A zippered pouch is a classic beginner sewing project – it’s quick and straightforward to put together. Plus, you’ll be able to practice working with zippers!
Also, it’s a great scrap-busting project that makes for awesome handmade gifts.
In this step-by-step tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a zippered pouch from beginning to end.
But first, here’s what you’ll need.
What do you need for a zippered pouch project
- ¼ yard of outer fabric
- ¼ yard of lining fabric
- 7-inch zipper
- sewing pins
- straight-edge ruler
- scissors or rotary cutter
- sewing machine (I used my Brother CP100X, you can use your favorite one)
- iron and ironing board
What fabric is best for a zippered pouch?
When making a zippered pouch, you will want to choose a woven fabric with very little to no stretch. Also, choose a medium-weight fabric – a heavy fabric will be too bulky, and a very lightweight fabric won’t be durable.
You can use a different fabric for the lining and outer fabric, or, as I did, you can use the same fabric for both.
My 5 Steps Process includes:
- Sew the outer fabric to the zipper.
- Sew the lining fabric to the zipper.
- Sew the edges of the zippered pouch.
- Turn the pouch and close the opening in the lining.
- Give it all a final press!
Step One: Sew the outer fabric to the zipper
First, cut two pieces of outer fabric and two pieces of lining fabric that is 8 inches x 7 inches. I cut all four of mine from the same fabric instead of using a different fabric for the lining.
Grab your first piece of outer fabric and pin the right side of the zipper to the right side of the fabric along with one of the 8-inch edges. Make sure the zipper is centered on the fabric – there should be ½ inch from either end of the zipper teeth to the edge of the fabric.
Use a zipper foot to stitch the pinned side of the zipper tape to the fabric, sewing as close to the teeth as possible.
Once you get close to the zipper pull, stop your machine, leaving the needle down, then raise the presser foot and unzip the zipper. Put the presser foot back down and continue sewing. This will help you avoid curving your stitches around the zipper pull.
You will now have something that looks like this:
Next, flip the zipper up and away from the fabric.
Place the other outer fabric piece on top of the zipper with the right side down and pin it along the unattached side of the zipper tape.
Here’s what it will look like from the other side:
Sew along this edge of the zipper tape with your zipper foot.
Step Two: Sew the lining fabric to the zipper
We now have the outer fabric attached, and it’s time to sew on the lining fabric.
Place one of the lining pieces right sides down on top of the zipper, sandwiching the zipper between one of the outer fabric pieces and the lining piece.
Pin one of the 8-inch edges of the lining to the top edge of the zipper tape.
Sew along this side of the zipper tape again with your zipper foot.
Next, flip the pouch around so that the side of the zipper tape with both a lining and an outer fabric attached is facing down. You should now have the other side (with only an outer fabric attached) at the top.
Place the second lining piece on top of it with the right side facing down.
Pin the lining to the upper side of the zipper tape, sandwiching the zipper between the lining and the outer fabric.
Sew this edge of the zipper tape again to secure the final lining piece to the zipper.
When you flip all the fabric pieces out away from the zipper, you will now have something like this:
Press the fabric around the zipper with your iron, then topstitch along each side to keep this area looking nice and flat.
Step Three: Sew the edges of the zippered pouch
You have successfully inserted the zipper – congrats! Next, we need to finish the sides of the zippered pouch.
First, unzip the zipper most of the way – this is so we will be able to turn it right sides out later.
Next, flip the fabric pieces so that the two outer fabric pieces are right sides together and the lining pieces are right sides together. Make sure to push the zipper teeth in towards the lining side NOT the outer fabric side.
Pin around all four edges of the fabric, matching up the fabric carefully on either end of the zipper.
Sew around all four edges with a ½ inch seam allowance, leaving a 2 inch opening in the bottom of the lining side.
Step Four: Turn the pouch and close the opening in the lining
Our zippered pouch is almost done! Before we can turn it right sides out, we need to trim away some bulk.
Trim the seam allowances down by half and cut each corner close to (but not through) the stitching.
Next, pull the fabric through the opening in the bottom of the lining side until it is right sides out.
Next, we just need to close up the opening in the bottom of the lining.
You can either hand sew the opening closed or just topstitch right along the edge to secure it. I find topstitching to be the fastest and easiest – especially since it will be hidden inside, so the stitching won’t even be visible.
Step Five: Give it all a final press
Finally, push the lining through the zipper to the inside of the pouch.
Make sure your corners are still sharp, give it all a good press with your iron, and your adorable, zippered pouch is done!
I hope you enjoyed this simple beginner sewing project – it’s a great way to use up your fabric scraps in a useful way!
Please share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.