I’ve seen this design online from time to time but have yet to find a free pattern or tutorial for one, so I decided to wing it and make my own. I do love a challenge.
First, a list of supplies you’ll need if you want to make your own.
- 2 outer pieces of fabric, cut 5 1/2’’ by 9 1/2’’
- 2 lining pieces of fabric, cut 5 1/2’’ by 9 1/2’’
- 1 piece of lining fabric, or contrasting fabric for the pleats cut 5 1/2’’ by 7’’. If you want more pleats just add on a few inches to the length, for example my piece would be cute 5 1/2’’ by 9’’.
- 1 – 8’’ zipper.
Take one piece of your outer fabric and measure in 2’’ from the left side and make a mark, then measure 2’’ from that mark and make another mark. Cut this rectangle out. You’ll end up with 2 pieces measuring 2’’ by 5 1/2 and one piece measuring 5 1/2’’ by 5 1/2’’.
The 2nd 2’’ by 5 1/2’’ strip isn’t pictured here. Just set it aside, you’ll come back to use that piece later.
Now on to the pleated part of this bag. Take the fabric you’re going to use for your pleats and turn it so that the short side is on the top and bottom, long edges to the sides. Then pinch at little bit below the top of the fabric and fold the fabric over and up. Pin in place.
Continue doing this until the length of your fabric is folded into nice, even pleats.
Press this flat with an iron, but don’t run your iron over your stick pins. The heads of them will melt and you’ll end up with a weird crease in your fabric where the pins are.
Now take this to your sewing machine and run a basting stitch along the pleated sides. Make sure you have your pleats positioned for when the fabric goes under the pressure foot the pleats will be flattened towards you. If you turn it the wrong way the pressure foot my try and lift the pleats up and your basting stitch will ruin the pleats.
Now, take out all your pins and press with a hot iron again, making sure to get it as flat as possible.
Pick up your outer fabric you cut a 2nd piece out of a few steps ago and lay it beside the pleats you just created. This will be the front of your pouch.
Start with the short piece of outer fabric, and place it right side over your pleats. Sew in place, being careful not to catch any pleats under the seam.
Repeat this with the larger piece of out fabric, on the other side of the pleats. Here’s a picture with the short side attached, right before you attach the bigger piece to the pleats. Press the seams (on the inside) away from the pleats when you’re finished.
I decided to add interfacing to my pouch at the last minute. So if you want to do that just cut 2 pieces of fusible medium weight interfacing 5 1/2’’ by 9 1/2’’. Iron them onto both pieces of your outer fabric now.
Remember that tiny strip of fabric we cut out of the front piece? Get it now and cut it into 2 pieces that measure 1 1/2’’ by 2 1/2’’.
Turn them wrong side up, and fold the short edges in towards the middle, and press with an iron.
Ready for the zipper? Of course you are. Take one edge of your zipper and place it in the middle of your folded pieces and fold the top down on the zipper and sew in place from top to bottom over the zipper.
Repeat with the other side of the zipper. You can skip this step if you like but this is a handy step for making your zipper fit better in your pouch.
Once your zipper is ready, you’re ready for the assemble of the pouch. Open your zipper, with the teeth facing down slip it between one piece of lining fabric and one piece of outer fabric, right sides together. Sew a line as close to the zipper teeth as you can get without hitting it. (Use your zipper foot if you like, sometimes I get lazy and don’t change the foot on my machine)
Repeat the above step with the other side of your zipper. Sandwich it between lining and outer fabric with the teeth facing down inside the fabric.
Turn your bag over, with the outer fabric facing up and this is what your bag should look like.
One last step. Open your zipper half way. DON’T FORGET THIS. You’ll not be able to turn your finished bag right side out if you do!!! Place the outer fabric together, right sides facing each other, and the lining fabric with right sides facing each other as well. You should have a funky looking square/rectangle.
Sew around all 4 corners, leaving a 3 or 4’’ gap for turning.
Turn your pouch right side out through the lining and zipper. You can hand stitch or machine stitch the opening in the lining closed at this point. Make sure you push out your corners as best as you can so the bag has a neat finished look.
I think it matches my new purse perfectly. I like how the pleats can be almost like a ruffle but a little less whimsical.
I see more of these in my future!