Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Small zippered pod tutorial

I learned about this little project from a tutorial by Susan Fletcher of A Threaded Needle, in an e-mail newsletter from her that I subscribe to. Many of her designs feature Sashiko, which I enjoy. This is a quick little sewing project to make a tiny zippered case.

I didn't follow her plan exactly.  She used buttons for the end pieces, I used quilter's template plastic. Her cases were much smaller than my first trial--I think I'm going to reduce the size of my remaining end pieces to make my next ones smaller.  This is mostly trial and error--my idea of fun!

Supplies needed are a 4" zipper, fabric to cover the zipper sides (the sides of your pod) and the ends, and a round support for the ends. It can be a button (1-1/4" to 1-1/2") that you cover with a circle of fabric and then back with a small piece of fabric to cover the open back or, what I did, two circles of template plastic cut to the sizes you want--one the exact size (the outside) and one a little smaller (the inside). A small piece of thin batting or felt--enough to cover your outside circle to round it a bit. You will also need a piece or ribbon or fabric to cover the gap where the zipper ends meet.
First cut two pieces of fabric, the length of your zipper and width of your choice. As I was doing this, I realized that both don't have to be the same--one could be longer (say, a lot longer, to hold pencils or knitting needles). The piece needs to be twice the length you want plus an allowance for a turn under. (So the zipper will be encased on both sides and your little case will be finished inside and out.) Fold the fabric in half, wrong sides together and then fold under the seam allowances. Press.
I used the machine to stitch my sides onto each side of the zipper. For some of my "pods" I used a plastic coated cotton--it was a bit hard to sew by machine--the foot pushed the fabric. (I probably needed a Teflon foot for the machine.) So the photo has glare and the zipper is not lying nicely flat. Stitch the fabric to the zipper with the seam allowance folds lined up on either side of the zipper. I found it easiest to zip and unzip the zipper as I went to stitch with the zipper head out of the way.
Here are my pieces for the an outside end--fabric, felt, plastic. I'll gather the fabric over the felt and plastic and stitch it together. I made two for each end--one slightly smaller (shown on the right) and then slip stitched them together, the smaller one centered on the larger, with the gathered edges of both hidden.
Slip stitch one side of the covered zipper to the circle. There will be a bit of a gap at the ends. I cut a second piece of fabric, wide enough to cover the gap plus a turn under allowance, and twice the depth with a turn-under allowance.  

Stitch one turned under end to one end of the zipper on the outside, fold over and stitch on the other side of the zipper so it's finished on both sides. Measure around your outer circle and mark the second end, turn under a seam allowance and stitch to the other end of the zipper (I found it helped to tack the two sides of the zipper  beyond the coil together a bit--they want to separate and flop).  Then fold under the seam allowances at the open edge and tack them together before stitching it to the round end of your pod.
 Here's a finished pod. I added a key ring to the zipper pull.
As I was planning this project, I used one of my favorite tools. I bought these years ago--June Tailor circle templates. They are in graduated sizes, 1" to 6". I used them for marking the template plastic circles and also for marking the circles of fabric for the ends.


Anne said...

As always, I'm impressed by your creativity! Very cute!

Wendy said...

what a great tutorial, thanks for sharing