Friday, 14 August 2015

How to Make a Secateurs Pouch

As a garden designer I spent many years not only designing gardens but working in them. Digging, planting, pruning. Every workman, sorry, workperson, knows that having tools to hand makes a job a lot quicker and easier to accomplish. I'm always surprised, therefore, that more gardeners don't own a secateurs pouch. My first one was a builder's leather nail pouch. When it wore out I used a heavy canvas pouch. It finally succumbed to the pointy end of the secateurs so time for a new one.

I found this quirky hessian at the charity shop: 2 metres long by 30 cm wide for $1.50. I had some leatherette in the box from a previous project and some black cotton twill for a backing.

It's quite easy to make following these directions.

These are the component parts: a front section in hessian, a back section in heavy cotton, a lining in leatherette, the belt in hessian and heavy cotton, plus the binding.

All these measurements include a 1/2 inch (13 mm) seam allowance.

The pouch bulges out in the front so you can easily get to your secateurs and gloves. That means the back is tapered into the place at which it joins the belt. The side seams are finished with a binding as the hessian and leatherette are too bulky to turn through as you would a normal seam.

Start by sewing the front to the back at what will be the bottom of the pouch. Press seam allowance to the front and topstitch in place.

Turn over the ½ inch (13 mm) allowance at the top edge of the front and the same for the leatherette. Now sandwich the two together and topstitch close to the edge. Stitch a second row for a nice firm edge.

Stay stitch the outer fabric to the leatherette stopping about 1 inch (25 mm) before the bottom seam at both front and back. 

You'll notice there is some play in the outer fabric when it's lying flat but it is taken up when it curves to form the pouch.

The side seams come next. The leatherette, being in one piece, will curve at the bottom of the pouch but should pose no problem. Line up all four layers and pin along seam line. Pin both sides before you sew to make sure it's not skew-whiff. Stitch side seams.

The binding to cover the raw edges is not cut on the bias. Having cut the two 2 ½ inch (6.5 cm) wide strips, turn in the long edges by ½ inch (13 mm) on each side to create the binding, pressing them firmly in place. Open out one edge and stitch to pouch on front side.

Turn the bottom edge of the binding up tucking it in to cover the raw edge and stitch in place.

With the front of the pouch uppermost, finish the binding by stitching 'in the ditch' making sure that it catches the binding at the back of the pouch. Repeat on second side.

Now you're ready to add the belt.

To make the belt, with right sides together stitch along the two short ends and one long side. Turn through and press flat.

Because the hessian is stiff, it is easier to sew the final long edge from the right side. Turn in the seam allowance and press and pin in place.

Mark the length in the centre of the belt where the pouch will fit and leave a gap to insert it then top stitch the long edge up to the gap on both sides.

Insert the back seam allowance of the pouch into the gap in the belt and stitch.

Make sure you catch in the backing fabric.

Add a second row of stitching along the whole length of the belt.

Cut a 3 inch (7.5 cm) length of wide velcro and stitch in place to fit comfortably over your gardening togs.

Now, time for some gardening I think. (That's a real dove in my birdbath!)


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Zoe, I'm going to whip up a few more to sell at our National Trust shop.