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After a couple of months of sewing, you end up having lots of fabric leftovers on the side. Don’t throw them away – there are some great projects to make the best use of such leftovers😃 One of them is to sew little zipper pouch bags!
I love this project so much because it’s quick and easy to make those little zipper pouches. Also, they are not only pretty but also practical as they help you to organise your personal belongings💁♀️ Last but not least, it’s a fantastic project for beginners. You will learn how to sew straight lines and how to insert a zipper.
What You Need for This Sewing Project
- Outer fabric
- Lining fabric (the inner fabric)
- Iron-on interfacing
- Matching thread🧵
- Zipper (5 or 7 inches)
- Scissors (or a rotary cutter and cutting mat)✂️
- Chalk (or a fabric marker)
- A ruler📏
- Optional: matching embroidery thread to decorate the zipper
You will also need an iron and a sewing machine of course. I’ve got a Janome CXL301 and I am super happy with it. Check out my guide for finding the right sewing machine 👉here if you need more help with this. A regular zipper foot should be part of your sewing machine box but if not, make sure to purchase one as well.
Zipper Pouch Step-By-Step Tutorial👣
Prepare & Cut The Fabric
Give the outer and lining fabric a good press with the iron. Use full steam while ironing to make sure that your fabric is nice and smooth.
Then cut the fabric✂️ For the smaller zipper pouch with a 5 inch (12.7cm) zipper:
- Cut out two rectangles of 14.7cm x 12cm from both the outer and the lining fabric.
- Cut out two rectangles of 12.7cm x 10cm from the interfacing.
For the bigger zipper pouch with a 7 inch (17.8cm) zipper:
- Cut out two rectangles of 19.8cm x 17cm from both the outer and the lining fabric.
- Cut out two rectangles of 17.8cm x 15cm from the interfacing.
➡️Tip: fold the fabrics in half so that you just have to cut one rectangle on each fabric to have the two pieces.
Side note💡: fancy another size for your zipper pouch? Just add 2cm to the length of your zipper. The 2cm are for the 1cm seam allowance on both sides. The interfacing should have the same width as the zipper. You’re free to choose any width you like.
Next, attach the interfacing. Take one of the rectangles of the outer fabric and place it on your ironing board with the wrong side facing up. Place the interfacing in the centre of it with the sticky side down. Press in place using the iron with high heat but no steam.
➡️Tip: don’t iron forth and back. Instead, press the iron down and hold it for a couple of sections before moving on to the next section.
Repeat the above step with the other pieces. Then turn the rectangles around so that the right side of the outer fabric is facing up and give it another good press with the iron💨
Attach The Zipper
Take your lining fabric and place it on a flat surface so that the right side is facing up. Next, mark the 1cm seam allowance on both sides of your zipper and place it facing up along the top edge of the lining fabric.
Take the outer fabric and place it on top of the zipper so that the right side is facing down. Put in a few pins to hold everything in place.
Time to engine up your sewing machine😃 The first thing you need to do is to thread your sewing machine and to attach the zipper foot. Then sew along the top edge which you’ve pinned in place using a 1cm seam allowance.
➡️Tips: below a few things to consider👇
- Reverse your stitches at the beginning and the end.
- Stop when you get close to the zipper puller. Lift the foot of your machine and carefully open up the zipper puller so that it’s behind the needle. Continue sewing to the end.
- Trim your threads when you finished sewing✂️
After stitching it in place, open up the fabric so that both the outer and the lining fabric are on one side of the zipper. Then repeat the above steps for the other side of the zipper.
Once both sides are sewn, open it up again and give it a good press with the iron. Then topstitch along the zipper. Topstitching means to sew very close to the edge, just around 2mm from the zip. Repeat this on the other side.
Again, keep in mind to reverse your stitches at the beginning and the end, to open up the zipper when you sew and to trim your threads💡
Sew the Zipper Pouch Together
Make sure your zipper is out of the way by opening it up half way so that you can sew all the way around it. Place the right sides of the outer fabric and the right sides of the lining fabric together. Make sure to lay the edges of the zipper so that they are pointing towards the lining. Hold everything in place with some pins.
Mark a 6cm gap for the smaller zipper pouch and a 9cm gap for the bigger zipper pouch at the bottom of the inner fabric so that we can turn the zipper pouch the right side out afterwards.
The time has come to sew the pouch together🎉 Put the regular foot back on your sewing machine. Starting at one end of the gap and sew around all the edges of the zip bag with a 1cm seam allowance.
➡️Tips: below a few things to consider👇
- Be careful when sewing over the zipper – the metal part could break your needle. Pin it out of the way and take your time when sewing over it.
- Pivot at the corners. For that, stop 1cm before the edge, lift the foot but make sure to have the needle down, turn your fabric and then keep on sewing.
- Stop at the mark to leave the gap so that you can turn the pouch afterwards.
- The classics: reverse your stitches at the beginning and the end plus trim your threads.
Turn The Zipper Pouch The Right Side Out
We want to avoid bulky parts in our zipper pouch, so make sure to clip all the corners and cut any excess fabric, e.g. from the zipper. Trim any last threads and make sure it all looks nice and neat.
It’s finally time to pull the pouch through the gap which you’ve left open. Once you’ve turned everything the right side out, make sure to pull out the corners as good as you can.
Take out the lining fabric and pin the gap in place. Then stitch it together few millimetres from the edge with a straight stitch. This will be on the inside of your zipper pouch, so it won’t be seen from the outside. Then tuck the lining back inside your pouch.
Last but not least, give the zipper pouch a good press with the iron from both sides so that it’s nice and flat.
Optional: Add a Lovely Zipper Tassel as Decoration
This last step is optional but I definitely recommend it if you want to give your zipper pouch a nice finishing touch✨ It will only take a few minutes to make these cute tassels; here’s how👇
Wrap the embroidery thread a couple of times around your hand. I was going around about 20x for the smaller zipper pouch (5 inches) and roughly 25x for the bigger one (7 inches).
Remove the loops from your hand, thread a separate piece of string through the middle and tie it together at the top. Also, cut through the bottom loop.
Last but not least, form a loop with another piece of string (see below) and lay this on top of your tassel. Wrap the long ending around the neck of your tassel as often as you want. Once you’ve finished, take the piece you’ve used to wrap and thread it through the loop. Pull the other end until the knot disappears.
And you’re tassel is ready to be attached to your zipper💁♀️🎉
The little zipper pouches are not only super cute but also very practical. For example for organising and storing a part of your sewing equipment✂️
Have you made zipper pouches as well? Leave a comment below and let you know about your sewing experience!