I’ve made quite a few Snappy Composition Book Covers over the past few weeks. And as I’ve been making these covers, I’ve been thinking about variations to make to them. Because the fun of sewing is being able to change things up, make them how you like, right?
So as I was making some of the composition book covers, I was thinking about that back accent pocket. It’s a good place to hold a pencil and maybe some sticky notes, but what if there was a zip pouch on that notebook pocket instead? What if the whole notebook pocket was a zip pouch?
And so I made one, and it was cute. But then I thought, I can’t see what’s inside the pouch. What if I made the front from clear vinyl so I could see inside?
And so I made a clear vinyl zip pocket for my composition book cover and I’ve got a tutorial for you showing how I did it.
I used the Back-to-School 3-Ring Pencil Pouches tutorial by Sew Can She as my starting point, but made modifications to use it in the composition book cover. Hers is a beautiful little zip pouch, finished so neatly and the dimensions spot on for a 3-ring binder. If you want to make a zip pouch for a 3-ring binder, I highly recommend her tutorial!
If you want to make a clear front zip pouch for the Snappy Composition Book Cover, read below for the tutorial. (I had initially planned to just link to her tutorial and tell the modifications, but the list of changes to make got to be a little long and confusing, so I’m just going to give a step-by-step tutorial so the instructions are all in one spot.)
Click here to see how to make the rest of the Snappy Composition Book Cover.
Clear vinyl – 4.5 “ x 11”
Pocket fabric – cut the following pieces:
— 13” x 11”
— 2” x 11”
— 4” x 1 ¾” (cut 2)
10” (or longer) zipper
Wonder Clips – not necessary but they’ll super useful to hold the vinyl in place as you sew, as regular straight pins will create holes in the vinyl
To make the clear vinyl zip pocket:
Take the 2” x 11” strip and press it like you would bias tape (folded in half lengthwise with the raw edges folded to the center).
Sew the folded strip around one long edge of the vinyl piece. Use Wonder Clips to hold the fabric in place as you sew.
Now for the zipper tabs. Fold in half (short way) and press. Then, fold short edges under 3/8” and press.
Pull the zipper down about 2”. Wrap the tab around the top (unzipped) end of the zipper and stitch in place close to the folded edge. If you’re having a hard time holding the unzipped edges together while you sew, use a little glue stick to baste it together. (Just be sure to hit it with a hot iron to make sure the glue is dry before you sew.)
Mark the zipper 9” from the sewn edge of the zipper tab. Cut the zipper 1” below the mark. Sew the second zipper tab around the end, just as you did for the first zipper tab.
Sew the fabric-bound edge of the vinyl to the zipper: Place the fabric edge of the vinyl piece over the left side of the zipper, with the fabric edge close to the zipper teeth. The zipper will be longer than the vinyl so center it lengthwise. Stitch close to the zipper teeth using a zipper foot.
Fold the 11” x 13” fabric in half (the short way) so it measures 6.5” x 11”.
Sew the folded edge to the right side of the zipper tape. Center lengthwise and stitch close to the zipper teeth.
Cut the ends of the zipper tabs off even with the vinyl and fabric pieces.
Now we need to sew the bottom of the pocket, but we want the seam allowance to be between the two layers of cotton. To do this, flip the fabric pieces around so the vinyl is sandwiched between them and the wrong sides of the fabric layers are facing out.
Stitch with ½” seam allowance.
Turn right side out and press flat. USE A LOWER HEAT SETTING AND A PRESSING CLOTH! USE A LOWER HEAT SETTING AND A PRESSING CLOTH! USE A LOWER HEAT SETTING AND A PRESSING CLOTH! I said that three times because it’s super important. Whatever you do, don’t let the vinyl touch the hot iron or you will have a horrible melty mess!!!
A couple of things to keep in mind before pressing:
The vinyl should come all the way down to the bottom of the pocket. You m ay need to finger press the vinyl before using the iron (on a lower heat setting and pressing cloth, in case you didn’t notice that very important note above).
Because we need a seam allowance to sew the pocket into the side of the composition book cover, the zipper tape WILL NOT BE CENTERED on the fabric. There should be 1” of fabric on the folded side and ½” on the vinyl side.
Once it’s all pressed, your pocket is ready to be used as one of the notebook pockets in my Snappy Composition Book Cover tutorial. If you feel like it, you could baste the sides of the pocket ¼” from the edges but it’s not really necessary.
Go to my Snappy Composition Book Cover tutorial to see how to make the rest of the composition book cover.
Here is the pocket sewn into the full cover – before the notebook is inserted.
and after the notebook is inserted!