- Pouch Frame you intend to use
- Paper or Pattern-Making Material (I usually use regular printer paper, nothing fancy)
- A bit of patience and some creativity are always helpful too
1. Outline Your Frame
Yes, I'm really going to be that basic. Wink. See? Easy peasy. So, get your handy dandy pencil and outline your frame. Please mark the end of the frame, where the hinges end, with a horizontal linear mark as I have done below.
2. Mark the Opening Seam Allowance
The seam allowance on the top of your pouch will a standard 1/4" seam allowance.
Let's mark that seam and start the first bit of our design by finding the highest point of your frame outline. Using the highest point (if your frame is curved then yes, one portion will be higher) take your ruler and measure 1/4" above the outline.
|Mark 1/4" above highest point of frame outline|
Then create a straight line using these marks. This will be the opening for your pouch!
|straight line, this will be top seam and opening for pouch|
3. Creating the side seams and hinge portion of template
Still with me? Good. Here is the trickier part. We now need to create the sides of the template and we have to keep in mind that the hinges need some breathing room in order to open without tearing your beautiful fabric. So...I've seen a few methods on this...most get me lost halfway through... Let's see if I can walk you through my version. Here we go...
First, take your frame and place it against your straight line.
|frame against straight line|
Then, here is where I have gotten lost before, turn your frame so that the corner (where the frame starts curving down) meets the edge of the line...
|turning frame so corner meets edge of line|
You want your frame to be turned to create an angle of 135 degrees. Why that angle? I'm not sure, but it is the one that has worked on past templates...so why mess with a good thing? (If you try other angles do tell I'm curious to know how they work!)
As you can see in my hatched out line above...it sometimes takes maneuvering to figure out 135 degrees. Again, you should be using pencil for a reason! If you have one you can also use a gridded ruler and turn it so that your straight horizontal line goes through the squares to create the angle. If not, don't stress, 135 degrees is a suggestion but nothing that will ruin your pouch just try to get it to look close!
Once the angle nonsense is figured out you will trace the length of your frame to the end of the hinge. Like so...
|Using a lined ruler to get your 135 degree angle|
Then, and this is where we want to give our hinges some breathing room, you will add 1/2" in length to that seam line. See my photo...
|add 1/2" line to end of trace|
Repeat on the other side. Your template should now look like this:
Before we move onto designing the body what you want to do is make two horizontal linear marks at the end of your template. This marks that this is what I like to call the Non-Negotiable Section. Basically, it reminds me that anything above these marks should not be altered because they are drawn to fit the frame I have chosen. Anything below the lines can be changed a thousand times as you decide what kind of shape you'd like for your pouch.
|mark your non-negotiable section|
4. Creating the Body of the Template
This is where you are free to do your thing! I hope you have had a chance to research the type of shape you'd like for your pouch. I am going with a coin purse type pouch so I've decided to go round. A first for me.
So go ahead...put your frame down on your paper so you can have an idea of what size you are going to want to match your frame and start drawing!
- Calculate a 1/2" seam allowance for your body. Anything under the Non-Negotiable Section can be altered along the way. You can always sew a larger seam, but you cannot uncut fabric.
- Also, if you want the bottom of your pouch to be squared off then you will want to add more length to your design to make up for the squaring off.
Let me demonstrate a bit...
So I started playing around with my round shape and came up with this idea on the left. But then I decided it didn't come out enough on the sides. Instead I liked the puffier look on the right.
If you want a squared bottom, a pouch that can stand on its own then you will want a straight line at the end of your template. By squared bottom I mean this:
The advantage of a squared bottom is that it gives the pouch some depth. You can fit different shaped items inside because the pouch has some openness to hold them with a squared bottom. I will demonstrate playing around with what amount of squaring off you may want when we get to sewing.
When you make a squared bottom you can have whatever type of sides you'd like. Straight...or round...
Just keep in mind. Your bottom will be shortened by the squaring off. So...if you'd like your bottom to be a certain length from your frame I suggest drawing that out in your template and then adding some fabric at the bottom. I did so here with the red lines to demonstrate. As I said in the tips above -- you can always change your seams while you sew but you cannot uncut your fabric!
|add some length to your bottom if you would like a large squared off bottom|
If you have any doubts about the size of your pouch...better to err on the side of caution and add more. We can always take fabric off later when we sew.
5. Cutting Out the Template
If you are anything like me you are probably wondering how you are going to even off your design. If you freehand drew then it is unlikely your design is perfect and even if you used a ruler unless you have graph paper it isn't going to be exact. So, here is my answer to that...
Start by cutting One Side of your non-negotiable section.
Then cut the top horizontal line. Your opening seam. Once those two sides are cut...fold your paper and do your best to match the corner of your cut seam to the drawn corner of your uncut seam. You know, even it out. Wink!
Once your paper is folded start by cutting the 2nd non-negotiable portion. Then...flip the paper over and see which half of your drawn design you prefer. When you've chosen, simply keep your paper folded and cut along that line. This will ensure that your sides match!
The finished template should look like so...
Did this make sense or was it all blahdety blah blah to you? I hope I was clear and if you have any magical methods of your own do share. I love improving my techniques with your help!
Tomorrow we will cut fabric and interfacing using your template. If you'd like to embellish your pouch with embroidery, buttons, pockets or the like think about that now. You will need to fit that in before we start placing all the pieces together!
Let me know how it is going! If you have any questions please leave a comment or email me directly!
- rebecca lynne