How To Make a Zipper Pouch – DiY Sewing Tutorial

This is a nice, quick tutorial for beginners and pros alike! Not only are zipper pouches easy to make, but they’re practical as well. They make great little clutch purses, or make up bags, or storage for art supplies (or whatever else you want to use them for)!

zipper_pouch

Click below to watch a video version of the tutorial, or keep scrolling for a photo/text tutorial.

pouchvidthumb

Here we go!

pouch_01

Step 1

Step 1
Collect your materials. You’ll need an outer fabric and a lining fabric, plus a zipper. I’m also adding a wristlet strap, but you could customize yours in lots of ways. You could add a keyring or swivel hook on the end of the strap, or you could skip the strap. Add a pocket or handles. Go crazy! You can also play with the size and dimensions.

The dimensions I used are as follows (and incidentally fit my Nook quite nicely):

  • cut two outer fabric rectangles 9.5″ wide and 6.5″ long
  • cut two lining fabric rectangles 9.5″ wide and 6.5″ long
  • cut one outer fabric strap rectangle 12″ wide and 3″ long
  • the zipper should be at least 3 inches longer than the width of the bag (so in my case, 13″ or longer)

I have interfaced my outer fabric, but only because it’s a stretch fabric, and I really don’t want it to stretch. Otherwise, interfacing is optional!

pouch_02

Step 2

Step 2
Fold the strap in half, wrong sides together (hot dog style!).

Step 2.2

Step 2.2

Press along the fold.

Step 2.3

Step 2.3

Now you have a nice crisp line running down the center of the strap piece.

 

pouch_05

Step 3

Step 3
Fold both raw edges to the center line.

Step 3.2

Step 3.2

Like so.

 

pouch_07

Step 4

Step 4
Press it like you mean it!

Step 5

Step 5

Step 5
Fold the strap in half again, along the original fold line. The raw edges should be completely encapsulated.

Step 5.2

Step 5.2

Pin in place.

pouch_10

Step 6

Step 6
Topstitch the strap about 1/8″ from the edge. Set the strap aside.

pouch_12

Step 7

Step 7
Now we’re going to make a sammich.
The first layer of the sammich is the lining fabric. It should be Right Side Up. (My bad for using a lining fabric that doesn’t really have a Right Side and Wrong Side. Dumb for tutorial purposes.)
The middle of the sammich is the zipper, also Right Side Up.
The top of the sammich is the outer fabric, Right Side Down. In other words, the fabrics are Right Sides Together, with the zipper sandwiched in between.

Step 7.2

Step 7.2

Our tasty sammich.

Step 8

Step 8

Step 8
Line up the top edges of the fabrics with the edge of the zipper tape and pin.

Step 9

Step 9

Step 9
Stitch where you’ve pinned, using a zipper foot.

pouch_16

Step 10

Step 10
Open it up and admire your handiwork!

pouch_17

Step 10.2

Fold both layers away from the zipper and press.

pouch_18

Step 11

Step 11
Make a small mark on the other side of the zipper tape, indicating where the fabric starts and stops.

Step 12

Step 12

Step 12
Repeat the sandwich method, using the marks on the zipper tape to line up the fabric.
Remember, lining fabric, Right Side Up.
Zipper (with the other fabrics stitched to it already), Right Side Up.
Outer fabric, Right Side Down.
Pin everything together and sew with your zipper foot.

pouch_20

Step 13

Step 13
Now you can see we’re starting to get somewhere! Press with the iron again.

Step 14

Step 14

Step 14
Topstitch both sides. You should be stitching through all three layers- outer, zipper, and lining.

This step is optional, really. I prefer the way it looks topstitched.

Step 15

Step 15

Step 15
You can’t see this in my photo, but it’s very important that you open the zipper at this point. Not all the way- you want the pull somewhere in the middle of all that fabric.

Then pin the two lining pieces Right Sides Together. And the same with the outer fabric.

Step 16

Step 16

Step 16
Say hello to the strap again. Hello, strap!

