Posted in Crafting Corner, sewing

Cute Boxy Make-Up Bag Sewing Tutorial

Have I mentioned how much I like making zippered pouches? They really are fun and easy to make. Not to mention the different ways they can be made.

If you haven’t read my previous zippered pouch tutorial you can find that here. If this is your first time making a zippered pouch I would suggest that you read it.

It contains useful tips and hints that will make putting this pouch together easier. Today I’m going to share with you how to create a cute flat bottom zippered pouch aka cosmetic/make-up bag.

Flower themed zipper pouch in front of white roses.

Materials

Supplies needed to put your zippered pouch together.

This post contains affiliate links which means that I may receive a small fee, at no additional cost to you, when you purchase items using the links provided. As an Amazon associate I  earn from qualifying purchases.

  • 2 Fat quarters (coordinating colors)
  • 7 in zipper (or zipper of any size)
  • Coordinating thread
  • Clear Ruler
  • Pins/Sewing Clips
  • Zipper Foot

Optional Supplies

  • Seam Ripper

Important Sewing Terms

  • Zipper foot- type of presser foot that is used to attach zippers.
  • Right Side (rs)- The pretty side of the fabric
  • Wrong Side (wr)- The plain side of the fabric
  • Top stitch- stitches placed on the right side of the fabric for decorative purposes
  • Seam allowance- area between the fabric edge and the line you stitch
  • Interfacing- used to make an area of a garment more rigid or give it body.

Tutorial

1.Prep Materials

Before you start sewing you will want to do the following things:

  • Iron fabric to get out all of the wrinkles. Make sure you iron your fabric on the appropriate setting.
  • Attach your zipper foot to your machine.
  • Thread your bobbin with your coordinating thread colors and thread your machine. Change your needle if you have already used it a few times. If you are using thick fabric you may want to use a bigger needle. Check your manual to ensure you are using the proper size needle for the fabric you will be using. 

2. Cut Your Fabric

Cut  two 8.5 in x 7.5 in rectangles from your lining fabric, outer fabric, and your interfacing. You should have six rectangles (2 lining fabric pieces, 2 outer fabric pieces, and two interfacing pieces).

Tip: An easy way to save time on this step is to layer your pieces together and cut them all at once. If you have a rotary cutter set it makes cutting multiple layers of fabric easier and quicker.

Cutting fabric using the self healing mat, rotary cutter, and ruler.

 Tip: If you are using a different size zipper you will want to cut your fabric the same length as your zipper. If you brought a 9 in zipper add 1.5 inches to the length of your fabric.  The 9 inches doesn’t include the material at the end of the zipper. 

3. Attach Interfacing

Cut your interfacing to the size of your fabric.

Once you’ve cut out all of your pieces attach your interfacing to the wrong side of your outer fabric. Follow the directions that came with your interfacing.

I used clips to hold my fabric and interfacing in place until I could attach it to my fabric.

Clip the interfacing to the wrong side of the outer fabric until you are ready to press it in place.

Note: If you are using a thick fabric you may not need to use interfacing. The interfacing is used to stiffen the fabric so that the pouch will hold it’s shape.

4.  Create A Zipper Sandwich

This is one of the most important steps of the process. Take your time and make sure everything is lined up correctly and facing the right direction. You can find detailed steps on creating a “zipper sandwich” here.

Line the zipper up with the edge of the lining fabric.

Line the outer fabric up with the zipper and lining fabric.
Use your clips to hold everything in place.

Now you have a zipper sandwich! Well at least one half of it. 🙂

5. Sew The Pieces Together

First half of fabric is placed in the sewing machine.

Place your zipper sandwich on your sewing machine  and sew a straight line down the length of the zipper.  Make sure to remove the pin/clips as you sew. Cut your threads.

Tip: Before you get to the zipper pull. Place your needle in the fabric and unzip the zipper. Continue sewing.

6. Repeat Steps 4 & 5

At this point you should have one side of the pouch attached to the zipper. You are going to repeat steps 4 and 5.

