I’m the sort of person who likes to make a pattern once and then move on to the next project. I don’t know if it’s a short attention span or just a love for trying new things, but it’s rare that I’ll make the same thing twice.
The Triangle Patchwork Box Pouch from Patchwork, Please! by Ayumi Takahashi is a beautiful exception to that rule.
I love this pattern. I love that it calls for tiny scraps of my favorite fabrics, that it’s a project I can finish in a day or two, and that it gives me an adorable but completely useful little pouch when I’m done. I’ve made three of these cases — unheard of, let me tell you! — and I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if there are more in my future.
However, since I do like variety, I decided to try making the bag using a different method of construction this time. The original pattern has you make the exterior and lining separately, placing the inside-out exterior inside the lining, and finishing the piece by hand sewing the lining in place around the zipper. I thought it would be fun to try making this piece a little differently and eliminate the hand sewing by using the same construction methods I used in my Mosaic Bag Tutorial.
By quilting the main paper-pieced panels directly onto the main lining panels and creating a circular gusset using the top zipper panel and a long side/bottom panel, I was able to make this bag entirely by machine as well as strengthen it by quilting every single piece. I trimmed my top panel to 3 1/2 x 12 1/2″ and combined the side and bottom panels into one 3 1/2 x 13 1/4″ rectangle.
Although it would be simple to bind the interior seams, I chose to finish them with a zig-zag stitch. It gives the bag plenty of stability and is a much quicker process than binding. I also used a 1/4″ seam instead of 1/2″, giving me a slightly larger case at 5 ” high, 8″ wide, and 3″ deep. Lately I’ve been adding a little strip of leather as a zipper pull to all of my pouches. It’s a nice touch, and it really does make it easier to open and close the bag.
One of the best tips I learned back when I made this pouch the first time is how useful adhesive basting spray can be. Ayumi uses this product in the making of many of her projects, and I don’t know how I ever lived without it before reading this book. Though I still use fusible interfacing and batting occasionally, I almost always turn to adhesive basting spray and batting or muslin to interface my small projects. It’s quick, simple, and easy to undo if I make a mistake. The price may seem a little steep, but I’ve found that it’s worth every penny.
Incidentally, Ayumi’s book is chock full of adorable projects like this one. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend that you get your hands on a copy. It’s definitely on my top ten list of sewing books.
Ayumi herself labels this pouch with a high level of difficulty in her book, and I agree with her call. This project includes paper piecing, putting in a zipper, hand sewing, and basic bag construction skills. But if you work through it carefully one step at a time, you’ll end up with a darling little pouch that will make you smile every time you look at it.