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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hi there, garage-sailor

Well, garage SALE-er, actually. But I kinda like that. As you know, I do love garage sale-ing. I love having a little pouch to hold all my quarters (an essential for garage-saleing!), dollar bills, etc. It sure beats lugging a purse around with you as you jump in and out of your car about a million times over the course of the morning.

Because I love you guys, I'm going to share a dirty little secret. There's a certain bargaining technique I may or may not have used over the years. I will not incriminate myself. Sometimes, when a person is reluctant to accept a lower price for something, you can fish around in your pouch and go "oh, shoot! You really won't take fifty cents for that? It's all I've got left today..." when you really do have a few more bills stashed in your pocket. But they don't know that. Rat bastard and dishonest? Negotiation, folks. And here's the way I look at it. Someone later in the day is going to offer them a lower price, and they're going to be at the point where they realize they'd be better off getting SOMETHING for it rather than going straight to Goodwill for free. My Daddy didn't raise no fool who doesn't haggle. Seriously. My Dad would always send my sister or I up (adorable little blonde-haired girls) to the person in charge and tell us to ask if they'll take a quarter, or whatever. The poor sucker couldn't say no to an adorable little girl. That still kind of works to my advantage even now. Not that I'm irresistibly cute or anything, but I turn up the "cute" charm a notch or two and be sweet as pie to them, and they'll usually accept my offer. Not that I'm not normally a nice person. WHAT?! I AM!!  Hush, you.

Anyway, enough about my sneaky garage sale bargaining techniques. I have a present for you fellow garage sailors out there. Remember how I told you about the "hide the rest of your money" technique? I have just the thing for you. BEHOLD! THE GARAGE SAILOR POUCH!

With a super sneaky hidden zipper for bluffing your way into bargains. Not that I ever do that.
What's that? You want one? Oh, you sneaky sneaky crafter. Okay, I wrote up a tutorial for you. I hope it's clear enough, I'm brand new to the whole tutorial-writing thing, so bear with me.  If anything is super confusing, PLEASE email me any questions at Going back over all the photos I took, even *I* was confused. I wouldn't blame you if you tried to follow my instructions, went "is she NUTS?!" and gave up altogether. But really, I tried, so please let me know if anything can be clarified.

First of all, here's the pieces you'll need (click for full size pic):
Plus one more piece, because I didn't figure out the sizing until some of the assembly was already done. Just being honest. The three white pieces are fusible fleece, but next time I think I'd want to use a less thick interfacing.  It would just make things a lot easier. 
This piece will be 3 1/4 in. (3.25") x 5in. (5")
I always like to get the peripherals out of the way first, so let's go ahead and make the strap and the attachment loop for the pouch. Go ahead and cut a strip of fabric that's 12" x 2".  If you have bigger hands or wrists, you might want to make it more like 14".

Cut a piece of interfacing (I used a medium weight craft interfacing) the same length, only 1" wide. Iron/fuse it smack dab in the middle like so:
Fold in half lengthwise, and iron to make a mark in the center like so:
Now fold your outer edges in to meet the center fold like so:
Then sew along each side:
Then take your clip of choice and do this, tucking the raw edge under:
Take the other raw edge and tuck it under the fold:
Then sew it closed. I recommend making a rectangle for strength:

Cut a piece of fabric that's about 3" x 2". I didn't use interfacing for this piece, but feel free to if you like.  The length doesn't matter as much for this one.

You get the picture. I would have used a smaller D ring if I had one, but I use what I got.

Hooray! You're done with the little bits!
Onto the meat of the project. *deep breath* Okay, now I'm all nervous that I'm going to completely explain this wrong and confuse the heck out of you guys, and you won't read me anymore, and then I won't want to blog anymore and..and..and... *deep breath* Kidding. I'm in a goofy mood this morning. But really, I hope I write this out okay.

Let's start with the hidden pocket. Take the 2.5"x5" fabric and iron on the interfacing of your choice (mine is the polka dot fabric).
Do the same for the 5"x6" piece you want to be your "outside" fabric for other side of the pouch. Mine is the blue flowered big piece. 
The last piece you're going to iron interfacing onto is the 5.5"x5" piece, but you're going to leave a gap so it looks like this:
The 5" part is top to bottom, the 5.5" from left to right.
The reason I wanted a gap is to cut down on the bulk of the flap you'll be making that disguises the hidden zipper.  Next take your 2.5" piece and sew it like this:
I was really tired and cut the ends of my zipper way too soon. Don't do that.
Flip it over and flatten the zipper and topstitch it down so it will lie flat:

Now let's do the other half of the front. Take the non-interfaced side of the 5.5"x5" piece and sew it wrong-side-up onto the right-side-up zipper (make sense? Have I lost you yet?):

Now comes the fun part. Fold the wrong sides together so the 5" sides meet, bringing the non-fused fabric over the fused part like this:
Give the folded edge a bit of an iron to mark the crease. You won't be sewing it yet though! We're going to add our ribbon, which is crucial to the whole "hiding the zipper" thing. The ribbon makes it look like it's just a decorative fun way to split up your fabrics. Sneaky, eh? Heh heh heh. I dove into my vintage ribbon collection my parents found.....guess where? GARAGE SALES! Pin in place, bringing it riiiiiight up to the folded edge, maybe even a smidge over. The ric rac on this ribbon worked perfectly for really disguising the edge!

