Organize Along with Bee Sew Inspired

Week 7 – UFOs

Welcome to week 7 of the Organize Along hosted by the amazing Jennifer from Bee Sew Inspired! I am honored to have a part in Jennifer’s Organize Along and hopefully can help some of you with organizing your smaller UFO projects.

I know organizing our sewing, stitching, crocheting, all things crafting areas can sometimes be so overwhelming. I am not the most organized person! I would love to be more organized, but organization seems to be a constant battle for me.

Even though my overall organization is an ongoing work in progress, I am pretty good at keeping each individual project I am working on (or UFO, WIP, etc.) together with all my supplies. I have different types of bins or containers for my quilting projects. For my cross stitch or small projects, I like to make bags for each project to have a special home.

I have two young girls and we are constantly on the go. I like to have these small project bags to throw in my purse on our way out the door. I have realized that when they were younger, I had a lot more time to quilt and sew. Now that they are older, I seem to be working on more portable types of projects.  

These small project bags are the perfect size for my purse and inside I keep EVERYTHING I need to work on that project. I usually just use scraps or leftover pieces and bits to make these bags. Or sometimes, if there is a fabric I cannot wait to cut up and use for something, it usually becomes a project bag 😊

I am not taking credit for this type of pouch/project bag. There are so many patterns and tutorials out there for this type of pouch. After making so many of them, this is just the way I have started making them for myself, using leftover pieces I have on hand. This is a super quick way to make this type of bag from start to finish in the small pockets of time I have to sew. There are several different ways to make them, but this is just what works for me.

This has also become my favorite size for smaller projects. They finish approximately 9.5″ square and look super cute stacked up in my purse!

You will need:

2 pieces of fabric cut 10” x 10”

1 piece of interfacing 10” x 10” (fusible fleece, batting, etc.)

2 – 3” x 10” strips of fabric

1 piece of vinyl approximately 10” x 10”

10” zipper or longer (I cut a bigger piece from my zippers by the yard)

1 piece of 2.5” x WOF fabric for binding (approximately 42″)

***All pieces are oversized to allow for trimming down***

Step #1 – Cut your pieces of fabric 10” square. One piece will be for the back of your project bag and one piece will be for the front. Adhere the interfacing to the BACK piece of fabric. I used fusible fleece for mine. Place your two pieces wrong sides together. The right sides of the fabric should be facing out on the front and the back.

Step #2 – Quilt your fabric sandwich. I quilted mine with ¾” lines on the diagonal. You don’t have to quilt it at all, but I like how the quilting gives this small pouch a little more stability.

Step #3 – Trim down your piece to 9 ½” square.

Step #4 – Press both of your 3” x 10” binding strips in half lengthwise (WST). Your piece should now measure 1 ½” x 10”. Put one of those strips aside. That will be for the top part of your zipper.

Take your other binding strip (already pressed in half) and open it up. You are going to be making a small piece of double folded bias binding. Take one end and fold to your already pressed seam. Finger press or iron that side down.

Now fold the other end to your originally pressed seam and iron that down (hopefully the pictures will help because I feel like I am not explaining this well at all!)

Fold in half and then in half again and iron. It will measure ¾” by 10” at this point.

Step #5 – Open your double folded binding piece and place your vinyl inside. Stitch down close to the binding edge of fabric. I use my walking foot for this step. You could change out to an edge foot or whatever foot you feel comfortable with. Set this piece aside for now.

Step #6 – Take your top binding piece and your zipper. Place the binding piece on top of the zipper. Pay attention to which way you want your zipper pull to be going. Stitch the top piece of binding to the top of your zipper. I just hold it tight with my fingers. I know some people use glue or binding clips. Use whatever method works best for you. Just make sure you leave a tiny space for your zipper to open and close. You could also use a zipper foot at this point. Again, I’m always looking for ways to save some time, so I just kept my walking foot on.

Step #7 – Take your bottom binding/vinyl piece and attach to the bottom of the zipper. I have a bunch of zipper by the yard pieces. It is easy to cut a piece longer than needed so you don’t have to worry about moving the zipper pull out of the way while you are stitching these pieces down.

Step #8 – TRIM UP time! I like to use oversized pieces so that you can sew and not worry so much about lining everything up perfectly. Now you can trim your piece to measure 9 ½” x 9 ½”. Make sure you don’t pull your zipper pull off your project! Be careful and move it to the center or do a few stitches on the end so you don’t accidently pull it off.

Step #9 – Now, with your pieces lined up and trimmed, you can put a basting stitch 1/8” around your pouch to keep everything lined up and together. I like to baste the top first, then both sides and then the bottom.

Step #10 – Now it is time to bind your project! I forgot to take a picture of my project at this point, but I sewed my binding to the back and then topstitched by machine to the front. Make sure your zipper pull is in the center so you don’t sew over it. Use whatever binding method you prefer. The WOF binding strip was just long enough for this 9.5” size pouch. If you end up making one a little bigger, you are going to need a longer strip of fabric.

Now you have a small project pouch perfect for throwing in your bag for on-the-go projects! You can adjust the size of your pieces to make any size pouch you need. Have fun using up some fabric scraps and organizing your smaller projects. Let me know if you make one. Tag me @crochetingvixen so we can celebrate this small travel sized project bag together!

My small Bitty Board fits right inside this size pouch!! This is the small project I currently have inside this project bag.

Here are some of my current WIPs/UFOs that are on rotation in my purse. Some of them are a little wider than 9 1/2″. You can make them any size you want to fit your project.

Go sew and have some fun! -Vickie

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