What is a Channel Panel?

    I have begun to teach my new neighbor Savannah how to sew. For her first project, she wanted to make a pouch for her crochet hooks. I showed her a few of my Envelope Pouches and she agreed that this type of pouch would work well for her purpose. To make it easy to find the hook she wanted, we made one modification to the design: a channel panel. (It's easy to remember a name when it rhymes with itself!)

     To make the panel, Savannah sewed a rectangle of fabric into a tube, then pressed it flat and top stitched both folds of the panel. We pinned the finished panel to the lining so that it extends a little above the front edge of the pouch. I drew vertical lines spaced to hold either one large crochet hook or two smaller ones. Savannah stitched the panel to the lining at the edges and on all the marked lines. She then completed the Envelope Pouch according to my instructions. Here are pictures of her finished pouch, complete with crochet hooks. You can see we left room for a few more hooks.

     Didn't Savannah do a great job on her first sewing project?

     You may wonder why we didn't create channels by sewing through all layers after constructing the pouch. I did think of it but rejected the idea for a number of reasons. First, I thought it would be more difficult to pin and stitch the lines through all that bulk. Second, it might require more width for each channel because of the bulk. Finally, having the crochet hooks held in place with an internal channel panel allowed the space in front of the panel to be available for other crochet supplies.

     What other items can we hold in place with channel panels? Crayons? Markers? Colored pencils? Makeup brushes? How about knitting needles? The pouch would need to be very long, but you can follow the instructions for measuring and drafting your pattern provided in the PDF offered in my previous blog.

     The channel panel addition is too useful not to share. I made a sample pouch for magic markers so that I could take pictures for instructions. I used a pattern that I had already drafted, but if I make a pouch like this for a gift I'll draft a pattern wide enough for the entire pack of markers, not just seven. I embroidered a 4.47" Gingham Heart Swirl with a solid maroon thread for the embroidery; I knew my usual variegated threads would not show up well on the medium blue and cream upholstery fabric. Here is a picture of my marker pouch.

     Savannah and I attached our channel panels to the portion of the lining that becomes the back of the pouch. We could have attached another channel panel to the front portion of the lining, thereby doubling the storage -- maybe we'll do that next time! If you would like to add a second panel to the front portion of the lining, make sure to attach it at least 3/4" away from the edge of the lining. Remember that there is a 1/2" seam at each short edge of the lining.

If you haven't done so already, download the instructions for the Envelope Pouch from my previous blog.  Then click the link below to download the instructions for making Channel Panels.

Channel_Panel.pdf (1.3MB)
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