Make It Perfect

.Zippered Pouch Tutorial.

I’ve got some big stuff going down on the blog in the next few days…I FINALLY got around to making another zippered pouch and taking photos along the way to put together a tutorial for you…I’ll be releasing a new pattern on the weekend (yay!) and I’m participating in the Sew Mama Sew May Giveaway Day on Monday with some lovely goodies up my sleeve to give away!! So stay tuned…lots of fun stuff to make and see and WIN 🙂

Lets get this tutorial started then! After making Oishii and then the abundance of zippered pouches that followed I had so many people write to me saying that they are scared of zips! Well, fear zips no more…they are actually quite simple. This is a great beginner zipper project, so gather yourself some materials and lets get sewing 🙂


I’m not going to give instruction on how to make the patchwork panel that I use for my pouches…the instructions will vary depending on the size of your scraps and the way you lay them out. A quick run-down though in case anyone wants to get nitty-gritty…I cut and join my little scrap pieces until I get a rectangle which measures 9″ x 6 1/2″ making sure I get a piece of plain white fabric in there somewhere. Then I cut a piece of pellon or quilt wadding to the same size and adhere to the wrong side of the fabric by ironing on if using pellon or pinning around the edges if using wadding. Sew a few rows of stitching above and below seams joining fabric strips (I don’t sew on the white fabric). Using an erasable fabric marking pen, write a word on the white piece of fabric then embroider using 4 strands of cross-stitch thread. Sew on a little collection of buttons.

Okay, so that is a speedy how-to make the patchy panel! Of course you can also just use a single piece of fabric (WAY faster if you do that!) It is up to you if you want to use any wadding on the front or back of the pouch. I used wadding on the front but not on the back…depends on the look/feel you are going for. You could also use a piece of stiffener fabric (e.g. Shapewell) if you want a bit of extra strength or stability.

To make a Zippered Pouch, you will need:
One 9″ x 6 1/2″ rectangle of fabric for front exterior (patchwork pieced)
One 9″ x 6 1/2″ rectangle of fabric for back exterior (mermaids)
Two 9″ x 6 1/2″ rectangles of fabric for lining (green check)
Two 4″ x 2″ (approx) rectangles of fabric for zipper ends (pink/blue stripe)
One 7″ dress zipper

Step 1.
Take the two small rectangles of fabric for zipper ends and fold in half so that short ends meet. Press.
Place the folded edge of the fabric just over the metal stopper on the end of the zipper and pin into place. Sew about 1/8″ from the folded edge of the fabric (be careful not to sew on top of the metal stopper here…your sewing machine will not like it!!).

Do the same with the second piece of fabric on the opposite end of the zipper (it is easier if you open your zipper a bit before sewing so that the zipper pull doesn’t get in the way).

Step 2.
(Don’t think too hard about the next couple of steps because they kinda don’t make sense until you actually follow them!)
Take your front exterior piece and lay on the table with right side of fabric facing up.
Take your zipper and, with right side of zipper facing right side of fabric, place edge of zipper tape along the TOP edge of your front exterior piece. Pin a few times to hold in place.

Now take one of your lining pieces and lay it on top of the front exterior piece with right sides facing. The zipper should be sandwiched between the two pieces of fabric.
Match up top edges of fabric and edge of zipper tape and pin together. (You can remove the pins that were put in earlier to hold the zipper to the front exterior piece now).

Pop a zipper foot on your sewing machine and sew along the pinned edge, about 1/8″ away from the zipper teeth. It can sometimes be tricky to sew close to the edge of the zipper when you reach the zipper pull…make sure your needle is in the down position, lift up your presser foot and slide the zipper towards the back of the sewing machine so that it is away from your needle, then keep sewing.

Step 3.
Fold the exterior front and lining pieces back away from the zipper so that right sides of both pieces are facing out. The zipper should be sitting with one side of the zipper tape sewn between both of these pieces and the other side of the zipper tape left free.

