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Sew Folded Envelope Pouches

Folded from fabric squares, these adorable (and reversible) pouches can be cut and sewn in less than an hour.

Make the most of luscious fabrics. Even small remnants have the potential to become lovely little purses with this project. Folded from fabric squares, these adorable—and reversible—pouches can be cut and sewn in less than an hour. Not only will this project transform a fabric stash into gifts and accessories, it’s a fantastic outlet for creative sewing. For a dressy event, make an evening bag. For day, use one as a wallet, and slip it into a larger carryall or briefcase.

Virtually any fabric will do. The pouches are gorgeous in velvet, satin, and silk dupioni. For a more casual look, try linen, cotton batiks, denim, or wool suitings. The only fabrics to avoid are very lightweight fabrics, sheers, and knits.

As with origami, you’ll start off with a paper square. The bag can be any size you prefer. Do you like to travel light? Make a mini—the perfect size for basic necessities: credit cards, cash, keys…you can even throw in lipstick and a small bottle of perfume with room to spare. If you want your custom pouch to accommodate a few more items, just make a larger square pattern.

A cord sewn into the flap keeps the pouch closedwrap it around a button, or around the whole pouch. You could also add a matching strap, so you can sling the bag over your shoulder. Mix it up, and have fun with your ideas—you can’t go wrong with such an easy, adaptable design.

Adapted from Threads article “Mini Purses” by Paddye Mann (no. 134).

Make a square pattern

The pattern can be as large or as small as you desire. The patterns for the bags shown were based on office stationery and are 81⁄2 inches, 11 inches, and 14 inches square (including…

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  1. jettalee | | #1

    I am an older woman and I love classic dresses. I need to cover "old arms" and can't have too low a neckline. I am looking forward to changing darts, but would love to see a pattern for us older women. Thank you! I frequently wear a sleeveless dress but always cover with a jacket. Any suggestions?

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