Nothing says Valentine’s Day like a heart-shaped box of candy! My box always comes from See’s Candy in California (from my dad) and I love opening up the box and picking out my favorite pieces, the Walnut Squares, the Molasses Chips, and the Dark Bordeaux. Yum!
I wanted to send my nieces their own boxes of candy, but one of them has food allergies so I didn’t want to send her something she couldn’t enjoy. Instead, I decided to turn the whole heart-shaped box idea on its head and sew heart-shaped pouches instead. I love the idea that I can fill them with non-allergenic candies and that the girls can re-use them even after Valentine’s Day.
For fabric, I chose some fun, playful dots in pinks and reds and used our brand new 15mm Grosgrain Ribbon for the looped handles. I also decided to take advantage of our wide selection of zippers and added a zippered closure along one side of the pouch. Even though I was a little scared of tackling sewing in a zipper on a curve I’m very happy with how it turned out. I think it makes the pouches so much more usable and, as with so many sewing techniques, it wasn’t as hard as I’d made it out to be! Happy Valentine’s Day! –Molly
To make at least three pouches:
- 1/4 yard each of three different polka dot prints. I used (listed from top to bottom) Lecien Dots in Pink on Pink Medium, Yuwa Honeycomb in Pink, and Lecien Dots in Pink Multi.
- 1/2 yard of 15mm Grosgrain Ribbon in three coordinating colors. I used (listed from top to bottom) red, ivory, and pink.
- Three 7″ nylon zippers in colors to match the background of your fabrics. I used two in ivory and one in pink.
- One heart shaped pouch template, available for free download here, printed and cut out.
- A seam ripper
- A ruler
- A zipper foot to fit your sewing machine
Using the template cut out two heart shaped pieces from your fabric.
Cut a 10-inch length of ribbon. Put the ribbon aside for now.
Following the markings on the template mark a line 3/8-inch from the edge on the wrong side of one of the heart pieces. Use your ruler to make sure your line is as exact as possible. This is your sew line.
Mark the lines in the upper left corner as on the template. These are the handle markings.
Mark the lines on the right hand side of the heart as shown on the template. These are the zipper placement lines.
Mark a line 1/8-inch from the sew line within these zipper placement lines. This is the basting line. Again use your ruler to make this line as exact as possible.
Sewing in the Zipper
Pin the two heart shapes right sides together, lining up their edges.
Using your machine’s longest stitch sew along the basting line. Do not back stitch at either end of this seam.
Switch your machine back to a normal stitch length and sew along the bottom right hand side’s sew line just barely going past the start of the basting line, as shown above. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.
Repeat this for the right hand side’s top sew line (the right hand curve of the heart): Starting at the point where the two curves start, sew along the right sew line until just past the basting line and be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.
With your zipper zipped shut and facing wrong side up, place the pull end of the zipper into the bottom end of the basted line. Because of the sewing you did along the sew line the zipper pull should fit snugly in a the little ledge that was created by the sew line and basting line overlapping a little bit.
With the heart shape oriented upside down (since your starting from the bottom of the heart) pin the right hand side of the zipper all along the right hand side of the heart’s seam allowance.
Keep pinning the zipper along this side following the curve of the heart. Make sure you do not pin the opposite side of the zipper or the opposite side of the seam allowance as you’re doing this. The metal end of the zipper should fit snuggly into the end of the basting line, just like the pull side of the zipper did. If it feels too snug go ahead and pull out a few of the sew line snitches.
Note: Pinning around a curve like this is a little tricky. Try to get the zipper to fold around the curve as loosely as possible. You don’t want a tautly pinned zipper because it will make a weirdly shaped heart.
Put the zipper foot on your machine as shown above (so the needle is sewing to the left of the foot.)
Starting at the top of the heart, sew the right side of the zipper down with a 3/8-inch seam allowance. The fabric should be on top and the zipper should be on the bottom as you sew.
My zipper foot is 3/8-inch wide so it made it easy for me. While you’re sewing this first side you will also have the marked 3/8-inch sew line to help you out and keep you straight. Make sure you are not sewing down the other side of the zipper or seam allowance and that you do not sew into the teeth of the zipper.
When you get close to the zipper pull stop sewing and leave your needle down in the fabric. Pick up the foot and unzip the zipper past where you have already sewn. Then lower the foot and continue sewing.
Once the first side is sewn down and you have double checked that you haven’t sewn onto the wrong side or through the teeth of the zipper, pin the opposite side of the zipper to the free side of the seam allowance in the same manner.
Make sure your pinned zipper is making a nice loose curve as shown above, and not coiling onto itself or looking wobbly at all.
Sew the second side of the zipper in the same manner as you did the first.
Note: Sewing in the zipper might take a few attempts. Do not fear the seam ripper if you mess any of these steps up!
Finishing the Pouch
Fold the piece of ribbon in half lengthwise and unpin the top left corner of the heart shape.
Place the ribbon into the inside of the pinned hearts and line up the ends according to the handle markings.
Pin the left hand corner shut again with the ribbon inside and the ribbon’s ends pinned at the handle markings. In order to not sew through the ribbon in the next step pin the ribbon loop down in the middle of the heart as shown above.
Take off the zipper foot and put the presser foot back onto your machine. Sew around the left-hand side of the heart shape along the sew line. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.
If you had to pull out any of the sew line stitches on the right hand side of the heart as you were placing the zipper make sure to sew those places again as well.
Clip into the seam allowance along the left hand side of the heart. Clip very close to the sew line especially at the curves and sharp angles.
Use your seam ripper to carefully pull out your basting stitches.
Once the basting stitches are gone you can open the zipper (it will be inside out so it might take a little prodding) and then turn your heart right side out.
Your zipper pull should look neat and tidy in it’s seam…
as should the zipper end.
Press the heart into shape. You might want to use a knitting needle to poke out the corners and smooth out the curves from the inside.
Repeat for the other two fabrics and you’ll be done.
Happy Valentines Day!!!! –Molly