I've learned so much from tutorials out on the internets, I'm happy I can give back for once. Bear with me, though. This is my first tutorial and creating one is much tougher than I imagined. I give anyone who's created a tutorial tons of credit!
I feel obligated to preface this by admitting I'm a trial and error sewer. I make things up as I go along and test things during the sewing process to see if I'm achieving my desired results. Also, I taught myself to sew just playing around on a sewing machine, so I don't always use text book methods. Just wanted come clean before you all jump into this and so you have a little understanding if I did something in a backass way. The pattern works, which is all that matters to me!
Because of the versatility of this pattern, my instructions can be used more as guidelines. You can easily change the pouch dimensions.
Anyway, here's the tutorial. If you need clarification or have any questions, please send me an email or leave a comment.
BOX BAG TUTORIAL
Note: This pattern can be tweaked to create a bag of any dimension you want.
1/4 yard exterior fabric
1/4 yard lining fabric (I used blue for Project Spectrum)
1/4 yard interfacing (weight of your choice. I recommend a medium to heavy-weight.
Step 1. ("collect underpants" --any South Park fans out there?) Cut fabric.
Cut a 16" x 12" (updated dimensions) rectangle of exterior fabric, lining, and interfacing. Choose interfacing that will create the structure you like best. For a more structured pouch, use a heavy interfacing or even Peltex. For something collapsible to toss in your bag, choose a lighter weight interfacing. I used a lighter weight because that's what I had on hand, but I prefer something heavier or at least medium-weight. Iron your fabric if you're feeling motivated (I wasn't today).
2. Sew fabrics together.
Basically, you want to make a tube. Arrange fabrics as you see in the picture below. Interfacing, exterior (rightside up), zipper (wrongside up), lining (wrongside up). Pin fabrics together and sew. Opening the zipper makes the sewing less awkward.
Remove pins, turn pouch rightside out, and topstitch along zipper. (see photo below) This holds the fabrics together neatly.
Turn pouch inside out and sew other side of zipper to opposite end of fabric (to create tube).
Stay consistent with fabric arrangement detailed at the beginning of this step. (somewhat confusing picture below)
This will be somewhat awkward and you will need to stop midway through sewing to open zipper. It also gets tricky sewing around zipper head. If your stitches get out of line, just rip back and try again. A seamripper is your bff.
Turn pouch to right side. You will have one big tube that looks like this:
Topstitch other side of zipper. Again, this will be awkward around the zipper head. Just be sure not to accidentally sew the bottom part, too!
3. Make handle. Cut a piece of exterior fabric 10" x 8" *(If you're using a fat quarter, it's the big rectangle leftover). Fold in half rightside together and sew long edge. Turn rightside out, fold in half lengthwise, and sew along edge. Then, sew along folded edge.
*you can change the length to modify handle size
4. Sew sides. In this step, the more precise your measurements, the more professional your finished pouch will look.
Lay your tube flat and ensure the zipper runs down the exact center of the pouch. This is important!!! Measure the width of the rectangle. Using a sewing marker, mark off the middle third (you can estimate a third, just make sure you mark off equal sections on either side of the zipper) of the pouch.
Sew the center portion from mark to mark. Backstitch over the zipper a few times for added durability. Repeat on other side.
Unzip pouch and put you hand in one of the openings on either side of the sewed portion. Push fabric into a triangle. This is difficult to explain. It's probably easier just to refer to the picture below.
Sew a perpendicular line to your seam from earlier this step, creating a triangle** like below. Repeat this step for the other corner on that side.
**The size of your triangle determines the height of your pouch. For a taller pouch, make a bigger triangle. For a shorter, make a smaller triangle. Whatever size you choose, make sure they are all the same.
inside out view
rightside out view
To attach the handle, you follow the same steps sewing the triangles, but insert the handle in before seaming. I hold onto the triangle from the inside, while I position the handle on the outside (see photo below). Pin triangle in place, so handle doesn't shift. Sew triangle. Repeat for other side.
6. Admire handiwork! Turn rightside out fill with current knitting project, toiletries, or whatever else!