This pattern is different than a regular sewing pattern and you need to be somewhat of a sewing free spirit and have solid sewing experience for this one. You can read the full description here. If you've made this bag and enjoyed sewing this way, leave a comment below.
Besides just using one main pattern piece, the next best thing about this pattern is you can use this technique to easily make all sorts of sizes. This bag is the third size I've made and blog posts for two other custom sizes can be found here and here.
The last page of the text instructions in the pattern has instructions for making this in custom sizes. Here are the measurements for the pattern piece and the where the divisions are placed for this one:
Hello, pretty patchwork pouch in pink and black! Since first coming up with the idea for the Improv Zip Wristlet I've wanted to make it in patchwork, but felt stuck when thinking about which fabrics to use and how to lay them out.
Then the other day it came to me that dividing the bottom center section meant I could use up some of my smaller pink and black scraps. This classic combination of colors always works out well, and a color theme is a good way to go if you need help narrowing down which prints to use in patchwork.
The Improv Zip Wristlet pattern includes one page at the end of the instructions about to make it in other sizes. So you'll be seeing many, many different sizes of this bag.
This one here is 6.75" wide x 4.75" high (17cm x 12cm). The C divisions (mark C first) are at 1.25" (32mm) and the A/B division is at 1.25" (32mm). This one is not boxed, but the corners are rounded off. I sewed all the way around the perimeter and then traced around a medium spool of thread (274 yards) at each corner and stitched along the marked lines.
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Maybe you are already using this type of tape and know just how wonderful it is, but if not let me tell you about it because it is something that will make your sewing life easier.
I first picked up a roll of this tape to try when sewing an invisible zipper. Invisible zippers aren't something I have a lot of experience sewing, but using this tape made it super easy and my zipper turned out perfect. Now this tape is my go to thing when sewing zippers.
When using it for zippers, I use just a few small pieces--one at each end and one in the middle. The roll is 10-yards, but if you sew a lot of zippers you'll probably want to conserve the tape. If you are newer to sewing, skip conservation and tape the whole length of the zipper to really hold it on in place firmly.
It doesn't gum up your needle and though it does wash away, it also doesn't have to be removed. If you put it on next to the very edge of the zipper tape it will be hidden after you sew on the zipper.
The other place I use this tape regularly is for VELCRO. Before using this tape my VELCRO almost always ended up slightly off kilter no matter how hard I tried to keep it straight! So it's nice to not be looking at crooked VELCRO anymore.
A new pattern is coming soon, and I wanted to start talking about it because besides creating the pattern document, there's a lot of admin stuff that goes into having these available and by the time I'm done with those tasks, I'm venturing into the burn out zone! So I'll try writing some about the pattern now before I overdose on words.
I sew a lot of things like this behind the scenes because it's fast, and it is liberating to not have a bunch of fiddly little pattern pieces to round up and keep track of while sewing.
The Intro to Improv Zip Pouches pattern is also a one of my more popular patterns and someone left nice feedback about it recently that made me remember another reason why this method works so well--you end up with excellent finished results. So I felt like it was time to take this method one step further.
The new pattern comes with the pattern piece to make the pouch above and then on the last page there is info and a diagram to help you figure out how to make this to fit things like phones, tablets, laptops, journals, or day planners. I think this is best suited to items with 2" (51mm) or less of depth, so it will be perfect for a lot of our modern day gadgets.
All you'll need is the width, height, and depth dimensions. These go into two super simple equations and then there are guidelines for dividing up the pattern piece.
The size included is a phone wallet size and will hold a phone up to 3.5" wide x 5.25" high. It also holds a hardcover Pocket Moleskine journal because these journals are well loved, and I wanted the finished pouch to hold at least one specific item!
Phones are all over the place with sizing, but this size will fit some of them and then if you need more room, it will be easy to add some on to the included pattern piece (the paper will have room left over). The front pocket of this size is pretty perfect for cards, so I'd say if you need more room for your phone, leave the width and height of that section as it is in the existing pattern piece.
The last thing I'll say today is you might notice the strap in the photo above is two fabrics. It turned out amazing! The pattern has instructions for a wristlet strap from one fabric, but here is how to prepare the fabric for the strap using two fabrics:
sew two lengths of fabric together - you want them to equal close to the finished strap dimensions, but with room for trimming
interface to within 1/8" (3mm) of the seam on each piece of fabric - this doesn't need to be perfect, so just try not to get right up on the stitching.
press the seam open flat
trim the fabric to the strap dimensions with the seam down the middle
- - Read about the zipper in this pattern here. - -