/ / Pretty Box Pouch {free sewing pattern with a tutorial}

Pretty Box Pouch {free sewing pattern with a tutorial}

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This pretty little box shaped pouch is perfect for holding and organizing cosmetics, sewing supplies, jewelry, small toys, crayons, chocolate candies, and more! My little case with a free pattern and tutorial below measures about 5’’ x 7’’ on the top and 2 1/2’’ deep.

I would rate this project ‘intermediate level’ for a sewist who is comfortable using the zipper foot on her/his machine and has hopefully applied binding before (the binding is probably the trickiest part).

This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The blog post below is totally free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The PDF download for $2 is totally optional.


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I added piping to the top and bottom edges of my sweet little box pouch for 2 reasons:

First piping gives a wonderfully finished look to any project. It really makes this pouch look special.

Second, piping hides mistakes! If your seam isn’t perfectly curved (or straight), piping will hide that. The eye will be drawn away from less-than-perfect topstitching and people will only see the beautiful piping!


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The Pretty Box Pouch opens fully and all the seams are completely finished. I used one binding technique for the seam at the bottom of the pouch, and a different technique to bind the seam in the side piece and the seam on the top of the pouch.

If you like, you can add quilting to the layers, add pockets, or simply serge or zig zag the seams to save time.

{If you like this, you might also like my video sewing course for the Favorite Bag.}

Are you ready to sew a Pretty Box Pouch? The free tutorial is below…


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Pretty Box Pouch – free sewing pattern and tutorial

You will need:

  • 1/4 yard of main fabric for the exterior (some fat quarters will work if they have 22 1/2’’ inches of usable width)

  • 1/4 yard of lining fabric (some fat quarters will work if they have 22 1/2’’ inches of usable width)

  • one fat quarter of fabric to make bias cut binding strips (see below)

  • 1/4 yard of foam interfacing (such as Soft and Stable)

  • 2 yards of piping (I used Wrights Maxi Piping)

  • 1 zipper, 18’’ long or longer*

  • pins and Wonderclips

  • fabric marking pen or pencil

*Note about the zipper: I recommend using a size 4.5 handbag zipper with 2 pulls. I used Zipper By the Yard and put on 2 of the included pulls. A regular dressmaking zipper with only 1 pull will also work.


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Cutting:

1. From your main fabric, cut:

2. From your lining fabric, cut:

  • 2 from the Pretty Box Pouch pattern piece (download above)

  • 1 strip 2’’ x 22 1/2’’

  • 1 short binding strip 1 1/2’’ x 2 1/2’’ (does not need to be cut on the bias)

  • 1 strip 2 1/2’’ x 5 1/2’’ – zipper join strip (this will also show on the exterior, so it may be cut from main fabric if desired)

Tip: apply a scrap of medium weight interfacing such as Pellon SF101 to the 2 1/2’’ x 5 1/2’’ zipper join strip above for a prettier result.

3. From the foam interfacing, cut:

  • 2 from the Pretty Box Pouch pattern piece (download above)

  • 1 strip 2’’ x 22 1/2’’

4. Trim the zipper to only 17 1/2’’, cutting off the metal stoppers and sewing the ends closed instead (this will prevent breaking your needle on a stopper.

5. Use the fat quarter of fabric to make 2 bias cut bias strips as listed below. You may use my method for bias binding above or cut and join strips on the bias using your own method.

You will need:

  • 1 strip 2’’ x 22 1/2’’

  • 1 strip 1 1/2’’ x 22 1/2’’

I used the method in the video above and cut my binding 2’’ tall. Then I cut off one 22 1/2’’ long piece and trimmed the top edge so it was only 1 1/2’’ tall.


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Baste Fabric and Stabilizer

1. Baste one main fabric piece to a piece of foam stabilizer the same size with the wrong side of the fabric against the interfacing and sewing 1/8’’ from the edge.

2. Flip the piece over a baste a lining piece to the other side in the same way.

3. Repeat with the other curved top/bottom pieces of fabric and stabilizer and the long strips of fabric and stabilizer so that you have 3 prepared pieces: 2 top/bottom pieces and one long side strip.

Refer to the video above to see my basting technique.


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Attach the Piping

1. Cut one piece of piping 22 1/2’’ long and baste it to one long edge of the side piece. Use a zipper foot so you can sew close to the piping – right on top of the stitching that holds the piping together.

The seam allowance should be about 1/4’’ (it could vary a little bit with your piping).

2. Cut a 24’’ long piece of piping and sew it around one of the curved pieces. Make 1/4’’ clips in the piping to help it bend smoothly around the curves.


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Make the ends of the piping overlap and curve off the piece at the center of one of the long edges. After sewing the piping to the piece, trim away extra piping to make a straight edge.


Make the Side Piece

1. Sew the ends of the long strip together, with the main fabric (exterior) sides facing. Use a 1/4’’ seam allowance.


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2. Fold the 1 1/2’’ x 2 1/2’’ short binding strip in half wrong sides together to make a 3/4’’ x 2 1/2’’ rectangle. Place the raw edges against the seam on the long side strip. Pin or clip in place. Sew with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.


3. Flip the binding up and press the binding and the seam allowance to the side. The binding should cover the seam allowance, not wrap around it. Topstitch along the fold on the binding to cover the raw edges of the seam.

Trim away the extra binding fabric at the top and bottom.


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Make the Zipper Loop:

1. Place the zipper face up against the bottom half of the 2 1/2’’ x 5 1/2’’ zipper join strip as seen above.


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2. Fold the zipper join strip down and clip the ends together with the end of the zipper sandwiched inside.

