Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Marker Pouch



Here's another project I let myself do as a reward for having finished the girls' costumes. I've been wanting to make a pouch for the girls' coloring implements that they can use in church. We've tried various things in the past - marker rolls (like crayon rolls, but for markers), pencil rolls, regular zippered pencil cases, pencil boxes and even plain old ziploc bags. None of these worked - either they were noisy or the kids had to dig in them for what they wanted or there was too much fiddling, or pens fell out and rolled under the pew in front or all of the above. Saw one of these zippered pouches somewhere that was closest to what I wanted and kept it on pinterest so I would remember to make it at first opportunity. 

First opportunity, it turned out, was a long time in coming.
But last night, after three summer birthday parties, one wedding, three halloween costumes, some skirts and who knows what else, I finally had an evening without a deadline to put this together.

This is much fatter than the original, obviously, because it is meant to contain a lot of markers and not just cosmetics or skinny pencils.

It opens from the bottom to expose a partial wall

and when fully unzipped

sits squarely to allow easy access to its contents. 

The top half of the back wall folds down

to allow easy access to the contents, much like a pencil cup.


We managed to squeeze in at least 16 markers and still zip it up. However, while open, it held quite a few more - we counted at least 25 (see first photo) before we ran out of markers to fill it with.

The front wall flattens out to keep the cup open because there's thin plastic in the bottom half of the back wall that provides a slight spring-loaded action. I used template plastic and batting for structure, along with homedec fabric for the outside and ripstop nylon for the lining. It's not as robust as it would've been if I'd added a layer of 600D nylon packcloth to stabilize it. But I wanted to see if it would work with just regular fabric in this prototype. Well, yes, but... no. Packcloth would've sealed the deal.

Now that little front pocket looks very handy but, honestly, it was introduced purely to hide the base's seam allowance. 

Here's the view from the bottom, showing the base when there are 16 markers in there. The actual shape of the base is a dome with straight sides (sorry, forgot to take a photo).

And here is the pouch again, all zipped up.


Go ahead and point out the hideous edgestitching if you want to. I don't mind. This was my "muslin", afterall. I didn't even bother to use the zipper foot when I was supposed to, or the best thread color or the correct thread tension after the last project (four layers of vinyl). I was only interested in testing the dimensions, the sequence of construction and the way the pieces fit together.

It came together very quickly - a couple of hours at the most. And it's structurally very simple because it has only a few pieces to assemble. But the way it comes together is awkward and several times I found myself thinking, "Seriously? You have to do this before that? Oh, that's crude." And then I wasn't happy with the finish - it isn't a project for beginners who like sewing straight lines on flat layouts; there's a fair bit of 3D manipulation involved. I'm not planning to make a second one, or (therefore) do a tutorial anytime soon. Which is why I took so many photos from various angles and let you know all the materials I used, so you could try making it yourself without having to experiment from scratch. I'm disappointed at the irony - I was initially interested in deconstructing it for you guys because it had such a simple structure, but the process turned out to be quite the contortion act. It isn't often that a whip-up type project is simultaneously a mental (and presser-foot) workout. Sorry :( 


25 comments:

  1. Its cool! It'd be great as a pencil box for my kid, to take to school and prop up on the teeny tiny desk. You know something else that'd work but make it slightly heavier and less elegant? A tin (like those Milkmaid ones; mighty useful those things) or cut off base of an empty shampoo bottle etc. inside a similarly constructed pouch. No need for any inserts. A round fabric base, a trapezoidal sort of top with a zip. Take the container out when you need to, cover and zip when you travel. Even the length of the zip needs to be shorter, for the bottom part will not be flexible... Less contortions maybe when stitiching?

    I am sorry if this sounds like gibberish. If I ever get it done, I'll send you a pic!

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  2. It looks great! But oh, shucks... I was hoping for a tutorial. Oh, well..... :)

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  3. So, so clever. I love the sixth photo, with it sitting squarely, unzipped, but hidden from all but the user. Like a hiding spot. Wonderful!

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  4. This is very clever! I'm afraid I don't have the ability to deconstruct it - yet. Maybe sometime (say, in time for grandchildren!)

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  5. This is a genius pouch. Sorry to hear it isn't "tutorial friendly".

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  6. Wow! This is a great idea for small fingers. I like it a lot!

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  7. What a fantastic pouch/pencil case! I will keep my fingers crossed that you change your mind and do a tutorial or pattern!

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  8. Hi ! I enjoy your pouch, it's a new and very interesting construction ! please, can you tell where have you bought your different fabrics ? Many thanks for the ideas and for the fotos ! Best regards from France
    Elisabeth

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  9. It cracks me up that you are such a hardcore seamstress that you call on us to mock your edge stitching. My sister, when she wants to mock me - reminds me that Barbie dresses don't need neck facings.

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  10. wow! my girls would love this!

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  11. Lier, you are a genius. I don't think I can even copy what you did, let alone come up with it myself. Great work.

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  12. This is a great idea and I encourage you to develop a pattern for it! So many uses come to mind, and I really like the zipper end detail; classy!

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  13. Wow, I love this! I’ve collected a zillion pouch patterns/ideas (and someday I’ll make the time to sew some), but I’ve never seen anything like this. I too would love a pattern or tutorial.

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  14. Darn! I actually read every word to see when you were doing a tutorial! Haha! This is an awesome little pouch, any chance that we can all persuade you?

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  15. Ooh, what a fun surprise it was to see this here today. I sent you a picture of one in March, then completely forgot about it. I'm glad you didn't. Perhaps once the costumes here are done, I'll try one.

    And if you think your edgestitching is atrocious (perhaps it looks worse in person because it looks fine in the photos), remind me to tell you about the Horrendous $200 Bridesmaids Dress sometime...

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    1. Keep going on those costumes, Karin! You have more than 24 hours! I've sewn costumes in negative time (i.e. past Halloween day itself) so you're still in the black. Go! Go! Go!

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    2. Costumes are DONE and off to school with the children. But now I remembered the dolls clothes I said I would make for a school fundraiser, so more procrastination on the pencil pouch... (love the doll workshop too. If I have the right materials in my stash, I think I'll make some of them for the fundraiser too. You are such a generous and talented soul!!)

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  16. P.S. LOVE the stuff on your To Sew pinterest board. That Wrap Dress (free pattern) is very intriguing.

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  17. This is great! Although I can't really understand the part about the base - actually, neither my sewist self nor my engineer husband could figure out what shape a "dome with straight sides" is.

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  18. It looks so cool, i'm definitey going to attempt one :)

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  19. Wow You're so clever !!! Now my kids want one each hahaha
    I'm going to need a pattern/tutorial ;)

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  20. I love this pouch! You have to give it a try!
    Thank you for your thoughts, perhaps I try this out.
    Susuko.

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  21. Une super bonne idée. I like it =) Good job =)

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