Flipped over, this is what it should look like
Go ahead and sew it down. That also anchors the fold to help it lie flat. If your ribbon is wider than the "flap" and goes all the way over the zipper, you'll have to open up the zipper so you won't sew the whole thing shut. Knowwhaddimean?

It would have been better if the ribbon was wider to come up closer to the zipper, but that's okay. I'm totally happy.
Yay! Next we're going to attach the inside lining of the hidden pocket:
When you flip the piece you just sewed over, the edges should meet up:
Now you can topstitch to keep the zipper flat and hold the two pieces together, making sure you lift up the "flap":
Sew along the edges to hold the front and back together to keep it all even, so the underneath of the bigger half should look like this:
Like it's all one front and back piece
Sew along the edge to hold the "flap" down in place.
See? Sneaky hidden zipper underneath!
Guess what? THE HARD PART IS OVER!!! Whew. Was that too confusing? Did I do okay? I'm so nervous about my first sewing tutorial. The only thing left to do for your entire outside half of the pouch is lay it wrong side down on top of the right-side-up 5"x6" piece like so (don't mind the marks on the fabric-we'll get to that in a sec):
stitch all along the outside edges to make it all one piece.
Okay, make the corner marks 1"x1" with a fabric marker or chalk or whatever you have. Then sew along those marks because we'll be cutting them like so:

Obviously, do the rest of your pieces too! See? You can totally understand how this is going to come together, right?  Don't pay attention to what's going on on the right, I did some things out of sequence. I'm just writing it out so it's easier for you guys. This was highly experimental for me. Bring the sides of the notches together, and sew. Do this for all of the pieces.

Alright, let's take care of the main zipper. Cut two pieces of fabric that are 2"x2" and do this to them:

Cut your zipper to exactly 5"

Okey dokey, smooth sailing from here!

Pay absolutely no attention to the fact that the corners aren't pooched at this point. Like I said, I did some things out of order and re-arranged it for the tutorial. The corners should be pooched. Attach the thingeemabobber:

Sew the lining on the zipper like so:

Topstitch by the zipper to keep it nice and neat:
Now all that's left is to sew all around the edges! The zipper ends shouldn't be reaching the outer edge. That's how you get nice neat corners at the zipper. 

Sewing where the white marks are where it says "leave open" is a really cool trick for making it easy to tuck your ends in when you finally sew the lining shut. 
There you go! Turn it inside out!
Close up the opening

And you're done!

Well? How did I do? Clear as mud? Most awkward tutorial ever? It's okay. You can tell me. I can take it. 

Now for the best part. Do you like this one? You can win it! Just leave a comment below and I'll randomly draw a number! You have until June 22nd to enter!
So go forth and sail thee some garages! As my Dad says "Bargains await! Ya never know!"


  1. GREAT tute - and I will try it. I have a severe case of zipper-a-phobia, though ... so if I could win yours... :)
    THIS IS SO STINKIN' cute!!!!

  2. Totally great tute and very cute. I don't garage sale (sucks to work weekends), but it would be so great to have this for walking the dogs, and picking up a little something at the store - thanks for sharing1

  3. That's a great idea! and too cute. I can't wait to make my own!

  4. What a cool pouch. I think that would make great gifts to just about any women/girl any age. Very handy, thanks for directions. Gonna make many for sure, to give as gifts. thanks again for cute idea and directions

  5. This is so sweet! I love your technique of feigning poverty to get a deal. :)

  6. KZK- WHAT?! YOU are afraid of zippers?! But what about the beautiful bags you make? You do such amazing work! I've learned that zippers are nothing to be afraid of. A zipper foot helps, and as long as you keep your fabric headed straight, you'll be golden. :) Isn't that a great parallel for life in general? LOL!

  7. It's true! My bags don't have ... zippers. :) Kind of like the Amish not mitering corners on quilts. LOL!!!!
    I AM going to try your tute - you just might have to hold my hand from afar during those ... zipper insertions! :)

  8. Reallly cute, I likey!!

  9. Oh please, can't I have it? We don't have garage sales here in the UK, much to my dismay, but I'll use it I promise!

  10. This is ADORABLE! You did a good job on your tut... I understood it. I am a visual person, so I got the pics... Thank you! I am going to TRY it. I too, had a zipper-phobia, but I started out slow- I made a make-up bag. FAIRLY EASY! although, thankfully I own a seam ripper, because it took a few But who's counting...hehe.
    I HOPE I can win your CUTE wristlet! I <3 yard sales! ;)

  11. Thanks I just made one of my own on the fly and wasn't happy with it. I'll use your turorial this time and get it right.

