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How to Sew a Zipper Pouch

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How to Sew a Zipper Pouch

Turn your prettiest fabric scraps into zipper pouches. They’re a great organizational tool, and they make a great gift. Here’s how to sew a zipper pouch with, or without a lining. If you’ve never sewn a zipper before, this is the perfect project to start with.

Zipper Pouch Tutorial

Zipper Bag Supplies

What You’ll Need:

  • (2) pieces of fabric for the outside of your pouch (canvas, upholstery or another heavy-weight fabric works best)
  • (2) pieces of lining fabric (optional)
  • A zipper
  • Thread
  • A ruler
  • Scissors
  • Sewing pins or sewing clips
  • A sewing machine (This is the machine that I have)
  • A zipper foot

Optional (but nice to have):

Zippers are sold by the inch. That measurement reflects the number of inches between the zipper stops. If you were to measure the zipper from end to end, you’d find it’s actually an inch or two longer than what’s written on the packaging. The 9-inch zipper I used to make the pouch shown in this post, for example, measures 10-3/4 inches. If you have a specific width that you want your pouch to be, select a zipper with an end-to-end length that matches your desired length.

Zippers can be shortenend, if you have one that’s too long. Just do a Google or YouTube search for several ways to do it.

What You Do:

Cut Fabric the Same Width as Your Zipper

To create the front and back of your pouch, cut two pieces of fabric that are the same length as your zipper. Then, decide how deep your want your pouch to be, and cut your pieces accordingly. I wanted my bag to be six-inches-deep, so I cut my pieces seven-inches-deep to allow for seams.

If you’d like to make a lining for your pouch, cut two more pieces out of the lining fabric, using the same dimensions.

Flip the Zipper Upside Down and Pin to the Top Edge of the Fabric

Now, it’s time to start assembling your pouch. Flip the zipper upside down, and pin or clip it to the top edge of the fabric that you’ve chosen for the front of your bag.

Unzip the Zipper a Couple Inches

Unzip the zipper a couple inches, so it won’t be in the way of the foot when you start sewing.

Sew Close to Zipper

Then, using your zipper foot, sew a straight line down the zipper. The zipper foot only has one toe, so it allows you to sew much closer to the zipper than a regular foot.

When you’re about to come up on the zipper, plunge your needle into the fabric; then, lift the foot; and slide the zipper back to where you started (this takes a bit of awkward manuveuring). If you try to sew around the zipper, you’ll end up with a curve in your line.

Zipper Pouch Front Fabric Sewn to Zipper

Here’s what your front piece should look like when you’re done.

Zipper Sewn to Fabric

Fold the zipper back …

Pin the Back Fabric to the Edge of the Zipper

Then, pin the back fabric to the edge of the zipper, right side down.

Zipper Sewn to Front and Back of Fabric

Flip the fabric over, so the zipper is on top, and sew a straight line down the side of the zipper. Once you’ve done this, your front and back fabric pieces should be connected by the zipper.

If you aren’t adding a lining to your pouch, unzip the zipper. Then, pin the sides together, right sides facing, and sew around the three open sides, using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Trim any excess from the corners and edges; Then, use the zipper opening to flip the pouch right side out, and you’re done!

Lay Your Sewn Pieces on Your Work Surface With the Zipper at the Top

If you are adding a lining to your pouch, lay your sewn pieces on your work surface, so that the zipper is at the top.

Pin First Lining Piece to the Top of the Zipper

Then, pin or clip the first lining piece to the top of the zipper.

Flip and Sew Over the Existing Seam

Flip the pile over, and sew over the existing seam to attach the lining.

Zipper Bag With First Piece of Lining Attached

Then, lay the piece back on your work surface, like this …

Pin the Second Piece of Lining to Top of Zipper

and pin the second piece of lining to the top of the zipper.

Finished Lining

Sew over the existing seam to attach the lining, and this is what you should have when you’re done.

Sew a Seam Along Each Side of the Zipper to Keep the Lining From Getting Stuck in the Zipper

To keep the lining from getting stuck in the zipper when you’re opening and closing the pouch, pull the lining taut. Then, sew a seam down each side of the zipper.

Pin the Lining Pieces and Outside Pieces Together Right Side Facing

Unzip the zipper three-quarters of the way. Then, pin the two lining pieces together and the two outside pieces together, right sides facing. Make sure the pieces line up perfectly at the zipper, and that the zipper teeth are pointed down towards the lining.

Sew Around Three Sides of the Pouch

Sew a 1/2-inch seam around three sides of the pouch, leaving the bottom edge of the lining open for turning.

Turn the Pouch and Pin the Bottom of the Lining Closed

Then, turn the pouch right-side out, and pin or clip the bottom lining closed.

Sew the Bottom of the Lining Shut

Sew along the bottom of the lining. Then, tuck it in the pouch.

Finished Inside Lining

and you’re done!

Closeup of Zipper Pouch

Fill your zipper pouch with school supplies, makeup or toiletries. There’s no end to the uses for a zippered pouch.

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