Pin the strap in a loop, like so. It would be wise to baste the strap after pinning, but sometimes I like to live dangerously, so I didn’t.

pouch_22c

Step 17

Step 17
Slide the strap in between the two outer layers. (You can go ahead and ignore the stitching you see in the photos. I may or may not have forgotten to put the strap in before I started sewing the pouch together. *cough*)

pouch_22d

Step 18

Step 18
Pin the strap in place. An inch or two below the zipper is just about right.

pouch_23

Step 19

Step 19
Alright, now that we’ve got everything all pinned together, let’s focus on the zipper. You want the teeth of the zipper to be facing the lining fabric. This will make everything lay nicely when we’re finished, so this is key.

pouch_24

Step 19.2

This is the other end. Again, teeth towards the lining!

pouch_25

Step 20

Step 20
Starting right at the edge of the zipper, sew around the outer fabric using a 3/8″ seam allowance.

pouch_26

Step 20.2

Note how my stitching does not encroach upon the zipper’s territory. You don’t want to catch the zipper in the stitching at all.

pouch_27

Step 21

Step 21
Sew around the lining fabric using a 3/8″ seam allowance, but this time, leave a nice big gap on the bottom (back stitching on either side).

Again, do not stitch over the zipper. Give it an especially wide berth in this case, as you don’t want to sew over the teeth and break a needle.

pouch_28

Step 22

Step 22
Remove the excess zipper.

Step 23

Step 23

Step 23
Trim your corners.

Step 24

Step 24

Step 24
Now the fun part. Open up the gap you left in the lining, and pull the outer fabric through, turning the whole thing Right Side Out.

Step 25

Step 24.2

Wee!

Step 25

Step 25

Step 25
Use something poky to get your corners nice and crisp (excluding the corners touching the zipper).

pouch_33

Step 26

Step 26
Mind the gap! And by that, I mean fold the raw edges under and press it closed.

Step 26.2

Step 26.2

You can press it with an iron, but I find that just mashing it down with my hand usually does the trick.

Step 27

Step 27

Step 27
Pin the gap closed.

pouch_36

Step 28

Step 28
Sew the gap using a 1/8″ seam allowance. I stitched mine in pink thread so it would be visible for the purposes of the tutorial. You can certainly use matching thread.

Step 29

Step 29

Step 29
Tuck the lining inside.

pouch_38

Booyah!

Step Booyah
You’re done!

pouch_39

Zip! Zip! HURRAY!

 

pouch_38b

How do you like them apples?

I just want to point out why we went to all that trouble to A. make sure the zipper teeth were facing a certain direction and B. did not sew the zipper into the seams, and it is those nice diagonal folds indicated by the red arrows above. If you don’t pay attention to the zipper, things get real wonky in that area.

Zippity Doo Dah!

Zippity Doo Dah!

About

My name is Alexis. I have a craft addiction. This is my story. also check out: www.smarmyclothes.com (my clothes) www.whatthecraft.com (my tutorials)

Posted in 2 pin (Moderately Easy) Tutorials, My Patterns, My Tutorials, Tutorials + Project Ideas
5 comments on “How To Make a Zipper Pouch – DiY Sewing Tutorial
  1. You are such a great tutorial maker! This one is great, too. I like the choice of fabric’s motive. I am basically always fascinated about the universe. 😀 Do you think the strap will hold if I make a bigger pouch?

  2. Patterson says:

    ThAnks so much for posting this again. I’ve tried so many methods for zips ends but never get a consistently good result. I’ve been making them for presents to try and perfect it. Def going to give this a try. Love the idea of the flat bottom with straight sides.

  3. Kimberly says:

    Hello! Just found your YouTube channel and am loving your sewing tutorials. I’m picky about which videos I’ll spend time watching, and wanted you to know you’ve now jumped in to the number one spot of my favorite sewing tutorial presenters! I like that you’re quick, easy to understand, clear and detailed, and to-the-point, plus I really appreciate your sense of humor. You demystify the sewing process in many ways, so kudos for that!

    I also like that you use metal zippers in your projects, they give things a retro feel. I’m in west Los Angeles, there’s a fabric store here that’s been in business since the 1950s which services the TV and film industries. Recently I went in there and almost cleaned them out of their discount zippers, all metal, and all authentically retro – a lot of them are so old they must be original stock! Old packaging, pre-barcode era, cool colors. I’m now starting to use them in my sewing projects.

    There are a few of your projects I want to try, including this one, but must know: WHERE DID YOU GET THAT FABRIC? I *love* it and want to add it to my hoard. If you can point me in the direction of where I might find it, I’d appreciate it!

    Thank you!

    • Lex says:

      It’s funny that you mention the metal zippers. Those zippers are from big box of vintage metal zips I bought off Ebay when I first got into sewing… in 2002! I still have dozens left. Sometimes I think they breed in my zipper drawer at night.

      The luna moth and polka dot fabrics were from the Flora and Fauna Michael Miller collection from several years ago. 2010 according to my email receipt. You might be able to find it on ebay or etsy, but I don’t think it’s in print any more.

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