Noodlehead’s Open Wide Pouch

I have been working on the Open Wide Zipper Pouch this weekend. I need to know how to sew it well because I am in a swap where this pouch is the main swap item. It took me a few tries to get the hang of it. The first one took me two hours and the third took an hour so I think I can safely say I have the hang of it now. (Yesterday was a frustrating day of learning it with a few “sewing words” being said and plenty of time with my good buddy the seam ripper.) That being said, the tutorial by Anna of “Noodlehead” is fantastic and if you remove distractions and pay attention to what you are doing you should have no major troubles. It’s just the whole “learning something new” part that was getting to me yesterday. I sewed one this morning and all went very well.

I used some of my favourite Tula Pink fabrics for these. I even used my Tula Pink Renaissance ribbons on the raccoon bags. None of these are for me to keep so I am feeling quite virtuous in sharing. 😉 The Pink one is for the February birthday girl in #sewcutebirthday club on Instagram. The Raccoon one on the left is for the February birthday girl in #canuckbdayclub on Insgram and the one in the middle is for my Auntie who must undergo a double mastectomy next week. I thought this would be good for packing things to take to the hospital. (I also made her a pink ribbon mug rug. If you click over to my Instagram – link in the mason jars upper right of blog – you can see that one and a rainbow mug rug, I made both today.)

These bags were items 6 and 7 on my Q1 Finish Along Goals List and I am linking up with The 2015 Finish Along.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

The appeal of these, apart from being great looking, is that they actually do “open wide” so you can easily find what you are looking for in your pouch. This is achieved by having the zipper extend past the edge of the bag. I am quite good at zippers now so that was not where the challenge lay for me. It was boxing off the corners that I had some trouble with. Normally when I box bag corners I do not yet have the lining attached but with this pouch the lining gets attached with the zipper so you are kind of working blindly on the inside of the bag and it’s hard to tell if your seams are matching up. And honestly, on all three of these none of the seams at the bottom match perfectly, but they’re close enough. I’m not going to drive myself crazy. 🙂

A look at the Tula Pink lining on the pink bag.

Cute gingham in the blue bag.

So, I feel confident now that I can make my swap item for the Sweet and Salty Easter Swap. And I feel that the recipients of these bags will be happy as well. I hope I remember to make myself one too.

My tips: Even though the tutorial says iron-on interfacing is optional I recommend doing it. I just used a light woven interfacing and it made quite a difference as far as the stability of the pouch. Also, when boxing your corners pin the seams well. And lastly, press well around the top (avoiding the zipper) before top-stitching as the final step of finishing your bag.

I hope you try out Anna’s free tutorial. It’s fun!


  1. I've made a couple of these but I'm still trying to get the hang of it. I've only used zips a couple of times so I think it's just trying to get the hang of wrangling those properly too. Yours look great! I love the blue one. Sweet idea for your Aunt; I hope all goes well for her 🙂

  2. These are very cute and good on you for sharing your stash. I struggle as well with boxing corners but have found it loads easier to chop a square out of the corners (inside the seam allowance if that makes sense) then you line the corners of the square up – it magically turns into a straight line and presto, matching seams. I know I described that poorly but I bet you can find a tutorial. Maybe Kelbysews's boxy pouch tutorial?? I never do it the other way now. Anyway good luck with future boxing of corners and all the best to your aunt. It must be a stressful time for your whole family.

  3. I love your fabric choices, Tula Pink does some great fabrics. I haven't tried this tutorial yet, so thank you very much for the tips. x

  4. I've made a few of these. Like you, I had a problem with the boxing with the first one. (kept that for myself)
    The second was for a giveaway at my guild. The receiver was pleased.

    In your pictures it looks like there is something in the pouch – is there?

  5. Spectacular idea for an exchange. I love Noodlehead's patterns, Anna is so down to earth in her technique and instruction. Anita–your zip pouches are just precious. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Imagine my astonishment at reading the words "for a swap" in your first sentence!! HAhaha!
    I ADORE these pouches. Why am I not a Canuck??! Your choices of fabrics for outer and linings are awesome!!
    XX! and extra special xoxo to Auntie!

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