Now take your remaining lining piece and place it on the table with right side facing up. Place the free side of the zipper tape along the top edge of the lining piece. Pin into place if you need to (I usually don’t bother).
Take your exterior back piece and lay it on top of the edge of the zipper/lining with the wrong side of the exterior back piece facing down. The zipper and exterior front/lining pieces should be sandwiched between the exterior back and lining pieces.

Match up top edges of fabric and edge of zipper tape and pin together like you did in step 2 and sew along the edge.

Trim the overhanging raw edges of the zipper end fabric.

Step 4.
Fold exterior and lining fabrics out so that wrong side of one lining piece is touching wrong side of exterior front piece and wrong side of second lining piece is touching wrong side of exterior back piece. The zipper should be sitting nicely in between the front and back fabrics. Press and pin.
With the zipper foot still on your sewing machine, topstitch about 1/8″ away from the folded edge of the fabric down both sides of the zipper.

Step 5.
Open the zipper and leave opened for the following step.
Now open out the fabric pieces and position so that the right sides of the exterior front and back pieces are touching and the right sides of the lining pieces are touching.

Match up raw edges and pin around the entire pieces. When you get to the seam in the middle where the zipper is sewn in, it will be a little bulky. Fold the short end of the zipper and attached fabric so that the fold is facing the lining.

Sew a 1/2″ seam around the pinned edge, leaving a 2″ gap along the bottom edge of the lining pieces for turning. Clip corners and cut a curve into the seam where the zipper is to reduce bulk. Make sure you don’t cut your stitching!

Pull fabric through the opening in the lining until pouch is right sides out. Push the lining into the exterior pouch.
Use the pointed end of a closed pair of scissors to push the four corners of the pouch out.
Slip stitch the opening in the lining closed, snip all stray thread and you are DONE!

I’d LOVE to see any zippered pouches you create using this tutorial! Make sure you leave a comment with a link or email me some pics so I can check it out 🙂

If you find any mistakes or don’t understand anything, let me know and I’ll fix it up!

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  • Reply 2paw May 13, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Lovely zippy pouch. I do that: add a piece of fabric to each end of the zip now. It makes such a difference and gives a lovely finish too!!

  • Reply :: fiona harding :: May 13, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Thanks for sharing Tone xxx

  • Reply Lisa P May 13, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    This is so great Toni…..I've had a 'new' zipper in my sewing box for about 15 years….precisely because it scared me….I'm about to do something with it….finally! Thanks

  • Reply Ingrid May 14, 2010 at 12:14 am

    Oh, I get so excited and inspired reading your blog. Wish I had enough hours in the day to attempt all the projects I want to… sigh!

  • Reply Melissa May 14, 2010 at 3:33 am

    Yay…no excuses for me now!! Thanks Toni!

  • Reply Anonymous May 14, 2010 at 4:44 am

    thank you thank you thank you! Much better that the other tutorials I found! Very excited for a new pattern too!!! Jacinta B

  • Reply Anonymous May 14, 2010 at 5:41 am

    Gorgeous Toni! Can't wait to make one 🙂 Linda x

  • Reply Anonymous May 14, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Hi Toni, Love these little pouches & today have got one ready to put the zip in, your tutorial is really easy to understand & can see how they may be addictive. Thanks

    Cathy (Linda's Mum)

  • Reply Little Munchkins May 14, 2010 at 7:13 am

    I made one of these a few days ago and just gifted it today! I remembered to take a pic before gifting it, so will blog it then.

    I just made mine up as I went but it looks like it's pretty much how you did yours too.

  • Reply senovia May 14, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Thank you! That's an awesome tutorial! I need all the pictures I can get! I never knew how the little pieces of fabric on either end of the zipper worked- until now!

  • Reply Holly May 14, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Thank you Toni- unbelievably generous of you to share. Must have taken ages to set up each shot, but incredibly helpful.

  • Reply Aimee May 15, 2010 at 4:04 am

    still may need mums help with this one, but thanks for the tutorial. a pencil case is on my list of things to make (one day!)

