Fabric Pouch with Elastic Tutorial

So I think you guys may have figured out I lose things a lot! The whole concept of the Sandi ID Wallet came about because I needed somewhere to put my coins/hairpins/extra cards especially when I didn't have pockets. I initially mentioned that I should just add pocket to my skirts, but with the invention of the Sandi ID Wallet and my problem solved I didn't get around to it. Now that I'm on my obstetric and gynae hospital rotation at odd hours, and mostly alone, I can't palm my phone and things off on other people to look after, so I had to come up with another solution. And given that I'm still to lazy to add pockets to my skirts and with a little pinspiration I came up with my own elastic fabric pouch.
The original pinspiration:
Original Tutorial for Fabric Envelope at the Bolt Neightborhood, also by a Melissa
I saw this picture floating around pinterest for a while, and finally found a link for it and a tutorial to boot. I ran with the basic concept and figured I could use the elastic to wrap the pouch around my clipboard and to hold all my stuff, because I'm yet to lose my clipboard. Go check out the original tutorial although mine is a little different so read it too! No bias, promise.

The elastic is small enough to fit across my important books - the Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine (aka a medical student's bible) and my Amy Butler Cherry Blossom fabric diary cover (I'll take a photo of it soon). 

Keep reading after the jump for the tutorial:
What you'll need
  • elastic 
    • basically you can customise the elastic part of the fabric pouch for your own needs - grab the books/diary/laptop you are most likely to pop the elastic pouch around. You want a little extra than your book etc, as some will be sewn into the seam allowance. But you don't want heaps extra as you will also want the elastic to have to stretch a bit to go around your stuff so that it keeps it nice and snug.
      • Also I tried to dye my elastic with food dye...it didn't work - just in case you wanted to use non-white elastic. I couldn't find any in store either, so I chose a white fabric to match the elastic.
      • So basically the amount you need to wrap around your book plus 1.5 inches.

  • Outer fabric - cut according to template below
  • Lining fabric - cut according to template below
  • 2 x iron on interfacing - cut according to template below, but a bit smaller
  • Metal Snap Prong Button
I'm not a big fan of turning on my printer to print templates if I can just whip out a ruler. But if you'd like one I'll go and dig up my template and scan it. 
  • The first thing you need to do is iron the fabric in half (green dotted line).
  1. Next rule an 8 inch line with the halfway point (4 inch) crossing the green dotted line 
  2. Rule two lines perpendicular to this 13 inch long. 
  3. Rule a 4.25 inch line with the halfway point (2(1/8) inch) crossing the green dotted line 
  4. Join the ends of the 4.25 inch line to the 13 inch line. 
What to do
  • Cut your interfacing a little smaller than your actual fabric - it makes it easier to topstitch later as there are less layers. 
  • Iron your interfacing on to your lining and your exterior fabric.
  • Place the lining and exterior fabrics together so that the wrong sides with the interfacing are facing each other. 
  • Using your iron and ruler, fold and iron along the lines marked out in the template above (5 inch and 10 inches from the bottom). So when folded you get a pouch like this:
  • Grab your lining fabric. Pin the elastic along the long edges of the lining fabric, ~8 inch from the bottom of the fabric.
  • If you have a triple stitch function use it to sew over the elastic with a small seam allowance ~1/8 inch, if not just sew back and forth over it a few times. I like to do this to ensure that the elastic which will be under the most strain will be nice and sturdy. 
  • Place the lining and exterior fabric together so the good sides are facing each other. 
  • Pin around the whole thing. Don't forget to  leave a gap on the bottom edge to turn the fabric through.
  •  Turn the fabric out through the gap you left in the bottom. 
  • Iron it flat, flipping the elastic so it loops around the exterior fabric.
  • Now carefully iron the gap in the bottom of the fabric so that the edges align nicely with each other. Pin it.
  • Fold the fabric pouch along the previous crease lines that you ironed along so it looks like this:
  •  In order to top stitch around the whole thing you will need to maneuver the elastic around the fabric so it does not get caught under the needle and sewn over.
    • Flip the fabric so that you top stitch along the exterior fabric
    • For example
      • First imagine the pouch with the exterior fabric face up and the folded corner side closet to you. Pop your needle into the bottom right corner of the pouch. 
      • As you move along you will need to stretch the elastic out of the way,  towards you, over the folded corners. As you keep stitching around the angles you will be ok. 
      • But as you come to the other straight edge, you will have the other elastic attachment, so this time stretch it downward out of the way.
    • **or you can stretch it over the bottom part of your sewing machine (not sure what it's called) refer to pic.
  •  Now all you need to do is attach the metal snap button - no special equipment required, just a set of pliers for the tutorial go here.
  • Once your button is done all you need to do is pop your items into your elastic fabric pouch.
I'm actually really happy with how useful this pouch is just for keeping books together and my essentials - spare hair tie, post-its (the pharmaceutical freebie kind of course), pens and my phone.
Happy Crafting. 
mel@all.wrapped.up Web Developer

The indecisive crafter


  1. Some notes worth adding:

    If the elastic is printed on one side, be sure to pin it face down (at the stage where it initially gets tacked to the lining.

    If the outer fabric has a directional print, cut the top 3" part separately, upside down, adding a seam allowance to the longest edge. Likewise add a seam allowance to the top of the lower 10" piece. Attach the two pieces and continue as planned.

    I just made a few of the these and really enjoyed the tutorial. Thank you! It's a great idea, functional and attractive too.

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