3. Stitch across the end with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.


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4. Without twisting the zipper, place the other end of the zipper inside the zipper join strip in the same way – at the opposite end. Clip to hold it in place.


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5. Stitch across the other end with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.


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6. Turn the zipper join strip right side out and press the fold on one edge flat.


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Assemble the Pouch:

1. Use the pencil or fabric marking pen to mark all of the pieces in quarters…

  • the zipper loop (place your first mark in the middle of the join strip, then three other marks)

  • the side piece/loop (the seam is your first mark, then three other marks)

  • the top piece – with piping (place marks in the center of all sides)

  • the bottom piece – no piping (place marks in the center of all sides)


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2. Place the zipper loop around the top edge of the side piece (the edge without piping). The top (right side) of the zipper should be against the right side (main fabric) on the side piece. The folded edge on the zipper join strip should be aligned with the raw edges on the side piece.

Line up the quarter mark on the middle of the zipper join piece with the seam on the side piece. Then line up the other 3 quarter marks and pin or clip.


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3. Sew all the way around to attach the zipper loop with a 1/4’’ seam allowance. Switch to a zipper foot on your sewing machine if necessary.


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4. Fold the zipper tape and the folded edge of the zipper join strip back so you can trim away about 1/8’’ from the fabric and foam stabilizer on the side piece. I found it easiest to simply cut along the basting line.

5. Flip the zipper up and finger press the zipper tape against the lining on the side piece, covering the trimmed seam allowance. Finger press or press the folded edge of the zipper join strip down in the same way.



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6. Working from the lining side, sew close to the folded edge of the zipper join strip and continue sewing all the way around, sewing close to the edge of the zipper tape. Backstitch neatly when you reach the zipper join strip where you started sewing.


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Attach the Bottom of the Pouch:

1. With the side strip turned lining side out, pin or clip the bottom piece (with no piping) against the edge of the side piece that does have piping (right sides together). Line up the quarter marks and pin or clip.


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2. Flip the piece over and make 1/4’’ clips into the bottom of the side piece at the corners, so that the side piece will fit smoothly around each curved corner. Make 5 or 6 clips, each 1/2’’ to 1/4’’ apart.


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3. Use Wonderclips to attach the bottom piece to the side piece all the way around.


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4. Stitch with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.

Tip: I switched to my zipper foot whenever I was sewing a seam that had piping inside – this helped me sew right up close to the piping and keep my 1/4’’ seam allowance.


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Turn your piece right side out and make sure that everything looks okay. Then turn it wrong side out again so you can bind the raw edges on the inside.


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5. Join the ends of the 2’’ x 22 1/2’’ piece of bias binding with a 1/4’’ seam allowance. Press the seam open. Fold the binding, placing the long edges together (wrong sides facing).

Place the loop around the bottom of the case with all of the wrong edges aligned and pin or clip.


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6. Stitch the binding on with a 1/4’’ seam allowance, sewing right on top of your previous seam.

7. Wrap the binding around the seam allowance and sew it to the other side, close to the folded edge.


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Attach the Top of the Pouch:

1. Pin or clip the top edge of the zipper to the remaining (top) piece.

I found it easiest to clip the quarter marks on the top piece to the quarter marks on the zipper, and then unzip the zipper all the way so I could finish clipping the zipper around the top piece.

Make 1/4’’ clips into the zlpper tape around the curves to help the zipper edge fit smoothly.


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2. Sew all the way around your top piece using the zipper foot on your sewing machine to help you maintain a 1/4’’ seam allowance and sew close to the piping that is sandwiched in between.



3. Join the ends of the 1 1/2’’ x 22 1/2’’ piece of bias binding with a 1/4’’ seam allowance. Press the seam open. Fold the binding, placing the long edges together (wrong sides facing).

Place the loop around the case over the seam that you just sewed with all of the wrong edges aligned and pin or clip.

4. Stitch the binding on with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.


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5. Turn the binding over to the inside of the case. Stitch the fold on the binding against the lining on the top of the case (not wrapping around the binding as on the bottom of the case).

If desired, use a stiletto tool to help you turn and hold the binding in place as you sew.


All done! Even though this is an intermediate project for a sewist with some experience, I hope my photo tutorial has made each step easy to understand.

Make sure you show me your Pretty Box Pouches by posting a photo to Instagram and tagging me @sewcanshe!

xoxo,


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Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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5 Comments

  1. I’ve been wanting to make a case like this for my travel make up bag so thank you very much. I confess I really appreciate it when a tutorial can be downloaded and printed out. That’s kind of old school but it’s easier to see a paper copy and flip through the pages as needed than to scroll up and down the web page. 😁

  2. Nice design- I made it last night… left off the piping because I couldn’t find mine. It’s Vera Bradley style inner bias binding was the first time I did that one. Interesting using the bias tape on a half fold. Also first time using a zipper by the yard and installing my own pull- easy enough without any special tools. I can’t wait to make more of these!

  3. I would love for you to show us in a video how you quilted the sandwich of fabric, soft & stable, lining fabric.

    1. Hi Gwen,
      There actually is a video. It is included in Lesson 1 of my free Designer Zipper Bags video course. Check the link above. 🙂

  4. Not only is this a good tutorial for a very cute pouch but your binding video finally showed me the key point for why I never could "seam" to get the continuous bias binding trick to come out right — you’re the only one who ever specifically said to line up the lines at the 1/4" seam intersection!! A definite "Duh!" moment on my part and thank you! I understood the concept but could never get it to come out right, now I know how.

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