Sunday, February 20, 2011

Arm Band Pouch

My OH found this Arm Band Pouch tutorial and asked me to make him one. He didn't want it quite like the one in that tutorial (of course not! ;)) but instead wanted it lined so it would be a bit sturdier. So, I thought I'd share how we made ours! It was a bit of a trial-and-error day ;)

What you'll need:
  • 2 coordinating fabrics (one for the outside, one for the lining)
  • Lightweight fusible interfacing
  • Elastic (thicker elastic works much better, we only had thin stuff lying around)
  • Velcro
  • Scissors, sewing machine, thread, etc..

What to do:
First, forgive me for the fabrics and embellishments I'm using here - the OH chose them himself! ;) I did question him with such beauties as "Are you sure?" and "You're really going to wear this out in public? You know, where people can see you?" and he was adamant!

Making the pouch
Work out how big you want your pouch to be. Probably not too big since it's going to be on your arm while you're walking or jogging, but at least make sure your phone or MP3 player or whatever you plan to carry will fit ;)

Cut out 2 rectangles from both fabrics and the interfacing (so you'll have 6 pieces total!) that are the intended size of your pouch PLUS seam allowance PLUS some extra width - we added about an inch extra on each side. The extra width is so you can make the pouch a bit "fatter" allowing it to expand better to hold your stuff, like in this picture:

Fuse your interfacing to your fabric. It doesn't matter much for this if you fuse it to the lining or the outside fabric. Most people fuse it to the lining, I seem to always fuse it to the outside fabric (just to be different ;)).

Work out how much elastic you need. To do this, I wrapped a strip firmly around my man's upper arm, then cut it off at that length and sewed the ends together so the elastic was in a loop. Because I only had thin elastic, I made three of these loops and ended up using two. It would be much much nicer to use thick elastic like in the original Make It and Love It tutorial.

Now, there are several steps that I would have done here but because I was making this trial-and-error style and I'm a bit of a wally, I actually sewed my lining and outer fabrics into tubes here. Mine worked out fine, but it was fiddly to sew! 

What I recommend is to sew your elastic to your outer fabric right now! Find the centre of one piece of your outer fabric, and pin your elastic so that the sewed end of your elastic loop is at that centre point. Sew lengthways up the elastic on either side of the centre (see the red lines in the image below). Do this for all of your elastic loops if you're using more than one (actually I didn't use all three, only two). 

To make this a little prettier and more comfortable, I used a strip of extra outer fabric with some interfacing fused on to cover the elastic. First, cut off the sewn middle section end of the elastic loops, these bits:

Then get your fabric strip and fold all the edges under slightly. Iron it down so the edges stay put! Then sew it on top of the elastic, like this:

Now, place your two pieces of outer fabric together, right sides facing in, and sew up both long edges so that you have a tube. Be careful not to sew over your elastic! Repeat for your lining fabric.

Turn your outer fabric tube right sides out. Put the lining fabric tube inside the outer fabric tube (now the fabrics should be facing the way you want them to end up) 

Roll the edge of the outer fabric tube inwards, and the lining fabric tube outwards, like the picture below. Basically, we're going to sew it together and we want it nice and neat, no raw edges showing.

Now is a good time to fold those edges in and iron them in place - do this before you sew the bottom up! (Sorry, I forgot to take a photo! But the photo below shows the effect we're going for here)

Once you've got the ends nicely lined up, sew along the outside to close the bottom end up. Remember to back sew both edges for strength. Forgive my wonky sewing, it wasn't my best day ;)

At the open end of your tube, fold the edges of the outer and lining fabrics towards each other again. When they're lined up nicely, sew around the edge, sewing the lining and outer fabrics together.

Attaching the lid
Cut out another rectangle from your lining and outer fabrics for the lid flap. This should be the width that your pouch is now, with the edges folded in, PLUS seam allowance all around. The length is up to you, but remember to allow for a seam.

Cut out a strip of your Velcro, about an inch is good but you can adjust this to suit yourself. Attach one piece to the right side of your lining fabric, centred and a few centimetres from the front edge (remember to take into account the seam allowance - it'll end up like the photo below). I like to sew around the entire edge plus a diagonally from corner to corner for extra strength. Set aside the matching piece of Velcro for now.

If you want to embellish the lid, do it now. Yup, my big grown-up man insisted on this owl.

Put your lining and outer fabrics right sides together and sew down both long sides and the front edge. You can go a little fancy and round off the front edge if you want. I angled the corners, you could also trace around a cup or something if you wanted a circular edge.

Turn your lid right side out and top stitch around the three sewn sides, close to the edge. Tuck the edges of the open end inside the lid. Iron it down so it stays in place when you sew the lid flap to the pouch.

(Sorry about the blurry picture)

Pin the matching piece of Velcro to the front centre of the pouch. Attach the lid flap via the Velcro, and pin the open end of the lid flap to the back of the pouch. When you are happy with how the lid is placed, sew the Velcro and the lid flap to their respective places.


TA DA! You are awesome! And for your trouble, you have a useful little arm band pouch to hold essentials when you exercise.



Megan said...

what a great idea. I need one of these. Maybe I'll give it a try!


Brycie Jean said...

Awesome idea~! This would come in VERY handy when I am out and about and DONT want to take my WHOLE purse along!


Rissa @ Hazel and Honeysuckle said...

It's a nifty little pouch for sure! Next time I'm going to choose the colours though ;) Thanks so much for your lovely comments! said...

Some cute stuff happening here! New follower would love a follow back

Rissa @ Hazel and Honeysuckle said...

Thanks! I'll head over right now to check you out :D

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