Monday, March 23, 2015

Ramona Hipster by Swoon, and a Zipper Pocket Tutorial!

I really like purses that have 'purse-onality' (did you see what I did there?) so when I saw the preview for the new pattern Swoon was releasing, I was excited to try it out.  The pattern is called Ramona, and it's a very basic purse with a cute look.  The best part is that it is a free pattern! (More money for fabric, yay!)  The pattern doesn't have any outside pockets and only one inside pocket, but it does have a zippered top.  Well, obviously that's not enough of a challenge (or enough pockets!) so I had to change it up!

(Back with slip pockets)

(Inside has one slip pocket, it's a bit snug in there, so extra pockets wouldn't really do much!)

I broke into my stash of pretty fabric and decided that adding pockets wasn't enough, I'd also try to add some glitter vinyl! (Why yes, I AM crazy!)

The stripes are on a slant, so I thought a cute slanted zipper would be a perfect accent.  Here's a little guide on how I did mine (so I can repeat it after I've lost my hand scrawled notes!)

For the zipper pocket you will need:

zipper - 6" should be more than enough, unless you are making your pocket huge
extra fabric for the inside. I used a coordinating solid and let a bit peek out around the zipper.

Cut a piece of lining fabric (or coordinating fabric) to  7" x 16"

On Step 2 you will stop after sewing down the first big stripe, and the side of the small stripe closest to the big stripe.  I've seen people do the stripe the other direction, so I don't want to say 'leftmost or rightmost' - It will be whatever side of your stripe that is closest to the edge.  If you are amazing at matching up your stitching, you could go ahead and sew the small stripe down, but I'm not so I waited to sew.
(Before I sewed the longer side of the little stripe down. I apparently forgot to get a picture with only one side of it sewn down.)

Take your ruler and measure up 1.25 inches from the edge of the big stripe.  Line up your pocket lining fabric with the top of the ruler so that it runs parallel to the stripe.  The pocket should be laying right side down (if it has a right/wrong side), against the right side of your outside fabric.  Pin/clip it in place.

Draw a line that is 1/4" from the top of the stripe and 5" inches long, centered on the fabric (1" in from each side).  A clear ruler really helps here!  draw a second line up 3/8" and then draw short lines to connect the ends.  Carefully sew exactly around the outside of the rectangle.  In the center of that rectangle draw the 'y' line. This is your cutting line, which you will use a seam ripper to start and then carefully cut exactly to the edges, but don't snip your stitches!

Once you have it cut, check to make sure you didn't snip any stitches, then push the lining fabric through the hole and pull it as smooth as you can.  Iron that thing like crazy to get either none of the lining showing, or a tiny edge. If you have a vinyl strip, be very careful to NOT iron it.  I'm pretty sure it wouldn't like direct heat.

(Glued and pinned!)
Put your zipper right side up inside the hole you made, making sure that the pull is inside the hole.  Either pin or glue the zipper in place.  Sew ONLY the short ends and the side closest to the stripe with your zipper foot.  Check to make sure your zipper will open and close.

(The side away from the vinyl isn't sewn yet)
Turn the piece over and fold the pocket lining in half, matching top and sides.  Now comes the tricky part.  You only want to sew the two pieces together, NOT to the front of the bag.  Start at the bottom corner and sew around using a 1/2" or 1/4" seam allowance (at the top it may be a little hard to get the full 1/2".  You can trim off extra pieces of the zipper that are sticking out of the pocket now.
(I was too lazy to switch to the regular foot, and I'd need the zipper foot again soon, so I left it on)
(Don't mind all my thread tails!  I trim them...eventually.  After I use fray check on them)

Turn the piece over and make sure that the pocket is laying flat on the back.  Sew the top of the zipper, going through all 3 layers of the pocket.  If you had trouble sewing the top of the pocket shut, this should make sure that it is caught.  Then sew the remaining seam of the smallest stripe, which will catch the bottom of the pocket and hold it in place.

(New bottom seam that lines up with the stripe you just sewed.  Keeps the pocket from going woogy on you)
Voila! sit back and admire your beautiful pocket!  You can also trim any corners sticking out.  If you cut the pocket to only 7"x14" or 12" you might not have as much extra as I did, but I left it and sewed that part into the seam for more pocket support, then trimmed off the corners that stuck over.

I also added on a slip phone pocket and bigger slip pocket to the back with piping, but that is a tutorial for another time!
(I love these handmade tags!)

I was out taking pictures of the Laney and Ramona at the same time, so here's a comparison on size, in case anyone was wondering.  And yes, Ramona will fit inside Laney.  In case you need a purse to carry your purse in?



  1. I love that Indelible fabric and your bag is just wonderful in it. The slanted zip pocket is genius :)

    1. Thanks! I had to order more fabric as soon as I cut into it because I love how it feels and looks!

  2. I really loved reading your thoughts, obviously you know what are you talking about! Your site is so easy to use too, I’ve bookmark it in my folder
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