In less than an hour, you can make a cutlery pouch – very handy for storing eating utensils in your lunch pack – from recycled denim. This sample is cut from the leg of a old pair of blue jeans but other scrap fabric, such as a fabric napkin or dish towel, would also work well.
The opening is a simple fold-over flap, easy to sew, and less fiddly to open and close than a button or velcro tab.
We also have a similar Cutlery Roll pattern made from a tea towel.
denim or other recycled fabric, paper, pencil, ruler, scissors, pins, sewing machine, sewing thread.
Make a Rectangular Pattern
First, make a simple, rectangular paper pattern. The one shown here is made from a standard business envelop that is 4¼ inches x 9½ inches long. You can easily adjust the pattern to fit your cutlery, but do remember to add a seam allowance.
Lay the long side of the paper pattern along the grain of the fabric.
You will need to cut two rectangles, one slightly longer than the other, so cut one piece of denim to the size of the pattern and cut the other piece a bit longer.
Remember that the smallest rectangle must be at least one inch longer than the longest utensil that you will be placing inside.
Sew a Hem
If the fabric already has a hem on one end, allow an extra inch (2.5cm) on the hemmed piece. If the fabric does not have an existing hem, allow an extra two inches.
Hem one end of each rectangle of fabric. Fold the fabric over and sew a straight hem.
Note: If the fabric already has a hem, skip this step.
Align the Fabric and Sew Around
Place the fabric right sides together and align the ends without the hems. One hem should extend an inch or more past the other hem.
Lift the shorter piece and fold the longer piece over as shown.
Set the shorter piece back down on top. The hem of the longer piece should extend down past the hem of the shorter piece, and the folds should lie as shown. For ease of sewing, the hems should not be right on top of each other.
You can trim the opposite ends (the ends without the hem) at this point if you need to adjust a bit.
Trim the corners, as shown, so that the fabric doesn’t bunch up when you turn it right side out.
Stitch around the three sides that are not folded. This is a seam allowance of about 1/2 inch. The dark pen line is to show the location of the stitching in the photo. It is not necessary to draw the line.
Turn the large end of the pouch right side out. This may be easier if you use the closed tip of a pair of scissors or the eraser end of a pencil to push the corners all the way out.
Try out your pouch with the items you’d like to carry. Denim is a strong fabric, and a denim pouch like this, with a folded sandwich-bag style closure, would also be suitable for holding crochet hooks, knitting needles, small tools or pencils.