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Saturday, 28 April 2018

Gifting a Quilted Accordion Pouch

Sew4Home Quilted Accordion Pouch crafted by eSheep Designs
My version of Sew4Home's Quilted Accordion Pouch...
There's a folder called Other People's Projects in my main Crafts folder on my computer. It holds all of those "maybe I'll make that someday" ideas, in both PDF and saved web pages format.

I recently went in there to do a cleanup, because I've been collecting those projects for almost five and a half years and clearly, some things just aren't ever going to be made. A few are simply not interesting to me anymore and others are too similar to things that I've already done.

Since many of those projects are from Sew4Home, I also wanted to make sure that — for the ones that I wanted to keep — the PDF downloads were saved instead of the web pages. (Major kudos to Sew4Home for making that option available.)

During my cleanup efforts, I came across a tutorial for this quilted accordion pouch that I decided would be next on my "to do" list.

I first saw this project while on holidays last fall and had been intrigued from the start. It was, however, another of those items that fell under the category of but I have no use for it, so it remained merely "intriguing"... until now.

Sew4Home Quilted Accordion Pouch crafted by eSheep Designs
Front view, all folded up...

What's changed? I had been looking for a project to make for a friend's granddaughter, a teenager who's been through the wringer over the past few years, fighting an extremely rare medical condition that resulted in some very scary moments for the family. I've never met Ashley, but through my friend, I've come to care about her well-being. She is fine now, and with the Make A Wish Foundation sending the family on a celebratory trip to Hawaii this summer, this pouch might prove to be a useful item for a young lady to pack in her suitcase to organize small things.

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Small things they'll have to be, since — even though I knew what the dimensions were beforehand — the finished pouch seems smaller than I anticipated. (That said, because the bottoms of the pouches are not fixed together, each can be filled to a surprising level.)

Sew4Home Quilted Accordion Pouch crafted by eSheep Designs
It's certainly not big...

This is essentially a set of five 5" high by 7" wide (roughly 13cm x 18cm) pouches joined together at the top seam. (In fact, individually speaking, each one is like my tablet envelope, with the substrates used in reverse.) The back pouch incorporates a flap that wraps around to the front pouch and closes with a snap fastener.

Sew4Home Quilted Accordion Pouch crafted by eSheep Designs
The five pouches are joined in the middle at the top edge...

Because the edges of the pouches are bound, the opening into each is actually only 5.75" (~14.5cm) wide. Someone stated in the comments section of this Sew4Home project that this would be good for storing greeting cards; unfortunately, a typical card won't fit into this pouch when made per the original dimensions.

That said, since it's all rectangles, one could easily change up the size. Not only that, it would also be easy to adjust the total number of pouches to include.

Sew4Home Quilted Accordion Pouch crafted by eSheep Designs
Back view...

The project requires a half yard of quilting cotton, a half yard of batting, a half yard of laminate (yes, the interior is meant to be wipe-cleanable), and several yards of binding tape. I used my still vast supply of pink floral vinyl (faux wax cloth) for the interior, and a predominantly pink selection from a recent fabric purchase — a Robert Kaufman Remix Metallic by Ann Kelle. Not being a quilter and having no batting to speak of, I just interfaced the fabric with fusible fleece.

Sew4Home Quilted Accordion Pouch crafted by eSheep Designs
See how I made sure that the print on the flap fabric
lined up with the print on the front of the pouch??

The original Sew4Home project uses store bought satin binding; I made my own binding out of the solid off-white yardage that was part of my Boundless DECOdent package from that same recent fabric purchase. For anyone thinking of doing the same, let me say that double-folded binding made out of quilting cotton is probably a lot thicker to sew through than satin; i.e., I didn't enjoy sewing the binding, particularly at the corners where it wraps back onto itself and is many layers thick.

Sew4Home Quilted Accordion Pouch crafted by eSheep Designs
All stacked up and open...

An unexpected difficulty that I encountered was in the final step of attaching the pouches to one another. Without a free arm sewing machine, I deemed it virtually impossible to accomplish. If the pouches had been made with regular fabric alone, I wouldn't have hesitated to manhandle, bend and yank in order to sew that 2" section at the top of each pair of pouches. But since I was dealing with vinyl, it was a different story. Not wanting to damage that lining, I ended up joining those pouches by hand-stitching them.

Yep. That same hand sewing that I have said so many times here that I hate to do. That's how committed I was to this project. ;-)

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By the way, notice that this is quilted? Yes, I've been tiptoeing into the quilting realm, and this particular experience taught me that quilting a large piece on a regular sewing machine is not much fun.

This project started out as an 18" x 35" (46cm x 89cm) quilt sandwich. The original instructions called for a diamond quilting pattern across that entire surface. Once again, due to my choice of the vinyl lining, I did not want to make too many stitching lines across it (potentially encouraging perforation), so I just quilted horizontally along the fabric's chevron print. Even so, having to start in the middle, sew in the same direction, and make my way out towards the edges resulted in a lot of "stuff" needing to be rolled up and manipulated under the arm of the machine.

Compounding the problem was that the vinyl did not always feed smoothly underneath, resulting in areas where the stitching is quite a bit smaller than what was set as the actual stitch length. If I had a third hand, I would have been able to guide the big quilt sandwich evenly through the whole process.

Sew4Home Quilted Accordion Pouch crafted by eSheep Designs
A view of the "accordion" effect along the side...

But in the end, I'm happy with the final result. It's a reasonably cute pouch and I hope my recipient likes it.

If you want to make this, here is the link for the Quilted Accordion Pouch for Jewelry, Lingerie & More on Sew4Home. Take advantage of the PDF download option if you're interested in keeping the instructions for future reference.

UPDATE: See what I made with the quilted remnants from this project.


  1. Well the pouch certainly came cute! For not being a quilter or liking to hand sew, you did a very nice job! I know I had seen this little bag out on the web before, but as I was reading your post I thought it would be great for earring and necklaces when traveling. Hair ties and barrettes too. A little sewing kit or first aid kit would also work. Even a wallet placing coins and cash of different denominations in each pocket and ID or credit cards too. I am sure whatever it is used for it will be handy to have. A thoughtful gift from you and a pattern that you can cross off your to make list!

  2. This came out so cute! I'm sure your recipient will love it. You could make this easier by using all cotton fabric instead of the vinyl. If it gets dirty, toss it in the wash!

  3. I love your multi pocket pouch, Rochelle. The chevron and the large floral is an awesome combination. Sounds like the vinyl made it so much harder to sew. If I made this, I think I'd substitute with more quilting cotton.

  4. A very nice present. Really useful for travelling having all your bits & bobs in one place.
    Will give this a try & as you suggest make it a little larger. Than ks for this.


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