Making a handmade zip bag sounds complicated, doesn't it? Sure, you can buy zip pouches. But handmade pouches are affordable, simple, and easy easier than you might imagine. (Yes, even with a lining and a zipper!) While at first glance a pouch of this style seem like complicated sewing projects, put in truth they are quite simple to do.
I created this lined zippered gift pouch using a contrasting zipper and some scraps of fabric from my stash. I chose polka dots for the outside and lined my bag with a piece of vintage bedsheet. (If you've been coming here for a long time you might recognize the lining fabric from my duvet cover tutorial from a while back.)
I originally wrote this tutorial for a professional soapmaker's publication, the Saponifier, so pardon the shameless self-promotion of my organic baby care products. Put what ever you want in your pouch. LuSa or otherwise!
I will provide instructions for a 6”x7” pouch here but the variations are limitless. Once you have the hang of it, modify to any size you wish.
Gather Your Supplies
7” x 8” fabric rectangles: two in outer fabric, two in liner fabric
Coordinating 7” zipper
Cutting mat and rotary cutter (optional)
Sharp sewing shears
The first lined zip pouch I made (last winter) ended up – after three tries – with the lining on the outside and the main fabric inside. I threw up my hands and pretended that it was supposed to look like that. To save you that frustration I promise to make this simple and easy to understand. We’ll take it one step at a time and soon you’ll be making them by the dozens. Okay. Maybe not, but you could if you had enough zippers.
Step 1: Make a zipper sandwich.
Lay one piece of your exterior fabric right side up.
On top of it lay your closed zipper wrong side up (you will see the bottom of the zipper pull).
On top of the zipper lay one piece of lining fabric wrong side up.
Align top edges and pin in place.
Open zipper three inches or so.
Step 2: Sew your first seam.
Move to your sewing machine. Using your zipper foot (check your machine’s manual if you aren’t sure which foot that is or how to use it) sew beginning at the top (open portion) of the zipper. Sew two inches. With the needle in fabric, raise presser foot and zip the zipper closed. (This will prevent your seam from having a burble in it from your presser foot wiggling around the zipper pull.) Jostle it about until you talk it into closing. You’ll get it. Now put your presser foot back down and complete your seam.
Your off to a great start. Your project should look like this:
Step 3: Repeat.
Repeat steps 1 and 2 with your remaining two pieces of fabric and the other side of the zipper. Now if I’ve been clear and you’ve been paying attention you should have something like this:
Edited to add Step 3b: Topstitch
Sew a seam along each side of your zipper to hold down the fabric and to prevent it from becoming stuck in the zipper. I did not do that on this bag, but now (late 2012) I always do. It's easy and makes the bag even more of a joy to use.
With your zipper foot still on just add a seam that sews through your lining, your zipper material, and your outer fabric. (Confused? Feel free to skip this step and move on to 4.)
Step 4: Clear your mind.
This is the part where if I think too hard about it I confuse myself. Just focus on the steps and let the bag sew itself. When we’re done it’ll be a little bit of magic as you turn your bag right side out and it all works perfectly. Trust me. It’ll be a good time.
Ready? Fantastic. Here we go.
Step 5: Sew the main seam.
Flip your fabric so that the main fabric pieces are right sides together on your left, the zipper is in the middle, and the lining fabric is right sides together on your right. Unzip your zipper ⅔ of its length. Really. I mean it. Unzip the zipper or your bag will not be a bag at all because you’ll be unable to turn it right side out.
Peek inside to make sure you have your pieces in the right place. Your bag should look something like this:
Pin around the edges if you are into precision. (I am not but you bag will probably be prettier than mine if you pin.) Sew a seam around the entire bag in one swoop (the lining and outer layer in one long seam). Leave a 3” opening in the center bottom of the lining, back-stitching at both ends. Sew right over the non-toothed ends of the zipper close to each end.
Clip all four corners close to the seam. This will give you more crisp square corners when your turn the bag right-side out.
Step 5: Turn your bag.
I love this part. Reach in through the opening in the lining and pull the entire bag right side out. You will end up with something like this:
With a point turner, crochet hook, or chopstick reach in through the opening and poke the corners out on the lining and the outer bag. Using a blindstitch (or any discreet stitch that works for you) sew the opening in the lining closed. Now push the lining down into the bag and marvel at your skills.
That wasn’t so bad, was it? And how cute is that bag? Success!
41 thoughts on “Tutorial : : How to make a lined zippered pouch.”