Line up the outer fabric piece with the zipper.
Place ling fabric rs and line up with the edge of the zipper.
Second half of the inner and outer fabric are clipped to the zipper.
Place outer fabric rs down on top of the zipper and clip together.

Your finished product should look like this:

Inner and outer fabric attached to the zipper.

7. Press Your Fabric

Press fabric down and away from the zipper.

Press your fabric. Make sure that you are pressing away from the zipper on each side.

Note: If you are using a metal zipper be very careful because the teeth will get hot and burn you. 

8. Top Stitching

Take your fabric back to the machine and place a straight top stitch on each side of the zipper.

I usually line the edge of my zipper foot up with the top edge of the fabric.

Fabric is placed in the sewing machine to add top stitch.
Top stitch on each side of the zipper.

9. Match Up The Sides

Fold the fabric so that the right sides of the inner and outer fabric are facing each other. Pin or clip the sides together.

Fold the ends of the zipper so that they are facing the lining of the fabric and pin/clip each side together.  Unzip the zipper halfway before clipping both ends together.

Edges of the fabric are clipped together with binder clips.

*All you should see at this point are the wrong sides of the fabric. 

10. Sew It Together

Starting at the top of the lining fabric using a .5 in seam allowance sew around the perimeter of the fabric.

The perimeter of the zippered pouch is sewn closed with a small hole in the linning fabric.
You will need to leave a gap at the top of the lining fabric large enough to stick your hand through.  DO NOT  SEW CLOSED.

 Tips:

  • go slow when you get to the zipper area you may need to use the hand wheel to sew through this area because it will be thicker than the rest of the fabric. You do not want to hit the metal part of the zipper. 
  • Leave your needle in the fabric when you are turning the corners. 

11. Create The Bottom

Now we are going to create the bottom of your pouch. In each corner draw a .5 in square.
Note:You want to measure your squares inside the seam allowance.

Squares are drawn in the corners of the inseam.

*Tip #1- If you want a smaller or bigger bottom to your bag take the width that you want the bottom to be and divide in half. Use that number to determine what size your squares will be. (ex: 3 in bottom: 3/2=1.5 in square.

Once you have marked your corners trim off the excess fabric and cut out your corners.Trim the excess fabric and cut out the boxes of the pouch.
Carefully fold and match the end of each corner together. Pin the corners in place and stitch closed.

Make sure you use the same seam allowance when you sew all of your corners or they won’t be even. Trim off any excess fabric.

If you would like to try another method of boxing the corners or need a visual aide there is an excellent video tutorial here.

Align your seams before sewing the corners together.

*Tip #2- Before you sew your edges together make sure to line up the seams. This will keep your seams even all the way around your bag.

12. Time To Flip Out (The Fun Part)

Hopefully, you remembered to leave a hole in your lining fabric and you left part of the zipper unzipped.

Reach your hand into the hole of your lining fabric and pull the outer fabric through.

Viola! You have a cute little zippered pouch that will stand on its own. But before we can use it we have to do one more thing.

Pouch seamed are correctly matched up on the side and bottom of the bag.

13. Sew the Lining Closed

Tuck the ends of the fabric in (the should do this naturally) and sew the hole closed.

Inner zipper pouch lining is sewn closed.

14. Finishing Touches

  • Using a pencil or another blunt object push out the corners of your bag.
  • Zip the top closed and press your bag to give it that professional touch. 

Flower theme zipper pouch

Congratulations you have made your first flat bottomed zippered pouch! These are really easy to put together and make excellent gifts for kids and adults.

If you have any questions or need clarification please don’t hesitate to leave me a message in the comments area.

If you found this tutorial helpful please don’t forget to like and share it on social media.

Until next time,

The Crafty Afro

How Can I Help You?

To My Readers,

I need your help. Over the past few weeks I have been doing some reflecting about my blog. Some questions I’ve been asking myself are:

  1. What is the purpose of The Crafty Afro?
  2. What do I want to do with this blog? Do I have any specific goals for this blog? (if you haven’t read my post on making SMART goals, you can find that here)
  3. How can blogging help my family?
  4. How can I make this blog better?

