April Stitching News (2)

Good afternoon. Hopefully you are surviving the lock down and staying safe. Rob and I seem to have settled into a steady routine, and “time” has almost become inconsequential. Breakfast seems to get later and later, but I have often been up for three hours or even more hours by that time;  more often than not … sewing!

In this edition of Stitching news, I will be showing you;

  •  details and a link for a different pouch. You will know that I am very fond of making little zipped containers! I have many, and use them all at various times.

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This has a different assembly, still giving a lovely roomy shape.

More about this later!




  • An update on progress with the machine embroidery course.
  • A request from our 4 year old grandson!

But first a thought for the week! I read this quote one day recently, and it really resonated with me;  “You don’t stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things.”  The quote isn’t new to me, but perhaps it hasn’t been so stark in the past! It could also be thought of as a variation on the theme of “use it or lose it”! We are all having to make adjustments to our normal routines, and often use our time in a totally different way. Learning a new skill, or honing past skills are a couple of ways we stitchers’ are spending some hours these days.

A few months ago I was looking at different pouches, when I found this link:


I made one of the pouches very quickly, loved the shape and the ease and speed of making! It is an excellent tutorial. There are two versions, one short tutorial, and the other giving  fuller tuition for new students to patchwork, e,g, how to create the patchwork fabric for the main fabric. There is plenty of visual material, for those who like photos of stages, as well as text. For myself, I prefer to “finish” off raw seams with a binding. In the link tutorial the finishing of the seams is done by using a zigzag stitch over the raw edges. I  just prefer to make make the finish a little more professional. Another addition I made, was to include a tab at each end of the zip. It isn’t very easy to open the zip without a tab to hold which “anchors” the pouch while you are pulling on the zip.

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You can see the tabs in this photo, positioned at either end of the zip.

If you have looked at the tutorial, by clicking on the link, you can see that there are no tabs included.

You will also notice that I have also chosen to use the method of inserting the zip into the pouch, which I showed in the “soft bag tutorial that I taught in  recent post about zipped soft bags;


So if you are interested in making this pouch, you can follow the initial stages of the soft zipped bag to start with, as from that post, in conjunction with this one! I have given the basics in the text below.

  1. Decide on the size you would like to work with, referring to my soft bag tutorial.  Cut a main fabric, wadding and a lining fabric, all the same size.
  2. I actually decided to quilt the three layers together for my black and white pouch. I pieced my main fabric with central strip and a strip from a second fabric either side of this. There are endless ways you can piece the fabric, or clearly you can just choose one fabric.
  3. Then prepare your zip in the same way as in the the soft bag tutorial. I have chosen to use this method, as opposed to the method in the link, because it offers another contrast fabric within the design of the pouch and it also increases the “roominess” a little too.
  4. Pull the zip pull into the centre,  as shown in the soft bag tutorial, and trim the ends of the zip, stitching across the ends of the zip exactly as shown.
  5. Sew the zip to the to the main panel as shown in the soft bag tutorial
  6. Make the two tabs.

I will illustrate the next stages now, as I did them on my black and white pouch.

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7. Essentially you now have a tube, with the right side of the fabric inside. My pouch is lined with pale blue fabric, which is what you see in the photo.

I have shown you one end of the “tube”. Next stage is to insert the folded end of one of the tabs inside the tube, so that the raw edges of the tab match the raw edges of the zip, and the zip teeth lie directly over the midline of the tab. Pin securely and repeat at the other end of the zip.


8. Before stitching anything, the next stage is to prepare to “box the corners”. The box creates the shape of the pouch, and  I decided I wanted to have a finished 2″ box. I therefore drew a 1″ square at both corners. The drawn square is always half the size of the required finished box. 

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Repeat this at the opposite end of the tube as well.

9. Cut away the corners on the drawn lines. Pin the layers together, near the corners to secure.

10. Next, notice in the photo, the line of stitching across the remaining short edge. This was stitched with a 1/4″ seam allowance, reinforced at each end of the seam. Repeat at the opposite edge of the zip. These lines of stitching seal the ends of the pouch and secures the tabs in place.


11. Measure the length of this stitched seam, and cut two pieces of fabric 1″ longer than this measurement and a generous 1″ wide. This will be the binding, (I used a very fine fabric, a Liberty Lawn fabric, to reduce bulk as much as possible, it worked really well). Centre the strip of fabric, right sides together on the zip side of the tube, matching raw edges. Stitch with a 1/4″ seam allowance.   Turn the strip over and wrapping the ends carefully around the edges of the seam, fold the seam allowance under; pin, and hem on this side by hand. Repeat at the opposite end of the tube.

