Making a zippered pouch is really easy. It’s the first project I learned how to make (thanks Mom!). Sewing in a zipper seems difficult but once you get the hang of it, there’s nothing to it. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how I made this cute moustache print lined zippered pouch.
You’ll need the following to make this pouch:
a sewing machine
scissors (or rotary cutter and mat)
a zipper (7″ in any colour)
a fat quarter of cotton fabric for lining
a fat quarter of cotton fabric for exterior
scrap piece of fabric for a side tab (optional)
zipper foot (optional)
pinking shears (optional)
I recommend pre-washing and pressing all fabrics before any project. I know it’s annoying when all you want to do is get your project started but trust me, it is necessary. Most fabric will shrink a little, making the seams pucker and look gross. Also, when you buy fabric it sometimes has protectants (re: chemicals!) on it, that’d I’d rather get rid of. It’s a good habit to get into and it’ll make this bag hand washable! Wash all fabrics in a mild detergent, hand dry or use on a low heat dryer setting. Press the fabric and you’re ready to go!
Okay let’s begin!
Step 1) Cut your fabrics
Cut two pieces of the exterior fabric and two of the lining fabric to measure 8″ x 6″.
Cut one piece of scrap fabric 2.5″ wide and 4″ tall.
This makes a very small (but cute!) bag. If you want your bag to be larger, consider cutting the fabric 8″ x 8″.
Step 2) Attach the zipper
With your exterior fabric right side up, place the zipper along the top face down.
Place the lining right side down on top of the zipper. This makes a sandwich, with the right sides of the fabric facing and the zipper in the middle. Pin in place.
Stitch using a 1/4″ seam allowance, back stitching at both ends. If you are not using a zipper foot on your machine, you’ll have to pause halfway through stitching and move the zipper behind your foot (or the stitching will go wonky as your machine manuevers around it). To do this, stitch to the halfway point, leave your needle down, lift your foot up and open up the zipper to move it behind your foot.
Turn the fabric right sides out and press.
Next, topstitch along the zipper using an 1/8″ seam allowance. This allows the zipper to lie flat and prevents fabric from being caught in the zipper.
Repeat these instructions to attach the other exterior and interior fabrics to the zipper.
Your project should now look like this:
Note: You can use a zipper foot for this project. I’ve heard it makes it a lot easier. However, I never use one and I haven’t had any issues. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right?
Step 3) Make the side tab (optional)
This step is optional but I think it’s a nice feature.
Take the scrap fabric that you cut into a 2.5″ by 4.5″ rectangle. Fold each end in towards the middle about 1/4″ and press.
Fold in half lengthwise and press. Stitch along the edge using a 1/8″ seam. Fold it in half (to make a loop) and press.
Step 4) Sew the sides together
With the right sides facing together, pin the sides of the bag together.
Take the tab (folded in half from Step 3 to make a loop) and sandwich it in between the exterior fabrics with the raw edges of the tab matching up with the raw edges of the sides of the bag.
Note: I like the tab to be 1.5″ down from the zipper and same side as the zipper pull when the zipper is closed but that’s just my preference.
Sew up the side of bag using a 1/4″ seam, backstitching at each end. Be careful not to sew over any of the metal pieces of your zipper or your needle will break! Most machines are able to sew through the plastic teeth on a zipper.
Repeat on the other side of the bag.
Step 5) Sew the bottom of the bag
Open up your zipper. This is important because if you sew both the sides and the bottom, it’s almost impossible to open the zipper when you’re finished. Trust me, it happens all the time and it’s very frustrating!!
Pin the fabric along the bottom of the bag together and sew using a 1/4″ seam.
At this point, I like to trim the seams using pinking shears, I think it gives it an extra cuteness factor but it’s optional. Be careful not to cut your seams!
If you don’t use pinking shears, clip the bottom corners of your bag.
You can be finished here if you want. Turn the bag right side out, push the corners out there you have a nice little pouch that looks something like this:
But if you want to keep going (only one more step!) you can give the bag some dimension and allow it to stand up.
Step 6) Finish the bag
With the bag inside out, grab one corner of the bag. Match the bottom seam to the side seam to make a triangle. Measure 1.5″ down from the top of the triangle and put a dot with a pencil. Draw a line across the bottom of the triangle to mark where you will stitch. Pin in place. Stitch along the line, backstitching at each end.
Repeat for the other corner.
When both “triangles” have been sewn, you can cut off the excess fabric.
Turn your bag right side out and YOU’RE DONE!!
The finished bag is 7″ long and 4.5″ tall.
If making your own bag seems too daunting, you can check out my Etsy shop here:
Please feel free to use my tutorial to make your own pouch for your own personal use only 🙂