Zip Pouch Tutorial

Zip Pouch Tutorial

Zip Pouch Tutorial.

In all of the time I’ve known Sarah, she’s always said to me “PLEASE do a sewing tutorial! I want to read it!”. I resisted for the longest time… until she offered me half of her online space and said I could write sewing posts if I wanted to. Ok Sarah, you’ve got me.

I love zippered pouches. Since I learned to make them a few years ago I haven’t been able to stop. It took me some time to make lots of mistakes, unpick a LOT of seams and learn some tricks to get a great result. I thought I’d add to the billions of zippered pouch tutorials online and give you mine – Amy’s Zip Pouch Tutorial.

The pouch pictured is 8 inches x 10 inches (20x25cm).

You’ll need:

  1. 20 inches x 12 inches outer fabric
  2. 20 inches x 12 inches of lining fabric
  3. 20 inches x 12 inches iron on wadding (I use Parlan from my local fabric shop, but these guys look like they are offering a great price too!)
  4. Matching thread
  5. Zipper at least 12 inches long and a scrap of matching fabric approx 3inch x 4 inch. 
  6. Pins & a zipper foot for your machine
  7. Coffee
  8. OPTIONAL: If you fancy a strap like my customer did, cut a 2.5inch x 18 inch piece of fabric.
    ALSO OPTIONAL:  A walking foot will make your life so much easier for this. If you don’t have one that’s cool, but I strongly suggest you hop on to a site like and get yourself one, pronto.

To begin:

Coffee not pictured.

Coffee not pictured.

  1. Cut all of your fabric in half, giving you TWO outer pieces 10inch x 12 inch, TWO lining pieces 10inch x 12 inch and TWO pieces of interfacing 10inch x 12 inch.
  2. Sip coffee. Job well done so far. Plug in the iron and let it warm up, whilst sipping more coffee.
  3. Lay your outer fabric right side down, and lay your interfacing sticky (nubbly) side down. Turn over so you will be ironing the right side of fabric. It’s no fun to clean wadding off an iron. A friend told me.
  4. Are you doing a strap? Great. Now it’s time.
  5. There’s a few ways to do this – here’s my way. Not neccessarily the best, but obviously not crap, because I did it. Fold over the long edges approx 1/4 inch, pressing the seam with your iron as you do. Irons are hot, be careful with your fingers doing this. Again, a friend told me. 
  6. When you’ve done both long edges, fold them up so the edges marry in equal opportunity bliss, and sew very carefully 1/8 inch from the edge. Sew another line along if you feel that your initial seam may not be as straight as you’d fancy, safety in numbers and all that. Do the same on the other long edge.
    Making handle



  7. To make your zipper tab, press one of your short edges down to make it neat, then lay your zipper along one side and fold the other side up, just like this. Sew a careful seam along the short folded edge. There is no pic of this, mine initially was not particularly neat. I’ve got a cold, and toddlers, you see.



  8. Great job, you! Have some more coffee. It’s going cold. (Weezy* knows precisely what I am talking about.)
  9.  Now it’s time to put it all together! Put your zipper foot on now, so you’re ready to roll. Lay your outer fabric down, face up. Lay your zipper on top of this, face down, and ensure that you’ve decided which side you want your zipper to open to. 


    Outer fabric face UP. Zipper face DOWN.

  10. Lay your lining piece face down on top of this nice little sewing sandwich and pin, pin, pin!


    Lining fabric face DOWN.

  11. Sew with your zipper foot carefully along this line, keeping approximately 1/4 inch from the zipper teeth.
  12. First side done! Now, repeat the process for the other side of the zipper. Ensure that you keep the lining and outer fabric that you’ve just sewed down and out of the way.


    Go you! You’re halfway there! (woooah! Living on a prayer!)

  13. Lay your project flat out like this, lining side up. Pull the lining pieces outwards and press the lining pieces with your iron. Flip it over and press again. You’re making sure the fabric is clear of the zipper teeth so you can sew along the zipper and keep the fabric clear of the zipper.


    Lay your project flat out so you can press the pieces away from the zipper.

  14. Keeping your zipper foot on (I do, I find it easier to sew close to the edge of the fabric) sew 1/8-1/4inch away from the fold of the fabric. My tip is to find a line on your sewing machine foot that you can eyeball – i.e. I line up my fabric to the outer line of my zipper foot, so I know it’s consistently the same seam width. Put your walking foot/regular foot back on now.

    Sew down the fabric away from the zipper. No one likes to get anything caught in a zipper!


  15. Adding your strap: Measure down 2 inches from the zipper and pin your strap here. Ensure that your strap is on the same side as your zipper pull when it’s done up. That way when you carry the pouch, if the zipper’s undone nothing will fall out. And, ensure that you pin the strap so the raw edges are aligned with the raw edges of the pouch, not the strap facing out. Again, a friend told me.


    Measure 2 inches from the zipper and add your strap.

  16. Putting it all together! Here’s some pictures of how to fold your zipper to get a perfect zipper finish. I also recorded you a short little video that hopefully explains it better than pictures do.  



    Fold your lining pieces on to each other…


    Point your zipper pieces towards the lining.

  17. Get pinning. Lay your lining fabric together and your outers together and begin to pin. I pin all around the sides, leaving a 2-3 inch gap at the bottom of the lining so I don’t accidentally sew around the entire thing. VERY IMPORTANT: Ensure that the zipper is open at least half way before you sew it all together. It’s beastly to deal with otherwise. My friend told me this, too.

    Lots of pins help stop shifting layers of fabric.


    Awesome photoshop skills highlighting where to sew.

  18. zipper-going-over

    Go over the zipper a few times, it’s a bit arduous and can require hand-cranking your machine, but worth it for extra stability.

  19. Snip your corners, and trim quite closely to the seams next to your zipper ends. There are no pictures of this, I was toddler’d for this part and saying things like ‘THE IRON IS HOT’, ‘PUT MUMMY’S SEAM RIPPER DOWN’. Turn your pouch inside out and poke the corners out with your finger, or a chopstick. Poke out your zipper end, give it a bit of grunt, it needs it.

    Check out that awesome zipper end!


  20. With your bag turned out, press the lining under approx 1/2 inch. Turn your machine stitch down to a really small stitch length (I like 1.5 for this) and whiz along the length of the bottom of the lining. You could hand stitch this if you really fancied, but I also like to machine stitch this for stability.

    This is what your bag looks like now.


    Press the lining edges under.


    Stitch along the lining edge at lightning speed with a tiny stitch. It’s breathtaking!

  21. You are finished! Turn it all back inside on itself, give it a press and give yourself a big pat on the back.

    You are finished! Hooray!


    My four year old was ‘helping’ and taking photos for me. She’s quite ace at photography and whilst there’s lots of pictures of my tracksuit-clad thighs, she did take this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *