Friday, February 7, 2020

Vinyl See-It-All Pouches / Beauties Pageant 68

This past week I spent some time doing one of the things I do best: making a bunch of small projects into one big project.

My original plan was to make two zipper pouches for friends who will be attending QuiltCon later this month and fill them with silly items that will remind those friends of our past QuiltCon adventures. I followed the pattern for Aneela Hoey’s See-It-All Pouch, from her Stitched Sewing Organizers. The pattern calls for one 10-inch zipper per pouch, but I had five 10-inch zippers on hand. So, I started up the assembly line—after all, busting one’s stash includes busting one’s zipper hoard.

I cut into some Kokka fabric, designed by Ellen Baker, that has been aging in my stash since 2013 for the first two pouches. Apparently, it can take seven years to find the right project for a fabric.

Then I used up some bits of a Rifle Paper Co. print for pouch #3 ...

And cut into a mystery fabric (middle, below) and some yardage from Rae Hoekstra’s Lotus line (far right, below—in the stash since 2014!) for the fourth and fifth pouches.

This was my first time sewing with vinyl, and it wasn’t a big deal. I had some issues when finishing the binding on the pouches, though. I attached the binding to the back and finished by machine-sewing the binding from the front, and I couldn’t get the bobbin thread to stay on the binding on the back, especially at the curves. (The straight pieces of binding along the zipper were easy-peasy.) It wasn’t a problem that got better with each pouch, and I had to accept I was doing the best I could. Some sewers would look at the backs and think they are perfect as is. I just like precision with finishing details like that.

You’re welcome to skip this numbered list. There are my notes to my future self for sewing with vinyl in general and sewing this pattern in particular!

1. Iron the vinyl to address any wonkiness when it comes off the roll—just use a lower heat setting with a pressing cloth, and weight the vinyl to cool.

2. Use a bigger needle size (I used a 14 here) and a longer stitch length.

3. Cover vinyl that comes in direct contact with the feed dogs or presser foot with tissue paper. The tissue paper prevents the vinyl from sticking and easily tears away after sewing.

4. Use a 3/8-inch seam for attaching the binding to the back instead of the scant 1/2-inch seam called for by the pattern. (Hmmm ... that may be part of my binding sadness, though. Perhaps I should try a scant 3/8-inch seam for a sixth pouch?)

5. Remember that you’re perforating the vinyl when you sew it, so you have only a few times to pick out stitches and resew without undermining the integrity of the vinyl. If you need to resew the final strip of binding, you can always trim away from the perimeter of the pouch so the next set of holes hits at different spots on the vinyl.

Have you sewn with vinyl? I no longer have any 10-inch zippers in my stash, but I had to buy the vinyl for these pouches and have some left over. (How is that for irony? I used up all my zippers of a particular size but now am stuck with leftover vinyl.) I would love to hear any recommendations you have for using that vinyl up! : )

Linking up to TGIFF at Sarah Goer Quilts ...

* * *

The pageant rules are simple:
  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
  • Point your readers back here with a text link or use the button above.
  • Visit and comment on other participants’ finishes.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Follow on Bloglovin


  1. I bought vinyl to make some Hello Pouches but haven't had a chance to make them yet. Your tips on working with the vinyl will come in handy when I start on them. How big are the ones you made? I love all the different fabrics you used, they look great!

    1. My pouches finish at 11.5" x 9". Picking the fabrics was the most fun part of the process!

  2. These look impeccable. What a fun project! I made one ages ago and also found stitching the binding down to be a challenge.

  3. Your pouches are lovely...and they look like perfection. I especially like the mystery fabric!

  4. I love these pouches! I've used vinyl before and it can be tricky. Doable, but tricky. I bought a teflon foot that works great. It glides over the vinyl and makes things a bit easier!

  5. Hi Michelle! These pouches rock - I'll bet your friends were tickled pink (red or teal, depending on which version they received). I have sewn with vinyl on two projects. The first time was for some luggage tags which were pretty darn easy to make. The second was for a lanyard-type wallet for my niece. She's a nurse and has to carry around her badge, items for notes like pen/paper, a penlight and other miscellaneous stuff. I put vinyl on the outside of the foldable wallet so her badge was easily accessible for scanning into rooms, etc. Thanks for the link up today! Happy Friday. ~smile~ Roseanne

  6. The pouches look great to me, but I do completely understand wanting the finishing details to really pop. I have very limited experience sewing with vinyl, and your tips covered everything I could think to add.

  7. Lovely pouches, and I really wish to make one or more. Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. Pretty and practical....thanks for the tips on sewing vinyl.

  9. My favorite vinyl project!!! I can't even count how many I've made. But then, you'll have to buy more zippers!!! I buy mine from Zipit on Etsy, great price and selection.

  10. These pouches are amazing. Thanks for sharing all your tips and tricks. I might even try making a few of these myself!

  11. Nice pouches! I've sewn with vinyl a few times, including the vinyl you iron onto fabric to make it water resistant. I have used vinyl to line zipper bags like Noodlehead's Open Wide bag. Great for cosmetics and nail care products. I second the recommendation for Zipit on etsy!

  12. Those are really nice pouches - love the see through feature!

  13. Hi Michelle, those are so lovely and the Kokka fabrics really are perfect for this!

  14. Great idea. That's a nice pattern. I can't wait to go to QuiltCon!

  15. Such pretty pouches! You made lovely fabric choices. I've sewn with vinyl quite a few times. I like use it on top of fabric lining, for the inside of zipper pouches.


Thank you for commenting! I almost always respond to comments by email. If my response might interest others or if you're a no-reply blogger, I'll post it here.