UPDATE: I have completely re-written this tutorial with all new photos and better instructions and it is available as a licensed pattern in my pattern shop. The free tutorial for personal use is still available below!
I use a little zippered pouch to carry around my earbuds since they are the fancy microphone ones and I don’t want them to break or get tangled. Some of you have commented that you are looking for some small, simple gift ideas. This is definitely simple to make, and a little more fun than the typical rectangular zippered pouch! I can see these as the perfect gift for teenage cousins or nieces or girlfriends or even teacher gifts. Fun, quick, and cute! It doesn’t take very much fabric so you could even use scraps! Sometimes I have the perfect fabric for something but I only have a fat quarter, or I want to make something extra with the leftovers from another project. This is perfect for that. You could even use 5″ charm squares! You can enlarge any of the photos by clicking on them, if you need to. This is a very basic zippered pouch, so hopefully some of you beginners will try making one!
First, download the pattern file HERE.
Cut from main fabric:
2 half circles
Cut from lining fabric:
2 half circles
Cut from batting (or medium weight interfacing, if you prefer):1 circle
2 half circles
You will also need a 1″ wide nylon 5″ or longer zipper.
Place one lining half circle right side up and place the zipper right side up on top. Align top edges.
Place a main fabric half circle wrong side up (right side together with the zipper). Place batting on top.
Sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance. It’s important to use a 1/4″ SA here because the zipper is 1″ wide, and if we use two 1/4″ seam allowances we are subtracting 1/4″ from each half circle but adding 1/2″ in the middle of the zipper. Perfect!
Fold back and repeat with the other side. Then trim the batting as best you can without cutting into the fabric.
Fold everything back and press well.
Make sure the back side is away from the zip as well.
Topstitch 1/8″ away from the edge with a longer stitch length.
Now make the tab for the side. Fold the tab in fourths – Fold the edges to the center and then fold in half and topstitch.
Fold the tab in half and place it with the raw edges towards the outside of the circle, folded edge in, right over the zipper and sew it at the same spot where you tacked the zip.
Now you need to place the circle pieces wrong sides together with the batting in the middle. Place the lining circle wrong side up. (I’m using solids so it doesn’t matter, but if you are using a print, place it right side DOWN, wrong side up.) Place the cotton batting on top. Place the main fabric circle on top of that. Like a quilt sandwich. It’s so small you don’t really need to pin. If you used fusible interfacing in place of batting, just place the two fabrics wrong sides together.
You should now have these two pieces. Make sure the zipper pull is IN THE MIDDLE of the circle. You don’t want to end up cutting it off!
Flip the full circle piece over on top of the piece with the zipper, right sides together. (Now, if I was showing you how to do this the “right” way, I would tell you to baste with a 1/8″ seam allowance around the outsides first. But this is a small pouch, and it will be fine if you don’t baste. Plus, it’s just for fun. Not basting also makes it easier to trim the batting after sewing!)
Time to sew! Start anywhere on the circle and sew all the way around with a 3/8″ seam allowance.
Since we didn’t use interfacing AND we are sewing in a circle, you might get some puckering (fusible interfacing helps keep the fabric stiffer so it doesn’t pucker as much.) It’s OK. Just lift up the presser foot every few stitches, pivot, smooth out the pucker and keep sewing.
Now cut off the zipper ends. Just don’t use your good fabric scissors! I keep an extra pair of scissors around of opening packages, cutting paper and cutting off ends of zippers.
Now pull back the fabric and try to trim as much batting out as you can without slicing fabric. I use sharp, tiny scissors for this. It’s not imperative but I think it helps reduce bulk.
Decision time! Since it’s difficult to hand stitch a curved opening shut, there will be some raw edges that we need to deal with. You have two options:
1. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″. Zig zag, overlock and serge the raw edges before turning the pouch right side out. I also clipped the curves every 1/2″, but you probably don’t have to. The raw edges will be tucked way inside the pouch.
Add a split ring and your earbuds and you are done!