Pattern Hack – Banana Hammock Pouch

I absolutely love the Banana Hammock Pouch by Sincerely Jen Patterns. BUT, as much as I love the pattern, I HATE doing binding more.

I originally made a handful of these pouches and finished the seems with binding as called for in the pattern. But let’s be real, this is me, and I knew there was a way to eliminate the binding. I then made it my mission to figure out how. One day while sewing something else, I had a thought for a way to eliminate the binding and turn the pouch through a hole. I dove full in, cut out 6 pouches, and tried it out.

It. Worked. Perfectly!

Now that I’ve figured it out, I’m going to share it with you! It really isn’t hard, and only requires two additional pieces and a few extra steps.

So let’s get started!


Once you’ve grabbed your FREE pattern from the Sincerely Jen Patterns page, choose your fabric and cut out all the pieces EXCEPT the binding, clearly you won’t need that!

In addition to the pieces included in the pattern, cut out two (2) zipper ends out of your cotton fabric. You can choose to use any fabric, I like to match it to the gusset fabric. Your zipper ends will measure 1.5″ tall x 3″ wide. That’s it, those are the only additional pattern pieces you will need.

I’ve cut and interfaced all my pieces. I use SF101 for the exterior main and gusset, as well as the lining main and lining gusset. I think use foam for the exterior main and exterior gusset. I do not interface the handle, pull tab, or the zipper ends.

To begin, you’ll prep your zipper.

Zipper tabs (I was making 5 pouches, so I cut them all out at the same time
Fold the short ends of the zipper tabs in 1/2″ then fold the whole tab in half
trim your zipper so it measures just shy of 10″ long
  1. Fold and press the short end of your zipper tabs in 1/2″, then fold the whole tab in half, short ends together. Repeat for second zipper tab
  2. Cut your zipper so it measures just shy of 10″ long
place your zipper in the zipper tab
Sew across the zipper tabs on both ends to attach to the zipper
trim edges so it is flush with the zipper sides
cut open the top fold of the zipper tab

3. Line the short (cut) edge of your zipper to the folded edge of your zipper tab, keeping it flush with the 1/2″ fold
4. Fold the other half over and clip in place
5. Sew along the bottom folded edge to attach to zipper.
6. Trim the zipper tab edges to be flush with the edges of your zipper
7. Cut open the zipper tab along the top folded edge

You’re now done prepping your zipper!

8. Follow steps 2-6 in the Banana Hammock Pattern ….. but wait, before you do, read the next part



THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART!

DO NOT stitch the whole way across the main pattern pieces. Start and stop sewing 1/2″ from each edge. You don’t want to have any stitching 1/2″ from each edge – not when you sew them right sides together OR when you top stitch. We need those edges apart to make this a turn-through-a-hole bag!

Start and stop 1/2″ away from the edge when you attach to the zipper
Start and stop 1/2″ away from the edge w hen you top stitch

Okay, so now that your exterior main and lining main pieces are attached to the zipper and top stitched we can move on

Attach the zipper pull to the closed end of the zipper
Only attach it to the EXTERIOR zipper tab. Move the lining zipper tab out of the way
baste the zipper pull to the exterior zipper tab – it is easiest to sew this with lining side up

9. Attach the zipper pull to the closed end of the zipper
10. Only attach it to the EXTERIOR zipper tab (remember we cut the zipper tab into two!). Move the lining zipper tab out of the way
11. Baste the zipper pull to the exterior zipper tab. I find it easiest to sew this with the lining side up so I can keep the lining side zipper tab completely out of the way

12. Follow step 9 in the pattern to attach the handle to the gusset
13. Follow step 11 in the pattern to mark the centres on the main panels and gusset – be sure to mark them on the exterior and lining pieces

Now it’s time to attach the gussets – this is why we cut the zipper tabs open and what will allow us to do a turn-through-a-hole closure.

Match the short end centre of your lining gusset to the LINING zipper tab on both ends, making sure to keep the exterior zipper tab out of the way
Match the long end centre marks on your gusset to the centre marks on your panel piece. Clip or pin in place all the way around
Leave a turning hole on one side of your main panel piece and gusset.

14. Match the short end centre marking of your lining gusset to the LINING zipper tab on both ends. Be sure to keep the exterior zipper tab out of the way
15. Match the long end centre marks on your gusset to the centre marks on your panel pieces. Clip or pin in place all the way around (I like to add more pins at the zipper tab area to really keep it in place)
16. Leave a turning hole on one side of your main panel/gusset. I like to clip everything together then remove clips for the turning hole.

Starting at the edge of your turning hole, sew around the pouch with the panel side facing up
Repeat steps 14 & 15 with your exterior pieces (don’t leave a turning hole)
Sew with the panel side facing up (the lining will be up)

17. Sew all the way around your pouch lining starting at your turning hole.
18. Sew with the exterior panels UP – this will mean you are sewing your top stitch on the lining panels.
19. When you come to the zipper tab, hold the EXTERIOR zipper tab out of the way and sew across the lining zipper tab/gusset to connect
20. When done, trim your seam allowance – Lining is done!

21. Repeat steps 14 & 15 with your exterior pieces to attach main panels and gusset, just don’t leave a turning hole
22. Sew all the way around with the panel side up (just like you did with the lining).
23. When you come to the zipper tab, hold the LINING out of the way and sew across the exterior zipper tab/gusset to connect
24. When done, trim seam allowance

We’re almost done!

Turn your pouch through the hole in your lining
Fold your turning hole edges under and secure with clips and sew across to close
Tuck your lining inside your pouch! You’re done!

25. Turn your pouch through the hole in your lining
26. Fold your turning hole edges under and secure with clips.
27. Sew across the edge to close the turning hole
28. Tuck your lining inside your pouch – you’re all done!

And now you’re done and you didn’t have to do any binding! If you love binding, that’s great, but if you’re like me and hate it, this is a great way to make the Banana Hammock Pouch without cursing to yourself over that awful binding.

From start to finish I can get one done in about 30 minutes.

Let me know if there are any other pattern hacks for bags/pouches you’d like to see. I do have a massive hate-on for binding and I believe that any bag/pouch can be done without it – so if you have one in mind, let me know and I’ll take a look!

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