Friday, 10 July 2015

Pouches for Pennies

Seriously - this pouch cost me 86 pence in materials!

I bought a pack of two tea-towels from Poundland and I'm only using one, so 50p or 75 US cents for that, I buy my plastic zips from Zipit on Etsy; they cost about 35p each (maybe 50 cents) and I used an old sheet for lining, so my cost is less that £1 or $2.

I folded the tea-towel in half, and laid it on a folded piece of sheet the same size.

I trimmed the hems off the tea-towel, cutting the lining to the same size

I unfolded the fabrics, and cut 2" off one short end (I'm sure there is a way to do it without this cut, but its too hot to get my head around it)

I stitched the short lining piece, right side to the back of the zip, aligning the edges, (see the pic) **Change to the zip foot!**

I then stitch the long lining piece the same way to the other half of the zip

I repeated with the right sides of the outer fabric to the front of the zip (making sure the lining pieces are out of the way)

I now have something looking like this

I start to sew the outer pieces together.  Make sure the other sections are out of the way, and for now just leave the zip area, and stitch the sections shown here for the outer part

For the lining you need to leave an opening so we can turn it right sides out later

Now square it all up and sew over the zip end openings.  Sew through both the lining and the outer fabric and the zip (remember this should be a plastic zip!!!)

BEFORE you sew over the zip edges make sure it DOES NOT LOOK LIKE THIS - unzip so the zipper pull is inside the bag.  I predict there will be rude words, the gnashing of teeth and a bit of unsewing if you don't
 (No, we do not need to go into any discussion as to how I know this)

The opposite side can be stitched over without any unpicking advance planning.  I added a fold of ribbon as it gives a tab to pull against when closing the zip

Trim off the corners and the excess zip, using old scissors, then turn the whole lot through the side opening and sort out corners and edges and the stitch the turning gap closed.

And the result? (all for the price of a bar of chocolate!)




Excuse me while I go and look for some more tea-towels!

Printable PDF version here


  1. These are fantastic and your tute is great! I too have be-headed zips on occasion...

  2. What a cute idea using tea towels. Your tea towels are way cuter than I have come across here in the States. Real tea towels can usually only be found at estate sales of older people who saved them, and they are not in prints, just mostly white and tan with either embroidery on them or stitched cut outs. Most of our "tea" towels are really dish towels and are made out of terry cloth. Not a fabric you would want to use as a pouch!

  3. We broke our 4 week heat wave and I find my brain synapsed and hasn't recovered yet. After zip install, you fold up the outer fabric to be a rectangle and sew all around -except zip area. Turn over and fold up lining and sew all around except for turning area and zip area?
    Then smooth out and sew both lining and outer at zip area?
    Still have to work tomorrow and other sewing takes precedence - probably need to derail and just go sew this thing.
    And Wren is right. The best 'tea towels' in US are from estate sales. The dish cloths sold new are rubbish. Luckily for me, we are a well traveled lot and I find lots of Aussie and irish linen towels for about 50cents each.
    I've never done the zipper pull left out in the cold thing before- winkwink sarcasm.

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  7. what a good use of tae towels, there are some pretty ones about, think I have some that were Mum`s that are too nice to use to dry dishes on, will have to save this and have a go, not sure I could work out what Kathy was trying to tell us but hopefully will be able to do it your way.

  8. Brilliant tute - and clever old you for finding such pretty tea towels at such good prices! I'm keen to get to my stash of zips and make some.....!

  9. good use of all those "bits and pieces" xx

  10. These are great Benta. If I can tear myself away from the tennis this afternoon - and the washing that younger son will be bringing home from choir trip (!) - I'll be digging through my zip horde to make a sample.

  11. Did one- a few glitches, but I can see where I went wrong. Thanks again.


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