Make This:

Milanese Stitch Pouch

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Metallic copper accents set off a monochromatic zip pouch that’s the perfect size for business cards, ID/credit cards, cash, or coins. It zips on two sides so you have much easier access into it than you would otherwise. The triangular pattern shown is traditionally known as ‘Milanese Stitch’ and is a common stitch in Berlin Work.

– 14 count white Aida cloth
– embroidery floss in 2 colors (2 skeins per color)
– metallic machine embroidery thread – this is copper colored Gutermann and I love it
– 7″ zipper
– fray check
– lining fabric
– sewing thread
– needle with large eye
– ordinary sewing needle

To accommodate a 7 inch zipper I made my pouch 4 inches by 3 inches. The fabric is folded in half, so it needs to be 8 inches by 3 inches, plus seam allowance. I allowed 1/2 inch for the seam, so my total fabric size is 9 by 4 inches. Mark that out on the Aida with pins and cut it very neatly following the lines of the fabric.

Fray Check the edges so they don’t unravel as you work.

Place pins at the corner 1/2 inch or 7 threads from the corner so you know where to start stitching.

All of the stitches are worked diagonally. Thread the needle with the full thickness of embroidery floss. Don’t tie a knot at the end, just hold it on the back and stitch over it to secure it. At the end of your thread run the thread under some stitches on the back to secure it.


Start stitching following the stitching pattern shown in the photos:

Continue until you are 1/2 inch or 7 threads from the edge. Adjust the pattern so it cuts off at the seam allowance.

Work the next row being careful to leave a gap between the rows as shown here.

Fill the entire area with rows of this pattern, keeping the triangles aligned and the gaps as shown.

Fill in the remaining space with the same stitch in the other color of thread.

The filled piece will look like this.

Add some accent stitches with a doubled strand of the embroidery thread. The most efficient pattern I found is what’s shown – working in diagonal lines. The metallic stitch actually starts and ends centered under the longest stitch in the triangles – do your best to not disturb that long stitch while you’re adding the accents.

When all of it is stitched cut a matching size piece from your lining fabric (I used white broadcloth.)

Fold it in half, stitch is 1/2 inch from the edge stopping 1/2 inch from the end. I hand stitched it with backstitch.

Press the seam allowance back, and then press the other edges back by 1/2 inch.

Sew up the bottom of the pouch with backstitch through the holes in the Aida along the edge of the embroidered field.

Sew the zipper on by backstitching along the edge of the embroidered area and just a little bit in from the edge of the zipper tape. You’ll have to turn the pouch inside out and unzip the zipper to do the other side.

Put the lining into the pouch and sew the edge down to the zipper, making sure to catch in the ends of the zipper tape.