Thank you for the tutorial! I have been needing a little pouch and now I can just make one! Oh and can we see your sweet new Aurora shoes? I have been dreaming about them and would love to hear how you like them. Thanks!
Now there is hope in conquering my zipper-sewing anxieties! Yippee!! Is it selfish to make myself one first?! Also, how do you think this would do with oilcloth? I am thinking I’d like to make some swim/wet bags for summer adventures.
So glad the timing was spot on, Starr! Have at it!
It works perfectly with oil cloth. I dont know if I would bother with a lining though. Just my two cents!
Yes, indeed! I will share them. Though my size 11s might not represent the best modeling. 🙂
I’ve been itching to make a bunch of zipper pouches–so good for traveling and organizing small things. I will definitely use your super straight-forward tuturial; thanks so much!
Fantastic, thank you so much!
thanks so much for the tute girl! and umm, so strange as i woke up today completely fixed on making some of these little guys! (after my splurging of making big totes 🙂
thank you so much!!! I don´t know how to make that!!!! and I wanna it!
(sorry for my Tarzan english)
That is awesome. Last month I picked up some zippers to do just what you did, but never got around to making a pattern, let alone the pouch. Thanks for posting this.
Great! Let me know how it turns out. :0)
Let me know how it turns out! ~ Rachel
Oh I need to try to make this! I have that same flower fabric you used – from a sheet, I believe? – that I used for a comforter for my guest bed and there’s some leftover I can use 🙂
Sewing machine has arrived (borrowed from mother in law), this will be my first sewing project since middle school. Hopefully the first of many, wish me luck!
Hooray! Let me know how it turns out, wont you?
OMG, I did it!!!!! I did it!!! I did it!!!! I thought it wasn’t going to work the entire last part until I pulled it through the hole and voila! wow…I impressed myself today. I’m also a bit tired, hahaha, but I didn’t give up! yay…now I’m going to try a few more woo hoo! (can’t tell I’m excited can you?) 😉
p.s. photos being posted right now on my FB page 🙂 shall I tag you Rachel?
Awesome, Tori! Congratulations. Tag away. Or you can put them in our Flickr pool. (Search LuSa Organics Clean on Flickr) 🙂
You make this look like a breeze. I have thus far stayed away from zippers. Scary things, they are.
Aah. But thats how I feel about buttonholes.
I can’t wait to make these! Thank you!!!
Just made one!! Love it so much! thank you glad i found your blog :)))
Awesome! Glad you used the tute. And welcome to my space. ~ Rachel
Thanks for this tutorial – I just made a bag and it turned out really well!
Hi, A year later and you helped yet another person to sew a bag! My first zipper pouch and the best zipper tutorial I’ve ever seen! Thank You!
I’m so glad!
Thank you. I looked at about half dozen tutorials and yours was by the clearest and easiest to follow. I made the bag in less than 15 minutes and would have been done sooner if my machine hadn’t decided to snarl up the thread halfway through.
Thank you for this tutorial!
Youre so welcome!
Thank you for this tutorial! I used it to make a cloth envelope system for budgeting. I linked back to you from my blog.
Thank you so much for this. I did a workshop on Friday making a bag like this and wanted to make another one quickly before I forgot how to. Of course I couldn’t remember the zipper sandwich so I ‘googled’ and found you!
Life saver, you have been bookmarked.
Sweet! So glad it helped. I even pull it up when I make a zip bag!
Greetings from India!
I always struggle while fixing the zipper and this is the reason I’ve not been able to make any zipper closing cushion covers / dresses / pouches so far (even when they top in crafts to do list). This is one of the easiest zipper fixing tutorial for a pouch I’ve found after searching many tutorials. I am going to try this tomorrow and definitely going to post the pictures of my creations in my blog along with your tutorial link.
Thanks a ton!
Did you lay the 7″ zipper along the 7″ end of the fabric or along the 8″ end? And what seam allowance did you use?
The 7 side. And any seam allowance that you like. Break the rules!
Absolutely brilliant!! Thank you. I had been so stressed out trying to work this out. Looked for help on the internet….and there you appeared!
Just finished my first one! OMG!!!!! It was sooooo easy 🙂 Thank you!
Thank you for your clear tutorial. I made a big bag out of a table runner I found at Dollar General for $5.00. so cool. I made it for a bag to hang on a walker. Sweet. and just perfect with 2 straps to hang over the handles of the walker. Made a little old lady at my church very happy. My bag measured about 10″x16″. could have made pockets on the inside but not this time.