It’s every woman’s nightmare!
You’ve got your monthly visit and need to run to the loo. You scramble about in your bag to find a pad or tampon, but it’s hidden itself away in your messy contents. If it were able, you know it would be smirking at you, shouting “you can’t find me.
Don’t let that happen to you. This handy little pouch can store your supplies and has a swivel clip, so that you can attach it to your bag. It will always be close at hand, is discreet, and looks cute too.
Don’t worry if you’re fairly new to sewing. This step-by-step picture tutorial will guide you through the whole process and this method can be used to make any size bag.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED
sanitary supplies (to calculate pouch size)
oddments of material
ribbon(we used the one that came on the fabric)
Here’s what you do
The first thing you need to do, is gather your pads and tampons so that you can calculate the size of your pouch. Measure the largest pad you are making the pouch for and jot down it’s size. Add an extra 2 or 3 inches to your pad measurement to allow for a seam allowance and adjustments if needed. It is better to make the pouch slightly bigger so that you can cut it to size after, giving you neater sides. For the front of the pouch, you will be inserting a zip so two pieces of fabric are required.
Measure the height of the biggest tampon so you can calculate how deep the front pocket needs to be. Again add a couple of inches extra length to allow for any adjustments.
The pouch can be made with the same fabric for every piece.
We wanted to have a theme for ours, so chose co-ordinating fabric for the top and bottom pieces on the front panel.
You will need two zips, and they need to be wider than the fabric. As this tutorial is intended for novice sewers, it is easier to insert a zip that is longer. If you are proficient with inserting zips, you can choose the method you prefer. You can match the zip to your fabric colour or choose a contrasting colour zip.
These two pieces of material will make up the front panel.
We will start by inserting the zip on the tampon pocket.
To do this, place the zip right side facing the right side of the bottom piece of the front of your pouch. Make sure that it is at the top edge. You can tell the right side of the zip as it will have the zip pull on it and the teeth may be raised. Clip into place so that it doesn’t move about when sewing. (you can purchase them here)
This first line of stitching is simply to hold the zip in place so that it is easier to attach the lining piece. It is a good idea to increase your stitch length for this. A good length is 3 or 3.5. Sew close to the edge of the zip and fabric.
This is so that when we sew the lining piece on, these stitches won’t show.
Now place your lining material, right side facing the right side of the fabric you have just attached to the zip. Clip into place, and this time sew a line of stitching close to the teeth of the zip. Don’t go so close that you run over the teeth. You should be using your zipper foot and reduce the stitch length back down to 2.5. When sewing zips, you don’t want to be sewing past the zipper pull. This will make the line of stitching uneven. Once you reach the pull, needle down and use the lever to raise the foot. It may be a bit of a wiggle, but you should be able to tease the pull back up the back and away from the foot. If you are having difficulty you can always lift the needle up and out of the fabric. If you do this, try and place the needle back in the same place if you can.
Your lining material can be slightly bigger at this point as we will be cutting the pouch to size later.
This is a great tip for a novice as it will help build your confidence and allow a bit of wiggle room.
This is how it will look once you have sewn along the zip.
You can see that lining is at the back of the zip.
Finger press both pieces of fabric back over the side of the zip you have just sewn. Make sure you press them back well. This will keep the fabric away from the teeth. Secure the two sides with clips to stop them moving about.
Sew a top stitch line close to the top.
Increase the stitch length to 3 and you will get a neater finish. If you are feeling confident, why not use a contrasting thread to make the colours pop out of the fabric.
This is the wrong side of the pocket.
We also used a contrasting thread here to give the fabric more definition.
We will now add the top section to the zip.
If you are using plain fabric, it doesn’t matter what edge you sew. If you are using a patterned fabric take extra care to make sure that the pattern will be the right way once sewn. If you are unsure, clip into place and then fold it back to see if it’s the right way.
As you did with the top, sew a stitch length 3 line of stitching close to the top. Again this is just to secure the zip to make it easier to add the lining.
Now add another piece of lining (right side facing) against the right side of the top panel piece. With the stitch length of 2.5, sew close to the teeth as you did for the first side.
Fold the two pieces back and finger press. Don’t sew the top stitching on this side just yet.
We want the bottom pocket to look nice when we open it, so we need to give it a lining of its own. To do this cut a piece of lining material that is slightly longer than the bottom of the pocket so that it lays above the line of the zip. This will mean that once you sew the top stitch for this top section, it will catch this fabric and create a pocket lining. Clip into place so that it doesn’t move.
Now sew a line of stitch length 3 top stitching.