But I’ve been wondering how I can help you my readers?

The tag line for this blog is faith, family, and my craft corner. I’m sure many of you decided to follow this blog because you were drawn to a post that was written in one of those three areas.

Or maybe you followed me hoping I would follow you back and that’s okay too.

Either way I would like to be of some assistance to those of you that take time out of your busy day to read what I write.

So, how can I help you?

What topics would you like to read more about on faith, family and crafting? What do you like or dislike about this blog?

Leave me a message in the comments section or if you’re shy and don’t want to make a public declaration you can fill out the form below.

In the coming weeks and months, as I continue to reflect on my own questions and your feedback, I am sure this blog will change into something new and better.

Until Next Time,

E.J. aka The Crafty Afro

Posted in blogging, Crafting Corner

9 Practical Tips To Help You Overcome Writer’s Block

This post contains affiliate links which means that I may receive a small fee, at no additional cost to you, when you purchase items using the links provided. As an Amazon associate I  earn from qualifying purchases.

Have you ever suffered from a case of writer‘s block? You keep pounding away at the keys hoping that a topic will come to mind. You keep writing and writing the same post over and over again, but you just can’t seem to get it right.

I think we’ve all been there. Whether you are a blogger, author or a student writing a paper for English class, writer’s block doesn’t discriminate.

 It seems like the more you try to write the more frustrated you become. The good thing is that there are a few simple tricks to help you overcome writer’s block.

1. Walk Away

If you’ve been working on a blog post a few hours or days and aren’t getting anywhere your best bet is to walk away  for a little while. 

Get up from the computer and continue on with the rest of your day. Who knows maybe inspiration will strike you while your out grocery shopping. 

2. Exercise

Get out the house and walk around the neighborhood or go to the gym an do a quick workout. The exercise will get your blood pumping and release endorphins that can help boost your mood.

3. Change Locations

Sometimes you just need to change your surrounding to find inspiration. If you’ve been working in the house all day take your computer and go outside or go to a cafe.

4. Listen to Music

When I was in college I did my best work when I was listening to music. I would just put on my headphones, crank up the volume and just zone out. It was just me, my tunes and whatever it was I was studying that night.

5. Read A Book

Take a few minutes and sit down with your favorite book. Get lost in the story for a little while. 

6. Coloring

Coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. It is a great way to relieve stress and get your creative”juices” flowing again. Don’t worry they have coloring books for adults.

7. Play

Step away from whatever it is your writing and take some time to play. Whether you play with your kids, play a video game, or a card game. Go out and have some fun for a little bit.

8. Take a Shower/ Bath

Sometimes the best ideas come when you’re relaxing in the shower or tub. In my opinion there is nothing better than a hot shower to calm your mind.

9. Eat a Snack

Thinking uses a lot of energy. Take a time out and refuel your brain with a healthy snack.

Final Thoughts

Writer’s block can cause you to become stressed and unable to think.  When you get frustrated take time to step away from the computer and relax. It will help you refocus and get you back on the right track. 

Do you have a special technique that you use to overcome writer’s block? I’d love to hear it. Please feel free to share it in the comment section.

Don’t forget to like and share this post to social media. If you haven’t already, subscribe to my e-mail list.

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Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

To My Followers

As many of you know I started blogging almost 9 months ago. Wow, it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago.

I must say that blogging has been a very eye opening and fun experience.

It has allowed me to express myself in a way that I would have never thought possible 9 months ago.

I realize that I still have a lot to learn and a long way to go as a blogger. I just wanted to share with you guys that we’ve finally hit the over 50 (55 to be exact) follower mark!

For those of you that have been blogging for awhile I’m sure this number may seem trivial, but we must learn to appreciate the small things in life.

As I continue to learn more about blogging and become more serious about it I’m sure my numbers will continue to grow.

To all of my current followers I just want to say a huge, “Thank You!” for following me.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I hope you will continue to follow me on this blogging journey. I am forever grateful to you all!

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro