DIY Travel Sweater Pouch

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I am always cold. Always. And now that the winter months are fast approaching, I find myself constantly reaching for a chunky cardigan or pullover for extra warmth. Even though I've adapted a few ways to upregulate my metabolism and increase my body temperature so that I'm not as severely cold as I used to be, it's still nice to have an extra article of clothing on hand whenever I get the chills.

The problem? No one likes carrying around extra stuff, and even if I manage to cram it in my bottomless pit of a purse (or backpack), not only does it take me way too long to retrieve (while, of course, accidentally dropping like 15 other things) but it's always wrinkled. In the words of the great philosopher, Sweet Brown, "Ain't nobody got time for that!"

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I've been a huge fan of Baggu bags since I found out about them ages ago, because their reusable bags fold up into cute pouches that you can take anywhere. One day, it finally hit me that I should just make a pouch for my sweater! I mean really: why I haven't thought of this sooner is beyond me.

These pouches are super easy to make, and they keep my sweaters neatly folded and easy to retrieve from any bag, backpack or carry-on. Plus, if you choose a bold pattern, you'll never misplace it. I'm thinking about making another one out of waxed canvas for my anorak since I live in the land of one hundred million thousand raindrops and I always seem to be caught off guard by the rain. Again: really. You'd think I would have remedied that by now.

So there you have it: a perfect sweater pouch for the jet setter or girl on the go. Enjoy!

Diy Travel Sweater Pouch

SUPPLIES

  • sweater or another article of clothing
  • 1/2 yard cotton fabric
  • l.5" piece of 1" double satin ribbon

TOOLS

  • 1 ruler
  • 1 rotary cutter
  • 1 iron
  • 1 pair fabric scissors
  • handful of straigh pins
  • 1 sewing machine

Optional

METHOD

  1. Neatly fold your sweater to the size you want. Here's a great infographic on folding if you need it.
  2. Measure the length and width of your folded item. My Albion Fit Oatmeal Go-To Crew Pullover measured 8" tall and 12" wide when folded. 
  3. Add 1.5" (to account for depth and seam allowance) to the measured width of your sweater. This is your fabric width. For me, that equaled 13.5 inches.
  4. For the fabric length, multiply your sweater height by 2 to account for a front and back on your pouch (I'm now at 16") plus 1.5" to account for the depth of your sweater (17.5") plus 1" for a seam allowance (18.5") plus another 4" for a flap (which should be half of your sweater height). This makes the length of my fabric 22.5 inches.
  5. Cut your fabric. Mine was cut to 13.5 x 22.5 inches based on my calculations from steps #03 and #04.
  6. Fold each of the short sides of your fabric in 1/2 inch to create a hem with wrong sides touching. Press in place.
  7. Cut a 1.5" long piece of ribbon, fold in half length-wise and press. Watch those fingers!
  8. Pin the ribbon to the backside of one of the hems you just made. This will be the tab of your flap. If you have a fabric with a directional pattern, be sure to choose the side that will allow for the flap to be right-side up after being turned inside out.
  9. Sew each of the hems in place (with the ribbon) using a 1/4" seam allowance.
  10. Lay the fabric vertically and flat on a table so that the right side of the fabric is facing upwards and the hem without the ribbon is closest to you.
  11. Grabbing the one hemmed side with the ribbon, fold it on top of the fabric so that about 4 inches of the fabric is now folded over (or however long you want your flap to be... remember, this is about half of your folded sweater height). Grabbing the other hemmed side, fold it up and over so that it's hemmed edge is now slightly lower than the folded edge you just made with your flap.
  12. Pin the raw sides together and sew closed with a 1/4" seam allowance. 
  13. Turn your pouch inside out. Use a Teflon "bone" folder if needed to make sure your corners are nice, crisp and pointy.
  14. Slide your folded sweater into the pouch and fold over the built-in flap! You're good to go!