It will look the same as the bottom from the front view.
However, the back will have an extra piece and look like this.
We have opened the zip, so that you can see that the bottom pocket now has its own lining.
The next part is really important.
You now need to cut the pouch to the size you want. Make sure that the zip has been opened enough so that the pull will be in the section of the fabric that won’t be cut. If you leave the pull at the side of the fabric, you may accidentally cut it off. This is a pain as it is really hard to re-attach the pull.
A top tip is the cut the bottom edge to size first. The size of the pocket is crucial as you will need to cut it so that the largest tampon will fit. Once you have cut this edge, you can cut the top to the length required for the pouch.
This is what the back will look like.
You will see that the top has two layers and the bottom has three. We need to ignore this fact and think of it as one layer.
We now need to do exactly the same process for the top zip. Place the right side of the zip to the top of the right side of the front panel. Clip into place to secure.
Sew the tacking line to hold the zip in place.
Place a piece of lining material that is the same size or slightly bigger, so that right sides are facing. Clip into place and sew close to the zip teeth.
This is how it will look once you have sewn along the zip.
Fold the pieces back over this top zip and finger press. Remember to press them back well so that the material is well away from the teeth.
Top stitch to secure the pieces together.
This is the back. You can see that the pocket lining is now hidden behind this piece of lining.
You now need to add the back to the pouch.
Take a moment to get the fabric the right way. This is how we want the figures to look once the zip has been attached. To achieve this, we need to flip the fabric up and over the front panel. It’s a good idea to clip in place and fold the fabric back before you sew, so that you know you have it the right way.
We made sure that the figures will be standing the same way up once the pouch has been sewn.
Sew a line of tacking stitches close to the top to secure the zip, so that it’s easier to add the lining.
Place the last piece of lining, right side facing the right side of the back piece. Clip in place to secure and sew your stitches close to the zip teeth.
Fold these two pieces back over this side of the zip and finger press. Then sew your top stitch to hold these two pieces together.
This will be the inside of the pouch made up of the lining material.
Cut the back panel so that it is the same size as the front panel. Again, make sure that the zip is open enough so that you don’t accidentally cut the zip pull off.
So that the pouch can attach to your bag, thread a piece of ribbon through the bottom hole of a swivel clip. We used the ribbon that was tied around the fabric to hold the bundle together. You choose how long you want this to be. You may want it short so that the pouch swings from the bag. You may want to make it longer so that it falls right inside the bag, but can easily be pulled back out.
Sew the loop to secure the two ends.
Position where you want the clip to go. We like it to be fairly near to the top of the pouch. Wherever you decide to place it, remember to position it as shown in the picture below. The clasp needs to be inwards with the tail of the ribbon at the edge. Place it so that the line of stitching is close to the edge so that it will be hidden once the seams have been sewn.
Secure in place by sewing a few lines of stitches right at the edge.
Cut off any excess ribbon that may be peeping over the edge.
It’s now time to sew the pouch up.
Place the right side together. The front panel is placed with the back panel and the two linings are place right sides facing. To make sure that the pouch looks neat, pay attention to the centre joins as they will be more noticiable. Secure with clips to hold the pieces together.
First you need to make sure that the pouch zip is undone. If you don’t open it, you will struggle to turn the pouch right side out.
A top tip is to start at the centre and work down the sides of the pouch first. Sew down one side of the outer fabric side to the end. Turn the pouch over and sew down the other side of the outer fabric. Start at the centre again and sew down to the bottom edge. Finally sew along the bottom edge of the outer fabric.
Next do exactly the same for the lining with both the side seams.
The bottom edge of the lining needs to have a gap left unsewn, so that the pouch can be turned right side out.
Once you have sewn all of the seams (leaving the gap at the bottom of the lining edge), you may want to snip away some of the excess material in the corners. Take care that you don’t snip any of the stitches. Reach into the gap in the lining and pull the pouch right side out.
Fold in the open seam in the lining and finger press.
Sew a line of stitching to close the hole. As no-one will see this seam, (it will inside the pouch), you can use any colour you want. We used a matching thread for ours and it doesn’t really show.
All you need to do now is fill it with you pads and tampons and attach it to your bag.
No-one will ever now what secret this little pouch hides and you will always have it to hand.
You don’t have to make them for sanitary products. How about making ones for poo bags and dog treats. You can attach the clasp to your bag or jacket pull when you’re out and about with your pooch.
Let your imagination run wild.
We love seeing your creations and makes, so don’t forget to tag us #CraftyCoCreations
The Crafty Co