  • Reply Anonymous May 18, 2010 at 5:40 am

    Hi Toni! Your tutorial was super-great. It was so super-great, in fact, that I had to stitch up a little pouch right away. You can see it at XXOO

  • Reply Kelly May 19, 2010 at 1:25 am

    This pouch is so very very cute. Thank you for a lovely tutorial!

  • Reply Beth May 19, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Oh, I'm going to do this! Thank you so much, I was afraid of zippers!

  • Reply Mag May 19, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    this pouch is so cute, love the fabrics, thanks for sharing

  • Reply Rachel May 19, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    This is fantastic. I've been looking for an easy tutorial to attempt zippers and now I found yours 🙂


  • Reply heather May 24, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Hi Toni,
    I just love all the things that you sew! I am a sewing wannabe, I keep trying projects but its frustrating using my moms old machine that NEVER works for me! Haven't worked out if its me or the machine yet! Anyway I was wondering if you mind tellin me what machine you have or what you started on? I'm hoping I'll weedle the money for a new machine one day!

  • Reply Farah June 1, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    It is the cutest pouch i ever seen, litrely I mean it, love love and love it, and ready to make one … I love the way you stitch the zipper , I always have a irritation while attacching zippers, lot of thanks for sharing…

  • Reply Anonymous June 15, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I've just made four pouches using your super tutorial. Thanks so much for your easy explanations and fab photos.


  • Reply Miss Amy June 18, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Thanks for the tutorial! My version is right here Very well explained and pictured 🙂

  • Reply **Amy** June 19, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Love This! Thanks for sharing. I just featured this over at The Idea Room!

  • Reply inday_adin June 21, 2010 at 5:12 am

    So cute! 🙂

  • Reply QuiltieComments June 25, 2010 at 3:00 am

    THANKS A MILLION! I loved this tutorial! It made my day…I blogged about here, so you can see.

  • Reply Ocean Peg June 27, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Except for the tabs on the ends of the zippers, your tutorial for this pouch is similar to the panty purse/cosmetic bag pouches.

    Did up a tutorial on them back in February, 2010. Link to them on my blogspot at

  • Reply Hammers June 29, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    I love your blog! I make lots of zippy pouches and I will now be adding the piece of fabric, to the ends of my zip!

  • Reply Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage July 3, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    So cute!
    I'm definitely going to have to try this! I'm thinking Christmas!


  • Reply July 11, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    This is so, so pretty! Thanks so much for adding it to the One Pretty Thing Flickr pool. I'll be linking in Sunday's Weekend Roundup.

  • Reply creativejewishmom/Sara July 12, 2010 at 6:35 am

    great tutorial! Would you drop by my blog linking party (open Sun thru Wed) and link to this or even a few projects! I'd love to see you there! all the best!

  • Reply Toni July 12, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    I love making zippered pouches and I really love how yours is quilted! Will definitely try this

  • Reply Lori July 13, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I love your pouches, I've seen the others you've done also.
    Do you sell these?

    Let me know !

  • Reply Lori July 13, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I love your pouches, I've seen the others you've done also.
    Do you sell these?

    Let me know !

  • Reply Little O Studio August 1, 2010 at 12:48 am

    Great tutorial – so easy and so useful!

    I made one up to hold all my son's little dinosaurs – you can see the photos on my blog

  • Reply Kayjay August 6, 2010 at 7:01 am

    I followed your tutorial for this pouch and am now the proud owner of one very pretty bag. Thanks for the easy instructions, I'll be making more of these for gifts 🙂

  • Reply Mimi August 20, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    This is the tutorial I've been looking for!! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Lucia September 9, 2010 at 3:36 am

    thankyou for taking the time to put up this awesome tutorial….i am working on #7…i am gifting them this year..and crazy about mine…so ridiculously proud of them…i have been sewing for almost 50 yrs and never tackled a zip bag. I need a new camera , but will post pics of mine later….Lucia

  • Reply maggielucia October 18, 2010 at 2:29 am

    toni…i left a comment on sept 9 re: these bags and the tutorial. I started a blog today and because i am totally and completely new at it ..i don't yet know how to set up links etc. I have called it handmade by maggielucia and i featured 6 scrappy zip bags ( photo) and credited your site ..check it out if you have time and maybe you can show me how and what you think….thanks Lucia

  • Reply Anonymous October 29, 2010 at 6:12 am

    I have made this pouch three times using other tutorials. Yours is amazing. There was absolutely no confusion, which I can't say for the others. Bravo!!!!

