Do you like Zelda? Do you want to be able to carry more stuff than will fit in your pockets without having a bag to keep track of? I do and I did. I designed this belt pouch to hold my doodling pens and my notebook. It is a happy accident that it also fits my nintendo switch! I combined a bunch of skills I have been refining through other projects that help to make this bag shine. So come along with me and see how I made a Triforce Belt Pouch.
Step 1: Tools, Materials, and Software
- 3d Printer (I use a Prusa Mk3 but I also tested the design on an Anet A8)
- CNC Embroidery Machine (I use a Brother 400se)
- Sewing Machine (my Brother also doubles as a sewing machine)
- Seam Ripper
- Small Scissors
- Fabric Scissors
- Marking Pencil
- Something Round (I used a roll of tape)
- Black Permanent Marker
- Fabric Measuring Tape
- Hand Sewing Needles
- Fabric (I used an old pair of pants that I had worn a hole in the seat of from riding my bike)
- Gold Filament for your printer (I used this one)
- Golden Machine Embroidery Thread(I used this one)
- Tear Away Stabilizer
- Thread(A matching color for your fabric)
- Washable Gluestick
Step 2: Designing and Prototyping the Crest
At the start of this project I had four main design requirements.(I'm including the final files so if you just want to skip to the making you can download them.)
- The pouch must hold my notepad and pens
- Easily attaching to me via a belt
- Embroidered with the Zelda Triforce Crest
- A Triforce button to keep the pouch closed
To start this process I did a google image search for Triforce Crest. This was a very fruitful endeavor. From there I set about tracing a crest in inkscape using the trace bitmap tool to have a vector version of the crest. My embroidery machine can do a maximum size of 3.9 inches (9.9 cm). So after I had the vector I resized it make it fit the size limitations of my machine. From there I did two things with the file. The first was to digitize the crest for embroidery. I go into detail of how to digitize using inkstitch in my instructable on Making Iron On Pixelated Patches so if you'd like know how I digitize check it out. This step includes a .PES file that can be directly loaded onto Brother embroidery machines and the .SVG file is provided so you can look at how the digitized file was built. The second thing I did was to measure the Triforce so I would know how big to make the button in Fusion360.
Before I headed to Fusion I wanted to make sure my digitized file worked so I fired up my embroidery machine to do a test run using some felt and black thread. It turned out great. However when I started trying to embroider on my final fabric I ran into issues with bunching and thread breaking. The stitch spacing that worked with my black thread was a bit too tight for the metallic gold. I tweaked the file a few times and was finally successful.
With the patch file good to go it was time to make a Triforce button. So armed with my earlier measurements I fired up Fusion360 and got to work. I used the constrained polygon too to make the four triangles that make up the Triforce.(I know the Triforce is 3 triangles until you need a solid center like I did) From there I extruded the triangles and used the chamfer tool to make the angles on the edges of the Triangles. After that I extruded the center triangle and added the button holes.(I have to admit the idea to make my own button came from Mikeasaurus's instructable Skull Buttons) It was time to export an stl of the Triforce button so I could slice it.
I fired up Cura and loaded the STL file. Then I used the fine .1mm layer height settings because I wasn't planning on doing any finishing on the button after it was printed. I also increased the temperature on the default PLA settings to 215 degrees Celsius because it was recommended by a large number of people in the reviews for the filament on Amazon. I took the sliced file over to my printer and 20 minutes later I had an awesome Triforce button.
At this point I had figured out 3 and 4 of my design requirements. It was time to pattern the pouch.
Step 3: Designing the Pouch
The design requirements for the pouch were to hold my stuff and attach to me via a belt. So I started by making a pile of my stuff and measuring it. Now I knew the volume of my stuff the pouch would need to hold. The next thing I checked was how much room I had between belt loops on my pants. This informed the measurements for the belt loop. It wouldn't do to have a belt loop bigger than this measurement. Having made all these measurements I drew up a pattern with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. I did this as a rough sketch in my notepad however I've included a nice pdf and svg of the pattern so you don't have to work from my scribbles. With all the designing done it was time to start cutting out the pieces.
Step 4: Cutting and Prepping the Hems
For my fabric I am using a pair of denim work pants that have a large hole in the rear caused by wear overtime from my bike seat.(you can use any sturdy fabric you'd like) Using my measurements and a hunk of cut acrylic I laid out the pattern on my sacrificial pants with a marking pencil. With the clear lines as guides I cut out my pouch pieces. Next I framed up a large piece of cloth and started the embroidery machine going. While the sewing machine was chugging along I prepped the hems on the other pieces of fabric. In the past this would have meant a whole lot of pins however I wanted to try a new trick I had seen while reading quilting forums. That trick is using washable glue sticks. I grabbed my washable glue stick and applied glue to the edges of my fabric squares. Once the glue was applied I folded over the hems and used the iron to heat set the glue. This worked really well and didn't gum up my sewing machine. I have a new favorite way to do hems. By this point the crest was done and it was time to lay out the design on the pouch flap. I used a roll of painters tape to mark out the curves of the flap. Then I cut the fabric to size and glued its hems. With my hems all set I changed my Brother 400se from embroidery mode to sewing mode.
Step 5: Sewing the Pouch
To sew the pouch I started by attaching the side piece to the rear panel. To do this I sewed a straight stitch the along the seam allowance making sure to stop at the bottom corner seam allowance. Once I got to the bottom corner I folded a pleat. This pleat is what will be the bottom corner of the bag so when continuing along the seam I made sure I wasn't sewing the pleat in place. I repeated this process for the remaining corners and attached the front panel to the side panel in the same way. When you are done it will look like a small bag. Next I flipped the bag right side out so the seams were on the inside and sewed the top hem of the pouch. With the main pouch done it was time to sew the belt loop and pouch flap to the pouch. For the front flap I lined the hems of the front flap and top of the bag up. With them aligned I sewed them together using two straight stitches one near the top of the hem and one near the bottom. I then placed the belt loop so its top hem aligned with the bottom of my front flap hem and sewed it into place. All that was left to do now was to attach the Triforce button and open up the button hole.
Step 6: Attaching the Triforce!
I needed to open up the button hole. To do this I placed pins at the top and the bottom of the button hole. This made it so when I used the seam ripper to open up the button hole that I didn't go to far and ruin all my hard work. With the button hole open I cleaned up any extraneous threads around the hole and the crest with my tiny scissors.
With the button hole now open it was time to figure out where to attach my Triforce button. To do this I put my pens and notebook in the pouch and folded over the front flap. With the flap in place I marked the center of the button hole using my marking pencil. Now that I had a mark for the button location I used a black permanent marker to black out the center of the Triforce button. To attach the button I used this techniques from this instructable. Basically I sewed a small x over my mark then sewed the X through the button holes repeating 5 times. I didn't have a toothpick so I used a pin for my spacer. After the 5th X through the button I removed my needle and wrapped the thread around under and tired it off. With the Triforce button in its rightful place the last thing to do is put it on and pack it up.
I hope you enjoyed this instructable and if you make your own pouch I'd love to hear about it. I don't know anyone else who has a Brother embroidery machine so if you use the .PES file and it works I'd love to know.
This is an entry in the
Sew Tough Challenge