I started doing English Paper Piecing (EPP) last year and got quickly hooked! It’s great for doing in the evenings in front of the TV, or when out and about. I can take it to anywhere where I know I’ll have some time to kill, such as when my son is at Tae Kwon Do class. I have a couple of larger travel cases that I use to carry the supplies around in, but nothing that fits into my handbag. So I decided for this month’s project I would make a small EPP travel case, using EPP hexagons.

I don’t have the patience to cut the hexagons by hand. I buy pre-cut paper templates and then use Sizzix Big Shot to cut the fabric hexagons. I know some people have concerns that you get a lot of wasted fabric using die cutting machines but if you cut fabric strips slight narrower than the die and then fold them into rectangles slightly larger than the 2 hexagons on the die there really isn’t much wasteage (see the picture above).

Although it’s not very seasonally appropriate I choose a beautiful selection of autumnal prints from Minerva’s Huge Range of Fabric. I love anything with leaves or trees on, and I used a few of those fabrics to make fabric baskets for a post last year (you can read it here) and loved them. I also wanted to try the Camelot Scented Fabrics, just out of curiosity so I choose a solid brown (pine scented) to go with the prints.

It did definitely smell of pine but only lightly scented, the more I handled it the less you could smell the scent. When you iron it through you get a sudden hit of the aroma! I stitch basted the hexagons whilst watching TV for a couple of evenings and then laid them out until they were in a pouch shape and hand stitched them together.

I decided I wanted to make almost a pouch within a pouch, a centre zip pocket inside the pouch. That would then split the inside of the pouch into three so I could have made hexies to one side, the fabric hexies ready for stitching on another side and then the scissors, papers, paperclips, needle and thread in the centre zipped pocket. Luckily 2 days before I started sewing it I got a new sewing machine, the amazing Janome MC9400 QCP. So, this is the first proper project I sewed on my new sewing machine.

I wasn’t following a pattern so I had to think about how it would best go together. In the end I decided to make the middle pouch (using the red gingko fabric) and then sew it to one side of the lining so I could make the rest of the pouch as a normal pouch without having to deal with the extra bits of fabric.

Originally, I wanted to keep the hexie shape around the edges of the pouch as I thought it would look good. So, I cut the lining to the same shape as the hexie exterior and stitched around the edge of each hexagon when joining the front and back of the pouch. I had cut the inner pouch in a curved shape so I attached it to a piece of lining and then trimmed the edges to make them the same hexagon edged shape.

When I turned the pouch the right side out the points didn’t turn through very well or look as good as I had hoped. So, I put it inside out again and just sewed a curved edge instead.

I turned it through, stitched up the hole I’d left in the bottom for turning and then my EPP travel pouch was ready to use. It’s only a 2-3 inches wider than my scissors so just the right size to carry in my handbag so I can always have some hexies on the go. It will fit 30 or 40 1 inch hexagons in at a time. It’s pretty tricky to photograph the inside but here’s a picture below for you.