  • Reply chloeandme November 15, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    I just used your tutorial and made a zippy pouch. Thank you so much for taking the time to post this! It really helped me figure out how to do a zipper. Love my new pouch! thanks again!

  • Reply MamaDaniel December 6, 2010 at 1:08 am

    nice tutorial.. will try it for sure.. thanks for sharing.. will update u once it's finished.. 🙂

  • Reply Anonymous December 10, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    OMG!!! Thank you so much for posting this tutorial. I have always been intimidated by zippers. You made it so easy to follow and now I am ready to do more. I am getting ready to start #2. These will be gifts for Christmas. Kim in Kansas City, Mo.

  • Reply jen December 18, 2010 at 1:23 am

    thank you! great tut 🙂 I've tried a few before, and I think yours is the winnah!

  • Reply Melanie@Crafty Cupboard December 19, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Just made one, thanks! It was so fast. I prefer your tutorial because of the little tabs. I did add a little loop thingy to hold on to before the last sewing step, and it worked great. I'll post pics on Monday and put it in your flickr group!

  • Reply quiltjude January 13, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Wow what a detailed tutorial, I have never put a zip in anything YET so now I might give it a try thanks so much

  • Reply Jessica Wright January 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Such a brilliant tutorial, thank you! You can see my little bag at

  • Reply Beth C January 27, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    LOVE IT! Thank you so much for this, I made two today and think I am an addict.

  • Reply Jen T March 28, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I made one and I love it. Thank you!

  • Reply Janae April 4, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Thanks for your tutorial. I made one pictured here

    I plan to make some more. Your tutorial was simple and easy to follow! Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Reply Kristen May 3, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    I will try this, no excuses!! Lovely pretty pouch!

  • Reply Mary Jo May 7, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    I just finished a pouch from your tutorial. You can check it out here: I really liked the tutorial and it helped me to understand how to do a zipper. Thanks!

  • Reply Alanna May 19, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    What a great tutorial! Thanks for sharing. I've been wanting a new make up bag and I had the perfect piece of scrap fabric for this project. Check it out on my blog

  • Reply maylei June 23, 2011 at 10:02 am

    This is the best zippered pouch tutorial I have ever come across. I love the fabric at the end of the zipper idea, just like the ones in stores. Thanks for the tut!

    May <3

  • Reply Maylei June 24, 2011 at 4:21 am

    QUESTION: how did you sew around the zipper when you sewed all the way around. when i turned my pouch inside out, my fabric zipper ends look weird.

  • Reply Tanya July 4, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    I love this tutorial. So easy to follow. I have made a few of these and they are perfect for anything…my daughter uses them to hold her Barbie accessories. Just wondering though where you buy your sew-in fabric labels? I have been looking and looking and can't seem to find anything affordable.

  • Reply Sandy August 6, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Hands down this is one of the best zippered pouch tutorials I have found. Thank you so much.. I made two of them yesterday. You can view my post about it here:

  • Reply Shannon August 12, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    I used your tutorial last night. I was a little nervous about the whole zipper thing (my first one!) but the whole process was a breeze! Thanks so much!! Here's the link:

  • Reply Pam August 28, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks for the great tutorial! It was very easy, as you said.

  • Reply Silvana Pereira Coutinho (aka silort on flickr) November 2, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Thank you so much for your teaching!! You are very gentle sharing with all of us your knowlegment!
    Hugs from Brazil!

  • Reply An Imperfect Mom December 11, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Thanks for this tutorial; I have been struggling with my zipper ends in other simple zipper bags, and this one helps to make them very clean and neat!

