Here's a really quick and easy project for the summer – a sunglasses pouch. Even quicker that the previous sunglasses case I made, there's no turning, no fancy closures, just some pretty fabric and a bit of bias binding.
This is a good project to practise applying bias binding; the pouch is an unusual shape with both concave and convex curves and a corner.
My version also uses a bit of quilting. This holds the layers together, and gives the pouch a bit of structure. Without it, the finished case won't feel as structured (although the interfacing will give it sone support), and you might find the inner fabric wrinkling slightly in use.
- download the pattern piece
- outer fabric: 20cm square (8")
- inner fabric: 20cm square (8")
- fusible interfacing: 20cm square (8")
- wadding: 20cm square (8")
- 70cm (30") bias binding
If you don't have any wadding, I find a bit of cheap felt works well to give the pouch a bit of bulk.
- Apply the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the outer fabric.
- Cut out the pattern piece from each of the outer fabric, inner fabric (see note below) and wadding.
Place the pattern piece FACE UP on the right side of the outer fabric, and FACE DOWN on the right side of the inner fabric. The two pieces should be mirror images of each other.
(There's no right and wrong side to the wadding, so it doesn't matter which way you cut this piece.)
- Layer the pieces together, aligning the edges, in this order: inner fabric right side down, wadding, outer fabric right side up.
- Optional: if you intend to quilt the pouch, do it now.
I quilted in curved lines. I started by stitching a curved line from the top left to bottom right, and then echoed it at intervals of around 1.5cm.
- If you choose not to quilt the pouch, sew a single line straight down the centre, following the dotted line on the pattern.
This will keep the fabrics together and stabilise it slightly.
- Apply the bias binding all round.
- Fold the pouch in half vertically, matching the right hand edges. Sew down the side and along the bottom, stitching in the ditch along the edge of the binding.
Some notes on the quilting
The quilting is optional, but the pouch will feel more sturdy if you add it.
This is a small easy to manipulate piece that makes it ideal for trying out a quilting design that's a little different to usual. You could use it as a chance to practice your free motion skills, and try out some different designs; try Leah Day's free motion quilting project or Lori Kennedy for tons of designs.
Or if you've never quilted anything before, you could try quilting in straight lines. Mark your lines with a water-soluble marking pen first.
Do you need a walking foot?
Usually when you sew, the feed dogs grip the fabric from underneath and move it through the machine. The top layer of fabric moves through at a slightly different rate. Often, this is not a big problem. But when quilting several thick layers together, the top layer of fabric can end up shifting and creating puckers in your sewing.
A walking foot is specially designed to pull the top fabric through the machine at the same rate as the bottom fabric, reducing puckers. It's also useful for matching checks and stripes accurately. This link is a gret summary of how to use the walking foot.
If you're doing free motion quilting, then you are in charge of moving the fabric, so you don't need a walking foot.
For straight or curved lines, if you have a walking foot then using it for this project will definitely make your life easier. However, a walking foot doesn't come cheap; I certainly wouldn't recommend buying one just for this project!
Tips for quilting the pouch if you don’t have a walking foot
If you don't have one, all is not lost. Because this is a relatively small project, you won't get too much shifting of the top fabric, especially if you keep the amount of quilting to a minimum. I suggest:
- Layer the fabrics and wadding and quilt the whole area before cutting the pattern piece out – this will help avoid any shrinkage
- Start quilting at the centre and work outwards, rather than working from corner to corner
- Hold the fabrics taut behind and in front of the foot as you sew – there's a knack to this, but the idea is to keep the whole wad of fabric moving through the machine as one piece.
- Keep the quilting quite far apart, and keep it simple – less dense quilting means less chance for shifting and puckering
- Avoid crossing quilting lines – the point where two lines cross is particularly prone to puckering, so choose a parallel design rather than a criss-cross.