  12. Wow, I'm impressed. If this is the first tute you've written you really took on a complex one! I haven't tried it yet but it looks clear, the photos really show what you're doing here. I love this little pouch and having the super secret pocket is perfect! I always have 'stash cash' hidden in my wallet for an 'emergency'

  13. This is wicked cute, and a great idea! I have a thing for cute bags/totes to make, and this is definitely added to the list! :D (and this would be much cuter than my current garage sale stash, which is a glass jar of coins rattling around in the glovebox in my car!)

  14. Clever girl, so cute! I need this for my yard/estate/garage/church sale addiction!

  15. That is way too cute and clever! Thanks for the tutorial; I'll definitely have to try this. I love the fabric choices too. I haven't been to a garage sale in years though--I need to clear out the clutter I already have before adding more! :)

  16. so cute i need to make one soon!

  17. Thats a great tutorial! putting that on my sewing bucket list :))I love to make different wallets.I'm a new follower now too :)

  18. I HAVE to try this. I can make a few of these for my daughter for school. :D

  19. This is adorable! I'll have to make one, but I'd love to win this one as I really like these fabrics! Thanks for the tutorial.

  20. the pouch is super cute and very clever! Love your bargaining trick ;)
    Thanks for the tutorial!

  21. I really like your tutorial and the idea behind this!! You did a great job and make it look really easy. I have a ton of fabric that I am repurposing, so this would make a great way to use some of it. I'd love to win it though, that would be even better. Thanks again!! nlewis at dishmail dot com

  22. really cute, i was surprised how easy this was.... i just need to find a zipper then ill start! XD

  23. LOVE this!! So clever, and I love stuff with zippers. Can't wait to try one myself!!

  24. Beautiful beautiful......would love to have the tut in a

  25. Cute pouch. Love the fabrics you choose.

  26. OH MY I really really want that LOL
    Thanks so for the tute and the great opportunituy

  27. I ADORE this little purse. Sooooooooo cute. Great tutorial as well.

    I think you need to send this one to me though because I'm sorry to say, I'm out of money for this month. :)

  28. This is NOT an entry!
    Pick someone else if this post number comes up because I just wanted to mention that I made one for myself today! I had a few problems, but I think that was my fault, not yours. It is adorable. I posted mine today on my own blog, with a link to this post, of course.

    Thank you very much for sharing your work, and how to do it, with us!

  29. oooooh lovely!

  30. I love your little purse and your tutorial. I am lefthanded so i do have trouble following directions but I usually do complete my projects even though I have had to rip out seams a time or two. This one I will enjoy making not only for garage sailing but also for grocery shopping and even casino hopping I just hate lugging a big purse in places I don't need one. Thanks for the instructions as I look forward to making this one!!

  31. There's alot to it, but it's one of the cutest little pouches going, and I thing the secret compartment is the neatest. Thanks for the garage sale tip.

  32. MUST HAVE! I do not have a working sewing machine yet...This is something I MUST HAVE :)

  33. Hey, just wanted to let you know I featured your link today at SewHappyGeek's Feature Friday!

  34. i love it i cant wait to make one!

  35. I love this! Wish I could win it!!! :))

  36. I saw your project on Sew Happy Geek's blog. Definitely gonna make one, thanks for the tutorial! (Well, unless I won one...)

  37. What a great tutorial!I'm visiting from 101 summer sewing tutorials roundup. Have a great day!

  38. I just created one! Check out my flickr to view it!

  39. Great tutorial. I'm going to try to make one. I'm sure it won't be as nice as yours (that I hope to win). BTW, my favorite color is RED.

  40. Awesome tutorial. I am so afraid of zippers but you explain it in terms I think I can do :) pictures also help!!!! Thank you for sharing

  41. Haha, Love your garage sale techniques : ) Cute pouch too.

    :) Sarah

  42. I thought these were so cute I just had to make one. I wish the peices in the photo were labeled (outside back, lining, etc.) and, I had a hard time with the instructions after assembling the hidden pocket. May be easier if the pieces were labeled. Mine came out okay, I think.....

  43. Grrrr I feel sooooo dumb right now.....I usually don't have a problem with zippers, but for some reason, I'm having troubles with the front hidden matter how I try it (have cut out a 2nd one and have had the same problem twice now) the two lining pieces and the backing piece end up 1" longer than the hidden pocket bits...wish I knew what I am doing wrong :o( Am getting angry with myself for not understanding it....have even labelled the fabrics on my printed out copy so I know which are which, and still can't get it right....I hate being so dumb. Hugs Naomi

  44. Love the tutorial. I may try and make this tomorrow. Would love a follow back

  45. Love this. I know I am too late to win but will comment anyway. Looks confusing but I have made the plaid scottie's box pouch so I should be able to do this. Don't do much garage saling but this will be good for gifting.

  46. It is definitely confusing. One of these days, I intend to re-do this tutorial completely. There's one wonderful, faithful reader who keeps reminding me, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet. I promise it'll make more sense soon! :)

  47. You did a great job with this tutorial! I can't wait to make one because I love to "bargain" just like you do (wink wink!)


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