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Zipper Pouch Pattern - How to Sew Series

Zippered pouches can be made in any size and are great for holding various items such as makeup, first aid supplies, pens and pencils, small kids toys, etc. They are pretty simple to make and if you are just learning how to sew zippers, this is a great project to practice on. These zipper pouches also make great gifts for friends, especially when you tuck in a small bottle of lotion or other beauty item.

In addition to the zipper, the techniques that we will be practicing in the this free tutorial are French seams and making box corners. By using French seams, the pouch will be nicely finished on the inside.
finished zippered pouch

Project Supplies:

  • 8 1/2 inch by 15 inch piece of cotton fabric (quilting fat quarters are perfect for this project)
  • 7 inch zipper (not invisible)
  • Sewing machine
  • Zipper foot
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Marking pen/pencil/chalk
  • Ruler or yardstick
  • Pins
  • Thread to match

zippered pouch supplies

Preparing Your Fabric

If you want to be able to wash your zippered pouch in case it becomes soiled, pre-wash the fabric first. Press the fabric so that is flat and wrinkle free.

Cutting Instructions

Cut your fabric into two pieces that are 8 1/2 inches wide by 7 1/2 inches long.

Sewing Instructions

Place one piece of fabric right side up on a flat surface. Place the zipper right side down and align the upper edge of the zipper tape with the top edge of the fabric as shown in the photo. Pin the zipper in place.
pin zipper and fabric together

Attach your zipper foot to your sewing machine so that the needle is sewing on the left side of the foot (see photo). Open up the zipper all the way and begin sewing along the edge, backstitching as you start to secure the seam. Be sure to remove the pins as you approach them. When are nearing the zipper pull, stop sewing and raise the zipper foot. Carefully zip up the zipper all the way again so that the zipper pull is out of the way. Continue sewing to the end of the seam, backstitching at the end. Trim any loose threads.
sew zipper

Repeat this step with the second piece of fabric. When you are finished, the zipper should have a piece of fabric attached on each side.

Press the seams flat. If you are using a zipper with plastic coils, avoid touching the zipper coils with the iron because they can melt if the iron is too hot. Flip the fabric pieces over so that they are right side up and press the fabric away from the zipper.
sew zipper

Stitch close to the seam edge to give the top of the pouch a clean look. This also reinforces the area, reducing the stress on the original seam. This is important because repeatedly opening and closing a zipper can rip a seam out.
how to sew a zipper

Now we will be sewing the sides together using French seams.

To do this, fold the fabric pieces with wrong sides facing so that the edges line up on both sides and along the bottom. Pin in place.
Sewn box corners

Open the zipper part way to move the zipper pull out of the way as you sew. Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew from top to bottom along both sides, back stitching at beginning and end. Trim off any threads that are fraying along the edges so that they won't stick out of the seam when it is finished.
sew sides of zippered pouch

Press seams flat and then open. Flip the bag so that the wrong side is now facing out. Press the side seams so that they are wrapped over the raw edges. Sew new seams along the edges using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. Sew slowly as you go over the zipper tape and be sure that you don't hit any of the metal pieces.
sew sides of zippered pouch

Click to see the rest of the Zipper Pouch Tutorial

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Content copyright © 2013 by Tamara Bostwick. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Tamara Bostwick. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cheryl Ellex for details.

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