make a mini jewelry roll with an expandable pocket

Good news sewing friends…I’m going to be introducing each of the ten patterns from my 2yards 10gifts e-book individually! First up, the mini jewelry roll.

This tutorial is a variation on the pattern, and shows you how to add a deep expandable pocket, to accommodate jewelry like wide, cuff-style bracelets. Check it out:

add an accordion pocket to your mini jewelry roll

The jewelry roll has long been the most popular item at Holland Cox, and since I designed it in 2008, I have made literally hundreds of them for friends, my best customers, and dozens and dozens of bridal parties.

I designed the mini version to be a stash-buster (you only need one fat quarter), so it is just as cute, but easier to make!

the mini jewelry roll compared to the regular size

I think they make such great gifts because they are so pretty and practical, yet not the sort of thing people usually buy for themselves.

This tutorial is all about the mini jewelry roll, but there’s no reason you couldn’t apply the same technique to the regular size (or some other thing with a zipper pocket!). The pattern for the regular size jewelry roll was published in One Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Projects from Storey Publishing in 2009.

step one: alter the pattern

step one: alter the pattern
Click here to purchase the mini jewelry roll pattern. The pattern includes directions for two pockets, and this tutorial will show you how to make the bottom zipper pocket expandable.

Add 2 and 1/8″ to each side of the pocket pattern piece before you cut the fabric and interfacing for the bottom pocket. Prepare the pocket just as the directions indicate.

pin the zipper in place

step two: pin the zipper in place
Make sure your zipper stops are an equal distance from each raw edge, and slip the zipper tape in between the folded edges of the front and back of the pocket.

Take a moment to make sure the raw ends of the zipper tape are tucked inside, and then pin in place.

topstitch the zipper in place

step three: topstitch the zipper
Using the zipper foot on your machine, stitch the zipper in place by sewing very close to the folded edge (about a 1/8″ seam allowance), making sure you catch the raw ends of the zipper tape.

Normally those ends would be sewn into the side seams of the jewelry roll, but with the expanded pocket, the ends of your zipper will be exposed. You want them to look neat, don’t you?

mark and stitch fold lines

step four: mark and stitch fold lines
Use tailor’s chalk or a pencil to mark the bottom edge of the completed pocket 1/2″ away from each side. Then measure 2″ away from the first mark, and mark the fabric again.

Stitch through all layers of fabric at the second mark; this will form the outer fold of the expandable pocket.

Start your stitch at the raw edge, and sew towards the zipper. At the very top of the fold, leave the needle down in the fabric. Lift your presser foot, and rotate the fabric to sew in the opposite direction. This way, you get reinforced stitches without any messy thread ends to deal with.

stitch and fold lines

If you like, you can do another stitch along the inner fold, which would be 1″ away from the first chalk mark you made.

fold and press expandable pocket

step five: fold and press
To create the deep folds that make the pocket expandable, fold the pocket so your stitch line matches your first chalk line, and press the pocket carefully.

This will form a 1″ deep pleat, while leaving enough seam allowance at the raw edges to sew the expandable pocket into the jewelry roll.

continue with the jewelry roll directions
This tutorial replaces step five in the pattern directions, so after you press down the folds, continue with step six!

expanded pocket zipped closed

The expandable pocket zips closed quite nicely, even with that large cuff bracelet inside.

The best part is that the expandable pocket doesn’t take much extra time to make, and only a little bit of extra fabric!

The mini jewelry roll pattern calls for one fat quarter, but with the larger pocket you’ll probably need another half fat quarter. If you had three fat quarters you could easily make two mini jewelry rolls with the expandable pocket (surely you know two people who would like such a pretty gift?).

Download the pattern right now, and you can have one of these finished tonight. I know you have two fat quarters’ worth of fabric laying around!

finished jewelry roll with a big fat cuff bracelet inside

Pretty cute Mother’s Day gift, don’t you think?

As always, I’d love to see pictures of the ones you make, whether you choose the expandable pocket or not!


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