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Thursday, 8 June 2017

Zipper Pouch Tutorial

Lined Zipper Pouch with Matching Tabs & Contrast Panel 

Zipper pouches are my 'go to' project when stitching gifts.  They're so versatile and the recipient can always find a use for them: pencil case, make-up purse, travel bag, gadget case, clutch bag...etc....etc., the list is endless!

I stitched up this particular pouch for my husband's goddaughter.  The matching travel mirror, personalised with her initial, was made with my trusty badge machine one of my favourite playthings!

The dark green bottom panel is a 'waxy' type cotton which almost looks like leather.  It came from a pair of jeans that cost just 20p from a local car boot sale as I knew the fabric would be perfect for little sewing projects!  The eye-catching zigzag fabrics are from the 'Sophia' range by Makower and I originally used them to make these sprocket cushions, published in Sewing World Magazine.

Zipper pouches are the perfect sewing project for beginners as they (generally) only use straight lines.  They also introduce the slightly more challenging skill of inserting zips but their dinky size means should the worst comes to the worst not too much fabric is wasted!

On that note, it's important to remember that sewing does take practice and we all make many, many mistakes when learning.....and continue to do so!  My sewing has improved greatly over time simply because I've become more adventurous and now just get stuck in!  The main step in this direction was the growing prevalence of 'car boot sales' where I can buy old clothing, sheets, curtains, duvet covers...etc...etc., for next to nothing!  Previously purchasing supplies was an expensive business and as such I was extremely reticent to pick up my scissors and hack into fabric unless I was sure of the outcome. This obviously lead to a vicious circle whereby I didn't have many sewing skills but was too nervous to expand my stitching repertoire!

So grab some fabric, whether new or upcycled, and create your own gorgeous zipper pouch    

Zipper Pouch Tutorial  

Use a 1 cm seam allowance throughout.

The first step is to create the pouch exterior.  Cut two 21 x 11 cm rectangles from your chosen patterned fabric for the pouch top and two 21 x 7 cm rectangles from a contrast fabric for the lower section.  If the fabrics are a pale colour or light weight consider applying a fusible interfacing to the wrong side of your rectangles.

Sew together in pairs and then press seams towards the darker fabric.  Top stitch lower contrast panel for a lovely professional touch.  

Next cut two 21 x 16 cm rectangles from your lining fabric.  I chose a darker colour as this makes for a much more forgiving and practical choice, disguising make-up smudges or marks from leaky pens!

Now stitch the zipper tabs using your contrast fabric and this tutorial from one of my previous posts. If you want to miss this step out just make sure that your zipper is at least the width of your prepared pouch pieces!

The next step is to create your zipper sandwich.  To do this simply place your lining piece down with right side up and centre your zip on top of it right side up, there will be some overhang but this is trimmed off later along with the seam allowances.  Then put one of your lining pieces on top, wrong side up. Pin or tack the zip sandwich securely and then sew in place using a zipper foot. Repeat for the second side.

Open out the pouch and press neatly.  Then top stitch through all layers of fabric on either side of the zip, using your zipper foot or an edge stitch foot.  As with the stitching on the lower panel, it gives a professional finish and also prevents the lining from getting caught in the zip when in use.

Match up the outer fabrics right sides together and the lining fabrics, again right sides together. Ensure that the zip is at least half way open so that you can turn the pouch right side out after stitching!

Pin the sides together pushing the zip tab bulk towards the lining.  Then sew all the way around the outside, leaving an opening in the lining for a turning gap.

Trim seam allowances to reduce bulk.  Turn the pouch through to the right side and gently push out rounded corners using a large wooden knitting needle or other blunt point.

Lightly press and then using a small ladder or slip stitch hand sew the opening closed.

You've now stitched a fabulous zipper pouch!