The Bothered Owl

Alex and Sarah's crafty corner of cyberspace

How To Make a teeny button pouch January 6, 2010

Filed under: Tutorials — thebotheredowl @ 6:18 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

This was the tutorial we put in for the UK Handmade Advent Calendar. Alex suggested we should stick it up here for safe keeping and to make it easy to find.  You can eiether make one your self or maybe buy one of the ones we have up for sale in the shop!

So here goes:

How to Make a Teeny Weeny Buttony Pouch.

These little pouches are fabulous for stocking fillers, or add a ribbon and hang them from your Christmas tree, stuffed with tiny gifts, chocolates or satsumas. You could even make 24 of them and turn them into a reuseable Advent calendar (like the one Gina was talking about in this post.)

Best of all, these are perfect for using up those annoying tiny scraps of fabric leftover from all your other sewing projects.

Step One: Choose your fabrics

Have a good rifle through your stash and your scrap bag and choose up to four fabrics that go well together, you can use scraps, chop up some old worn out jeans, whatever you please.

Step Two: Chop, chop

This is my stash

The colours I chose

Once you’ve picked your fabrics, it’s time to cut them up. We’re essentially making two bags, one inside the other, so we need four pieces exactly the same, two for the interior and two for the exterior. I chose to use four different colours in this pouch to make it extra colourful. But you could line yours with a plain white cotton or calico. Whatever you think looks best.

If you want, you could make yourself a template out of cardboard or tracing paper, or use a ruler and some tailor’s chalk to draw directly onto your fabric to ensure all four pieces are identical. I confess I freehanded the pieces for this tutorial, which was rather naughty of me!

Before you start sewing together, give your fabric a good press to remove creases. It will give a nicer finish.

Step 3: Some Assembly Required

Take two of your fabric pieces and pin them together with right sides facing inwards.

Whip out your needle and thread and get stitching.

Make sure you use a nice strong stitch, like backstitch, which you can see demonstrated in the photograph above. Alternatively, you could use just use your sewing machine.

Backstitch like crazy.. . Or just use your sewing machine.

Sew up three sides of the pouch, leaving one side open. Don’t worry about the raw edges on the open side, we’ll be taking care of those shortly.

Now repeat for the second pair of pieces.

Step 4: Making a Connection

You now have two pouches, ready to be joined together.

The two pouches

Turn one of them right sides out:

Place the right sides out bag inside the other one like this:

See how the cord is sandwiched in place between the two pouches. The raw ends will be tidily tucked away.

Tuck the right sides out pouch inside the other one. Now when you sew it, the stitches will actually be one the wrong (invisible) side of the pouch. Amazing!

See how the bags are now effectively right sides together? Now when you sew the bags

together the seams will all be hidden away neatly.

Before we pin everything in place and sew it together, we can add some embellishments. I wanted to add a loop of ribbon to my pouch so it could be hung up. I also wanted a button and rather than do a button hole, I added a loop of black cord that could slip over a button and secure the pouch shut.

First cut a length of ribbon and fold it in half to make it into a loop. Then sandwich it between the two pouches and pin it in place. You want the tail ends to be on the wrong side – the side you’re sewing.

This way, when you sew your seam you will catch the ribbon tails with your stitches and secure them in place without any of the stitches showing on the good side.

Do the same thing with your cord.  Cut a length and then pinch the ends together to make a loop. Then secure it between the layers of fabric, just as you did with the ribbon. I suggest placing it on the same side as the ribbon, perhaps in between the tail ends of the ribbon.

The pins mark out the gap you will leave for turning your pouch the right way out.

Oh look, it's a length of cord.

Now, it’s a loop. Versatile and useful stuff, that cord.

The final step before we start sewing the two bags together is to place two pins to mark a space in the stitching.

You need to leave yourself enough room to be able to turn the bag right sides out. If you actually want to be able to use your pouch, that is. Leave a gap of at least 3 – 5 centimetres.

You’re now ready to stitch the pouch together. Starting at one of your marker pins and using back stitch again, sew all the way round the top of your pouch from one marker to the other, leaving that all-important gap. Make sure that you stitch back andforth over your ribbon and cord loops to make them extra secure.  Remove any remaining pins and turn it right side out.

Right sides out.

All sewn up except for that crucial gap.

Step 5: Finishing Off

All that’s left to do is to sew on a button and close off the little gap.

First work out where to place your button – find the point opposite your cord loop and mark it with some chalk or a pin. Then choose a button of appropriate size. Remember it has to be able to fit through the little loop of cord snugly. Once you pick your button, stitch it on securely.

If you want to be tricky, you can insert your needle into the little gap you left (notice how we hadn’t closed it off yet?) and sew the button on , leaving your thread ends and stitches on the inside of the bag where they’ll be completely invisible.

You can hide your button stitching by sewing from inside the gap.


Finally you have to deal with that teeny weeny useful gap that’s left. I like to use blind stitch for this because it makes a largely invisible seam, but you can use whatever stitch you like.

Find a really pretty button to finish it off. I get mine from Textile Garden.

To blind stitch the gap closed, you need to insert your needle into the gap. Then push the needle through the fabric from the inside of the pouch. You’re going to thread your needle in and out, from one side of the gap to the other. This makes stitches inside the seam. Your needle should look like this as you stitch:

See how the needle is threaded from one side of the gap to the other?

Now all that’s left to do is to tuck the inside of the bag neatly inside the outside, and find someone to give it to. Or hang it somewhere to display in an appropriately festive manner.

Blind stitching the gap closed.

My little niece, Eliza, with her brand new pouch. She spent ages stuffing it with a reel of cotton. Who knows why? Does she need a reason?


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