Friday, July 19, 2019

Gone Fishin' Pouch Tute

What happens when you finish a quilt and the leftover fabrics keep calling your name? 
You make fish-shaped zip pouches, of course! 

When I saw Mister Domestic's new Catch & Release collection for Art Gallery Fabrics, I new it was the perfect fit for my new On the Go quilt pattern. I sewed a baby quilt-sized version (48" x 56") which you can find in the Catch & Release lookbook. You can purchase the pattern here

Back to the pouches. 
I have three boys. The only thing they currently love more than zip pouches is making friendship bracelets from embroidery floss. I wanted to play off the fish theme of these fun fabrics and create a fish-shaped zip pouch for each of them to hold their embroidery floss creations.
These are quick and easy and so much fun!
Use the tutorial below to make your own (or three).

You'll Need:
  • 2 fat quarters (or a couple more, if you want to make the striped version--find instructions for it near the bottom of this post)
  • (1) 9" long coordinating zipper
  • Fusible fleece
Download the fish template here.

Note: Cut carefully if your fabric is directional!

From navy fish fat quarter:
(1) 9" x 12-1/2" piece
(2) 4-1/2" x 12-1/2" pieces
(2) 2" x 4" pieces

From paddle fat quarter:
(1) 9" x 12-1/2" piece
(2) 4-1/2" x 12-1/2" pieces

From fusible fleece:
(1) 9" x 12-1/2" piece
(2) 4-1/2" x 12-1/2" pieces

Make the Pouch:
Step 1 Fuse (1) 4-1/2" x 12-1/2" fusible fleece piece to the wrong side of each 4-1/2" x 12-1/2" navy fish piece. Fuse the 9" x 12-1/2" fusible fleece piece to the wrong side of the 9" x 12-1/2" navy fish piece.

Step 2 Fold and press 1/4" in on each short end of (1) 2" x 4" navy fish piece, wrong sides together. Fold the piece in half wrong sides together as shown. Make (2).

Step 3 Prep your zipper. You'll be adding the tabs from Step 2 to both ends of the zipper. I think it's helpful to stitch across the top end of the zipper to help keep the sides together as shown in the photo. Then measure 8-1/2" from the top edge of the zipper and stitch across the zipper to secure. Trim zipper from top edge to measure 9". 

Step 4 Position the bottom end of the zipper inside a folded tab from Step 2 as shown. Fold the tab over and stitch across to secure the zipper in the tab.

Step 5 Repeat on the top end of the zipper. Your zipper should now look like this: 

Step 6 Trim the tabs even with the zipper tape as shown.

Step 7 Lay the 4-1/2" x 12-1/2" navy fish piece right side up. Position the zipper right side down on the navy fish piece. Lay the 4-1/2" x 12-1/2" paddle piece right side down on top, aligning wrong edges. Stitch along the edge using a zipper foot.

Step 8 Fold the navy fish piece and paddle lining piece away from the zipper, wrong sides together and press. Topstitch along the edge of the zipper.

Step 9 In the same way, add the remaining 4-1/2" x 12-1/2" navy fish and paddle pieces to the opposite sides of the zipper, sandwiching as shown.

Step 10 Machine quilt the pouch top as desired. I did straight line stitching using my walking foot, approximately 1/2" apart.

Step 11 Baste the 9" x 12-1/2" paddle piece to the fleece side of the 9" x 12-1/2" navy fish piece and machine quilt as desired. 

Step 12 Cut out the fish template. Position it on the pouch top, centering the fish on the zippper. Make sure the zipper is at least 1" from the point of the fish head. Trace the fish shape onto the pouch top and cut out. 

Step 13 Position the fish pouch top right sides together on the pouch back and pin in place. Make sure the zipper is unzipped! Stitch around the fish shape 1/4" from the edges. 

Step 14 Trim the pouch back to the fish shape. Cut notches in the seam allowance of tight corners (such as where the body meets the tail), making sure not to cut through the stitching line. Trim the ends of the tail tips. If desired, serge or zigzag stitch around the outer edge to prevent fraying. 

Step 15 Turn the pouch right side out. You'll have to gently poke the tail tips to make them look right.

Want to make the striped version? It's easy! 

Prep: Cut (6) 1-3/4" x 12-1/2" strips. Sew them together in groups of (3) to make (2) 4-1/4" x 12-1/2" pieced strips. Follow steps 1-15 to make the fish pouch. 

No hooks needed for these fish! 

The pouches coordinate with my On the Go quilt. This design features just ONE block that has just ONE seam. How's that for simple?! The pattern also includes directions for making a lap-size version. Purchase the pattern here.

And a little behind the scenes shot. How many people does it take to hold the quilt for a photo? Four. It takes four.

See the entire Catch & Release collection here
Find more from Mister Domestic here and on Instagram.
Follow me on Instagram here.


  1. The new fabric is adorable! Your quilt and pouches are also. Thank you for the tutorial.

  2. Such cute pouches! Thanks for the tutorial.

  3. I just stumbled onto this really cute pouch! (Your quilt is adorable also!) Thank you for the pattern and tutorial!