The actual title should be: "Reversible padded headphones pouch with double-entry cables pocket", but it was too long.
I had been postponing this project for a while, and ended up rushing it to make an upcoming travel a bit more pleasant. I had colorful fabric leftovers and wanted to protect my headphones a bit. Having several pattern brought the "reversible" idea, and since I wanted the cables pocket to be accessible in both versions of the pouch, I tried this double entry thing.
Given the amount of time and the level of my skills, I was happy enough with the result; only to realize that same evening that the " Sew Cool Contest " was opening. I hadn't planned to make it into an Instructable, but sometimes fate just winks at you!
I pondered the relevance of posting this without " sew cool " step-by-step pictures, and decided to go with drawings to replace the untaken pictures.
I’m also not 100 % sure about the technical tailoring and sewing terms, but hey, that’s what the drawings are for … kind of.
I hope this will be understandable and detailed enough. Don’t hesitate to criticize or ask questions in the comments.
Edit : When publishing this Instructable, i realized the "First Time Author Contest" was also open. Hmmm, why not then!
Step 1: Cutting and Slicing
Ignore the misleading title and don’t go get your kitchen knife, your trusty shears will do!
Cut two pieces of different fabric that nicely contrast each other (let’s call them A and B, or anything they like better), and one layer of padding to size (I guess you could choose a name for this one as well). See (Drawing 1).
For my Jabra Move Wireless (H 172 x W 146,1 x D 59 mm (6.77 x 5.75 x 2.87 in)), I went with 25x40 cm (~10x16 in) and as you can see, the fit is quite snug (headphones still slide in and out easily though).
The pocket is made of one 10×30 cm (~4×12 in) rectangle of each of the two fabric.
The finished pocket will look approximately 8x10 cm big (~3x4 in), so you need to center two 8cm (~3 in) wide pocket slits in the halved fabric,and space them 10cm (4 in) apart. Be sure to cut only halfway deep through the padding on the matching side for your fabric slit. Then gently tear the padding open between the slits by sliding your fingers inside, as if unrolling a turned-up jeans pocket (easier done than described, don’t worry).
As yo can see in (Drawing 2), you could also make a single cut aligned through all 3 layers and put the flaps on as separate pieces (if so, the pattern/color of the fabric inside the pocket doesn’t matter), but I preferred opposite-end-entry. That makes it more cumbersome, and, at any rate, above my aligning abilities (as you can tell by the multiple stitch lines around the pocket), but I didn’t feel comfortable with the opening potentially gaping when stretched crosswise.
Step 2: Preparation (hemming, Attaching)
With the wrong side showing, start hemming the long sides of your pockets, then the top and bottom short sides. See (Drawing 3).
The bottom hem will be opening on the other side of the pouch, instead of closing around the rim of the slit. Not that it will be easily seen under the flap, but still nicer than showing the ends of the long side hems. That was clear, wasn’t it ?
A common 0.5 cm (~1/4 in) rolled hem is fine. When sewing, I like to go forward for 3 to 5 stitches, then back to the start, then forward and on. This strengthens the ends of the stitch line and prevents the thread form unraveling.
Next, you need to attach the bottom side of the A pocket to the rim of the A slit that is closest to the center of the half pouch. That is done by inserting the bottom hem through the slit from the wrong side, and folding it down towards the center. You end up with a right side hem showing on the right side of the slit fabric and the uncovered rim being closer to the raw edge. See (Drawing 4). A straight stitch is probably enough, but I did zig-zag to improve flexibility in this tight area. Then you need to take the first sentence of this paragraph, replace « A » with « B », and do what it says.
Step 3: Assembly Pt. 1
Time to get fiddly ! Slide the free end of the A pocket (attached to the A fabric, or is it?) inside the padding through the matching slit, grab it from the opposite slit in the padding, then through the B slit from the wrong side. This time, instead of replacing « A » with « B », just swap them, and take another look at (Drawing 5) and go ahead with your fiddling.
When you’re done, you should be able to pull on both free ends through their opposite matching slit (and across the padding) to tighten and align everything within the pocket. Flatten and align the future pouch edges as well.
Keeping the flap unfolded, stitch it to the second rim of the slit then fold it down on the pocket. You are stitching all the layers and the stitch will show on the other side. Do the other flap (no « A » and « B » this time, because you can start with whichever one you want).
When the flaps are folded down (and perfectly aligned and the exact same hem width all around, and nice and straight notwithstanding the padding, and your favorite planets are nicely arranged … yes, I have heard about pinning), you can stitch the long sides from top to bottom to secure both flaps in the same run as in (Drawing 6).
Step 4: Assembly Pt. 2
We will now use bias tape as a drawstring casing. Since it will show on both sides, it means you need to choose NOW which side (A or B) will be ‘framed’ (with B or A or a C of your choice).
You will find several Instructables on how to make and use your own bias tape, a proper one that shouldn’t give or bulge. I did it ugly again here by taking only a 4 cm (1 37/64 in or 2 in for easy division by 4) ribbon cut along the grain and double folding it. First fold the « tape » in half all along, making it 2cm (~0.8 in or 1 in) wide, then open it and fold each half in half towards the center line, and fold again to close it to 1cm wide (~0.4 or 1/2 in). See (Drawing 7).
I also happen to not have an iron handy, so the next dirty trick is « the edge press » depicted in (Drawing 9) : to press a fold, hold tight on one end at the edge of the table, and somewhere about an arm length away on the folded tape on the table with your other hand. Then slide the fabric downwards while holding it back so that it presses strongly at 90° (100 grad or pi/2 rad) against the table edge. Repeat the process until you reach the other end of the « tape». Make sure to pinch on the fold and not on the side of the fabric so that most of the pressure is applied on the fold.
So for the drawstring casing, measure the length of the top side of the pouch. The hemming on both end before folding will make the "tube" a bit shorter and provide for a little play between the two mouth for easy pulling and better collapsibility (if that’s even a word …). You can take a 4cm (let’s say 2 in) or wider ribbon, and make the second fold only one third of the way to the center line, so that the string won’t rub that much against the fabric inside the «tube» (see detail view on (Drawing 7) ). Attach this folded ribbon along the top edge, put a string inside, and voilà ! You could also put the string in before stitching the casing to the pouch, but I’ve had some undrawable drawstrings before, and that’s not much fun.
I opted for a springed drawstring stopper, but you could use beads, leather pieces, etc... or even just loop the string inside the case once more and tie an overhand loop on it as a handle to pull the string back open.
Step 5: Finish
Now you could bias bind the inside and the outside of the pouch, but I was in a rush. So just fold the big rectangle in half to form the pouch and flat sew raw edges together. That’s a quick way to hold them together for bias binding.
You can finally apply your hard earned « bias » to the three closed sides of the pouch as in (Drawing 10). When doing the corners, I used the quick and dirty way (again!): when you reach the end of a side, go almost to the raw edge then back to just before where the corner will reach, keep the needle down, raise the presser foot, rotate the piece towards the next edge, fold the tape under and above the pouch seam, stitch on and hope for the best (same link as above gives good advice on how to do that properly).
Step 6: Enjoy!
Enjoy your self-made awesome looking reversible pouch, and practice with the pocket to reach for your precious tiny items from outside, whichever side is out!