Hi I'm Katy from The Littlest Thistle, and I'm here today with a FAL tutorial to help with an oft puzzled over conundrum - how to create a zippy pouch with a flat bottom and vertical sides.
So lets take a look at the 'traditional' zippy pouch, where you squish the sides down to meet the base, sew along a line and chop the extra off:
You can see the sides slope down to meet the base, which is not necessarily a bad thing, it's just that with patterned fabric with any kind of horizontal or vertical pattern you'll lose the effect with things wrapping oddly round the side. The angle of the sides depends on how far up the seam you go before stitching the line across, and it's not easy to see what the effect will be until the pouch is turned through.
The next option is to cut a square out of the bottom corners of the rectangles you're using to make the sides. You sew the sides and base together, leaving the square openings free, then you squish the sides down to meet the base again, but this time you have a cut edge to sew along the seam allowance for:
You can see the sides are at less of an angle, but they're still not vertical.
Now I do have to break the news to you that there's maths involved in the ultimate solution, good old Pythagoras and his theorem in fact, sorry! The good news is, it's easy, and you can do it on the calculator on your computer :oD
Taking the 2nd example from above as a starting point, we're going to use the cut out corners method, but instead of vertical sides on the fabric we start with, we're going to angle it up to the top. By doing this, when the right angled triangle at the side is folded round and the base is folded up, they will meet to push the front out, leaving the sides vertical.
A right angled triangle is one where the side and the base are at a 90 degree angle to each other, or thinking about a clock face, the big hand (side) is at 12 and the small hand (base) is at 3. We need a right angle between the side and the base to keep the base flat otherwise you would end up with a rocking pouch!
Because we're using a right angled triangle, to work out how to get the height and the depth we want we need to use Pythagoras:
In the diagram above:
a = the height we want the pouch to be + seam allowance top and bottom
b = half the depth we want the pouch to be (as there is a front and back) + 1/2 seam allowance
c = ?
a2 + b2 = c2
So since I've decided that I want a height of 7 1/2", a depth of 4 1/2" and a seam allowance of 1/2" I get:
a = 7 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2 = 8 1/2
b = 2 1/4 + 1/4 = 2 1/2
c2 = (8 1/2)2 + (2 1/2)2 = 78 1/2 (that is, c2 = 72.25 + 6.25 = 78.5)
c = √(78 1/2) = 8.86 which we round to the nearest 1/8 inch, making 8 7/8 (8.875)
(** For those who have forgotten a few math things: c2 means c multiplied by c. When you know the value for c2 you then have to take the square root of that value to get c and you can do that by putting the value of c2 into your calculator and hitting the square root button that looks like this: √. The calculator will tell you the square root and you can check by multiplying that number times itself to see if you get the c2 number you started with.)
Are you still with me? I hope so...
In the diagram above, there are some unlabelled measurements, so for the depth to work correctly the bit below c must be the same length as b, ie 2 1/2". The width of the pouch is entirely up to you, but I went for 10".
If you are going to create your pattern using paper and pencil, I suggest you draw the triangle sides on a separate piece of paper with side a vertical and side b horizontal to ensure you have your right angle, then you can connect the 2 and double check that c is correct by measuring it. Once you're happy that you have all the right measurements, cut them out, and tape them to the main body. Gridded paper, like graph paper, can be really useful for this kind of thing.
If you want to use a program like Illustrator to create your pattern, as I did, I suggest you also draw your triangle with a vertical and b horizontal, joined by c, then group the lines together and rotate the shape until c is vertical. Using the grid functions available on most drawing programs should help ensure that your measurements are correct, and that you have managed to get c vertical
Here are a few step by step shots to show you how the construction works:
|Front of pouch piece cut out|
|Having added the zips, I'm now constructing the pouch. Note that the cut out bits are unstitched|
|Stitching the corners closed|
|Finished front on (that left side is vertical, honest!)|
|Side on shot|
This actually allowed me to tick off one of my Q3 finishes, so thanks for helping me out with that Leanne!
And thank you Katy!
Don't forget to link up your Q3 finishes - the Q3 post-quarter link is open here and it will close at midnight MST, October 7, 2013. And if you still have some UFOs I hope you will join us for Q4 of the FAL, Q4 FAL lists can be posted starting on October 8.