  • Reply Anonymous January 7, 2012 at 11:43 am

    hi i love the tutorial so easy and so good to follow detailed instructions and pictures. i found though that the corners at either end of the zipper become pinched inwards and aren't as flush as your design. Do you know how to fix this?

  • Reply Anonymous January 27, 2012 at 5:19 am

    Thanks a lot for the tutorial.
    I am first timer struggled a bit but the final outcome was worth it.

  • Reply Grandmasewnsew February 2, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Hi. Kind of late but I'm on step 3 and it says "Take your exterior back piece and lay it on top of the edge of the zipper/lining with the wrong side of the exterior back piece facing down". In the picture it looks like you have the right side facing down and I can't see how it works with the wrong side down. Can someone please comment?

  • Reply Sarah February 12, 2012 at 7:01 am

    Thanks for the tutorial Toni, a quick and satisfying project!

    As grandmasewnsew above pointed out – there is a small mistake where it should say right side down instead of wrong side down.

    And as others have said, my zip end corners look a little pinched and puckered… maybe my seams were too big? Any ideas?

  • Reply thewrightfamily March 1, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Thank you what a great tutorial, I made one yesterday and it was my first attempt with a zipper, you made it very easy.

  • Reply Nicole @ Patchwork Duck Designs April 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I just made a pouch using your tutorial…it turned out great! Thanks so much. 🙂

  • Reply Lillipilli Lane April 21, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Thanks so much, I love your patterns!

  • Reply Julian Levi March 16, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Love this… really want to make this soon… thanks for sharing.
    retro bags

  • Reply Rebecca March 17, 2013 at 5:14 am

    I know this is an older post but I just wanted to say thank you! I have my third pouch in the works and I just love them. I needed something useful to use my scraps for and these are perfect.

  • Reply Anonymous March 26, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Thank you for this wonderful tutorial xx This was my first time that i have used a zipper and i am happy how it turned out. Although i did have one lining ended up being on the outside and the outside as the liner lol but still looks good 🙂

  • Reply Phoebe Ginger May 21, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Brilliant tutorial:)
    Here is my version of it…

  • Reply Joanne Chapman May 31, 2013 at 8:11 am

    I am so happy to think this weekend i will have the confidence to try a zip insertion. My boys having made their own design cushions with patchwork but when it came to adding a zip i went jelly on them and said – humm not my strong point. Ok so I will learn from this wonderful tutorial and then tach them 🙂 watch this space……. thanks Toni!

  • Reply Anonymous July 20, 2013 at 2:24 am

    Just used your method of inserted a zipper in my bag. So easy! I loved it! Thank you….

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  • Reply Farmyard Stitches September 22, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Thanks Toni! I've just made a disaster pencil case. I'm trying your tutorial next!!

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  • Reply Shasha January 12, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Ho thanks a lot…j'aime, j'aime, j'aime…. merci

  • Reply Shasha January 12, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Ho thanks a lot…j'aime, j'aime, j'aime…. merci

  • Reply Joanne Luongo January 24, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Thank you for sharing this…it's wonderful!

  • Reply Sew Lindsay Sew June 26, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Love the tutorial! Thanks for sharing. Just wanted to let you know I recently referenced it in my own blog and provided a link back to your blog. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply Anonymous July 2, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    You are awesome. A quintessential tutorial in clear steps correlating to photo's perfectly. Thank you, particularly, for advising me to "….not think too much about the steps…."
    Could be why I have given up at times on others tutorials because I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel.
    I love the options available with stash fabrics for this project.

  • Reply Cindy Rinna July 20, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Great tutorial! thanks!

  • Reply Cara Louise September 13, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Thank you for the great tutorial… just what I needed to know.

  • Reply Jaya October 7, 2014 at 8:06 am

    lovely! thank you!

  • Reply Tami D November 15, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    I have had this bookmarked for a long time and finally made one this morning as a last minute gift for a friend I'm meeting for lunch in about ban hour. LOL! Your tutorial was perfect. Easy to follow and well written. Thank you! I will use it again and again!

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