12. Carefully open out the corner, so that the seam you have just dealt with, is opposite the centre of the folded edge of the tube. it is a very short edge to bind. You will notice that as you “open” the corner, the folded edge will automatically be almost  opposite the end of the bound seam. Adjust, pin and carefully sew 1/4″ seam allowance. from the raw edges. Repeat on all 4 corners. Bind in the same way as the short edge. Photo below.



As you can see, the boxed corners are exactly what gives this pouch its shape. I also feel that the very nature of the bound corners means that they are firmer, and that helps the pouch to keep such a great shape!



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In the  photo above, you can see that I have almost finished  hand embellishing the top of  this pouch. A little afterthought, that took quite a time to do, as it was awkward to do on the finished item! But it makes it very individual and pretty! Still have a few French knots to add.

I am currently working on another, because I do like the embroidered flowers. I am doing the embroidery this time,having just sewn one edge of the zip to the main quilted panel! This means it is flat and therefore much easier to do. I will only have one side to complete after assembly. I like the idea of the embroidery occasionally being worked into the zip unit,  though, hence not being able to complete the other half until it has been assembled into the tube!!

An update on the machine embroidery course.

Well the first thing is that I am loving it. I have completely finished the first Unit, and have had very positive and constructive feedback, with further possibilities for extension ideas of some of the techniques. Very exciting.

Here are a couple more of my samples from Unit one: This one based on my mark making, and we had to just use straight stitch, with the feed dog up.

The second sample below is one using plastic as a medium to stitch onto, and we had to free machine with straight stitch and the feed dog down. It was one of my favourite samples in this unit.

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I have received Unit two now, which looks very interesting, Colour is a feature of the initial design work,  and that follows through to the machine stitching techniques , of which there are four. More on this in the next newsletter!

Finally, My little grandson’s request, was for a Spiderman Cloak! I did a little research, and it was very clear that Spiderman didn’t actually wear a cloak! Relaying this to my son, he said “Doesn’t matter Mum, Joseph would be so excited to have one. Please can you put a spider’s web on the back!”

Took a bit of courage, and quite a lot of practising drawing one, before I dared “just go for it” on the material. Red was requested, and I did a pale blue lining!



As one friend remarked: “You will never lose him in the park!” I don’t want to include him in the photos, but his daddy sent lovely photos to us when he received it. He looked like the cat that had eaten all the cream!! It was a joy to see!

If you ever want to refresh yourself about a technique, or a link, or particular post I have written on this site, but you just cannot remember what year or what month,  look on the right hand side of any Stitching News post, and there is a box headed “What are you looking for?” Enter one or two specific words relevant for your search in the box .Press enter, and a list of posts which have those words in, will appear. For instance, if you wanted to see the post about the Robin Christmas card I made, entering Robin and card would  do the job!

Happy sewing! Stay safe,







4 thoughts on “April Stitching News (2)

  1. Thanks Di, will try the pouch. The shortbread and Millionaires Shortbread are delicious, once I had managed to get some condensed milk!
    Stay Safe and happy. X Mary


    1. Hello Mary How lovely to hear from you. So pleased that you enjoyed the recipes last month. They are delicious aren’t they! lovely to hear that you still read the newsletter too. don’t hesitate to pass it on, so tp speak, to anyone else who may enjoy reading it! xx


  2. Hello Di
    Just wanted to let you know that I am going to do a little book about Meva/Covid saga and when finished donate it to the Museum, along with Sally Mitchel’s lovely pics of it all, and am asking anybody who wants to to stitch/sew/embroider little rainbow images which I can use as a theme through the book. So I wondered if you’d do one for it – any way you like, but keeping it small and detailed is the hope! It could be incorporated with the “NHS” or not, whatever you prefer – and absolutely no rush as it will take me the rest of the year to finish it I imagine!! (max width to fit on page is 3″ so any size up to that but no wider)

    Hope you are coping well – it certainly helps that we have enjoyment of craft/sewing/hobbies etc as there is never enough time for all of those!!
    xx Aza



    1. Morning Aza, That sounds a splendid idea, I would love to do a tiny rainbow.
      As you so rightly say, we are very very lucky to have an all encompassing passion for stitching in all its forms. Thank you for thinking of me,
      Di x


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