenty of places to buy it online, but I started shopping at Kraft Outlet because they have lots of other kraft paper things--I love that stuff!
There is something comforting about kraft paper. Maybe because many of us have spent our entire lives exposed to it through paper grocery bags, lunch sacks, etc. The natural woody texture and color are appealing, but it is probably the food association that really does it for me!
Anyway, back to the sewing.
1) For this pouch I took 3/8" off the center. In the photo above, you can see the faint lines where I marked 3/8" from the "place on fold" center edges. It was super simple to align those lines with one straight edge of a piece of chipboard and then just trace new pieces. Here are my new ones:
Rather than confuse myself with a 3rd set of pattern pieces, I just faked it during cutting. I began tracing the B pattern piece and when I got to the straight part of the side edge, I slid the pattern piece down an inch. Another great thing about the chipboard pieces is they don't need pinning and can just be held in place while tracing the outline.
The hardest part was remembering to cut out all the pieces with the extended height! It is easy to go auto-pilot during cutting. I managed to remember, BUT then I forgot to move the VELCRO down. Oy. Since the front pouch has so much expandability, it wasn't hard to resew the VELCRO piece to the pouch at a lower place. Inconvenient and a silly mistake, yes, but thankfully not a big deal in the end.
3 & 4) Because of the pleats, this pouch is a challenge to pad on the front. There are probably ways to do it, but they might not be worth the effort. But one quick thing you can do is add another layer of interfacing.
Generally, I'm not a big fan of using fusible interfacing on the lining pieces. Linings are often a lighter color fabric, and don't have a busy print, so those tell-tale signs the interfacing is peeling away from the fabric are more obvious. The times I make an exception for this are when the piece doesn't fold, the piece is really small (less area for peeling to happen), or some stitching will help hold the interfacing in place.
In this case, topstitching the pleats helps hold the interfacing in place, so I wasn't concerned about peeling. Since the folds of the pleats already add some additional layers of fabric to sew through, I removed some interfacing from one of the A interfacing pieces to make it easier to topstitch the pleats and sew at the bottom.
I trimmed away the interfacing about 0.5" on each side of the pleat marks at both the top and bottom. Several of my patterns have this type of strategic trimming and the few extra seconds of work are worth the effort. It will make sewing multiple layers less frustrating and give you better finished results.
You could trim both interfacing pieces, but it is probably isn't necessary. I apply the trimmed interfacing piece to lining A, and the untrimmed piece to the exterior fabric A piece.
5) The final change is the lining B piece is lightly quilted. I used cotton batting and muslin backing to make the "quilt sandwich". Because the back and flap are one piece for these pouches, I stitched the quilting lines horizontally so they would be parallel to the fold when the flap is closed.
Ok, that was a lot of words! Time for me to be quiet now.