Selvedge sewing: DIY travel case tutorial

How to sew a selvedge travel pouch

Make the most of unwanted selvedge scraps and the tiniest of fabric leftovers with this quick-sew zippy pouch by Susan Standen. This pretty patchwork pouch is perfect for sewing on the go as it includes a needle case and handy pockets to store fabric markers, threads or your favourite notions. We’ll show you how it’s done with this free tutorial…

You will need…

  • Assorted fabric selvedges or strips, each at least 14in long
  • Fabric A: one (1) 612in x 934in piece and one (1) 612in x 412in piece, for the lining and pocket
  • Fabric B: one (1) 612in x 712in piece, for the zip pouch outer
  • Fabric C: two (2) 612in x 712in pieces, for the zip pouch lining
  • Zipper, at least 712in long
  • Felt: 512in x 612in piece
  • Batting scrap at least 8in x 14in

Finished size

612in x 712in approx

How to sew a selvedge travel case

Piecing the case outer

Step one: Take your piece of batting and assortment of selvedges. Place a miscellaneous fabric scrap across the bottom right hand corner of your batting and secure with a diagonal seam about 18in from the raw fabric edge (Fig 1).

how to sew a selvedge travel case Fig 1

Fig 1

Select your first selvedge and place over the fabric scrap, at a 45 degree angle, overlapping the raw fabric edge by 14in (hiding the seam that holds the fabric scrap in place). Stitch down by edge stitching along the finished selvedge edge (Fig 2).

how to sew a selvedge travel case Fig 2

Fig 2

Repeat this process, working your way diagonally across the batting until it is totally covered in selvedges. Trim to measure 712in x 13in.

Preparing the pocket panel

Step two: Take both Fabric A pieces, and one of the remaining selvedges. Trim the selvedge to 612in x 212in (you may need to piece
with additional fabric strips to achieve the correct width).

Align the smaller Fabric A piece RST with the raw edge of your selvedge. Sew together and press the seam open. Then position the finished edge of the selvedge overlapping the larger Fabric A piece by 14in and topstitching in place (Fig 3).

how to sew a selvedge travel pouch Fig 3

Fig 3

Step three: Fold and press the smaller Fabric A piece to the back of the selvedge so the seam is along the top edge (Fig 4).

how to sew a selvedge travel pouch Fig 4

Fig 4

Measure 712in up from the bottom edge of the lower, larger Fabric A piece and also press this to the back of the selvedge side (Fig 5).

How to sew a selvedge travel case Fig 5

Fig 5

Step four: Take a removable fabric pen and mark a line down the centre of the selvedge, to the base fold of Fabric A. Mark two more lines approximately 2in in from either edge (Fig 6).

how to sew a travel case Fig 6

Fig 5

Step five: Stitch along these lines, starting from the bottom edge and sewing up to the top of the selvedge. Then turn and stitch back down along the existing stitch line for reinforcement. This will form the inner pocket panel.

Step six: Place your pieced selvedge needle book outer right side up. Then place the inner pocket panel right side down, aligned with the right hand side. Stitch around the three outer sides, reinforcing your stitches at the beginning and end (Fig 7).

How to sew a travel case Fig 7

Fig 7

How to make a zip pouch

Making the zippered pouch

Step seven: Take your selvedge needle book top, one Fabric C pouch lining piece and your zipper. Layer them so that the selvedge top is right side up, the zipper is right side down, closed and the closed end is properly aligned with the edge of the pouch on the right. Place the pouch lining on top, right side down (Fig 8).

how to sew a travel case Fig 8

Fig 8

Using a zipper foot stitch the layers together. As you approach the end of your seam stop with the needle in the down position, raise the presser foot and open the zip, then lower the presser foot and finish sewing. Press each piece away from the zip.

Step eight:Place your Fabric B piece right side up, and place the remaining side of the zip right side down on top. Place the remaining Fabric C piece on top, aligning the edges and using a zipper foot stitch your layers together. Press each piece away from the zip.

Step nine: Trim any excess length from the top and bottom of the zipper tape and then topstitch along either side of the zipper as shown (Fig 9).

how to sew a travel case Fig 9

Fig 9

Step 10: Lay your pouch out so that the two exterior panels are right sides together on one side of the zip, and the lining pieces are right sides together on the other side. Stitch around all outer edges, leaving just the bottom edge of the exterior pieces unstitched – this will act as a turning gap.

Step 11: Reach in through the unstitched edge and open the zip. Keep the lining outside of the pouch for now.

DIY zip up pouch


Step 12: Turn the front pocket piece right sides out. Place the piece of felt with one edge along the unfinished pocket seam. Fold the needle book in half along the centre. Ensure that all the raw edges are properly encased in the middle of the fold and that the pouch lining is not. Stitch down your needle book with a double row of top stitching to ensure that all raw edges are properly secure. Push the pouch lining to the inside to finish.

Selvedge travel pouch detail

Susan StandenAbout the designer

Susan (aka Canadian Abroad) is a regular contributor to Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine. You can keep up to date with her latest patchwork adventures over on her instagram feed @canadiaabroad.


Have you seen our other free patchwork tutorials?